The Conservative Heresy, The Pro Life Heresy, Pt. 1 Thursday, Dec 29 2011 

 Part 1:

The “Conservative Catholic” and

Pro-Life Heresies:

100 Christian, Catholic, and

Rational Arguments

Against the “Conservative Catholic”

Anti-Abortion Movement;

Or

God Never Said, “Vote Republican”;

4th Edition [Last Revised by Author Dec. 28, 2011, to p. 45]

100 Arguments, 700 Pages of text, Against

Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests For Life, EWTN/EWRN:

The New,  Dis-“Proportionate,” “One Issue” Heretics

By Dr. “William J.E.Dempsey”

A dozen times a day, we hear on “Catholic” radio networks like EWRN, that God or the Catholic Church, says abortion is wrong.  And that therefore, we must vote Pro Life – which means, vote Republican – in every election.

But 1) the Bible itself never mentions abortion – except to command a priest to perform it (Num. 5.11-27).  Then 2) Psalm 139 says that the embryo is not a fully formed human person, with a rational “soul” or mind; it is merely an “unformed substance,” whose “days” as a human person have not yet begun.  3) The Catholic Church to be sure, says abortion is bad; but how bad is it?  The Church’s two main theologians and saints – St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas – following the Bible, agreed that the young embryo does not have a rational soul, and is not a human person.  Then too, 4) two current Cardinals spoke against any dis “proportion”ate emphasis on just “one issue,” like abortion.

Finally 5) the Pope himself said that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (Card. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, “Worthiness,” 2004 memo).  He did not say that we can only vote for the most anti-abortion candidate.

Pro-Lifers therefore, are not obeying the Bible, or the Church.  The anti-abortion movement is simply, a new heresy.  It is a false doctrine, from the new false priests:  lay “Catholic” talk show hosts, and one-issue extremist sects.

 

“Folly is set in high places….  Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child.…  As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything” (Ecc. 10.5-16-11.5).

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” (popular saying).

 

BLURB

 

Today, Frank Pavonne of Priests for Life, and dozens of other “Catholic” anti-abortion groups, constantly speak as if abortion is the “one issue,” proportionately, that we should always keep in mind, to be good Christians, or good Catholics.  The issue of abortion is presented in effect, as the very heart and center of what it means to be a Christian.  If we turn on a “Catholic” radio station, on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN/EWRN)– we heard this message, repeated obsessively, a dozen times a day – sometimes, a dozen times in a single half hour:  that 1) God and 2) the Church say abortion is wrong.  Abortion, they assure us on the radio, is so wrong that 3) we must all vote Pro Life, in every election.  And?  Since the most Pro-Life political party, is the Republican Party?  In effect, 4) countless “Catholic” organizations have been in effect, implying that God orders us to vote “conservative,” vote Republican.  In every single election.

But are the Church and God himself, really ordering us all to vote Republican?  This implication was hugely popular – and influential; it determined one election after another, from c. 1980-2008.  But?   Here and now, we will note 100 and more major theological problems, sins, in popular Catholic anti-abortionism.  In the end, in fact, this small but decisive Pro Life movement, is 1) not true to the Bible; or to 2) the Church; or 3) to God, either.  In the end in fact, the Pro Life movement is simply a new false doctrine for our time. Or simply, the Pro Life movement is a new heresy for our own time.

What specifically, are some of the hundreds of sins of especially, “Catholic” anti-abortionism; as the anti-abortion gospel is proclaimed by EWRN, Eternal Word Radio Network, and by Frank Pavone of Priests for Life?  The main argument against the Pro Life movement, the main argument that allows abortion, is  for thousands of years, from Aristotle, thru St. Augustine and St. Aquinas, on through most of current Science and Anthropology, it has been firmly stated, that the essence of what it means to be a human being or a human person, the thing that makes us more than a beast or an animal, is our human mind, intelligence, spirit, or rational “soul.”  But it was said  in the Bible itself, that the embryo in the womb, was not “form”ed enough (Psalm 139), to have real intelligence, or a soul; the embryo is therefore not a human being yet.

It is often claimed by Pro-Lifers, that the thought that the embryo is not really “formed” enough to be a human person, comes from Aristotle, and early, imperfect science.  But this key observation actually comes just as much or more, from the Bible itself.  The whole point of Psalm 139, was that God knew us, even before we ourselves existed; when our “days” as a human person had not yet begun; when we were merely an “unformed substance” in the womb (Ps. 139.15-16).  And the major theologians of the Church were not just following Aristotle, but also the Bible – Psalm 139 – when they confirmed and clarified this; saying more specifically that the embryo in the womb, was just not large enough, not complex or  “form”ed enough, to sustain real, rational thought; to have a rational “soul.”   So why did the Bible say that our “days” as a human person had not yet begun, in the womb?  It was because we were not complex or “formed” enough, to have a rational mind, spirit, or soul.  Or as Science – especially not Biology, but Anthropology and Psychology – confirms today, following the Bible, the brain of the embryo, is not large enough, full enough, complex enough, to sustain or generate the thing that makes us human, that makes us more than the animals:  the brain of the embryo is not developed enough, to generate a characteristic, full human intelligence.

Therefore?  Aristotle, and the Bible, and the two great, classic theologians of the Church, and Science too, all essentially agreed on the same points:  that 1) the thing that makes us human and divine, the thing that makes us more than inaniminate matter, or more than an brutish beast, is the human mind, spirit, or “soul”; 2) while an embryo just just not “formed” enough, to generate or sustain that kind of a rational mind or spirit.  And therefore?  Though 3) many of these early philosophers, did not explicitly come to this conclusion, the logical conclusion – supported in many of their works – was that, since the embryo was not really a human person, therefore, abortion might be a rather serious sin; but it was not as serious, proportionately, as many other sins.  Specifically, abortion was not as important as say, murder.  Since abortion does not kill a full human person.  [Here note, we ourselves, following popular useage, will often use the terms "human being" and "human person" as synonymous; though recent literature distinguishes them.  What we mean is a rational being, with intelligence].

That therefore, is the main argument behind making abortion legal:  the thing that makes us human, that makes us more than an animal, is our human, rational mind, intelligence, spirit … or as they used to say, our “soul.”  While Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas and others – against Aristotle? – apparently said that the soul is not infused at birth, but develops later. And though many anti-abortionists assert that “Science” says otherwise?  In fact, Science says no such thing.  In fact, Science said the opposite.  Science – especially the Science of Anthropology – confirmed it stronger than ever:  the organ of the body that allows intelligence to develop, is clearly the brain; and the brain of an embryo is just not large enough, formed enough, full enough, to develop much conscious intelligence in the womb.   Science confirmed what the bulk of all of philosophy and theology and the Bible itself had said:  the essence of being a human being or person, was our human intelligence or soul; and an embryo’s brain was just not formed enough, large enough, full enough, to have that kind of intelligence.

And so?  That in fact, was the theological, philosophical background,  that finally allowed abortion:  the rather firm consensus, in most thinkers, in Theology and Science too, that the essence of what it means to be a human person was not just our bodily characteristics, but was especially our mind, spirit, or soul; and the embryo was just not big enough – specifically Science found, its brain was not developed enough – to have that mind, spirit, or soul.

Therefore?  The embryo was not yet a real human being or person.  And therefore?  Aborting it was not murder; it did not kill an human person, but only – as the Bible itself sometimes said, in its most detailed exploration of the subject – an “unformed substance,” whose “days” as a human being with a mind or soul, had not yet begun (Ps. 139).

Here the Bible, Theology, and Science all converged powerfully, on exactly the very same point: the embryo was not complex enough, to have the thing it needed to make it a human person:  its body – and Science specified, its brain – was just not large or developed enough, to contain human intelligence, or a rational soul.  So that finally? The embryo was clearly not a human person.

And since an embryo is not a full human person?  Then aborting the embryo, does not kill a human.  Abortion is not murder.  And therefore?  Abortion should be allowed; abortion should be legal.

Today to be sure, probably no one really likes abortion.  And many might well say it is a sin.  But finally, it is a relatively minor sin, the bulk of the Bible and religious tradition and Science finally said. Since the embryo does not really have a mind or soul, it is not a human person.  And killing an embryo is not murder.

And more interestingly?  We will find that the anti-abortionists who think they are doing a very good thing, by protecting the embryo, have done a very, very evil thing:  they have declared a substance without a soul or mind, to be fully human.  So that ironically, the very movement that has always seemed to itself to be the very essence of all that is good and holy, has always contained within it, a very, very great evil:  it has always minimalized, even attacked and weakened … the very core asset of humanity of and God:  the anti-abortion movement has minimalized and attacked … the soul itself.

And that attack on the mind or soul?  The Pro Life attack on the soul itself, was in fact, a very, very great sin indeed.

More positively?  The re-discovery of the soul, or the intelligent mind, after decades of John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body,” should be an important development in Theology.  But it should also have strong effects, in popular culture (and the popular vote).  Discovering the Mind indeed, has many effects: among other things, it is the main argument allowing abortion.  But also finally, it leads to the re-discovery, of what the real heart of being a human person, is really about.   The recovery of Reason, the Mind, and the Rational soul, is the only thing that can save an unthinking church.

Or in more positive language, the rediscovery, the recovery of the Mind or spirit, is the first of many arguments, suggesting that Christians, Catholics, can now turn their formerly fixated and obsessively narrow focus on Abortion, to dozens, hundreds of “other issues,” other important things.  To other issues like … preventing wars; developing minds.  To saving humans from the diseases and environmental disasters that have already, “proportionate”ly, killed many billions more indisputably human beings.  As the Bible itself often mentioned – and warned about, for a future that abandons the mind, spirit, or soul.

The recovery – or development – of the Rational Mind, in the everyday population, will be an extremely important development, in fact.  But for now however to be sure, our immediate purpose is simply to teach obessively narrow Catholics and others, to learn to see beyond the “single issue” of abortion.  To see beyond the embryo.  To the larger world of Christian and moral concerns.  And to do that?  We must decisively, for now, show that Abortion should not be the central concern of our religion; as it has been now for decades, among all too many Catholics, especially.  Thanks to the infinitely destructive work of say, Frank Pavone, and Priests for Life.  An experimental new Catholic organization that must now be seen to have been a very, very unsuccessful experiment; one that merely advanced and successfully promoted, a false theology; one that was ultmately, an attack on the very core essence of humanity and divinity:  that was an attack on the soul, itself.

Often the very things, that seem best to us, and most good, turn out to be the worst things in life, ultimately.  The Bible warned that “Satan” often comes to the religious person, “disguised as the angel of light” ( (2 Corin. 11.14).  And that seems to have been the case, in the Pro Life, anti-abortion movement.

.  .  .

But in any case, our immediate project here, is rather limited:  in order to try to get so many obsessed persons to learn to see the larger outline of human “life,” we need to finally present an armory of dozens, hundreds of arguments, against the Pro Life movement.  To get everyone to see beyond the embryo; to the larger life of adults in the world.  And to do that?  Our immediate concern will be to present not just one or two, but finally hundreds of reasons, to reject the too-narrow, dis “proportionate” focus just on abortion.  Developing hundreds of arguments, that show that abortion it seems, is not quite as bad as many have said; and that abortion should remain, therefore, safe and legal.

In fact, here we will present not one, but one or two hundred biblical, Christian, Catholic – and rational – arguments, allowing abortion.

Among others?:

 1) The Bible itself never mentions abortion – except to command a priest to perform it (Num. 5.11-27).

 

2) Especially, the Bible – Psalm 139 – says that an embryo is not yet fully “form”ed enough to have a human, rational “soul”; we are merely an “unformed substance” in the process of “being” made; our “days” as a human person, have not yet begun, as an embryo (Ps. 139. 15-16).  And this is the main argument allowing abortion:  the embryo is not a human person.

3) The Catholic Church to be sure, at times said abortion is bad; but how bad is it?  The two major theologians and saints of the Church – St. Augustine, and then the Church’s major saint and theologian; St. Thomas Aquinas – following Ps. 139, both said the young embryo is not yet “formed” enough to have a soul, and is not a human person.  While Science, Anthropology, confirms that the embryo’s brain is not large enough to sustain a full human intelligence, mind, spirit, or “soul.” Then too?

 

4) “Life” is very complex and full; and it includes many other important things, aside from abortion.  To save human lives, we need to keep thinking about other things than the embryo:   like preventing diseases, and wars for example.  Accordingly, at least two Cardinals spoke against the dis- “proportionate” emphasis, on any “one issue,” like abortion (cardinals McCarrick, and Ratzinger; the future pope).  While Cardinal Bernardin added that a real Catholic should always be aware of a “seamless garment” or fabric of many different issues in life.

5) Then too, the current Pope said that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.” Because there are “proportionate”ly more important issues (Card. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, 2004 memo)..

56 to 106)  While indeed?  In addition to that, here we will outline at least 100 other Christian, Catholic, and rational arguments, against Pro Life anti-abortionism.  And its all-too-fatally narrow, dis”proportionate” and un-Catholic fixation, on just “one issue” in “Life.”

.  .  .

 

And what will we conclude?  We  will conclude that Pro-Lifers are not actually obeying the Bible, or the Church.  And that:  the anti-abortion movement is simply, in fact, a heresy.

To be sure, we will find that the Roman Catholic Church often condemned abortion; sometimes in very strong language.  On the other hand however?  Neither the Bible itself, nor a closer look at the overall position of the Church, really support the disproportionate,  “one issue” anti-abortionism of Priests for Life, EWTN, and most other anti-abortion organizations.  The popular idea that we must always vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election – is finally, a false doctrine, a simple heresy.  From the new false priests:  lay “Catholic” talk show hosts and guests.  And from a few heretical priests.  Like Fr. Frank Pavone, and others on Priests For Life. Who are not following the Bible or God.  But who are following mere human, lay social and political opinions, the “doctrines” of men, and not of God (Mat. 15.9; Mark 7.7; Eph. 4.14; Col 2.22).  The countless anti-abortionists all around us, have been confusing Liberal and Conservative philosophies, with the word of God.

And because of that?  Ultimately, they were led into … an attack on the soul itself.

Our message here, by the way, will not be that the Church definitely, enthusiastically approves abortion.  Indeed, many elements of the Church often strongly opposed abortion.  And yet however?  What we find, from a larger overlook of the entire Church, from an overlook of its body of ideas, its “Magisterium”?  What we will find is that now and then an isolated monk, or even a saint like St. Basil or a leader like Tertullian, might have issued statements strongly condemning abortion.  And yet however, when they did this, they turned against the Bible; which confirms that the embryo is not “form”ed enough – or as science would now clarify, does not have a large enough brain – to sustain human though, intelligence, or a human “soul” or “spirit.”  While indeed, we here will show that those Catholic thinkers like Basil and Tertullian, who spoke strongly against abortion, were often in effect, rather literally heretics in many ways.  Indeed, Tertullian actually finally left the Church, for another religion:   Montanism.  And Tertullian was condemned by the Church, as a heretic, for that.  Though some today say Tertulian and his doctrines have been fully accepted back into the Church, that common assertion is not correct:   Tertullian made so many mistakes, that he was rightly proclaimed a heretic; and he made enough mistakes, that every single one of his doctrines – like his stand against abortion – should be in question.  Certainly, nothing he ever said should be considered to be absolutely firm or canonical.

And?  If Tertullian forms the basis of the current Cathechism’s condemnation of abortion (CCC  2273 – 2275)?  Then his inconsistency discredits Tertullian – and even discredits the elements of the Church itself, that have recently followed this heretic, all too well, in their violent and disproportionate anti-abortionism.  A narrow creed that saw only part of Life … and that neglected the broader outline of the truth, to an often fatal degree.

The often-literally heretical movement, anti-abortionism, has been small, but immensely successful: the anti-abortion movement was rather small, but it always influenced enough votes to … determine one election after another, in America:  throwing one decisive vote after another, into the conservative/Republican camp.  So that in fact this one issue, is responsible for leveraging the triumphal resurgence of Republicanism, c. 1980-92, 2000-2008 (with Ronald Reagan, Bush I  and Bush II).  It is to be hoped that this resurgence of a nationalistic/militaristic, “pro troops” pro military action party, did some good in attacking terrorism, and some forms of religious intolerance, in the regions around Israel.  But finally, whatever good it might have done, it is now time to note the evils caused, when its narrow concerns become excessive.  And it fails to see the larger good, the larger Life, beyond itself.

MORE:   THE TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN, CATHOLIC ARGUMENT AGAINST THE EMBRYO; AS AN UN-“FORM”ED SUBSTANCE (Ps. 139.16); WITHOUT A MIND OR “RATIONAL SOUL.”

Today, most Christians, Catholics, think that the churches absolutely oppose abortion, strongly. And most voters think that the churches tell us that we must always vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election; that we must vote Republican in every single election.  But here, we will present and summarize hundreds of Christian and rational arguments, allowing abortion.  While for that matter?  The classic argument allowing abortion … comes directly from very heart of Christian, even Catholic Tradition.

Here, we will be outlining literally hundreds of arguments, that allow abortion.  But first:  what is probably the main, historical argument? The main argument that allows abortion, is actually from a) the Bible; was confirmed by b) the philosopher Aristotle; and c) by the core theologians of the Catholic Church including St. Augustine, and d) St. Thomas Aquinas. Then e) this tradition was affirmed by modern Philosophers like Descartes (“I think, therefore I am”).  And then f) furthermore?  This august, all-star Tradition of religious authorities, and philosophers,  that would allow abortion, was e) then confirmed, next, by modern science.  By Psychology and Anthropology.

By far, the most vetted, approved tradition, regarding the embryo, is found in a statement on which, amazingly, strikingly, the Bible, nearly all of philosophy, and Science, and even the chief theologians and saints of the Church agree;  (if not some of the current bishops?).  And so, without further preface, what has the main, accepted, Traditional characterization of the embryo?  It is this:   that a) the thing that makes us human, that makes us more than the animals, is our greater intelligence.  But? Clearly b) the young embryo is not big enough, developed enough – or, the key word is “form”ed enough  – to be intelligent.   Specifically, c) science now adds, its brain is not large enough, developed enough, to sustain  much human intelligence; more intelligence than a dog or a cat.  And d) so therefore?  The traditional, obvious conclusion from this massively accepted Tradition, is this:  since the young embryo particularly (say, more than 30-90 days old) does not have a brain that is “formed” enough to have much intelligence – it or a “rational soul” as St. Thomas called it – the embryo is not yet a human being, or a human person.  And e) finally therefore?  Aborting an embryo may be bad; but it does not kill a human being; abortion is not murder.  Perhaps abortion is not attractive; perhaps it was often proclaimed to be bad by the Catholic Church.  And yet however, most of the time, the more responsible commentators in and outside the church, stopped short of definitely calling the embryo a full human being; or calling abortion “murder.”  The few exceptions to this, were persons who, like Tertullian, were declared to be heretics, by the Catholic Church itself.  And whose thoughts therefore, cannot be considered quite as authoritative, as the ideas say, of Augustine and Aquinas, and others.

 

Though many people in history condemned abortion, strikingly however, there was, for thousands of years, a prevailing Tradition, in the more intellectual circles of society and of Christianity itself, that would allow abortion.  That would conclude in effect that the embryo could not be a full human person.  So that?  Although abortion was a rather unattractive, even grisly, and in some ways horrible thing?  Still, abortion was not quite as bad, proportionately, as many other sins (as the current Pope was to hint, in his 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion”).

To be sure, there are literally hundreds of arguments that allow abortion, that will be presented here.  But the above is the main argument allowing abortion:  that the embryo is just not developed, formed enough, to have the intelligence we need, to be considered a human person.  And so, though hundreds of pro-abortion arguments – or responses to anti-abortionists – will be presented here?  We might briefly summarize this core Tradition, here.

1) The Catholic Church for example, to be sure, says that abortion is bad.  But how bad is it?  The Church to date, has not definitely made it absolutely clear how bad it is, or is not.  Indeed, as we will see here, the very core tradition of Christianity, said that the essence of being a human, being more than an animal or “beast,” is having an intelligent mind or “spirit.”   But the embryo does not have sufficient intelligence; therefore it is not a full human being or a human person.  Therefore?  Abortion is not as bad as murder.  Or as bad as many “other issues,” like unjust or unnecessary wars.  Or health issues.  Issues which have cost billions of indisputably human lives.  Issues which are “proportionate”ly more important than abortion (Card. McCarrick & Bernardin; Pope Benedict XVI; St. Augustine & Aquinas).

2) Indeed, the idea that the embryo is not a fully human being, was suggested in  the Bible itself:   Psalm 139  said that the embryo is not completed, developed, or “form”ed enough, for its “days” as a human person to have begun (Psalm 139.15-16).

3) Therefore? In the Bible, God not only allowed abortion, but orders a priest to perform one (Num. 5.16-27).

4) Next, faithfully following the Bible and what God said, the two major theologians, saints, doctors of the Church – St. Augustine, then St. Thomas Aquinas – both agreed:  that a very young embryo was not “form”ed enough, to have a “rational soul.”  So that the young embryo, up to the age of at least 30-90 days, was not a full human or person.  So the embryo was not a human person, as was claimed recently in a non-infallible catechism, “from conception.”

5) “Catholic” anti-abortionists claim that we can now ignore the Bible, and the saints; they say that “science,” Biology, embryology, overruled the tradition that said the embryo was not a full human being.  But that isn’t true.  Full, real science – especially Anthropology, Biology, Psychology – confirm and clarify Psalm 139, and the core Catholic theologian/saints.  When modern science specifies that a) the thing that makes us human, more than an animal or an ape, is our greater intelligence, mind, spirit; which depend on the development of the brain. While b) next, our Science adds, the brain of the embryo is not developed or “formed” enough, to sustain human reason.  Therefore Ps. 139 is confirmed by Science:  the embryo – especially its brain – is not “form”ed enough to be fully human.

6) Therefore in fact, the very core traditions of Christianity, Catholicism, and Science all converge on one consensus:   the essence of being a human person, is having more intelligence than an animal; but, since the embryo does not have an adequately “form”ed brain?  The embryo does not have that intelligence, the intelligent spirit, needed to be fully a human being, or a “person.”  Therefore?  Abortion should continue to be legal; since fetuses are not yet human persons.  Indeed, they will not be persons until after birth.  As we will show.

7) By 1950-70 therefore, there was emerging a striking, overwhelming consensus opinion, between religious traditions and the theologians, Philosophy, and Scientific fields like Anthropology especially.  That the embryo could not be a full human person.  And it was in light of this overwhelming consensus, that abortion was in fact made legal in the United States, in 1973.  In the famous “Roe v. Wade” decision.  So that now philosophy, theology, science, and law, were all aligned in a consensus opinion.

8) To be sure though, the decision offended folk sentiments.  It is particularly hard for a pregnant woman, not to think of her embryo as a “child.” And? Though it was seeing a consensus emerging against it, various elements of the Church had second thoughts.  Yet to be sure, these sentiments were rather vague.  And uninformed.

9)  By around 1962-68 to be sure,  different conservative elements in the culture began to turn against this consensus.  Troubled by the quickness of all this – especially troubled specifically by the pace of change in sexual and reproductive matters – different elements of society, including the Church, balked; choked.  From a strange swirl of both conservative sentimentalism, and elements of new Humanism, elements of society were balking at the new changes, the new emphasis on rationality; and around the time of Vatican II, some balked at simply declaring the embryo not to be a human being.  And in the interest of posing a second, dissenting opinion to what we should call the Consensus, elements of the Catholic Church especially, chose to take the rather unsupported view that an embryo should be declared to be fully human, “from conception.”  This to be sure, was the minority opinion among the intelligencia.  But there were concerns; so that, in 1962-68, in the midst of Vatican II, and much public controversy on what position the Church would take?  Elements of the Church chose to strike a counterbalance to the consensus opinion.  And?  Ignoring and even opposing core Catholic and other Traditions, Humanae Vitae in 1968 began to make rather adamantly anti-abortion statements.   Though most statements stopped just short of declaring the embryo to be fully a human person, many strong statements were issued, trading on the popular revulsion to the grisly side of it.  Calling abortion a horrible act.  So that?  The current 1997-2000 Catechism of the Catholic Church, now asserts, following elements of Paul VI, Vatican II, that an embryo is adequately human “from conception.” 

 

Indeed therefore, elements of the Catholic hierarchy began to oppose the overwhelming consensus opinion on the embryo.  But?  Here it is time to note that the new “conservative” anti-abortion theology, was never fully in line with the main traditions of Christianity, Law, Science, and Philosophy.  Indeed, ironically, this “conservative” idea, implicitly opposed countless core traditions and authorities of the Church.  Opposing even the saints; saints like St. Augustine and St. Aquinas, above.  Indeed, the current Catechism literally cites documented heretics, like Tertullian, as its authority (CCC 2272, footnote 75).

To be sure then, “conservative” elements of the Church began to oppose abortion rather strongly, c. 1962-68 ff..  And indeed, by c. 1973 or so, a conservative nun by the name of Mother Angelica, had begun to form EWTN/RN; a series of radio and TV stations, centered mostly about the notion of broadcasting anti-abortionism to the US, as the word of God.  And indeed, there had been elements of the Church, that were taking that tack.  Yet?  The problem was that this belated antiabortionism, was always a minority opinion in the informed community of theologians, saints, philosophers, and legal scholars.  And indeed, to take the position that it was now taking, anti-abortionists in the church had to oppose and denigrate, one saint after another, for example.  While indeed, catechetical antiabortionism follows and cites heretics, like Tertullian, as its authority.  (While also willfully misreading the Bible; Ps. 139, Num. 5.)

Today therefore, many Catholics have been hearing for years, on radically “conservative” “Catholic” organs like EWTN especially, that  abortion is the greatest evil of our time.  And that therefore, the strongly implied – if not often explicitly-stated – position of conservatives, was that we should always vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election. And yet?  We are finding here and now, that “conservative” Catholic Pro Life anti-abortionism, actually went against, the core traditions of theology, for instance; went against the saints.

10) The fact is therefore, that the Pro Life movement, the Anti-abortion movement, is not certain or fully vetted, theologically.   Indeed, it is simply too questionable, to be made the major concern in our minds; or the main issue in say, elections.  While those “conservative” Catholics who spoke very, very strongly against abortion … spoke out of turn; spoke in opposition to the consensus opinion, even in their own church.

11) Indeed, mindful of these and a hundred other severe problems with “Catholic” antiabortionism, eventually, far above the bishops, major cardinals like McCarrick, Bernardin, began to condemn “one issue” Catholicism; in effect, condemning one-issue anti-abortionism.  So that?  “Conservative” Catholics who opposed abortion very strongly … were now rebelling against their own cardinals.

12) And then?  In 2004, cardinal Joe Ratzinger, of the Vatican’s office on Catholic Doctrine (CDF), confirmed all this; by writing a memo to the American Bishops, against any dis “proportionate” focus on the one issue of the embryo.  The Pope then alluded to other, more important issues, like environment and disease; which have already killed billions of human persons. (Card. Joe Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” original 2004 memo).

13) The Vatican next added that voting for pro-abortion political candidates “can be permitted”

14) The “Worthiness” memo from the Vatican to the USCCB, acquired additional force for Catholics – when its author, Cardinal Joe Ratzinger, was made pope Benedict XVI; in 2005.

Thus core Christian, Biblical, and Catholic traditions and theology, allow that abortion may be bad; but it is not murder; it does not kill a human person.  And therefore, it is not as important as other “issues,” that involve human lives. And those who disagree?  Conservatives are not only going against the saints, the cardinals; they are also going against their own Pope.

15) For just these first dozen or so reasons alone therefore, any very strong anti-abortionism position, that insists the embryo is a human “person,” or that abortion is “murder,” or that it is the most important “issue” in elections (or even a very grave sin?), can now be firmly condemned logically, scientifically; and it can be condemned even in strict Catholic Magisterial language:  for being a narrow, dis “proportionate,” “one issue” false doctrine.  Any very strong or adamant Pro Life view, is against the main traditions of philosophy.  And against the very core of biblical, canonical, Magisterial, and scientific traditions.

16) Indeed, the Pro-Life movement has been in fact, a well-intentioned but infinitely destructive experimental theology. Anti-abortionism over-extended John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body”; to reductionistically define humanity solely in terms of material, bodily, physical attributes, like DNA.  It totally neglects and even fundamentally attacks the central asset of humanity and divinity:  intelligence, rationality, the rational spirit, or the “soul.”  And?  In attacking the mind, the intelligence, denigrating “ensoulment,” Catholic anti-abortionism especially, has long since become a serious enemy of the soul itself.

17) Finally therefore:  the monomaniacal anti-abortionism of Catholic media figures like Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life, and of EWTN/EWRN, rebels against core religious and civil authorities. It rebels against  a) the Bible, (Ps. 139 & Numb. 5); it rebels b) against a dozen saints; c) against cardinals; and d) against the pope.  So that?  Therefore today the whole “Christian” Pro Life movement, should be formally declared to be simply, a heresy.

MORE

18) In effect, the “conservative” Pro Life movement has been a failed recent, radical new experiment in theology.  One that was declared far, far too quickly, to be holy, by various rash figures.  Pro Life anti-abortionism was actually inconsistent with the major traditions of the Church; and was prematurely inserted into the Catechism, without the normal, centuries-long vetting process normally given in religious matters.  Indeed, this highly experimental and deeply flawed doctrine, was improperly given instant McSainthood around the time of Vatican II.  Illustrating problems with indeed, pop Catholicism.  And the at times progressive, but other times excessive eagerness of many in the Church, to abandon the saints, and even to abandon all Reason.

19) Priests and bishops were at first, c. 1968-2008, properly reluctant to embrace the new doctrine, the new heresy.  Indeed, the heresy of on-issue anti-abortionism was spread particularly, not by traditional priests.  But by a rebellious nun by the name of Mother Angelica.  And by a new kind of false priest:  the lay “Catholic” talk show host.  On new, experimental, ineffectively-unmonitored, unauthorized Catholic media networks, like EWTN: Eternal Word Television Network.  And especially EWRN:  Eternal Word Radio Network.  These new, un-monitored, non-priests, have been allowed far too much influence and authority, by the Church. And they latched onto the latest and most experimental – and questionable – of Vatican II pronouncements on the embryo – and gave them instant holy status.  And that?  Has been the problem.  New, experimental theologies like the Pro Life theology, should never be suddenly, prematurely presented to millions, as the holy word of God, without years – even centuries – of careful vetting, analysis, etc..  And especially, allowing heretical non-priests to be perceived as the main voice of the Church, and to promulgate this questionable theology as absolutely binding?  Has been a disaster.  Since they quickly promulgated a mostly questionable, even manifestly false new doctrine, worldwide. With disastrous practical effects as well.

20) Abandoning the saints, the theologians, the cardinals, and the pope, attacking the soul itself, the “Catholic” Pro Life position first of all therefore, is finally, simply, in terms of Christian theology, a Heresy.  Pro Life-ism moreover, is not a harmless heresy; it has been a disaster, in its practical effects.  When it asserted, to millions of people, over major para-Catholic media networks like EWTN, that God was commanding us to vote for the most anti-abortion political candidate?  It essentially directed enough votes to win on election after another, for the nationalist/militarist, pro-troops, pro-war Republican Party, c. 1980-2008.  Thus the Pro Life heresy ended up, ironically, supporting a warlike, war-making culture.  A strange twist, from peaceful monks.

21) Finally in fact, in recent years the Pro Life movement has in effect even finally encouraged, murder: specifically, anti-abortion terrorism.  By its own inexorable if flawed logic, some anti-abortionists were finally lead to bombing abortion clinics; and murdering abortion doctors.  Indeed, the way the issue had been framed by conservative Catholics, it all seemed all-too-inevitable.  That is:  a) if an embryo is a fully human person, b) then killing it is “murder.”  And c) therefore, abortion doctors are murders.  While?  Furthermore, d) some catechetical theologies allow, that anyone is justified in killing murderers – before they kill another human person.  To be sure,  this line of thinking was denounced by some; and yet it seemed consistent with much of the catechism.

And so finally, the Pro Life ironically, increasingly, leads to war, and murder.  Having heard the Pro Life argument above – no doubt from major Catholic organizations like Pavone’s Priests for Life, on Relevant Radio, and Eternal Word Radio Network – in 2009, a “Pro Life” activist … became an antiabortion terrorist and murderer; murdering abortion provider Dr. Tiller, on May 31, 2009.

Thus?  Ironically, the “Pro Life” heresy has finally led to war, terrorism, and to what most would call murder.  Proving that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  The Pro Life doctrine was a well-intentioned but false – and finally fatal – heresy.

 

MORE   The “Catholic” Pro Life, anti-abortion movement therefore, has been a radical, insidious, and finally murderous modern heresy.  It pretends to be “conservative.”  But it actually opposes mainstream traditions; opposing/”twist”ing the Bible, the saints, the cardinals, and science.  Ignoring and opposing the core spiritual traditions of the Church and Science, the “Catholic” Pro Life movement came instead, from a false grassroots sentimentality, in the “deceitful heart,” regarding the embryo.  That sentimentality was then exploited by wide variety of new false priests:  modernist priests; and “conservative” religious talk show hosts on EWRN and so forth; and by extremist, one-issue, dis-“proportionate” sects, like Fr. Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life.”

22) The Pro Life movement is therefore, simply a heresy; a new heresy for our own time, born out of folk sentiments, and the confused maelstrom of hasty speculations within Vatican II, and the world of pop media. But?  It is a heresy that is becoming more and more integrated, into the higher reaches of the Church itself.  Major pop Catholic media talk show hosts, for years, constantly, c. 1973 on, egged on “the bishops,” to be Pro Life.  And finally, bowing to popular pressure from EWTN/RN and other lay organizations, eventually political/secular “conservative” bishops, like archbishops Burke and Chaput, began to collapse to public pressure.  Burke (now at the Vatican) and Chaput (now in Philadelphia), began to issue statements, that could be and were quoted by EWRN, as being firmly anti-abortionist.   But if so?   Then major elements of the Church – bishops – have begun to commit heresy.  Which should surprise no one:  in our own era, in which we found that all the bishops knew about pederastical priests, but were covering that up:  assuring us we had a holy church, even as they knew their priests were sexually molesting children, for example.

23) There are countless problems in fact, with “conservative,” “Catholic” anti-abortionism.  First, it is not really a true, full Catholicism.  Especially, it misses and denigrates not just the saints and cardinals, but more specifically, the elements of Catholic tradition, that emphasized the “mind,” the “rational soul.”

24) And second?  “Conservative” pro-lifers are not even really “conservative.”  To be sure, there have always been elements of the Church, that have flirted with a radical anti-abortionism.  Yet finally?  They should not be the prevailing Tradition, within the Church; while indeed, even as they claim to be “conservative,” they oppose the saints, the philosophers, the cardinals, and the Pope.  There is nothing “conservative” about that. Indeed, we will show here that antiabortionists, and even the members of the Church leadership who have supported EWTN/RN and Priests For Life, were not really “conservative.”  But were ultimately following a modern secular political ethic.  They have actually been following the worst traditions and “doctrines of men.”  Finally, these Bishops have not been following the deeper Church traditions, or the Bible; these bishops have been following politics, and not God.  The word “conservative” is not found in the Bible.  Though the word “liberal” is; and in the Bible, it is advocated over and over.  As the Bible tells us to “be liberal” in helping the poor, say.

The Pro Life position therefore is not really true to the core traditions of Catholicism and Christianity; it is therefore not really conservative.  Instead it is in fac, simply, a new heresy.  What is more, the Pro Life Heresy has not been simply a small, harmless heresy:  through the new lay and “Catholic” media organizations, its false message has determined the course of American politics, for 30 years; in favor of an anti-intellectual, warlike Republican conservative party.  While ultimately, it has begun to create classic, conservative/Catholic assassins; as the Pro Life movement began, in some cases, murdering its opponents.  Reminding one of historical “Catholic” assassination squads, in the Philippines or environs.

CURRENT CONFUSIONS   Today we see many “conservative Catholics” rabidly attacking abortion; and making it the “one issue” that determines their lives, and voting behavior.  The fact is though, that the true core of Christian and Catholic traditions – from the Bible itself, to the saints, the current Magisterium of the Catholic Church, suggest that while abortion is bad – even a “grave” sin – still, at the same time, it is not as bad as other issues.  Like say, murder.  The fact is that the main, core religious tradition on the status of the embryo or fetus in the womb, has rather consistently, overall, held that the embryo is not a human person. In one core philosophical and Christian document after another, it was generally agreed that particularly the very young embryo – the embryo at and slightly after conception (30-90 days old) – was just not “formed” enough, as the Bible said, was not developed enough – or as modern science would confirm, its brain was not developed enough – to sustain human reason.  The embryo just does not have the larger, developed brain that is needed to form human intelligence, or Aquinas’ “rational soul.”  The embryo is just not completed enough; it is only an “unformed substance,” “being” “knit” in the womb; while its “days” as a human person, have not yet begun, as Psalm 139 said.  Simply, the embryo  is just too small, too incomplete, to have the core thing that makes us human persons.  The embryo is just not developed enough, big enough, to have the all-important thing that distinguishes human beings from the “beasts”:   it is not formed enough, to have a human mind or spirit. It does not have a rational soul. The embryo therefore is not a full human being or human person; it should not have the same rights as a child or an adult.

That would be the best brief summary of the main Christian and specifically Catholic arguments allowing abortion. In general, the main idea is that the essence of being a human person is having intelligence; more intelligence than a cat or a dog.  Yet?  The embryo just hasn’t got that.

 

24)  To be sure, this is a hard thing for many Catholic women especially, to accept.  No doubt, many pregnant women, rightly feel that if the embryo in their womb is going to be the basis of a future human being, it should be carefully cared for, and even loved.  On the other hands though?  That is not to say that the embryo is already a human person.

25) To be sure, there would seem to be a natural tendency of many sentimental persons, to assert that if we cannot be sure that the embryo is a human person, we should “err on the side of caution.”  Yet?  To “err,” even on the side of caution, after all, is to err.

26) In particular, many know that women often feel that their embryo is already a “child”; and they become very sentimental about it.  And yet to be sure, such women often become inconsolable if a miscarriage occurs.  And the more we stress the humanity of the embryo, the deeper and more crippling their grief becomes.

28) And so indeed?  A slightly studied and dispassionate objectivity is useful here.  Many people in religion – particularly with regard to this issue – suggest that we should all go with our human compassion, for the embryo; with our “heart.”  They suggest that we should think of the embryo as a “child,” and extend our sentimental protection to it.  While this accords with a popular theory that indeed, our human “heart” should be the center of our existence.  Yet, as it turns out, even the Bible warned about problems with sentimentality, and the “heart.”  While having human compassion, a “heart” is often good, even the Bible eventually warned that even our “hearts” often deceive us. Indeed, hearts are often even evil. Said God, himself:

The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jer. 17.9).

“Their heart prepares deceit” (Job 15.25).

“With double heart they speak” (Ps. 12.2).

“Their hearts overflow with follies” (Ps. 73.7).

“A heart … devises wicked plans” (Prov. 6.18).

“Their heart is false” (Hos. 10.2).

“This people’s heart has grown dull” (Mat. 13.15).

“God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts” (Rom. 1.24).

“They deceive the hearts of the simple-minded” (Rom. 16.18).

“Purify your hearts, you men of double mind” (James 4.8).

No doubt the “heart” at first, seems valuable and predominant.  And no doubt at first it seems compassionate, to value our sentiments regarding embryos.  But?  The heart is deceitful above all things.  Often people love their sin; they love things that are bad.  While indeed, there is a very, very grave mistake in much of popular religion; in its centering around the “heart.”  The problem is first that a) our hearts are unreliable, said God.  And the second problem is that in general, all this over-values sentiments; and specifically, over-stressing the “heart” neglects and even attacks, the importance of the development of the mind.  Too much sentimentalism, too much emphasis on the “heart,” neglects and weakens the mind, spirit, or soul.  As we will see. While indeed, that is precisely the problem, in anti-abortionism:  it over-values sentiment, and under-values the importance of a mind, a rational spirit.  While the great sin in all that?  Finally, it all undervalues and even attacks, intelligence itself.

That in fact, is a major problem in much of everyday religion, as taught by provincial priests especially:  they radically over-value sentimentality, the “heart,” and under-value intelligence.  Particularly, the average provincial preachers, is unaware of the countless elements of religious Tradition, that valued intelligence, the mind; and told us not to be “fools.”  To be sure, there have been many sentimental people condemning abortion in History.  But by far, the most respected sources in religion – like Augustine, Aquinas, and then later rational theologians – told us that while having a “heart” was somewhat important,  the really important thing, was developing our mind, our rational spirit.  While it was made clear that the very young embryo especially, was just not big enough, was just not developed enough – or as the Bible itself said, not “form”ed enough – to have a rational mind or soul; and to thus be a human person.  Following “Tradition,” is important in the Catholic Church.  Which values the Bible, but also values and follows what the Church has traditionally said.  But if so?  Then it is time to get past the superficial pop theology of untutored EWTN Catholic talk show hosts.  And to point out to conservative “Catholics” what the real core of their Tradition actually said about abortion.

What indeed, is the real core tradition in the Church, regarding embryos?  Amazingly, for thousands of years, hundreds of saints, theologians, scientists, philosophers essentially agreed, on a single chain of logic, of findings, that would lead finally, to the conclusion that the embryo could not be a full human person.  For millennia in fact, there has existed a very, very long and revered Tradition, deep in the very core of not only secular but also religious life.  A tradition that said that a) abortion seemed bad – but that ultimately allowed abortion, as a relatively minor sin.  The tradition that lead to this conclusion, again, was this one:  the tradition agreed that finally, b) the thing that makes us human, that makes us more than the animals, is our greater intelligence. Or our “rational soul” as Aquinas called it. But then?  This tradition knew that c) was clear enough, that an embryo just wasn’t big enough, just wasn’t developed enough – or as Anthropology here now confirms; its brain is not large enough – for it to have much intelligence.  And d) so finally?  Since the embryo is not intelligent, it cannot be a human being or human person.  And e) since it was not a human person?  Killing an embryo was not, after all, murder.

That in fact, was the real, main core of thinking, in the Church, for thousands of years; until say, Paul VI in 1968.  Paul took over Vatican II, mid-stream; when John XXIII died in mid council, in 1963.  And?  In the moment of confused transition, mid-stream, continuity and coherence on this issue, was lost.  Indeed, Vatican II in this case at least, lost sight of one of its more valuable Traditions.

The fact is that the greater emphasis on “intelligence,” as you might call it, was the main position in religion.  This tradition was held all the way back; into the days of the Bible.  Though today, most people – even Bishops; even the Catechism – seem to think that the Catholic Church always thought of the embryo as a full human person, and was always absolutely opposed to abortion, actually, Psalm 139 in the Bible, said that the embryo was not a complete person.  Psalm 139 said that we are only “being” “formed” in the womb.  Indeed, the whole point of Ps. 139, was that God was thinking of us, even before we existed; when we were just an “unformed substance” in the womb.  And this key biblical idea and language – the assertion from God that we were not yet “form“ed when we were in the womb – was taken up by the core theologians of the Catholic Church; St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.  Who both agreed with the Bible (and not just with Aristotle), when they themselves also said that the young embryo in the womb, was not yet “formed” enough to have a rational spirit or “rational soul.”  With the clear implication that the embryo after all, was simply not yet a full human being or human person.  To be sure, theology and philosophy, have moved on since Augustine and Aquinas.  And yet?  And though many Catholics today rightly assert that we should value, say, “science,” most Catholic theologians misquote science after all.  In fact, real science does not support anti-abortionism:  Psychology and Anthropology and philosophy, all agreed with The Core Tradition, essentially.  Psychology and Anthropology noting that the greatest quality that a human being can have, the quality that makes us more than the “beast”s, following the “lust”s of their “heart”s, is our intelligence, or “rational soul.”  It is the human/divine mind or intelligence,  that makes us greater than the animals.  While it was clear that cats and dogs and chimps – and embryos – just did not have a large enough, well-formed enough brain, to be intelligent. Or to be a human person.

Amazingly therefore, the key religious traditions in the Bible, and in the Catholic church, and in science, were not quite as sentimental as many of our provincial pastors:  all agreed in fact, that the brain, the mind, was an extremely important aspect of the human “soul.”  While it was agreed that certainly, the very young embryo say – 30 to 90 days old for example –  was just not developed or “formed” enough, to have enough intelligence to be considered to be more than an animal.  So that therefore, though much of this core Tradition did not make this conclusion quite explicit, the clear inference was always that in effect, the embryo was not really a full human being or human person; since it does not have an intelligent mind, or soul.  And that therefore?  The clear implication was that abortion is not as serious as say, murder.  Since the embryo is not “formed” enough, not intelligent enough, to be a human person.

29) More objections to abortion?  To be sure, this was a hard conclusion for many to face, emotionally.  And for that matter?  As it turns out, when we say that what makes us human is our mind, or intelligence, there are wrinkles, there are some difficulties.  The finding that it is intelligence that makes us human, quickly runs into this popular objection for example:   a) if what makes us human, is a human mind or intelligence, then it is sometimes objected, why should we say that even a young baby is human?  Even after birth?  That is:  even from the time of birth, to about the time a baby learns to talk at 9 months or so, a baby does not really seem to have any very obvious intelligence.   It cannot talk.  And it lacks many other more advanced human characteristics.  So that?  Some have objected to this definition of the human; since it would seem to suggest that even a young baby, is not quite fully a human being or person.  Until say one year of age or so; when it learns say, to talk.  Which would be a hard conclusion for many to stomach.  Though many cultures in fact did not, historically, regard children as full human persons, until various initiation rituals and maturation had occurred.

To be sure though, indeed, there are problems with saying that a fully developed human, adult mind, or consciousness, is necessary, before we are fully human.  Yet here we will continue to suggest that indeed, the intelligent mind, spirit, or soul – one more intelligent than an animal; a cat or a dog or a chimp – is essential to being a full human person.  Though?  For various reasons, we might be generous; and allow other considerations, other than intelligence to come somewhat into play.  At least enough to declare that we might regard the child under one year to be fully human; or that, in light of other considerations, the embryo should be declared to be rather fully human, say, at birth.

What considerations might there be, that would allow us to consider a newborn, fully human?  Indeed, there are to be sure, one or two interesting objections to the thesis that we are not human, until we develop a fully human intelligence.  And so?  Here we will not rely just on this criterion.  Though we will suggest that indeed, an intelligent, and often conscious mind, is in fact the main asset that defines us as human.  Though finally, in consideration of any number of other factors, we might, if we are feeling generous, extend human person status, to a full-term, newborn baby, who has developed for a full 9 months.  In defense of this, we might suggest say, that a) the baby, at birth, has for the first time, normally, a brain large enough, capable enough, formed enough, to begin to accept and process the fuller, more complex data from the senses, that the baby sees after birth.  So that?  At birth its brain is at last formed about well enough.  While then too? For the first time, b) at birth, the baby’s brain is also more fully exposed to the fuller sounds and sights and smells of the external world.  So that the baby’s brain is at last exposed to enough data, to develop at least, a simple worldview.

30) So that?  In light of various considerations, and as a gesture of generosity, we might tentatively accept that a “human” status could be extended, at its farthest limit, to say, a child that has undergone at least 9 months of development; and who has been born.  Though there is not much intelligence or consciousness at birth, technically speaking, at least the embryo has reached a level of development, that nature, God, have determined that the embryo is ready to begin life as a somewhat more individual, independent, separate human person; and to be ejected from the mother’s body.  At birth. As a somewhat more independent being. No doubt, many will try to push this “independence” moment further back. But while this is a rather slippery slope, we will be finding here that there are enough other major criteria for humanity, to forbid pushing the moment of “ensoulment” or “hominization,” back much beyond the moment of full-term birth.

Indeed, many arguments exist, for setting the moment of the attainment of personhood, no earlier than say, birth.  At the earliest.  Nature – and therefore natural law – have determined that the moment that an embryo is formed, complete enough to be relatively more independent, to detach itself from the mother’s body … is of course, the moment of birth.  So that?  Natural law reinforces the idea that the embryo is a human person, only at full gestation; 9 months.  From that moment, or the moment of birth.  (Cf. Pope Benedict XVI’s recent informal 2011 remarks?  These seem to slip down a very slippery slope, under the false tutoring of other advisors; while in any case, independence is just one of a hundred criteria an embryo must meet, before becoming human.  We need to speak to whatever advisors the Vatican is currently listening to on this subject; and advise them in turn).

31) Interestingly, by the way, here we will accept that say, young children are human. And indeed, the Bible itself often valued “children” to a large extent:  “Let the children come to me,” Jesus said.  And we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, unless we are born again, and are as a child, it is said:  open to new experiences.  But at the same time?  The Bible itself said that even “children” are lacking in some important qualities; it is important to “grow,” and “mature” the Bible itself said (Luke 2.40; 1 Corin. 13.11-14.20; Eph. 4.14).  Perhaps we can only enter the kingdom of heaven, by becoming for a moment like a child; but once we are in the kingdom, we are supposed to grow up.  While the Bible said that a nation that  focuses too much on children, that is lead by children … is in trouble; has given up on adult awareness and responsibility and intelligence; and is fated to perish.  As the Bible said for example, here:

“Brethren, do not be children in your thinking” (14.20).

“Woe to you O land, when your kind is a child” (Ecc. 10.16).

“They know me not; they are stupid children” (Jer. 4.22).

“I also will forget your children” (Hos. 4.6).

“When I was young, I spoke as a child” (1 Corin. 13.11).

“Every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child.  But solid food is for the mature, for those who had their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5.13-14).

Here of course, we will support the thesis that children, from the moment of fullterm birth or development, are human persons.  And we will support the position that for present practical purposes, the best and most natural place to put the dividing line between an unformed embryo, and a child or human, is the moment of birth.  Though to be sure of course, the Bible itself notes severe problems, with even an older person who remains a “child” as it says, and who does not grow up. While it also notes –  in say Ecclesiastes –  that normally, even a human child, is not good enough to rule a nation, or guide us through life.   As our ruler.  Or say, as a model of what it means to be a good, full, human person.

32) But in any case?   A mere clump of four microscopic cells, of a young embryo or blastocyst, is by no means a full human person.  It can perform few if any of the functions that make us human. (While God’s functionalism says we are known by our “deeds,” after all).

33)  Many of these arguments to be sure, will be lost on sentimental persons.  But therefore, supposed we pose a simple example or illustration, of the absurdity of declaring a two-day old embryo, to be as fully a human person, with the same rights, as a child or an adult.  Here, consider a simple philosophical thought-experiment.  Which begins to suggest that those who claim otherwise, are being hypocritical.  Imagine this example:  you are in a medical building – that suddenly catches fire.  You are the only person in the building – except for a 5 year old girl, a few hallways down.  While there are say, 500 frozen embryos in a refrigerator somewhere.  Because of the speed of the fire, you only have enough time to save either the 5 year old girl, or the 500 embryos.  So:  which would you save? The 5-year old girl?  Or the 500 embryos?  Almost everyone would save a single child. Even over a hundred times more embryos.

34) Indeed, there is a strange and awful sort of inhumanity, in anyone who would go to the refrigerator to save embryos, over live human beings.  A strange sort of deadness in anti-abortionists.

From these and a hundred other considerations, finally we will have to suggest that those who claim that an embryo is fully human, even “from conception,” are really hypocrites; even they themselves do not really, fully believe what they claim to believe.  They would of course, save the 5 year old; and not the 500 embryos.  They believe, proudly, that they are being very, very good and compassionate.  And yet?  There is a kind of vanity, in imagining that you are very good.  While in actually, we now find there is even something a little evil about pro-embryo anti-abortionists; in their disregard for real life, and their attacks on intelligence and the soul.

These are complex and subtle deliberations, to be sure.  And it emerges that there is no absolutely clear line at times, in determining what is a human person, and what is not.  And yet however?  Though no single criterion – not even consciousness, or basic intelligence – is absolutely defining, in some schemas?  Finally, we here look at dozens, hundreds of various criteria.  And we determine that there is not a single defined line, but a graduated continuum between the animal or embryo, and the human person.  But for all practical purposes,  the best dividing line, for all practical purposes, appears to be about nine months of age; and especially the moment of birth.  Though the embryo is not quite fully conscious, or exhibiting a complete human intelligence, this is the very earliest date that we would use, as the moment that an adequate humanity appears.   This is the most generous chronology, we should offer.  For the hundreds of reasons, which we will now begin to outline.  Here and now.  Though for the moment there is no absolutely clear single absolutely clear or universally-accepted criterion for humanity, most of the various criteria, begin to intersect at say, the moment of full-term natural birth.

35) Indeed, everyday people, and the Bible itself, attach great importance to the “birth” of a child.  “Birth” is a very, very dramatic and important, watershed moment, for one culture after another; and in the Bible itself:  the moment that “a child is born,” is given very, very great importance.  So that for this reason – and a hundred other reasons?  Finally it is almost certainly, birth that is the earliest possible defining moment; the moment at which we should be said to have become human.  Indeed, for that matter, as noted here, it is also natural law; it is the moment that God and nature have determined that the embryo is formed enough, developed enough, to emerge from the mother’s body. To become a relatively more independent entity; to begin to become, after all, a human person.  And not just part of the mother’s body. (A major topic in itself).

36) There are hundreds of other objections that must answered to be sure.  For example?  “If a human embryo is not a human being, then what IS it?” many women ask.  The embryo in effect, is at best a semi-sentient but not fully human being; one that has not yet developed enough, to become human.  Or say?  The embryo is like a pile of lumber, that is about to be put together into a house – but that is not a house yet.  An embryo is part of the material that will one day, with luck, become a human person.  But it is not yet a human person, already. The embryo is a sort of half-human, or half-completed human being; rather like a puppy, say.

37) In defense of the embryo, many, many people will often say the Bible says that we should “honor life.”  But does that mean all lives?  Even lives of puppies?  Note that “life” means many things:  while every day, when we use mouthwash, we kill millions of germs; lives.  Here, we need people finally to know that when the Bible tells us “thou shalt not “kill,” it means do not kill human persons.  While for that matter?  We might direct thuggishly-sentimental anti-abortionists finally, to the “life” of the spirit, and of the mind.

38) Though it is in itself not absolutely definitive, the basic idea is that what makes us human, is our mind or spirit or intelligence.  And it appears that an embryo – as one major theologian and philosopher and scientists has said – just is not big or “formed” enough, to be capable of Reason, or consciousness.  While?  We find that after all, the Bible itself finally valued “reason” and “intelligence.”  As major elements of what it means to be human.

So does science of course.  Science, as Anthropology and Psychology confirmed, the embryo’s brain is not large or formed or developed enough, to have the kind of mind that it is necessary to be more intelligent than the animals; to be therefore a real human person. And finally it was the growing recognition of all this, that was the real if un-stated background, behind the decision, in 1973, to legalize abortion.

In many ways, it is hard for many, to at last partially put aside their feelings – and sentimentality and anger.  And indeed, we do not here advocate putting aside all our feelings,  completely.  It is no doubt finally useful and good, to have some mild feelings; especially the more positive feelings of “love” and so forth.  And yet surprisingly, oddly, it is not just our feelings that make us “human.” Surprisingly the feeling of rationality, having a conscious, rational, reasonably intelligent mind is, just as much as Feeling, a part of the very core, the essence, of what it means to be human.

Indeed, one of the names of even God himself, is “Logos.”  And though this is most commonly translated as the “Word,” logos might just as well be translated by the English term that most closely resembles it in English:  “Logic.”

And so, as the Bible itself says:

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD’ (Isa. 1.18 RSV of The Holy Bible; Lev. 1.17).

“We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corin. 2.16; 14.14).

“Fools despise wisdom” (Prov.).

“Always be prepared to give a reason for your faith” (Look up terms in quotes, in the Bible, from a Bible index or concordance).

The great problem in everyday, popular religion  – or more specifically the “scandal of the evangelical mind,” as Mark Noll put it in his book of that name a few years ago – is that “there is no evangelical mind.”  In many centuries of popular Christianity, the mind or intelligence was continually attacked; citing the parts of the Bible that warned of occasional vanities in the human mind or spirit. While much of Christianity champions the “heart.”  But finally?  Though the Bible condemned parts of our fallible minds – especially when our minds were tricked into the passions of the heart, like Vanity – finally, after all, our better minds, the good and moral intelligence, the good mind or spirit  is not to be rejected.  Because that is in fact, the very core of humanity and divinity as well.

And so?

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD’ (Isa. 1.18 RSV; Lev. 1.17).

With God himself noting the importance of “reason” and the “mind,” let us all move on.  Let us here present the table of contents; briefly describing the 100 or 200 major arguments against extending fully human and/or personhood status, to embryos.  Certainly, not “from conception.”  And then?  After reading this, let’s all move on to a really, more fully human life.  The life of the “mind.”

To be sure, we will find that it takes more than a “mind” to qualify as human; as humanists and sentimental women well know.  And yet however?  As it turns out, though many things are needed to make a human person, no thing without a mind, can ever really qualify.  Having a mind is absolutely necessary, if not in itself sufficient (to use Bacon’s language?).  To be sure, more things than a rational mind are required to be human; but on the other hand, something that has no rational mind at all, cannot be said to be a human being.

In any case however, this, the main, core cultural and theological Tradition, regarding the embryo – that it is our intelligence or reason that makes us human, and that the embryo does not have that – is just one of a hundred different arguments, that would allow abortion.  If this particular Tradition has minor problems with it?  To be sure, it still should carry some major weight, in considering the nature of the embryo.  While then too, there are dozens, hundreds of other related arguments allowing abortion as well. Many of which complement and confirm this, which has been until very recently, the main, core Tradition, even in the Church.

Of course, this finding will be widely disputed.  So?  Let’s just present our Table of Contents.  With a brief description of 100 and more arguments, against Pro Life anti-abortionists.  After having presented our Preface, here?  Let’s present our Table of Contents … and then get down to work on this issue.  Presenting over 700 of pages of text, on this issue, after all.

Here indeed, we will present over 100 objections to anti-abortionism.  Though critics may disagree with  – or even disprove – one or two of them?  Note that it only takes one single valid argument against something, to disprove it.  So that?  Our critics will need to answer not just one or two, but every one … of our 100 + objections, to anti-abortionism.

Our 100 and more arguments, will be briefly summarized in our Table of Contents.  And then we will move on text, to our full text.  And 700 pages of argumentation.  All – every single one – of which, will have to be addressed, and answered, by any and all critics.

39) And by the way?  This particular topic, abortion, might be interesting in any case – as it leads on to a number of other more general points.  Among other things, it leads to a heightened awareness of a) how doctrines develop in the Church, over time.  But more, b) what it means to be human, or c) divine.   While d) indeed, the Bible itself, in at least one important translation, warned that many religious people, since they did not know much about how or when the spirit comes to the embryo, would not really know enough about the core value in humanity and Christianity; the mind or spirit.  And so?  Those who do not know and care about how the spirit comes to the “bones in the womb of a woman,” also do not really even know God himself either, after all:

As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything” (Ecc. 11.5 RSV.  Cf. the Catholic Bible, the NAB:  “Just as you do not know how the breath of life fashions the human frame in the mother’s womb, so you know not the wok of God”;  NIV:  “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God.”  [If the ultimate reading, from Ecc. 11.1-4,  is that no one can know the full nature of the spirit?  Then after all, no one fully knows that – or about God either.  Therefore, the message would be that conservative priests and bishops should not presume any longer to speak, as if authoritatively]).

The matter of the spirit, including the matter of “enoulment” therefore – especially the matter of  how and when a mind or spirit or soul, comes to the embryo – is a matter of no small importance.  In fact, the Bible suggests in many translations, that those who do not know enough about this topic – those who do not know a lot about the “spirit,” and how it comes to our “bones” – really do not know God himself.

So? Let those anti-abortionists, who know nothing about this topic of the spirit, of ensoulment – and therefore, nothing about God, the Bible says – read on for a while.  Let them read … until they at last understand something more about this central topic, in Christianity and in human civilization.  Let them read on  … until they understand the central value of surprisingly, not only of Religion, Christianity, but also our Human and scientific enterprises too:  the matter of our spirit, our intelligence.  Let all our Pro Lifers read on.  Until they do in fact begin to understand where and how our distinctively, adequately human intelligence finally develops, late, in the womb.  And then, especially, how the spirit develops rapidly, from the moment of full-term birth, on.

CONTENTS for “The Pro Life Heresy”:  A continuous narrative summary, of our 100 and more major points, chapter by chapter.

PART I:  THE PRO LIFE HERESY

 

Title, Blurb, Contents

CHAPTER 1: General Introduction

 

CHAPTER 2:  What are the Main Assertions of the “Pro-Life,” Anti-Abortion Position?  As defined by EWTN/RN, Karl Keating, Frank Pavone, etc.?  Here we begin outlining a series of very extreme statements, by Pro Lifers.  And then we begin a brief sketch of the 200 or so arguments against them; 200 arguments against Pro Life Anti-Abortionists

What do Pro Life people, anti-abortionists claim?  The main ideas of the “Catholic” Pro-Life, anti-abortion movement (and Karl Keating?), vary from one speaker to the next.  But roughly, the current idea of “Catholic” Pro-Life anti-abortionism, includes at least several – and often all – of the following, finally very extreme positions:

1) Abortion is bad;

2) The Bible and God say it is bad;

3) Specific churches, like the Catholic Church, say it is bad. And how bad is it?

4) The embryo is said to be a full human being or person; a “child”;

5) It is human, even if it does not have a “soul,” “ensoulment,” or a mind;

6) Human from “conception”;

7) So that?  Killing an embryo, kills a human being;

8) This is an “intrinsic” evil;

9) It is killing an innocent, deliberately;

10) Abortion is therefore, murder;

11) Abortion is said to be a sin worse than other murders, because of great number of abortions.

12) Abortion is a sin, even to save the life of the mother;

13) Even in cases of rape;

14) incest;

15) So in all of ethics, practically speaking, only “one issue” is really important:  Abortion.

16)Therefore, we are told, we must vote against pro-abortion candidates

17) We must vote only for anti-abortion candidates in elections;

18) Or vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in elections;

19) Anti-abortionists are telling us implicitly, to vote for the most anti-abortion party:  vote Republican.

20) Many anti-abortionists sometimes say this explicitly;  we are commanded to vote Republican,

21) Most of this is said to be ordered by the Catholic Church; and in fact most elements are espoused by Frank Pavone and “Priests for Life.”

22) As “the Truth”;

23) As the word of the Bible;

24) As the voice of God;

25) Against which there is no appeal; it is “non-negotiable.”  As Karl Keating said.

26) And?  Since abortion is murder?  Then we are justified in anti-abortion terrorism.  Bombing abortion clinics – and finally, killing an abortion doctor – anti-abortionism implies, is justifiable.  Because we are killing a murderer, before he murders again.  And so anti-abortionism came to its inevitably murderous conclusion:  abortion-provider Dr. Tiller was murdered in his church,  by an anti-abortionist, May 31, 2009.  A murderous idea that is not waning, but is gaining strength:  in Feb. 2011, in the anti-abortion state of South Dakota, a bill was introduced in the state legislature, that would allow people to murder abortion providers.  So that we can expect “Catholic” anti-abortion terrorism, murders, to grow.  Thanks to the efforts of Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life; and EWTN/RN.  Which officially disavow that deadly conclusion; but whose logic leads many, inevitably, to this murderous end.

More?

27) Many extreme and even murderous things are said and done by anti-abortionists.  In effect?  It is implied that since the embryo is so important, it should be – and actually became – the major topic, for hours every day, for Catholic radio and TV.  As it actually became, for Mother Angelica, on EWTN/EWRN; Eternal Word Television Network, and its radio adjunct:  the embryo was mentioned dozens, a hundred times a day: far more than say, Jesus, or Mary.

28) So that in effect, a new Catholic church or cult should form; a church centered nominally around God, but in actuality centered around the embryo, the “child” in the womb.  It began to form: and thus a “child” began to lead Catholics, as their “king,” as forewarned (Isa.?). Many formed their church, their religion, around the embryo; in effect, forming a new Catholic Church.) Having thus dispensed with the “soul,” firmly believing firmly now in this embryo cult, some followers, some extremists finally conclude that anti-abortionism is indeed, the core command and God of the Church; and then that abortion is so grave an evil, that citizens are theoretically justified in simply killing abortion doctors to prevent further abortions.  As was speculated in Catholic radio.

30) Following these assertions, believing these propositions to be the firm word and doctrine of the Church, some followers concluded they should actually act on This new cult asserts that in effect, the entire Catholic Church has always been, or should now absolutely become, centered not on Jesus or Mary, say, but on the supreme Embryo; the “child” in the womb.

29) Following EWTN, some priests and bishops like Fr. Frank Pavone, Bishops Burke and Chaput, began to parrot most of the elements of this new anti-abortionism.  Thus indeed, this is now asserted to be the position of the Church itself, and appears to increasingly, be that.

30) Yet it is asserted by “Catholic” Pro Lifers, that we can safely ignore countless objections to the high status of the embryo, from traditional Catholic Theology and the Magisterium, from St. Augustine and St. Aquinas; who in effect said that the embryo is not a human person with a “soul.”

Thus?  Anti-abortionists commit the worst sins of all:  they claim to be “Catholic,” even “conservative”; but they ignore deny, and indeed even attack, core religious and ethical findings, on what it means to be human.  And they denigrate, specifically, the human mind, spirit, or soul.  Ultimately, in the name of the “heart” especially, they declare an entity that has no soul, to be fully a human person.  They attack intelligence; they thus attack the soul itself.  Such persons appear proudly to themselves, to be the heart of compassion.  But deeper down, they are the great enemies of mankind, and of God.  As they attack, after all, spirit, intelligence, itself.

 

Chapter 2 Continued:  The First of 200 Responses to Pro Lifers

There are in fact countless objections to Pro Life anti-abortionists.  After summarizing their main assertions – let us next begin to offer the first of nearly 200 Christian, Catholic, and Rational Arguments Against Them.  Against the Pro-Life Position.  Beginning with the following:

 

THE BIBLE:   # 1 First:  What the Bible itself say.  The Bible itself never mentions Abortion by name.  Suggesting that a) this might not have been a major topic for God, as compared to other issues, that were mentioned hundreds of times:  like the importance of avoiding poverty, sickness. Further in any case, b) this means that the Bible, God, never very firmly, in very directly pronounced on this subject.  So that all subsequent speculations of what God might really think about abortion, are at best inductive or speculative, and not based on the Bible.

# 2 Indeed, furthermore, examining the Bible more closely, we find that though at times the Bible refers to an embryo conventionally as a “child,” in more detailed examinations of the embryo, the Bible does not make it clear an embryo or fetus is a full human person (Ecc. 11.5).  Confirming this:  Jewish culture, some say, at the time the Old Testament was originally drafted, made a male a human person, only at circumcision, eight days after birth.

# 3 In fact, causing a miscarriage, say, is considered minor in the Old Testament (Ex. 21:22-4).

# 4 But especially important:  if abortion is not mentioned by name in the Bible, it appears it is spoken about indirectly:   in Numbers 5.11-30, in cases where a wife is suspected of infidelity (or say being pregnant with an illegitimate child)?  There, God himself, orders priests to administer a “dust” or powder, that apparently induces a collapsed womb, and sterilization.  A powder which, if performed on a pregnant woman, would induce an abortion. So that?  God not only allows abortions in effect; but amazingly, he even orders priests to perform them. This passage alone, should end the anti-abortionist case.  But?  For those who don’t see it, we will go on to a hundred more bits of evidence.

# 5 Indeed, the next bit of biblical evidence would seem to quickly prove that the Bible did not regard embryos as full human persons: in Psalms, the embryo is only “unformed substance”; not yet fully made (Psalm 139; Ecc. 11.5). An embryo or “child” in the womb is not a full human being. (Embryos in many cultures around the Bible, are at most only referred to as “child”ren only conventionally moreover; and then only at “quickening” many say:   or when the movements of the embryo are obvious; which was stipulated to be at about six months.)  Indeed, the language here – stipulating that the embryo is not a full person, but is merely un “formed” substance, not yet complete but only “being” “knit” in the womb; whose “day”s as a human had not yet begn – would eventually be adopted, by thousands of years of later Christian tradition. Including the major Catholic theologians, like St. Thomas Aquinas.  So that?  The embryo in the Bible, especially before 6 months, is generally not regarded as a human person; but as merely an un “form”ed substance.

# 6 So the bottom line on abortion, as far as the Bible is concerned? Even if abortion is somewhat bad as some say, still the Bible itself would suggest that abortion is not so bad; because the embryo is not quite a human person.  And since the embryo is not quite a full person?  Then killing an embryo is not as bad as other issues, like murder. Since it does not kill a “full”y formed human being or human person. (As we may note later, the Bible says “do not kill”; but we kill germs every time we brush our teeth; obviously this commandment must mean we should not kill human beings; we should not murder. But if an embryo is not a human being?  Then aborting an embryo does not violate this commandment).

“Christian” arguments against abortion therefore, are not based on any very firm biblical foundation.  The Bible does not directly regard the matter of abortion by name.  And to the extent that it addresses the subject, without naming it?  It at times rather firmly says that the young embryo is not a human being, but only an “unformed substance”; and it not only allows abortion, but orders priests to perform it. And therefore?  According to the Bible – which even the Catholic Church acknowledges as a major source of its own authority – focusing too much on the life or death of the embryo, is out of tune with God and his will.  Indeed, there are countless other things the Bible discusses far more often; and those who fix on just the one issue of abortion, we will see, ignore, neglect, other, worse sins.   (See the Bible affirming the desirability of looking at the “full”er view, not just “part” of the truth; 1 Corin. 12.15-13.12; 2 Corin. 1.14, etc..  And “for everything there is a season,” in Ecc.).  The problem with focusing too much on the one issue of abortion will moreover, be affirmed much later in the Catholic Church.  By the Cardinals’ and the current Pope’s attack on dis-“proportionate,” “one issue,” im-“prudent” Christianity.

The current “conservative Catholic” attack on abortion therefore, is almost utterly contradicted by the Bible itself; it goes directly against the Bible. And as we will note later, since anti-abortionism is not in the Bible, it must be a mere political opinion; it must be one of the bad “traditions of men” that God warned would one day be presented in the name of Christ. Therefore?  At the least, the Pro Life position should never be spoken of as coming from God; it is far from that.  Indeed, if anything, the Pro Life movement directly contradicts and goes against the tradition it pretends to honor:  going directly against, first of all, the Bible itself.

CHAPTER 3:   Science.  When they lose their Biblical argument, Pro Life advocates try to assert next, that “science” supports them.  But here we show not only does the Bible not support anti-abortionism; neither does Science, either.  Indeed, Sciences like Anthropology and Psychology, adding to Biology, here add many more arguments … that the embryo is not a full human person. In striking confirmation of similar arguments in the Bible, Science in fact adds these science-based arguments allowing abortion:

 

# 7 Some anti-abortionist priests assert that “Science,” specifically embryology, confirms that an embryo is fully a human being, “from conception.”  But strikingly, what we see is the opposite.  First:  one early proto-scientific philosopher, Aristotle (and then after him, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas), in fact agreed with the Bible on this issue; importantly, Aristotle – and later Augustine and Aquinas – all agreed with the Bible:  that an embryo is not “form”ed enough to have a rational or human mind (from Ps. 139).  Specifically indeed, Aristotle’s thought implied that more specifically, it was not formed enough to have a rational mind or spirit; so that again, at least a young embryo, cannot be a full human being.

# 8 Priests assert that “science” proves the embryo is a human person.  But many religious persons don’t know much Science.  And?  Most of the “Science” that most priests quote, allegedly against abortion, is bad, false, junk science; priests, anti-abortionists, are usually not good, professionally accepted, trained scientists, embryologists;

# 9 Originally in fact, until recently, real Science often said it was devoted only to what it could see in the visible, physical world.  And it often said that therefore science could not (in earlier times) observe, confirm, a invisible, non-material soul, or even a mind. So science could not say if the embryo had a mind.

# 10 If today, we can now surmise, from visible evidence, the existence of a mind in some of us?  Then note that three sciences – Biology, Anthropology and Psychology – say that however, our mind or soul or spirit, comes about from the larger, more complex human brain.  But if we need a large brain to be a thinking human with a spirit or mind?  Then note that science concludes (as we conclude here) that therefore, the embryo cannot have a mind, and be a human person.  Since the size and physical structure of the brain of an embryo, is not “formed” enough to accept, generate, a full mind.  Here amazingly moreover?  Science does not deny the Bible – but strikingly, amazingly, confirms Ps. 139; that were are not yet a fully “form”ed person in the womb.

# 11 For that matter though, perhaps the most relevant science here is not so much Biology, as much as Anthropology.  But in any case, if we include embryologists, note that they usually do not confirm that the embryo is human, with a soul; indeed, many practices in Science strongly show that scientists in actual practice, do not think of embryos as fully human:  embryologists regularly dissect embryos, and do research with them; something real anti-abortionists feel is immoral.  While indeed, scientists refer to them as “embryos” and so forth; not as “human persons.”  Likewise, most medical doctors, scientists, allow abortion.  So a) actual practice in science confirms what had been rationally decided long before:  they allow abortions.  No doubt after the realization from dozens of other sources, that b) the essence of being human is having a human mind; and c) an embryo’s brain is just not large enough to have that thing, that would have made it human.

# 12 Abandoning the issue of the mind, antiabortionists next assert that the human DNA in an embryo, is enough to makes it a full human being.  But?  A cheek cell has human DNA; it is “human” – but it is not a human being, walking and talking;

# 13 Some say something with DNA that is “going to grow into” a human being, is a human.  They say that because it is “intended to be human,” it is therefore already, a human being. But that is wrong.  A now-famous example to think about:  an acorn is not an oak tree.  Though it has the same DNA, and is intended often to grow into a tree, it is not the same.  Indeed:  most people would feel cheated, if they paid for say, ten full oak trees for lumber … and were handed ten potted acorns.  The period of growth and so forth, make an enormous, qualitative difference.

# 14 Some then say that quickening, moving, an embryo’s grasping hand say, is proof that the embryo is now a person.  But moving, even grasping, is not proof anything is a human being; even salamanders and chimpmunks move, and grasp things. That does not prove they are human.

# 15 Finally, we know the main thing that makes something human:  especially, we need a reasonably full human intelligence.  Three sciences confirm this:  Anthropology, Biology, Psychology, agree that the thing that made human beings more successful and better than the animals … was our greater intelligence.  Which came in turn?  Largely (if not exclusively) from our larger brain.  Whereas?  The embryo cannot therefore be human; its brain is too small and unformed.  Here amazing moreover, the Bible is confirmed by Science.  Science in effect saying that an embryo is too young, “unformed,” to have a complete-enough human intelligence, to be called a human being. (See also “mind” and “soul”).

# 16 Some Pro Lifers insist that science often says an embryo is “human,” or a human “organism” (source?).  But note that semantically, that usage does not mean a full human “being.”  E.g.: “human hair” is human, but not a human being.  Also:  a human sperm is human, and is a being; but it is not a human person, like an adult.  Indeed, religious conservatives often end up with ridiculous ideas:  like the notion that sperm for example, are fully human persons; that “every sperm is sacred” therefore.

# 17 Some insist that embryos are sometimes called “organisms,” and therefore must be complete humans.  But that misuses the term:  real “organisms” are normally thought of as beings that can live outside the womb, with relative independence from the mother or sustaining machines; while embryos cannot do this for long.

# 18 Indeed, religious conservatives’ whole idea of “Science,” is naïve and inaccurate. For example?  There are many sciences.  And whatever the science of Biology says, for example, we should also consider the Social Sciences.  Which would suggest that embryos only become human only after birth – when they begin to acquire socialization; the interaction with our “neighbors” that makes us really human at last.

# 19 Following these many indications, Medical community law, often said even babies are human only at one year of age.

# 20 And in any case, doctors are at least half scientists; while many doctors perform abortions.  Suggesting that most of these representatives of science, don’t think of the embryo as human.

# 21 Indeed, the language science applies here, implies that the embryo is not a human person:  the language of science refers to an “embryo,” a “fetus”; more than a “child”; not giving it a human name.

# 22 Indeed, natural sense suggests to many, that an embryo is part of its mother, until full term viability; since the embryo is normally, properly, inside the mother, closely tied to it, until birth.

# 23 If existing independently is the criterion though?  Then the moment of healthy, natural viability, might to be sure be a common, “natural” demarcation, for the beginning of a human being.  But that would occur no earlier than seven months, it would seem.

# 24 In fact?  The most natural demarcation, for saying when an embryo becomes a human person?  Would be Birth.  Birth especially, would seem a very natural moment, to declare babies human; a natural law demarcation; (ultrasound pictures are unnatural).  It is the moment nature and God himself, determine that the embryo is formed enough, to emerge into the world, as an at least semi-independent being.

# 25 If priests find any real science in their favor?  So far none of what they say is quite true. While as for science itself? Whatever science says, in any case, changes;

# 26 For dozens of reasons therefore, any firmly anti-abortion “science,” is just bad, false.

Most religious anti-abortionists who quote “science,” are not trained, good scientists; in religious language, they are sinners, they are not honest or reliable “witness”es.  They are not trained to be objective. Rather they are trained to the opposite:  trained to ignore all material evidence, and to “believe” whatever they think the Church says; ignoring all contrary evidence “faith”fully.

# 27 Aside from countless, fundamental problems in citing “science” against abortion?  Part of the problem is lack of broader knowledge, in our one-issue antiabortionists.  For example?  In emphasizing the importance of the human physical genes or DNA for example, while ignoring the human mind, anti-abortionists see only part of the human being; the body.  Not the fuller, better part of a human being:  the brain, and then the mind.

# 28 Anti-abortionists are overwhelmingly, not good scientists; at best they are only very crudely physicalistic.  Indeed, they attack the very core of science and humanity:  they ignore and in effect, attack intelligence.  In religious language? Shockingly, in denying, failing to see the importance of the mind or spirit or rational soul, they fail to see – and even attack – the soul itself.  They are ignorant of, and even attack, the very core of religion and humanity, both: the spirit, the rational soul itself.

 

 

CHAPTER 4  Other Churches, Aside from the Catholic Church.  What do other Christian churches, aside from the Roman Catholic Church – Protestants – say about abortion? Most Protestant churches allow abortion.

# 29 Catholic conservatives, insist that God does not allow abortion.  Yet?  Protestants say they follow God … and God didn’t say that.  Even most Bible-thumping Protestant churches allow abortion.  So first, a) Christianity overall has not been consistent on this matter of abortion. And for that matter, if Bible-thumping Protestants allow it, it is likely that b) the Bible itself, probably allows it.  For c) that matter? We will add later that Protestants can say that their church, their religion, allows abortion; and that attempts by Catholics to pass laws against abortion, are attempts to end their religious freedoms here; yet another attempt by Catholics to impose their religion on others.  Again. Does Catholicism intend to impose its religious beliefs on Protestants? Does Catholicism intend to renew the wars of religion, the wars between Protestantism and Catholicism, that began c. 1535-1618-1648 ff.?

 

CHAPTER 5  Does Ethics in General, Secular Ethics Outside Religion, Oppose Abortion?  Our ethics here, notes many moral sins, errors, in Anti-Abortionism; especially its monomaniacal, “one issue” narrowness or dis”proportion”ality; that ignores and encourages other sins.

# 30 The major ethical problem with anti-abortionism, is its narrowness, or monomania; fixation; demonic possession; one-issue fetishism.  When you focus just on just one evil in life, you neglect many other evils.  And allow many other evils to flourish.  When you expel one demon, seven worse demons come back in its place.  Life requires attention to a broad spectrum of things; including wars, environmental things.  If we focus just on the embryo, and neglect these other things – which have already killed hundreds of millions – we risk massive disasters, and many deaths.  (Here our Ethics will follow especially, the Catholic Church, as it correctly notes the great sin in focusing, dis-“proportionate”ly, on just “one issue” in “ life,” like abortion.  While neglecting other deadly problems, sins.  And allowing those sins to flourish.)

# 31 For that matter, even the most causal survey of all of Ethics, shows many secular ethicists support abortion in fact.  So no one can say that “Ethics” as a whole, is unequivocally against abortionFeminists and human rights ethicists, support abortion, as a way of allowing the people to have closer relations with each other, and yet avoid giving up careers for a family, and supporting children. While much of ethics might agree with our current position: that the embryo is not a full human person; and that therefore, aborting an embryo is not as serious a sin as many say.

# 32 To be sure, what the field of say, secular “Ethics” says about abortion varies.  And so to be sure, many anti-abortionists here will then say that he ethical standing of the embryo therefore, is “not certain.” Especially they will say that in many ethical discussion, it is said that it is “not certain” that the embryo is human. But then, Pro Lifers claim, if it is “not certain” that an embryo is not human, then we should not abort; to “err on the side of over-caution.”  A popular example:  if you see what you think is a deer in the bushes, but are not certain it is not a human being, should you shoot?  But here anti-abortionists are a) admitting that the status of embryo, is not certain; and b) there is also a sin in very firmly telling people not to act on something, when you are not certain. (This argument is also:  “reasoning from consequences” q.v.).  Then too we will show, d) to “err on the side of over-caution” is to err, after all. While e) given what we are finding here, perhaps we can be rather certain after all, that the embryo is not fully a human person.

# 33 Much of Ethics on the issue of abortion, for that matter, should follow not just logic (see “intrinsic” evils), but follow empiricism, or a pragmatic philosophy. Which suggest many practical considerations:  embryos are not fully human – and there is less need today for larger population.  While there are potentially much worse sins to look at; like just but unnecessary wars, and diseases, that kill billions of indisputably human lives.  In life, pragmatically, there are far more important things than embryos. (Pragmatics by the way is allowed in religion: in religious language, it is partially “prudence.”  Or a good “balance”; “proportion.”)

# 34 Many in Catholicism insist, that abortion is at least a small evil, and “you cannot commit even a small evil, so that a larger good may result.”  But this is not true, or biblical. God himself allows, even “sends” evil spirits … so that a larger good results. God allowed men to commit the evil of killing Jesus … so that his death could save us all.  We experience the small evil of pain from a medical shot – to be immune to the greater evil of disease.

# 35 Is killing an embryo “intrinsically” evil?  Here we show that the whole, major idea that “intrinsic evils” are always more important than anything else, is wrong; it does not allow practical, prudent priorities. And makes fundament logical errors.

# 36 Anti-abortionists argue that an abortion is an “intentional” killing of an “innocent” person, and is therefore certainly bad.  But it seems the embryo is not a person, innocent or otherwise.  While it turns out that too many games are played with “intention”s; which is not biblical. [Some might add that if an abortionist does not think an embryo is human, then he or she has not intentionally killed "a person," after all.]

# 37 Finally, there is no universal agreement on abortion in Ethics as a whole. Though if anything, the “rational” cases seem to fail; anti-abortionism is not so much Reason, as sentiment; from the “heart,” and some sentimental women. While experience and the Bible say that the “heart” and sentiments, often deceive us.

# 38 Logically for that matter, “conservatives” who oppose abortion should note that real “Conservatives” would simply follow the laws; therefore real conservatives would follow the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, that allows abortion.

# 39 “Prudence,” biblical pragmatism, is finally the better ethic; it looks at other more pressing issues than abortion.

# 40 And if uncertainty is now found in anti-abortionist arguments?  Then we should not follow then with total, religious obedience.  As if they were absolutely true. (See also “not certain” above, # 32).

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES, broadly defined, are for all practical purposes, vastly more important than abortion:  especially biblical plagues, floods, famines kill billions more humans, than abortion

# 41 Consider the practical consequences of neglecting other issues, like Environment.  Many claimed above,  that admittedly, we might not know whether an embryo is fully human; but that if we don’t know, we should refrain from killing them, just in case; because the consequences would be awful.  But a) there are problems with “reasoning from consequences.”  Or, b) if “reasoning from consequences” is allowed, then consider the awful consequences of one-issue anti-abortionism.  Which is too narrow. Ignoring and encouraging especially huge environmental disasters.  From anti-abortion’s neglect of the environment “issue.” The fact is, that environment-related problems alone have already historically killed billions of people; and will kill many more, unless we attend to them.  (Which we will again consider, in relation to problems of “proportionality” below, our # 85).

# 42  Beyond Global Warming, consider that temporary “Climate Change,” that the Church acknowledges, could be billions of deaths already caused, from failing to avoid environment-related things, like Plagues, Disease (which are noted in the Bible too);

# 44 Floods;

# 45 Industrial poisonings and pollution and accidents;

# 46 Science experiments gone wrong;

# 47 Many of these environment-related disasters have already caused huge disasters, hundreds of millions, billions of deaths, historically;

# 48 Neglect of such environmental issues could cause even more such disasters; and even, all but exterminate humanity.

# 49 One-issue anti-abortionism, imprudently denies, neglects these vital, other issues. Even though neglect of these things, can/will kill billions of human beings.

# 50 The extreme destructiveness of past environmental disasters like these, moreover, are confirmed by the Bible; when it spoke say, of The Flood of Noah.

# 51 Indeed, in the Bible, future environmental disasters were also predicted (of the End Time) by the Bible.  So the Bible considered environmental issues, disasters, to be extremely important.

# 52 Therefore, considering all that, considering that billions of lives can be lost through neglect of environmental issues, prudence suggests that we should be protecting the environment, as a very major concern.

# 53 Confirming that, the Bible said be “good stewards” of the land, environment.

# 54 Contrary to Karl Keating and Sheila Liaugminas then,  we should vote, therefore, for other, proportionately more important issues than abortion; like the environment.  Where the lives of not millions of embryos, but billions of indisputably human beings– indeed, the entire life of all of mankind – is at stake.

CHAPTER 6:  THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.  Conservatives insist that the Catholic Church absolutely opposes abortion, as murder; and that the Church, God, orders us to always vote for the most anti-abortion political candidates.  But what does the Catholic Church actually say?  What we find here, is that the Catholic Church says that abortion is bad – but how bad is it?  Until recent rash statements from sentimental priests, the main Tradition of the church on abortion, stopped short of calling it murder; while it suggested that there are “proportion”ately more important, “other issues.”

# 55 Admittedly, the Catholic Church often says that abortion is bad.  But how bad is it?  Gregory XIV allowed abortion as a minor sin, before quickening?

# 56 The Church recently suggested that abortion is not as bad as other things.  Many other sins could be worse.  For much more on this key issue, under a slightly more specific rubric, see our core document, below: Card. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s 2004 “Worthiness” memo, on “proportion”alily.  And Card. McCarrick against “one issue” Catholicism (#84, below).

# 57 Is the embryo even fully a human person?  Traditionally a child, embryo, was not fully human, or saved, until Baptism and so forth?;

# 58 Until recently the embryo, unborn, was said to be in indeterminate “Limbo” before birth, and/or baptism;

# 59 Therefore, in part given conflicting traditions, there has been no absolutely definitive, ex-Cathedra decision on the status of the embryo. (Or none consistent with Church Tradition);

# 60 Particularly?  The major saints and theologians of the Church – saints like St. Augustine said the very young embryo has no soul – and is not a human being therefore;

# 61 Confirming this, yet another major theologian of the Church – and indeed, a saint, and the major theologian of the Church; St. Thomas Aquinas – also confirmed that the young embryo has no soul.  (And he suggests an embryo is human at first breath? At birth).  Importantly, Thomas Aquinas was mandated as the chief theologian of the Church, in the 1917 canon (canons 589:1 & 1366:2).  Thus canon law roughly supports this.

# 62 Anti-abortionist “conservative” Catholics therefore, only pretend to obey the traditions of the Church.  While actually they disobey the saints –  like Augustine and Aquinas, and many other elements of Catholic Tradition.  So that “conservative” “Catholic” Pro-Lifers are actually simply, hypocrites.

# 63 Pro Life antiabortionists in fact, are the very “Cafeteria Catholics” they accuse others of being; they pick up and follow the parts of the Church they like – and disregard the rest.

# 64 “Conservative Catholics” reject traditional Theology too, when they reject Augustine and Aquinas, etc..

# 65 And since Aquinas for example was supported by canon law?  Anti-abortionists secretly attack and disobey, canon law:  like the 1918 revision of 1917 Code, 589:1, 1366:2; current 1983 Code of Canon Law, 252:3;

# 66 Pro Lifers reject key saints (like Augustine and Aquinas);

# 67 They reject core religious, Catholic Tradition therefore;

# 68 They reject revered doctrine, dogmas, rules

# 69 They attack the Magisterium (Aquinas, Cardinals, etc.);

# 70 Pro Lifers in short, disobey the Church.

# 71 In giving up on en-“soul”ment,  the mind stressing the physical body of DNA etc., Pro Life anti-abortionists are even giving up on, attacking, the soul.  And?  Attacking intelligence itself.

# 72 Are we really full human beings, “from Conception“?  As suggested in the current Catechism?  And Humanae Vitae, 1968?  Against these currently fashionable ideas,  stands most of Catholic Tradition.  Including the testimony of the highest saints and theologians. Against the idea that we are fully human persons “from conception,” in fact, stand the Bible; and all of Science, above, as well.

CHURCH – VS. LEGAL AND POLITICAL and Ethical Violations.  There are many practical problems for the Church, if the Church continues to allowing Anti-Abortionism to be presented as Catholic.

# 73 “Conservative” elements in the Church are now seen as actively interfering in American politics, elections.  When the Church is perceived as telling us in effect, that the Church, God, orders us to vote Republican in every election, this causes problems with the IRS.  The Church is now seen less as a religion, than a political advocacy organization (as indeed, the “conservative” Catholic element really is).  This can cause removal of Church’s religious, or tax-exempt status.

# 74 Indeed, the Catholic Church involvement in any nation’s politics, violates the spirit of the Lateran Treaty;

# 75 It violates the US Constitution; separation of church & State; Freedom of Religion.

# 76 Anti-abortionist crimes, terrorist, violates the laws; Roe v. Wade; US Supreme Court 1973; and other laws, including anti-terrorist laws.

# 77 If the Church now engages in politics, and now opposes the state, Priests are therefore, “unregistered Foreign Agents.”

# 78 The Church siding with Republicans, conservatives, attacks – and now earns opposition from – say, the Democratic Party.

# 79 The Church continuing to interfere with state affairs, will resume the wars of religion; historical wars between Protestants and Catholics, churches and states.

More Theological & Practical Problems

# 80 Today, “Conservative Catholic” anti-abortionism is correctly seen as all-too political; and not really religious.  It is a) not really obeying the saints and cardinals.  Anti-abortionism indeed is b) not from the Bible; and not really from the mainstream Church.  In fact, clearly it is a “tradition” or “doctrine of men”; specifically, it is from “conservative”/right wing, nationalist patriotic politics.  Since it is not really from the deeper traditions of the Church, since it is not from God, it should be opposed.

# 81 Its politics moreover, oppose the traditions of the Church.  Not only do they oppose saints like Augustine and Aquinas; Republican anti-abortionism supports other issues that are gravely against the Church.  Among other things?  A political, patriotic, “Conservative”/Nationalist “American” Republican anti-abortionism, opposes an non-nationalistic, international church.

# 82 Finally, because of all these deficits, Catholic anti-abortionism yields poor fruits in general.

# 83 In fact, finally it has begun to encourage even anti-abortion terrorism:  the May 31, 2009 murder of abortion doctor Dr. Tiller, for example.  [While in Feb. 2011, the ant-abortion South Dakota legislature, even considered for passage a bill that would legally allow murdering abortion providers, to prevent the "homicide" of the fetus; thus making anti-abortion terrorism, or killing abortion providers, legal in South Dakota.  Which is now one of the few states with anti-abortion laws in place.  Showing how radical all this is getting].

CHAPTER 7:  WHAT DO THE POPE AND THE CARDINALS SAY?  Given increasing problems with “Conservative Catholic” anti-abortionism, what does the current Pope, Benedict XVI – the former Cardinal Joe Ratzinger – now say about this issue?  In 2004, the future Pope said that, say, voting for pro-abortion political candidates, “can be permitted”; in the name of “Proportional”ity.  While America’s Cardinal McCarrick [and Card. Bernardin?] also opposed one “Issue” Catholicism.  The major school of Catholic ethical thought that is forming here, is that a) there are “other issues” that could involve more lives, than abortion.  While b) we are adding here, that the lives of embryos, become proportionately even less important; if “modern” contemporary anti-abortion Catholicism, reconsiders the major Catholic traditions it currently violates; the traditions of Augustine and Aquinas, that the young embryo is not a full human being.  While Science and other considerations, here and now suggest that the embryo is not fully a human person, in fact, until after birth.

# 84 Perhaps in light of some of problems with extreme anti-abortionism – problems like those we are enumerating here – some important recent papers from the Church hierarchy, suggest backing off extreme, “Conservative” anti-abortionism.  Especially important might be Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI’s 2004 memo, on “proportion”ality, allows that voting for candidates who happen to be pro-abortion, “can be permitted.”  If there are things, issues, that are “proportion”ately more important (Card. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” on Vatican.va website.  See also #56 above).

CHAPTER 8:   OTHER ISSUES?   There are many issues that are more important than abortion.  Indeed there are many “Life Issues” aside from abortion:  issues that involve millions, billions of human lives.  Remember for example a) Environmental and other disasters mentioned earlier.  While more are added here.  These issues are proportionately more important than abortion; including not only plagues, famines (See also Ch. 5, # 41-53 above?).  But also other environment-related things.

And then too?  Especially … b) wars, either “just” c) or “un-just,” are incredibly destructive.  They have killed millions; they can kill billions.  While indeed we will show, even a “good” war might be far worse than abortions.  EWTN/RN loved to suggest that its wars, like Iraq, were totally good and “just.”  But that wasn’t what the Vatican often hinted.  Often a war that is thought “Good,: is very bad.  As we will see here.  While d) Health Care too, involves millions, billions of lives.  In a sense, nearly all of us today, die, perhaps prematurely, of health issues.  So that in fact? Even if embryos were fully human persons – which they are not – then still, there are several issues that are in point of fact, more important than abortion. That involve far, far more lives.

# 85 Finally, the most immediately-useful key to a new and better Catholic concept, on abortion, would seem to be the emerging idea of  “proportion”ality.  This seems to be current, key idea or phrase in the Church.  Which we might here as the most currently-useful key, to formulating a Church argument on abortion.  Specifically, current Church hierarchy has often used this concept, when speaking of abortion.   Suggesting the importance of looking beyond the embryo:   to “proportionate”ly more important, other “issues.”   The frequent use by cardinals, of the phrase “other issues,” seems to bolster and fill out this concept, of proportionality:  the idea being that life and God are complex.  And we need to consider not just one thing, one issue; but many issues.  Many of which being, potentially, proportionately more important.

But what things, Pro Lifers ask, could possibly be proportionately more important than abortion, many ask?  Since they say, 50 million embryos have been killed to date; nothing could top that in importance, they say.  And yet?  Here we note that a) these numbers are not so significant, if the embryo is not a human person.  While b) for that matter, even if the embryo was fully human, the massive number of deaths caused by neglect of environment – as noted above, plagues and diseases, famines, floods – far outweigh abortion, proportionately, in number of fully human lives at stake. (As noted partially above, regarding “prudence,” #41-53? etc.) These other issues have been briefly examined above; but important as they are, and given their relation to current thinking, these things need to be mentioned again; this time in relation to the key concept of “proportion”ality.

How important are environmental and other issues, other than abortion?  Amazingly, the Bible itself never mentioned abortion by name.  But it constantly warned of environmental problems, broadly understood:  droughts, plagues, famines, floods, etc.. The Bible, mentioned many millions of people dying from such things in the past, in The Flood and so forth.  And worse, the Bible many think, foretold more such environment-related disasters later on too:  especially in the End Times.

So that?  The Bible does not emphasize abortion, proportionately; actually the Bible gives hundreds of times more attention, proportionately, to other issues.  Including environment-related issues.  The Bible also supports environment in positive language too:  we should be “good shepherds,” “good stewards” of the earth; not “destroyers of the Earth.”  As noted above, in our section on Ethics.

# 86 Above (#41-53?) we already noted many things that are already more important than abortion, by the massive number of deaths they have caused:  environmental disasters like floods, droughts, famines, plagues.  But also proportionately more important than abortion, are wars.  Not only a) un-just wars.  But also especially, b) “just” or “good,” but unnecessary, avoidable wars.  Even a “good” war that kills billions of people, is incredibly wasteful, and destructive.  And not so “good” after all.  So even “just” wars are better avoided, in the interest of diplomacy and so forth.  Here we might reconsider the whole notion of “good” wars.  Perhaps in extreme situations, they are necessary.  But?  When a war that might have been avoided, is fought?  Not having avoided it, represents a great failure and evil.

# 87  Proportionately indeed, even “good” wars, even unintentional, accidental, collateral deaths of non-combatants, relatively innocent civilians, are significant (see our notes on “intrinsic” & “intentional”).  Especially these deaths are important, relative to any embryo that is not fully a human person.

# 88 Proportionately, aside from wars, plagues, etc., are lesser but still important issues:  unjust capital punishment too of course, involves the unjust destruction of human life.

# 89 But of course, the major issues are things like droughts, which lead to poverty, famine, and starvation.  For that reason?  A) Praying to God for rain, and b) food, and c) telling people to help the poor – usually with food – bread, is far more central to the Bible, and to God, than abortion, or the embryo.  By some counts, the Bible alluded to abortion of the embryo, perhaps once; in Numb. 5, where he approved of it.  While God alluded directly or indirectly to assisting poverty, starving, thousands of times.  So that for God, poverty, starvation, was by far a far, far more major issue than abortion.

# 90 Proportionately, only slightly less important Health Care; help the sick. (See also diseases, plagues, above).

# 91  Therefore? Finally the cardinals began to condemn “One Issue” Catholicism; including  Catholics who focus just on say, the single issue of abortion.  Which is too narrow a focus, says Cardinal McCarrick etc..

# 92 Desperate to preserve their one-sided theology, liberal anti-abortionists have come up with dozens more arguments:  they suggest that any attempt to say that Embryos aren’t human, is analogous with arguments justifying slavery; claiming that minorities were not human beings.  But minorities are human, embryos are not. Some say we must never say, what is human and what is not.  But every day, we say many things are not human: we mentally rule out dogs and cats, as human; and our daughter’s Barbie doll.  What indeed, would an anti-abortionist say to his daughter, who claimed that her Barbie doll was a full human person?  Wouldn’t even an anti-abortionist finally say:  “Your Barbie doll is not really a human person.”  Everyone draws the line somewhere. So we need to be exact, in carefully uncovering just exactly what it is, that makes us human persons; while preserving and encouraging that.  While here and elsewhere?  Millions have determined that it is … having a rational mind or “soul.”  Those who fail to see that, do not understanding humanity, or God either.

# 93 One-issue extremists, narrow people who fixate just on the one issue of abortion, neglect other issues, even criminally; failing to help real people dying from many various causes.  For example?  Those who fail to be balanced, Anti-abortionists are, in 2009/10 AD, narrow extremist bishops blocked Health Care, for the poor & sick. (In proposed US Congressional legislation).  Bishops sacrificing the lives of the poor, real adults, for the lives of embryos.  (See also the bishop of Arizona?, c. 2010-11, insisting that mothers must carry their babies, even when the pregnancy is going to end the mother’s life.  Bishops here, condemning women to death).

# 94 Here, we need anti-abortionists to see the larger picture.  Regarding the matter of “protecting Life,” for example?  Life, in more exact definition, does not mean protecting so much the lives say, of germs, or chickens.  Or even just embryos.  More than that, in the Bible it meant protecting adult lives.  In health & environment.  Where not millions, but billions of lives, are always at stake.  When anti-abortionists sacrifice everything, in the name of their narrow obsession – saving embryos – millions, billions of indisputably human, conscious adult human beings, are being neglected, and even attacked.  Deprived of medical care, and environmental protection; and protection from massively destructive wars, plagues, and so forth.  Indeed?  Their very minds or souls are devalued by anti-abortionists.  While Pro Lifers, and  their incredibly, culpably narrow fixation on just a single issue in “life,” could well result in … literally Apocalyptic destruction.  From failing to be balanced; from failing to take care of the broader spectrum of things.  [See Card. Bernardin’s “seamless garment” of many concerns).

The Pro Life Heresy,

Pt. 2:  The Sins of EWTN/RN

And Frank Pavone’s “Priests For Life”

Pt. 2 CHAPTER 1:   EWTN/EWRN:  The Media Heart of the New Heresies.  Where and how did it arise: the incredibly narrow, fantastically-destructive theology of the Pro Life movement?  Where did one-issue anti-abortionism come from? Probably the person and agency most responsible for this apocalyptically-destructive heresy, was a “rebellious nun,” as she was called:  Mother Angelica.  And her unofficial “Catholic” media network, EWTN:  Eternal Word Television Network.  And especially its radio branch, EWRN:  Eternal Word Radio Network.  Mother Angelica, and other talk show hosts, would often spend an hour or more a day, obsessing over abortion, and the embryo.  Giving the impression to eventually, millions of listeners, that the entire Church and God himself, wanted abortion to be the center of the Catholic faith.   But Mother Angelica and her network, were originally not given much official authority by the Church.  While finally we find that this nuns’ narrow fixation on a single issue, amounted to a gross and heretical distortion, of the Church, and of God.

Pt. 2 CHAPTER 2:   EWTN, MOTHER ANGELICA, AND FATHER FRANK PAVONE’S “PRIESTS FOR LIFE”; and their Rebellion Against the Church, Against the Bible; Pro Lifers’ Rebellion Against God.   Above, we will have charted slightly less than a hundred or so ways that the various doctrines of anti-abortionism, conflicted with the Church, Science, and the Bible.  But of course, if they were as bad as all that, then one would expect that at some point, officials of the Church itself, would make moves against the movement; in its effective headquarters in EWTN.  To be sure, the present-day Church is still itself, partially in the grip this destructive doctrine.  But eventually good elements of the Church, finally did begin to take note of the rebellious, schismatic side of EWTN and Mother Angelica.  And finally, belatedly?  Elements of the Church, by c. 2005 or so, began to move against the epicenter of “Conservative Catholic” anti-abortionism:  against EWTN and Mother Angelica.

# 95 Mother Angelica, EWTN founder & head,  rebels against Bishop/Cardinal Mahony;

# 96 Cardinal Mahony demands an apology;

# 97 Angelica’s Apology is equivocal;

# 98 Apostasy (/Heresy) is charged;

# 99 Mahony demands EWTN’s Angelica resignation;

# 100 Mahony notes the problem:  un-theological Catholic media;

# 101 Bishop Foley follows  EWTN’s heresy;

# 102 Foley relents, criticizes EWTN;

# 103 Angelica resigns;

# 104 A scandal was caused by a Catholic medium, EWTN

THE CONTINUING SINS OF EWTN, AS OF 2010

# 105 Yet?  The same heresies continued thru 2010, on EWTN/RN, Relevant Radio;

# 106 This problem was not addressed by the Church.

# 107 The problem of “Conservative Catholicism,” anti-abortionism, was not effectively addressed – in spite of ties to the also “Conservative,” Tridentine rebellion, against the Vatican II, Novos Ordum.  And Father Feeny (sp?).  Probably because most bishops did not fully understand the issue of the embryo, and abortion.

# 108 Most did not know that “Conservatism,” EWTN attacks on “liberals,” were not from the Bible; but were really from Rush Limbaugh.  Not from the Church.  The Bible never mentions “conservatives.”  And when in mentions “liberals,” the BIble tells us to “be liberal,” in helping the poor, dozens of times.  Clearly the “conservatism” announced on EWTN dozens of times daily, came from the traditions of Rush Limbaugh; the traditions of men; not from the Bible, or God.

# 109 Indeed though, if anything, EWTN’s stand against abortion, is itself partially liberal; the idea was in part, extending human status and rights to the embryo, in the same way that these were extended to minorities.  Though where does this end?  Rights for spermatazoans?  As the Church in fact, once said that “every sperm is sacred.”

# 110 What was the main engine of the heresy?  What were contributing factors?   In part, untutored women, speaking on EWTN, in the Church, was unbiblical; and itself a heresy;

# 111 Then too, aside from “conservatives,” also many liberal priests did not mind bending the traditions of the Church, to develop the new anti-abortion doctrine.

# 112 Indeed, an attorney by the name of Ferrara wrote a book on EWTN:  that said that EWTN was not too conservative, but too liberal.  Indeed, it was both, by turns, in one element than another.

# 113 How was it that these false doctrines, were perpetuated?  The new network, EWTN, gave flawed and undertrained voices, a massive megaphone, speaking to millions in the name of God.  Then, copying Rush-Limbaugh-style conservative talk ration, deceitful, scandalous, false, dishonest, rigged call-in “debate”s in talk radio, gave the false impression that both sides of the abortion “issue” for example, were being fairly discussed.  However, call-in shows not EWTN were never honest:  very effective opponents of EWRN were screened out by a screener.  While the “debates” were rigged also, in that whenever an opponent of an EWTN guest or host, was too effective?  The host simply pressed the “dump” or “off” button to that caller.  Cutting off that caller.  And making sure that no follow-up remarks would be allowed.  Giving the bias, the last word, to their own favored ideas and guests.

THE CHURCH OPPOSES KARL KEATING, EWRN’S VOTER’S GUIDE.  Who were the main voices, spreading the new anti-abortion heresy worldwide?  Aside from the rebellious nun, Mother Angelica, were a number of other persons and writings.  Including especially Karl Keating’s and EWRN’s, Anti-Abortionist “Voter’s Guide for Concerned Catholics.”  These were in turn, widely criticized, even by bishops.  But the false doctrine continued, through 2010.

# 114 Karl Keating, Attny., and various editions of his “Voter’s Guide” for concerned Catholics, asserted that the Church itself, insisted that we vote only for anti-abortion candidates. But the Catholic Church itself, never officially endorsed Keating’s voting guide.  Indeed, the Church never officially made EWTN its official spokes-agency.

# 115 Many priests never allowed Keating’s “Voter’s Guide” in their churches

# 116 Catholic Lawyers brought an injunction against the guide;

# 117 The press lampooned the guide;

# 118 “One-issue” Catholicism was condemned by Card. McCarrick; targeting the Guide especially?

# 119 The Voter’s Guide was Criticized by the USCCB; the United States Congress of Catholic Bishops; its head, Card. McCarrick or others, telling us that the Church was “not telling us how to vote.”

# 120 With McCarrick and the USCCB condemning the Guide?  Therefore in effect, all bishops condemned it

# 121 The USCCB issued an apparently Rival Guide, “Faithful Citizenship”?

# 122 [As noted above]Cardinal Ratzinger had criticized anti-abortionism indirectly, as dis “proportionate;

# 123 So the Vatican criticized it.

# 124 EWTN & Keating were therefore in rebellion against a) the Bible; b) the Saints like Augustine and d) Aquinas; against c) Cardinal McCarrick, d) the USCCB, and e) the Vatican.

# 125 And they were f) rebelling against/twisting the Pope, Benedict XVI.

# 126 Bishop g) Steib also reiterated “one issue” problems

# 127 Bishop h) Listekii also (SP?)

EWTN and Karl Keating and their anti-abortionism, therefore, were rebelling against five or six major elements of Catholic tradition.

Pro Life-ism was Politics, not Religion

# 128 In fact, the real model and source of Catholic talk radio’s anti-abortionism was not so much the church, or rash Vatican II ideas, but the political “conservatism” of Rush Limbaugh. And as that became increasingly obvious to some?  Karl Keating began to have problems with the IRS; for obvious political favoritism, in an alleged religious/nonprofit organization.

# 129 Increasingly, obvious problems with the Pro Life movement, its theological errors, and obvious political sponsorship … caused a “scandal.”   Many began to lampoon the Church even more.  For proudly advancing false new doctrines of men; while not listening adequately even to its own saints and cardinals.

Pt. 2 CHAPTER 3:  THE NEW FALSE PRIESTS; TALK SHOW HOSTS

# 130 Indeed, the “traditions of men”; politics, not God, was the real source of anti-abortionism;

# 131 EWTN’s “Catholic” religion, actually changes to match not God, but Republican candidates;

# 132 EWTN originally it is said, did not use word “Catholic” in its name:  “Eternal World Television Network”.  To avoid being responsible to the Church.  Thus its constant implication that it was the authoritative voice of the church was … a deliberate deceit. From the start, it knew it was not given authority to present itself as the official voice of the church.

# 133 To be sure, eventually the real church was seduced by EWTN.  Even Bishops seduced by EWTN:  Bishop Tobin entered politics, and attacked Democrat Rep. Kennedy, 2007 (as announced belatedly, on Oct. 2009).  Attacking democrats for healing the sick, helping the poor; for following Jesus, but neglecting the one supreme issue of … abortion.  Thus the Church itself was finally being deformed by backwash from grassroots and para-Catholic media networks.

“CONSERVATIVE”?

# 134 Ultimately however, media “Catholic” networks like EWTN, or Relevant Radio, present themselves as the voice of the Church and God.  But they don’t have any official authorization or charter from the Church; they are actually private organizations, pretending, presuming, to speak for the Church and God. These are the new “false priests.”

# 135 Their “Conservative” label, misleadingly implied they were authoritative, or were sticking to Catholic Tradition.  At best, the new anti-abortionism was a radical new idea out of around the time of Vatican II; they were not really consistent with any tradition of the major saints, like Augustine and Aquinas, as much as the tradition of heretics, like Tertullian. And minor, questionable documents like Didache.

# 136 Indeed, religious “Conservatives” on EWTN etc., are not really fully Catholic; Catholicism being formed at least in part around Liberalism, helping the poor.  While EWRN conservatives were really formed around Rush Limbaugh, and the Republican Party platform; not God

# 137 Such new, social/political ideas in Catholicism as EWTN’s, were at best experimental and tentative.  While indeed, these new lay media organizations, are now found here, to have caused massive sins, errors.  They quickly spread new and experimental – and false – doctrinal speculations, much further and faster than the usual, proper religious vetting period of hundreds, thousands of years. Speculative new ideas, were with incredible rashness, make instantly holy, and made into even the very heart of Catholicism. This was irresponsible, in the extreme.  Using EWTN as a “deniable” experimental arm, did not mitigate the immensely destructive effect:  anti-abortionism, by throwing votes to the Republican Party, elected one warlike, nationalist/ militarist government after another. In the same way that lay Liberalism over-influenced the Church into homosexual pederasty, lay Conservatism over-influenced the Church into supporting the lay Conservative political agenda.

Even though major, authoritative voices in the church warned against any disproportionate one-issue Catholicism, they were ignored by EWTN/RN, and today, by more and more bishops.  Who are increasingly drawn into a new, modern heresy:  the heresy of one-issue anti-abortionism.

Bottom Line?

# 138 Today, 2010, we hear more and more priests and bishops violently condemning abortion.  So that for the moment, Conservative talk-show hosts , and political opinions, have partially taken over the Church; by capturing Catholic and religious media;

# 139 But in Catholic media, we are actually hearing say, the voice of Karl Keating, Attny.; not God.  He and other …

# 140 Lay staff, who were given far too much leeway.  So that a hybrid religious/lay “conservative” voice replaced the voice of God himself, and the Bible.

# 141 Specifically, lawyers like Carl Keating, not priests, are increasingly dominant voice in religious radio.  Though Jesus himself despised lawyers: “Woe to thee, lawyers” said Jesus.

# 142 In addition to lawyers and talk-show hosts now increasingly controlling religion, lay apologists especially, on networks like EWTN, are the problem. Apologists are professonal rhetoricians.  But they are similar to lawyers; they are trained at dishonest argument, “sophistry”; rigged “debates.”  They do not argue honestly.

Pt. 2  CHAPTER 4:  THE PROBLEM:  THE NEW “CATHOLIC” LAY NETWORKS AND PERSONNEL:  EWTN/ EWRNAND ONE-ISSUE ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS;  FR. FRANK PAVONE AND “PRIESTS FOR LIFE”   Today, a heresy is working its way deeper and deeper into the Church.  The problem began a) when the Church properly decided to become more modern, and deal with modern issues; John XXIII’s “aggiornamento,” or “bringing up to date.” This was perhaps necessary … but was fraught with pitfalls.  When b) the Church, pastors decided to negotiate with “lay” culture, they lacked discrimination in what lay culture was good, and what was false.  When c) this began to happen, around the time of Vatican II, there were some very rash, rushed, a-historical, un-magisterial speculations that were too firmly-presented as the vetted word of God, around the time of Vatican II.  Especially when elements of the Church far too hastily presented the idea that we were human persons “from conception.”  There, e) the Church abandoned one of its best traditions; in favor of a pop idea that was in fact simply, false.  And?  What f) made that far worse, were the new media.  Which with devastating speed, quickly gave gigantic publicity to the most un-vetted new theologies; instantly.  Thus what should have only been announced as at best a tentative idea, or indeed a heresy, was publicized, spread worldwide, with lighting, blitzkrieg-like speed.  By especially, a new “Catholic” media network started by an untutored nun.  Who was all too willing to take the new doctrine as absolutely holy truth.  Even though?

# 143 EWTN – Eternal Word Television Network – pretends to be the voice of the Church, and of God; but it has no real official authority;

# 144 Neither did EWRN – the radio branch – either;

# 145 Unfortunately, these networks have quoted the Church’s new call to “Evangelism,” “The New Evangelicalism,” as their authority.  But The New “Evangelization” was also a strange new doctrine in the Church, which a) had always spoken against Protestants giving lesser voices permission to evangelize.  And b) in practice, evangelism stresses widespread speaking, preaching – but not the mind, seeking truth.  The word c) stressed not development of a theology, but quick delivery; delivery, publicity, but not content.  With its emphasis on popular appeal, and execution rather than development, much of evangelism ignores and attacks the mind, the spirit, in fact.  Here therefore we all need to read the rest of the story of the New Evangelization:  the church’s warnings that the new media can be a force for good … or immense evil.  Here, we might remember that the Bible noted that “not all” of us “should be teachers” – or media evangelists or holy men.  “For we all make many mistakes” (James 3.1).

# 146 Televangelism on radio was often bad, from the days of Father Feeney (SP?).  For a while, a bishop or two seemed to make it work.  But on EWTN, Catholic radio reverted to its most destructive side.  Bad, experimental, questionable new theologies, were given instant, massive publicity.  And by their lay hosts, were given a nasty, partisan political twist; instantly.  The Church had attempted to re-enter the world; but it mistakenly entered the full world of secular, lay manipulation; rather than the better lay world of, say, rational Science.

The Anti-Abortion Heresy Grows – and is Today Taking Over the Church Itself

# 147 The new Pro Life, anti-abortionist heresy was spread by many people.  But especially by EWRN staff:  like Jimmy Akin;

# 148 The heresy was especially spread by women, like Johnnette Benkovic;

# 148 And especially by Barb. McGuigan;

# 150 Sheila Liaugminas (pronounced “Log-MEAN-az”).

# 151 Some efforts were belated made to control the heresy, and EWTN, were made by elements of the Church; but all efforts to control the EWTN heresy have failed, as of 2010.

Pt. 2 CHAPTER 5   THE HERESY SPREADS TO PRIESTS AND BISHOPS

# 152 Because of the efforts of EWTN especially, the heresy of antiabortionism has grown powerful; and is now spread worldwide;

# 153 The heresy now infects the Church itself, priests who worked on EWRN:  like Ed Sylvia;

# 154 The heresy infects Fr. Frank Pavone, priest, & “Priests for Life”;

# 155 And infects Father John Corapi (later object of scandal, c. 2010-11);

# 156 Heresy infects Archbishop Burke, now of the Vatican court;

# 157 Archbishop Chaput;

# 158 The heresy became bold, self-convicted:  Bishop Tobin, 2007-Oct. 2009, reportedly attacked, excommunicated, US Rep. Patrick Kennedy, (Dem. of Rhode Island), for supporting abortion.

# 159 The anti-abortion heresy continues only slightly abated today, on EWTN/RN & Relevant Radio.

# 160 Encyclicals like Humanae Vitae or Evangelicum, supported anti-abortionism? But that was against the rest of Catholic Tradition; the Saints, and against the Bible.  Likewise, current Catechism?

# 161 Rebellious Archbishop Burke, now heads a major Vatican court.

# 162 The American Democratic Party, is again under attack, by the Republican right wing (and extreme liberal wing) of the Church, with the issue of Abortion.

 

# 163 EWTN founder, apostate nun Mother Angelica, even got a Church award, in 2009 AD.

# 164 Cardinal Mahony had chastised Mother Angelica; but he failed to address the problem, to chastise EWTN/RN, by name

# 165 The heresy of anti-abortionism is therefore stronger than ever, today, c. 2010.

THE DAMAGE DONE

# 166 The damage done by the spread of this heresy has been large.  Priests on EWTN/RN, are destructive to the Church, and the truth.

# 167 Anti-abortion heresy is destructive to the public;

# 168 EWTN/RN elects pro-war, anti-poor candidates

# 169 The whole world has been mislead by a bad “philosophy.”

# 170 EWTN/RN, form what might therefore, be called the “Apostate Church of the Embryo, or Fetus”; in effect, EWTN/RN and Priests for Life, with their heretical, dis “proportion”ate fixation, on the “one issue” of abortion, have left the church of Jesus, Joseph and Mary in effect.  And have founded a schismatic new cult church, centered around the Embryo.

# 171 EWTN/RN and Priests for Life thereby, have mislead the world, with a false idea of Christ; a False Christ;

# 172 Deceiving the whole world.  As foretold.

Pt. 2 CHAPTER 6:   MEASURES BROUGHT AGAINST EWTN/RN, and Priests for Life.  Anti-abortionism has been a disaster.  So how do we fix it?  Finally, nothing less than our present Formal Charge of Heresy Against EWTN/RN, Priests for Life, etc..  Gentler, pastoral measures have been attempted against EWTN/RN in the past; but they have failed.  Today it is time for very, very dramatic action against EWTN/RN, especially.

# 173 EWTN to be sure, is in part, a very hardened opponent; with the “seared conscience” of seasoned guest politicians and lawyers behind it (like recently, 2009-2011, Chuck Colson and Newt Gingrich); all previous efforts to control it failed.

# 174 To slow down all this, we might cite the Vatican’s warning about religious media:  1963, “Inter Mirificia.”  But that failed.

# 175 Monitoring media by church elements, might have helped, but has not helped enough to date

# 176 Engineering far more careful change in the Church might work?

# 177 Priests speaking privately to EWTN, has not worked

# 178 Repeating Mahony’s warnings to EWTN failed.

# 179 Tighter controls on name “Catholic,” and past efforts failed;

# 180 Disclaimers on all “Catholic” shows have failed, or not been applied;

# 181 Honest, real debate is needed in talk radio; there is no real debate currently

# 182 Cardinals indirectly censured EWTN, anti-abortionism; but that failed to fix it;

# 183 Priests on the EWTN Network, didn’t help; but were simply co-opted, and converted to the heresy;

# 184 Catholics, Church, should confess their sins – but that clearly wasn’t enough here;

# 185 We should all therefore very, very dramatically ask for change;

# 186 Call-in listeners could not fix the heresy;

# 187 The media was in effect, making up doctrines, or dominating their interpretation; it was replacing the priesthood, and needs to be itself guided by real, scholarly theology;

# 188 Merely warning priests about “Catholic” media like EWTN/RN manifestly did not help.

STRONG ACTION BY THE PUBLIC AGAINST EWTN/RN AND PRIESTS FOR LIFE, IS NEEDED

# 189 We need many people, everyone, to publicly denounce one-issue Catholicism;

# 190 Make it clear that the problem is especially, one –issue, Pro Lifeism; antiabortionism;

# 191 Denounce by name, EWTN, EWRN; Eternal Word Television Network;

# 192 Denounce all offenders also, by name;

# 193 Denounce offending clergy, by name;

# 194 Quote this book.

The Church

# 195 Not just the public, but also the Church itself, should command priests to back off anti-abortionism; as a prohibited form of “disproportionate” “one issue” Catholicism, etc.

# 196 The Church should continually note problems, pitfalls, in “the new evangelization.”

Pt. 2 CHAPTER 7   A FORMAL CHARGE OF HERESY, AND/OR REBELLION AGAINST THE CHURCH, IS HEREBY BROUGHT AGAINST ANTI-ABORTIONISTS, ESPECIALLY IN EWTN/RN

# 197 EWTN, EWRN, have defied the Pope and his “proportion”ality;

# 198 Defied Cardinal McCarrick;

# 199 Defied Cardinal Mahony;

# 200 Opposed the saints, like St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas;

# 201 Opposing therefore, canon law (1917 Code of Canon Law, 589 & 1366);

# 202 Defied the Bible;

# 203 They have disobeyed God;

# 204 Ferrara rightly notes that earlier attempts to control EWTN/RN have not been attempted, or have failed;

# 205 The IRS has failed to control EWTN/RN.

Mild Remedies

# 206 The Church itself therefore, must take action. It should now dramatically publicize problems with, heresies in, anti-abortionism (one-issue and otherwise).

# 207 The Church should direct Bishops not to support anti-abortionism

# 208 The Church should inform all Bishops that EWTN, its doctrine, is heretical.

# 209 The Church should command priests to cease supporting EWTN/RN & anti-abortionism;

# 210 Command priests to cease appearing on EWTN/RN & Relevant Radio;

# 211 Disclaimers should be instituted for every single “Catholic” show;

# 212 The Church should continually publicly chastise EWTN by name;

# 213 Chastise EWRN;

# 214 Chastise Fr. Frank Pavone; and

# 215 Rebuke and disband “Priests for Life”; also

# 216 Karl Keating;

# 217 Benkovic;

# 218 Liaugmines;

# 219 Relevant Radio;

# 220 Drew Mariani;

# 221 The Church should direct EWTN to cease using word “Catholic.”

Further Recommended Charges of  Heresy, Excommunications of Antiabortionists

# 222 The Church should:  deny communion to Sheila Liaugminas;

# 223 Deny Communion to Karl Keating;

# 224 Fr. Frank Pavone;

# 225 Fr. Ed Sylvia;

# 226 Johnnette Benkovic;

# 227 Drew Mariani;

# 228 Barb McGuigan;

# 229 Priests supporting the Pro Life Heresy;

# 230 The Church should begin suing EWTN for misuse of the label “Catholic”:

# 231 Assisting the IRS in legal prosecution of EWTN/RN.

# 232 The Church should bring a formal charge of apostasy or heresy against dissenting Bishops;

# 233 Formal charge of heresy against Karl Keating;

# 234 Against Fr. Frank Pavone; dissolving Priests for Life;

# 235 Fr. Sylvia;

# 236 Johnnette Benkovic;

# 237 Barb McGuigan;

# 238 Drew Mariani;

# 239 Sheila Liaugminas.

# 240 Legally, all are a) public figures, actively “seeking the limelight,” in b) the field of freedom of religion.  All therefore all can be criticized, honestly and freely, according to the law of the land.

PETITION TO THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

# 241 This is our petition & open letter to the Roman Catholic Church:  we hereby petition the Church to formally try for heresy, and excommunicate, all the above-named anti-abortionists.

# 242  This we ask in the name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

# 243 Finally, we present an option to any reader, to add his or her own signature to this petition to the Church.  And to send a copy of this very text, to appropriate Catholic authorities.

END OF OUR FIRST 243 CHRISTIAN AND RATIONAL OBJECTIONS, TO PRO-LIFE ANTI-ABORTIONISTS

Pt. 2 Ch. 8/APPENDIX:   ADDITIONAL ARGUMENTS ADDED since original publication, 2010

NOTE:  Here at the end, the author many periodically add many later major points, new arguments, new responses to especially, disproportionate “one issue” anti-abortionism, as they occur.

Dec. 25, 2011 Update: Most recently, the great sin of EWTN seems to be allowing just one political party candidate for president, to appear on its network:  conservative Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich.  In embracing a wider range of conservative issues, it might seem that EWTN is no longer a “one-issue” organization.  But that is not true:  it is still far too narrowly focuses just on the still-too-narrow, “one issue” of Conservatism.  If other political parties decline to speak on EWTN, no doubt EWTN in any case, should not get involved in politics at all.  Or else be shut down by the IRS for political partisanship.

Indeed, one of the great objections to conservative Catholicism of the last several hundred years, was the degree to which it, clericalism, attempted to micro-manage everything things, like politics and business; matters of which it knew little.  While indeed, the Bible itself, being just one book, was never so entirely specific about every issue in life:   whether we should drink Coke or Pepsi; whether we should be Republican or Democrat.  So that the attempt to make our religion “relevant,” to make it guide every decision we make every day, involves straining, stretching the original material, illegitimately; engaging in far too many speculative ideas, and then pronouncing them absolutely holy.  This is why we had the French Revolution, in fact.

In any case?  Beyond that, our general, our main arguments against the Pro Life anti-abortionist movement, has first of all a) involved noting that the Bible itself was not clear on the status of the embryo; though if anything, it said i is not a human person. And second, b) we are noting the extremism and narrowness, of the one-issue anti-abortionist Pro Life movement.  The Church itself to date, is not so strong on the first issue; but much stronger on the second.  Much of the Church – including especially say Cardinal Bernardin – developed a key corrective concept.  That called Catholicism to look at not just “one issue,” but a “seamless web” of many issues.  While the Pope added, keeping “proportion”ality in mind.  But these cardinals and popes,  were simply rejected and often publicly reviled, on EWTN/RN, or by other Conservative Catholics.  Just as Conservatives had simply rejected the major Catholic theologians and saints, Augustine and Aquinas, they also rejected any and all aspects of the Church that they perceived to be “liberal.”  But tragically, in rejecting so many parts of the Church, in rejecting so many Catholic authorities, from Aquinas to Bernardin, conservative “Catholics” … were actually rebelling against major elements of the Church.  So that?  “Conservative” Catholicism amounted to therefore, a rebellion against much of the Church.  Conservative anti-abortionism amounting finally, to apostasy, schism, and heresy.  In effect, conservative Catholicism, anti-abortionism, was setting up a new cult, and even a new church; centered not around God, but around the Holy Embryo.  We might call this new, schismatic, conservative church, the “Apostate Church of Holy Fetus.”

When the Church began to flirt with “lay” culture, problems surfaced.  The main problem was, that it was all too formed, influenced, by the worst aspect of lay culture:  political partisanship especially.  When EWTN began to call itself – a dozens times a day – “conservative,” it effectively aligned itself with an aspect of the Republican Party, and with an ideology.  The problem with this was that often such matters were not really addressed or specified in religious tradition; and EWTN was winging it; pronouncing its latest pop ideological whims, as the Word of God.

While for that matter, parts of religious Tradition even oppose those whim.  The fact is for example that both Conservative and Liberal elements, and politically neutral ideas, are found, in Christianity.  Indeed, the Bible itself told us a dozen times, to “be liberal” in helping the poor.  And so therefore?  When conservative Catholics rebelled against “liberal”ism, they also rebelled against … much of the Church itself.

“Conservative” Catholicism has ideological blinders on; and has a far too-limited, truncated view of Catholicism.  And because of that, in its defense of the real, “conservative church” – it  has rejected and rebelled against one major aspect of Christianity and Catholicism, after another, that did not fit its own prejudice.  Ironically, “Conservative” Catholicism in fact, was always a radical new heresy.  It has a) rejected one saint after another; it b) rejected major saintly theologians of the Church, like St. Thomas Aquinas.  Then it c) rebelled against many bishops.  And against d) many Cardinals, like Mahony, e) Bernardin, f) McCarrick. And finally?  It g) rebelled against, or “twist”ed, the Pope himself.  While it h) ignored and disobeyed, much of the Bible itself too.   The fact is that “conservative Catholics” are in rebellion against one major aspect of the Church, after another.  Therefore?  They cannot be called conservative.  Or even truly “Catholic”s.   Or even Christians.  Their real god, all along, was conservative radio talk-show hosts, like Rush Limbaugh; not God himself.  “Conservative” Catholics are not really following, obeying, the whole church.  They are following a “doctrine of men” – conservatism – and are not following God at  all.

Indeed, the Conservative Catholics that have dominated EWTN/RN 1974-2010,  are not really Catholic or Christian either.  Instead, they are partisan political ideologues:  “conservatives.” They are the right wing of the Republican Party, for the most part; though some arch-liberals support them for liberal ideological reasons too:  extending human rights to embryos and spermatozoans.  But today, it is clear that they are best described as simply, heretics.  Or in traditional -Church language, they are “incredulous”; choosing to dis-believe all-too-many aspects, of the most central and core Christian, theological doctrines, of saints and cardinals.  More specifically?  Conservatives here, have been  too crudely materialistic; defining as a human person just on the basis of physical human DNA; while ignoring and rebelling against the rational mind, spirit, and soul.

Though Conservative Catholics were often well-intended,  hoping to save lives, “the road to Hell,” as one popular saying goes, “is paved with good intentions.”  Perhaps without quite know it, in declaring physical bodies with human physical DNA in them to be sacred, they began committing the classic sin of rude, uneducated people:  ignoring and even rebelling against … the more important mental/intellectual/spiritual aspect of human existence.  In focusing all too simply on the “Theology of the Body,” they failed to note that it is not the body or flesh, but the intelligence; the mind; the rational soul, that makes us human.  And in consequence, though antiabortionists might have intended to do good things, in the end they were crude, dishonest and evil; indeed, by declaring something without a mind to be a fully human person, Conservative Catholics ended up denigrating and attacking, ironically, the soul itself.

The Conservative attack on/ignorance of, the real core of humanity and of divinity too – its attack on the mind, the spirit or soul – has moreover, had devastating effects, in world affairs.  And indeed?  Our first 243 objections to Conservatism and to Pro Life anti-abortionism, are just the beginning perhaps, of a still-longer list of charges.  The 243 complaints briefly reviewed here, or in our first (April) 2010 internet edition, will indeed need to be added to periodically; by still more new objections.  To a movement that is already immensely damaging.  To a movement that is already, a shatteringly-obvious heresy; a rebellion against major elements of the Church; and an attack on the very core of humanity and of God himself:  an attack on the mind, the rational spirit; an attack on the soul itself.    While indeed, conservatism threw millions of votes, to a Republican Party that was “good” on the “one issue” of abortion, but bad on issues like militant, nationalist patriotism (Cf. McCarrick’s remarks on this).

Given this record, it is at first hard to imagine what worse things, Conservative Catholicism might do next.  But somehow it managed to find something worse:  recently, the NY Times noted that twice-divorced, twice un-churched, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich now – c. 2011 – is now a regular on EWTN.  Perhaps it is all-too-easy to imagine how low, how partisan, how narrow, how political and a-religious, Conservative Catholics and EWTN will go, after all. Finally, there is clearly no alternative, except for the IRS and the Church itself, to take the very most public and drastic action, against EWTN/RN.

What is the future of Conservatism in general?  In embracing Newt Gingrich, and the fuller spectrum of  his conservatism, it might be claimed by some that EWTN is moving beyond the “one issue” of abortion.  And yet, it is still too narrow; EWTN still focuses on the “one issue,” now, of “Conservatism.”  While denying and disobeying the half of the Church that it perceives as “liberal.”

The fact is, that a conservative “Catholicism” is untenable.  The Bible itself, never mentioned the word “conservative”; not even once.  While if anything, the Bible rather opposed the religious conservatives of the day:  the Pharisees, or the Sadducees; while it brought us to a “new” testament after all.  While for that matter?  The Bible itself told us a dozen times, to “be liberal” in helping the poor (1 Tim. 6.18; Ro. 11.25; Est. 2.18; Rom. 12.8; 2 Corin 8.2; Deut. 18.14; Acts 10.2).

Conservatism, by attacking liberalism, is ignoring the hundreds of elements of Christianity that are rather liberal.  And its narrow, one-or-two issue bias ignores, neglects, and weakens, the millions of elements in religion that are neither liberal, nor conservative. It especially has ignored or even attacked, all things in religion, that reflect a higher reality, beyond the political doctrines of men.  The parts that reflect the higher reality of the mind, the spirit, and the soul.  END ADDENDUM]

Ch. 9:  BIBLIOGRAPHY

Here calling attention to our Bibliography at the end, completes our initial table of contents, summary of our book.  The fuller text of our 700 pages on, 200 objections to, the Pro Life Heresy, follows:

MAIN TEXT:

The Conservative

And

Pro-Life

Heresies:

100 Sins and Errors

In

Anti-Abortion Arguments

And Theology

Chapter 1

Introduction:

An Open Letter of Petition, of Complaint, to the Vatican,

On the Growing Heresy of

Dis-“Proportionate,” “One Issue,”

Pro-Life, Anti-Abortion Theology

Originally Dated Dec. 25, 2009; Updated Periodically:

Addressed to

Pope Benedict XVI, and To the Public

Pro Life, Anti-Abortion Sentiment, is a Heresy:

A Forbidden,

Dis-“Proportionate,” “One Issue” Theology

The main ideas of the “Catholic” Pro-Life, anti-abortion movement, vary from one speaker to the next.  But roughly, the current idea of “Catholic” Pro-Life anti-abortionism, includes at least several – and often all – of the following, progressively more and more extreme positions:

1) Abortion is bad;

2) The Bible and God say it is bad;

3) Specific churches, like the Catholic Church, say it is bad. And how bad is it?

4) The embryo is said to be a full human being or person; a “child”;

5) It is human, even if it does not have a “soul,” “ensoulment,” or a mind;

6) Human from “conception”;

7) So that?  Killing an embryo, kills a human being;

8) This is an “intrinsic” evil;

9) It is killing an innocent, deliberately;

10) Abortion is therefore, murder;

11) Abortion is said to be a sin worse than other murders, because of great number of abortions.

12) Abortion is a sin, even to save the life of the mother;

13) Even in cases of rape;

14) incest;

15) So in all of ethics, practically speaking, only “one issue” is really important:  Abortion.

16)Therefore, we are told, we must vote against pro-abortion candidates

17) We must vote only for anti-abortion candidates in elections;

18) Or vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in elections;

19) Anti-abortionists are telling us implicitly, to vote for the most anti-abortion party:  vote Republican.

20) Many anti-abortionists sometimes say this explicitly;  we are commanded to vote Republican.

21) Most of this is said to be ordered by the Catholic Church; and in fact most elements are espoused by Frank Pavone and “Priests for Life.”

22) As “the Truth”;

23) As the word of the Bible;

24) As the voice of God;

25) Against which there is no appeal; it is “non-negotiable.”  As Karl Keating said.

26) Since abortion is murder?  We are justified in anti-abortion terrorism; killing abortion doctors.

Following the seemingly-inexorable logic of EWTN/RN’s antiabortionism, an Pro Life anti-abortionist murdered abortion provider, Dr. Tiller, in his church, May 31, 2009.

More?

27) Since the embryo is so important, it should be – and actually became – the major topic, for hours every day, for Catholic radio and TV.  As it actually became, for Mother Angelica, on EWTN/EWRN; Eternal Word Television Network, and its radio adjunct:  the embryo was mentioned dozens, a hundred times a day: far more than say, Jesus, or Mary.

28) So that in effect, the Catholic church should be centered nominally around God, but in actuality centered around the embryo, the “child” in the womb.  (As It began to form: and thus a “child” began to lead Catholics, as their “king,” as forewarned in Isaiah?. Many formed their church, their religion, around the embryo; in effect, forming a new Catholic Church.)

29) No other “issues,” are as important; not even those involving human lives.  Like Health services, environmental disasters, wars (“just wars,” unjust wars, or just but unnecessary wars).

30) In effect, a new cult should form.  And has formed.  One that asserts that in effect, the entire Catholic Church has always been or should now absolutely become, centered not on Jesus or Mary, say, but on the supreme Embryo; the “child” in the womb.

31) Following EWTN, some priests and bishops like Fr. Frank Pavone, Bishops Burke and Chaput, began to parrot this new anti-abortionism.  Thus indeed, antiabortionism is now asserted to be the position of the Church itself.  And indeed it appears to increasingly, be that.   As the Church accepts this grassroots backwash into itself.

32) Pro Lifers assert we can safely ignore countless objections to the high status of the embryo, from traditional Catholic Theology and the Magisterium, from St. Augustine and St. Aquinas; that the embryo is not a human person with a “soul.”

33) We can in effect, safely ignore the embryo’s apparent lack of a mind, spirit, or “soul,” the issue of “ensoulment,” and the mind; and declare something human, even without one.

34) Thus?  The practical result of Catholic Pro Life anti-abortionism, is the re-founding of the Church, by EWTN/RN, as a cult centered not around God or Jesus or Mary, but the supreme Embryo.  Accepting a purely bodily definition of humankind; while dispensing with and attacking, the soul or intelligence.  And?  Catholic attack squads, Catholic terrorists, are now justified in effect.

35) Though organizations like Priests for Life technically disavow these last, extreme conclusions, their rhetoric inevitably leads to these extreme results; including “Catholic” terrorism.

 

More on the Deadly Conclusions of Pro Life Anti-Abortionism

 

 

 

Once you call the embryo a full human being or human person, then logically, many conclude, you must call abortion “murder” (even aside from the matter of “intent”).  And therefore?  Calling an embryo a full human person, quickly inspired anti-abortion terrorism.

And so indeed, tthe “Pro Life” anti-abortion has therefore, ended up coming to at least three radical and infinitely destructive conclusions.   First, it has told us that 1) The Catholic Church should be absolutely centered just around the one issue, of Abortion, and the Embryo; that 2) the Church and God command us all to vote for the most anti-abortion party; that God tells us to vote Republican.  And 3) finally?  In even more extreme cases, anti-abortionism has ended up with many individuals deciding that abortion is “murder.”  Even the murder of millions of babies/embryos.  So that?  Abortion being regarded as mass murder, it was finally concluded, anti-abortionists are justified in simply killing doctors that perform abortions.

By its seemingly inexorable logic, anti-abortionism is even now ending up in increasingly radical and extreme conclusions and deadly actions.  It begins by at least implicitly telling us this:  that 1) God commands us all to vote Republican.  But then finally?   Today it increasingly says that in effect, 2) the Catholic Church should be centered not around talking about Mary or Jesus; but in talking about, protecting, the embryo.  3) Without regard for the “soul.”  After all this, soon enough, some extreme cases, anti-abortionists ended up in what would only be the logical outcome of this disastrous series of ideas:  to the conclusion that, since embryos were fully human persons, then killing them was murder.  And therefore?  The assertion was that 4) Catholic doctrine allows us to oppose, even kill murders, to present further murders.  So that?  Following this chain of logic, anti-abortionists had long been trying to bomb abortion clinics.  And recently, a Pro Life anti-abortion terrorist simply shot dead, abortion doctors Dr. Tiller, on May 31, 2009.  While more anti-abortionist Catholic extremism, might well be expected.

Most of the ideas of anti-abortionists, are clearly rejected by many Catholics.  But increasingly, many of them are more and more influential, in the mainstream church.  Many “Conservative” Catholics accepted them – and at least voted on the basis of them.  While increasingly, since about 2010, many of these extreme ideas are increasingly parroted, by even Bishops and Archbishops like Burke and Chaput; even though such dis “proportionate,” “one issue” ideas, were earlier opposed by several Cardinals and the Pope himself.  So that?  Many of the more extreme ideas of Pro-Life anti-abortionism, are taking over the Church and its bishops; who believe EWTN/Priests for Life sophistical arguments, that this extreme position has always been the position of the Bible, or God, and/or the Church.  No bishops of course, have yet explicitly endorsed assassination or murder of abortion doctors; though Charles Chaput was long archbishop of Denver Colorado; where many extremist religious – and especially, pro-family, anti-abortionist – sects are based. Like “Focus on the Family”; various “Prayer Warrior” groups.  And where in fact, several bombers of abortion clinics (including “Run Run Rudolph?), apparently based themselves and were active.  Chaput was often spoken of approvingly, by the chief media organ for rather extreme anti-abortionism; by EWTN, EWTN; Eternal Word Television Network, based out of Irondale, Alabama.  EWTN and Priests for Life, of course, usually stopped short of firmly advocating murdering abortion providers.  But EWRN’s logic, would have lead many to the conclusion that this would be the inevitable conclusion.  Indeed, it was after a long series of increasingly radical conclusions like those above, on EWTN/RN and Relevant Radio, and from the Bishops … that immediately afterwards, Dr. Tiller was murdered by an anti-abortion terrorist.  EWTN and Priests for Life soon denounced the murder; Priests for Life in fact is said to have offered $50,000 to anyone with information leading to the arrest of an anti-abortion terrorist.  And yet however, this belated effort at moderation, was far too little, far too late:  the damage had already been done.  By a decades-long effort from anti-abortion activists, whose rhetoric was inevitably leading to this fatal conclusion.  As we will have begun to show, above.  Once you have told the people that the Church and God himself, feel that abortion is “murder”; then many conventional ethical systems – including in fact, some doctrines of the Church – allow very drastic actions indeed, to stop further “murders.”

Anti-abortion terrorism was all but inevitable, given the level of the rhetoric.  But in any case?  Our major concern here will be for current main effect of anti-abortionism:  a deforming anti-abortion cultism; and a horrible mangled, narrow idea of Catholicism and of God .  Which currently is infecting/destroying the Church.  A new kind of heretical cult, that deforms Christianity, and literally attacks the soul, the mind itself.  As it attempts to define the human being or human person, on a purely physical basis:  on the basis of physical DNA.  As it denies the importance of “ensoulment”; or in effect, as it denies and attacks the mind, the spirit, the soul itself.

Furthermore, we will show, it was never really from the Church itself; it was all rather more, from various 1) “modern” and 2) “popular” grassroots movements and 3) sentiments.  A native sentiment against the grisly side of abortion, had often existed in the grassroots level of Christianity and everyday culture.  These various folk traditions, were suddenly taken up in 4) Vatican II.  Which was a little over-hasty in all but declaring many traditional fold ideas, but also new ideas on sexuality and reproduction, as all but instantly holy.  As it turns out, many rather rash things were said too quickly, at Vatican II; things in conflict with core – and still valid – Christian traditions.  In the rush to modernize, Vatican II and related documents – like Humanae Vita in 1968 – over-exaggerated any number of minor and marginal “Catholic” traditions; and neglected a number of still-valid and important reflections on the nature of the human person, and the embryo; by classic theologians like St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others. No doubt, even Augustine and Aquinas at times made mistakes; but as it turns out, their positions on the embryo – as being less than human; not having a soul – were much better than anyone guessed; and are finally supported by Science; by the Science of Anthropology supported later by the Church, especially.

Here, regarding the position of the Church?  We will try to show that in fact, the deeper, fuller Tradition and Magisterium of the Church, generally agrees that abortion is bad; but the Church more often than not, short of calling the embryo a fully “form”ed human person.  And therefore, more often than not, it avoided calling abortion, “murder.”  Though a few extreme anti-abortion voices can be found in Catholic tradition, finally the major position?  Was this:  that the embryo’s body, was not yet developed or “form”ed enough, to sustain a human mind, human intelligence, a human “spirit” or “soul.”  Or as Science was to later clarify, clearly, the embryo’s brain was not developed enough, to have the intelligence, that makes us human, and more than the animals.  Therefore?  Though there are many various opinions on this in the 2,000 years of Church history, finally the best and prevailing opinion within the Church?   Will be shown to be here … allowing abortion, as a relatively minor if “grave” sin.  Before the hasty statements of Vatican II and the current non-infallible catechism especially, the better fuller tradition of the Church firmly said that the embryo was not yet formed enough to be a full human being, or human person.  And therefore, the clear implication was that abortion was not as serious a sin as “murder”; since it did not kill a human person.  While this position has since been affirmed and clarified by many cardinals and popes; as it will be finally clarified, here and now.

Anti-abortionism comes from many sources.  But the Church itself, we will show here, and its fuller Tradition, more fully examined, stops short of calling abortion an “issue” as serious as say, murder.  Or even as serious as other issues, like 1) Health Care and plagues; and 2) avoiding even “just” but unnecessary wars; or avoiding 3) environmental disasters, like floods and famines.  Issues that the Bible itself warned about constantly; and that have already, throughout history, killed hundreds of millions, even killed billions of indisputably human beings.  Issues that will kill many billions more; unless or until we get past the too-narrow, monomaniacal fixation just on what the Cardinals and the Pope, rightly criticized as the dis “proportionate” fixation of many Catholics, on any “one issue,” like Abortion.

Ultimately therefore, anti-abortionism has come from a poorly-informed, cultish segment of the Church.  One that has been ignorant of – or even just antagonistic to – the main and best traditions of the Church.

And at the heart of all that?  The whole anti-abortionist push, has come from 5) a number of very questionable “new” para-religious advocacy organizations, and media organizations, media networks.  Like EWTN/EWRN:  Eternal Word Television Network, and especially the right-wing/”conservative” Eternal Word Radio Network.  Beginning around 1973, there was an increasingly massive grassroots – and then media – drive to have most of the main points of anti-abortionism, presented as/accepted by the Church itself.  The milder version of this Catholic Pro Life anti-abortionism – the version that assured us in effect that God was ordering Catholics to vote Republican in almost every election – was outlined by a Catholic lawyer, Karl Keating especially;  in his various Voter’s Guides for concerned Catholics. His Voter’s Guide was never formally accepted by the Church itself; and was fortunately, lampooned in the popular press.  Yet it was heavily supported, and widely broadcast, as the word of God and the Church, by one major self-appointed “Catholic” media network.  A network by the name of EWTN/RN:  “Eternal Word Television Network,” and its radio branch, “Eternal Word Radio Network.”

Who and what are EWTN/RN?  These the two branches of a very large media network, that had no really official relation to the Church; it was not the official voice of the Church.  It was not the Pope.  But it claimed to represent the Catholic Church; and tried to substantiate that claim, by endless arguments.  To be sure, we will be showing here that all its arguments were substantially false.  But they were immensely influential.  EWTN/RN claimed at times to reach hundreds of millions of households, worldwide.  And that at least was a claim that was not altogether implausible, given the fact that EWTN/RN could be found in many (even most?) standard cable TV packages, in American households, in the 1990’s for example.   And so?  Thanks to the massive apparatus of EWTN/RN – and the assistance of Fr. Frank Pavone, and Priests for Life, etc. – an extreme, heretical, one-issue anti-abortion theology, was effectively spread worldwide, from around 1974 on. And since Pavone and EWTN presented themselves as the voice of the Church?  And of God himself?  Their theology was widely accepted, by countless Catholics and churches.  And eventually, by many priests and Bishops and Cardinals.

Increasingly in fact, EWTN’s anti-abortion views are parroted by even Bishops.  As EWTN loves to say in more fawning language.  And yet however?  In spite of very robust institutional support, we will be showing here that the anti-abortion theology, as described in our list above, and/or as spread by “Catholic” networks like EWTN/RN – or for that matter, the current Catechism itself – were never fully authoritative.  They were never as authoritative as the Pope himself, speaking Ex Cathedra.  While indeed, even our latest popes, even at their best, were never quite up to the better philosophical standards set by say, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas.  Or by more current, scholarly researchers.  So that in fact?  Many un-authoritative and authoritative religious figures today, have issued many rash, ill-considered, and essentially false pronouncements, regarding the alleged fully human status of the embryo; and the importance of the abortion issue.

We will be showing here, by a hundred arguments, that the major arguments of EWTN/RN and “Catholic” anti-abortionism, are not true, even to the Tradition of the Church; much less to the traditions of Philosophy and Science.  To be sure though, because it presented itself as the definitive word of the Church – even as the Word of God – anti-abortionism has until quite recently, controlled many lay Catholics  – and has determined countless elections.  For nearly 30 years, Catholics were assured by EWTN that the Church was very, very strongly anti-abortion. And the constant implication was that therefore, Catholics were ordered by God and the Church, to vote anti-abortion – which meant, Vote Republican – in every election. And furthermore, that message was enormously successful.   And yet however?  Here we show that the Pro Life anti-abortionism, that has been presented to us as sacred by say Karl Keating, EWRN, and Frank Pavone, is not actually fully supported by the Bible.  Or by the Church.  Or by God.   In fact finally?  The Pro Life position of EWTN and Frank Pavone, is simply – a new, “conservative” heresy.

But to be sure?  it is a heresy … that is currently taking over the mainstream Church itself.  So that?  Soon enough, it may be presented by the Church as being a far better-founded and far more authoritative doctrine, than it actually is.

(Even the Vatican sexual reproduction specialist, who writes or edits any Vatican remarks on abortion and so forth – whoever he or she is – often tends to statements that lead to such rather extreme conclusions in fact.  As it seems, from looking at the latest Catechism and for forth.  No doubt in fact, the popes themselves, as will be seen, began to take a wrong turn, when they began to presume to speak on, invent new positions, on reproductive and related issues.  Especially with Paul VI, and the papal writings Gaudium et spes in 1965, and Humanae Vitae in 1968; and the CDF – Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith’s – Donum vitae III; especially as summarized in the extreme 1997-2000 CCC Catechism.  Quite likely, chaste monks, with no real experience in this area, should never have presumed to pronounce so much, on sexual and reproductive issues. Nor should they have been so over-influenced by the Religious Right, and the traditions of men; by Republican “values”).

To be sure, the vast majority of Pro Lifers, anti-abortionists, fortunately stop short of advocating anti-abortion terrorism; recognizing that of course, killing abortion-providers is a sin, in itself.  Yet still, many apparently consider the vote-Republican point of the Pro Life movement, to be a realistic and acceptable conclusion the anti-abortion movement.  And so we need to show here finally, that even that common goal of the anti-abortion movement – the call for all Catholics to vote Republican, vote anti-abortion in elections – turns out to be unacceptable, and highly destructive.  In part, the main problem with anti-abortionism, as the current Pope more correctly began to say, is that 1) is it is dis-“proportionate,” and fantastically narrow:  it ignores too many “other issues,” as the cardinals confirmed, outside of abortion, and neglects too many other extremely serious and physically deadly sins.  While in addition, we will be showing here, 2) the Pro Life or anti-abortionist position, is wrong … since it gives up on the Bible.  A Bible which – in Psalm 139 and elsewhere – began to suggest that the embryo, after all, is not yet a full human being or human person.   While finally?  Pro Life anti-abortionism is wrong, because 3) it begins to accept politics – or as the Bible warned, the traditions or doctrines of men, doctrines like “conservatism” and the Republican Party platform – as the things we should follow, and present, as our god.

Indeed, where and how, did the rather extreme anti-abortion movement, or anti-abortionism, begin in the United States?  A rather extreme Pro Life position, has always been around to some degree.  But in the US, it began to emerge rather fully formed at last, in the 1980’s; largely thanks to the efforts of the conservative Catholic media network, EWTN/RN – Eternal Word Television Network, and especially its radio extension, EWRN:  Eternal Word Radio Network.  Especially, the problem was a lawyer who often appeared on these networks, as an alleged Catholic apologist and spokesman:  Karl Keating, Attny..  Karl Keating appeared hundreds of times on EWRN, in various “Catholic” answers, catholic apologetics shows.  Keating’s extreme anti-abortionism in its first appearances, to be sure, was sometimes rightly lampooned in the popular press. Yet with an entire media network behind it – with Eternal Word Television Network constantly repeating its message, a hundred times a day, to a hundred million households (potentially), this anti-abortion message eventually influenced all of American Catholicism, especially.  Something quite like the series of positions outlined above, remained the core, distinctive message of  “Catholic” media like EWTN/RN.  And, when this position was presented as the true doctrine of the Catholic Church … it was accepted by millions of Catholics, as the word of God.  So that?  As this extreme “one issue” anti-abortionism was broadcast to millions all over the world, as the word of the Church, the word of God … tens of millions of listeners, came to accept most of the above anti-abortion propositions, as the word, the command, of the Church.  So that millions of individuals – and more and more Catholic churches and bishops – believed and followed most of the above, extreme positions.  Believing that they were the word of the Church, and of God himself.  Believing that God was commanding us to vote “conservative” – a code word for Republican – in every election.

And this anti-abortion movement, was extremely effective.  Indeed, this extreme, heretical theology, the anti-abortion vote, has been small.  But it has been large enough to control countless churches – and to thereby control the vast majority of all American elections - for at least decades.  For more than 30 years, countless elections in America were won or lost, by a margin of 1-10%; the number of votes that anti-abortionism controlled.  Indeed, the small but powerful anti-abortion vote, essentially controlled most elections, and leveraged America into Republican hands, for nearly three decades, to date; from about 1979-80, and the election of conservative Republican Ronald Reagan, thru George Bush I, 1988-1992, to the election of Bush II, 2000-2008.  While countless smaller elections were dominated by conservatives.  So that?  The anti-abortion vote, effectively turned America over to a militaristic/patriotic/nationalistic party, for at least 30 years.  And yet however?  As it turns out here, this “conservative” new theology, was anything but conservative in many ways; it was far newer, and more radical – and more heretical – than anyone knew.

The fact is that , was we will be showing here, almost none of the major anti-abortion tenets noted above, are really true to 1) the Bible; to 2) the Catholic or 3) to other churches; or 4) to logic and reason.   In fact, in our own present, book-length draft/blog entry here, we will be showing that the Pro Life anti-abortionism that has been presented to us as sacred by EWTN and Frank Pavone, is not supported by the Bible, by the Church, or by God.  Or by Reason either.  In fact?  One might simply say that the “Pro Life,” anti-abortion position of EWTN and Frank Pavone for example, is simply, a new heresy; a new heresy, from our own time.

Countless arguments were advanced by its defenders, that anti-abortionism is entirely consistent with/endorsed by, various religious and social traditions:  especially, by the Roman Catholic Church.  And yet however, here and now, we will be examining anti-abortionism’s top one or two hundred main contentions.  And we will be finding almost every one of them, to be false.

So that finally?  Nearly every single major tenet of Pro Life anti-abortionism, should be firmly rejected by the Roman Catholic Church, and by everyone else:  as being in effect, a literally deadly heresy.

As it turns out, almost every one of these and a hundred other major contentions of anti-abortion organizations, can be found to be false; according not just to 1) Reason, and 2) Science, and 3) Ethics; but also even according to the core teachings of 4) the Bible, and of 5) even the Roman Catholic Church.

The Main Arguments Allowing Abortion

Opposing Pro-Life or anti-abortionism to be sure, is not easy; in large part because the vast number of huge, even full-time institutions, that today oppose abortion.  Today, for example, there are dozens of major information networks, that oppose abortion almost full time.  Particularly, EWTN – Eternal Word Television Network – along with its radio adjunct, Eternal Word Radio Network – along with and other major organizations, employ dozens of “apologists” and other professional speakers, to spread the word of antiabortionism.  Dozens, hundreds of speakers, backed by large and professional organizations like EWTN, and Focus on the Family, and especially Fr. Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life,” have spent countless hours generating literally hundreds of anti-abortion arguments.   In fact, anti-abortionists currently use more than one hundred different arguments, to oppose abortion.  And many of them oppose abortion on the basis of religion; Christianity.   But here and now, we will at last offer a hundred, often Christian, Bible-based counter-arguments to every one of the most common anti-abortion arguments, here. So that we will here prove that the Pro Life movement, anti-abortionism, does not have a firm religious, biblical basis at all.  In fact, the Pro Life position is simply, a heresy.

The fact is, that there are many good arguments that would allow abortion; including arguments from the Bible itself, and even from Catholic tradition.  Roughly speaking, the main argument that allows abortion, is that, nearly all philosophers and theologians agree, the thing that makes us human persons, that makes us more than unthinking animals, is our greater intelligence, our rational spirit, or “soul.”  While Science, anthropology, confirms that it was our larger brain, that allowed us to have that, that forms our rational soul; it was thanks to the appearance of a larger brain, that human beings, human persons, developed a far greater intelligence than the animals.  It was our larger brains, that made it possible for us to develop a human and divine intelligence; that allows us to think, and speak.  But, science confirms – confirming many parts of the Bible itself - an embryo is simply not “formed” enough, it does not have a large enough brain, to develop that intelligence.   Dozens of philosophers and theologians, including Augustine and especially Thomas Aquinas, and then Descartes and others, long ago  determined that the thing that makes us divine and human, that makes us more than the animals, is our greater intelligence, our logic; the chief characteristic of the human soul or spirit, is its greater intelligence. While eventually, Biological science and Psychology and Anthropology, all added that our greater intelligence, comes mostly from our large, more developed brain.  While it is clear that the tiny embryo, as the Bible said and as both Augustine and Aquinas confirmed, is not big enough, is not “form”ed enough, to be really thinking, human persons.  Or as science today clarifies:  the embryo does not have a big enough, complex enough brain, to think intelligently; to be rational enough, to be considered a human being, or human person.

So the main argument that would allow abortion, is that the embryo is just not a human being or human person yet; its body –  as the Bible itself often said (Psalm 139.13-16 RSV), is just not “formed” enough.  Or as Science would now confirm and clarify, more specifically, its brain – is just not large enough, to sustain the intelligence that is necessary to be considered a human person.

That is the main argument that allows abortion:  the thing that makes us human and divine, that makes us more than the animals, is our greater mind, spirit, intelligence, or rational soul; and the embryo is just not large enough – or as the Bible itself said, not “form”ed enough – to develop that intelligence.  More specifically, by the 1950’s, it was very clear that the organ most associated with our humanity, our intelligence, was specifically, the brain; and that however, the brain of the embryo was just not large enough to develop that intelligence,  Indeed, it was an increasing awareness of this, that was really the unstated premise behind the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to finally make abortion legal.  Though this decision did not come up with an explicit statement to that effect, this was the thinking that predominated in especially, Anthropology, by that time in history.  While elements – if not all – of major Church thinkers, like Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas, the founder of Thomism, supported this conclusion.  As did, very firmly, Science.

So the main argument that allows abortion, is just that the embryo is just not big enough – or as the Bible said, not “form”ed enough – or as Science added definitively, its brain was not large or complex or full enough – to develop anything like the intelligence needed, to be more than an animal.  But while that single argument alone, seems conclusive for most of us – that argument did not occur to, or did not convince, many elements of the conservative and liberal religious communities.  So that?  A great need has existed, to at last present a more complete argument, for abortion.  Particularly, there has been a need to produce an argument, on religious – and specifically, Christian, and more specifically, Catholic – grounds.  But in fact, this it is not hard to produce such arguments.  Or to produce counter-arguments to the dozens of anti-abortion arguments of say, a “Catholic” media networks like EWTN; or Catholic anti-abortionist organizations, like Fr. Frank Pavone’s Priests For Life.  In fact?  In our present book-length treatment, we will be looking at the top 100 or so religious arguments against abortion.  And we will find counters, answers, objections, to each and every one of them.  And in fact, we will here offer an overview, of over 200 Christian and often specifically Catholic arguments, in effect, allowing abortion.

What are those arguments?  The Christian, biblical, Catholic, and rational arguments that allow abortion, are too numerous and varied, to summarize in a sentence or two.  But briefly, probably the strongest argument is that all the evidence tells us, that the embryo is not really a human being or human person.  Because the thing that makes us human is our intelligence; and the embryo is just not large enough – or as science would confirm, its brain is not big or formed enough – to develop a human intelligence greater than an animal.   But to be sure, this single argument, will probably not be enough to convince millions of religious zealots.  So that?  We will see to 1) show that the intelligence idea, is confirmed by science … 2) and by the best religious authorities as well.  And then too?  3) We will need in fact, to add a few hundred other religious, Christian, Catholic arguments, as well.

Today, the main opposition to abortion, is probably religious; and specifically, Catholic.  More than most other churches, it was (elements of) the Roman Catholic Church that chose to speak out strongly, about various reproductive issues, including abortion.  And so, in addressing Pro Life anti-abortionists, it is important to take into account, a religious and specifically Catholic perspective.

To be sure, many Catholics mistakenly believe, that they are not bound to say, the Bible.  But in fact, even the current Catechism acknowledges the Bible, as the word of God; and says that those persons who have not really read their Bibles, do not really know Jesus Christ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition c. 1994-2000,  pub. Libreria Editrice Vaticana;  ISBN 1-57455-110-8; sec. 103-33).  While of course, the Bible is acknowledged as the core, central religious text by most Christians, Protestants.

So why don’t we start, with what the Bible itself said – or didn’t say – about embryos, and abortions?  Amazingly – considering the centrality of the abortion issue in Catholicism today – the Bible itself, the very core of Christianity,  never firmly spoke against abortion.  Indeed, it never even mentioned it by name.  Or if anything, the Bible approved abortion, in the Book of Numbers (Num. 5, as we will see).  While Indeed, as we will see, there is every indication that the Bible regarded many, many other “issues,” as the Bishops have said, than abortion, to be “proportionate”ly, far, far more important than abortion.

So that finally?  If the first great argument in favor of abortion, is that the embryo is not fully a human person?  The second great argument – one that is that the embryo indeed, is not fully a human person – and/or that there are “proportionate”ly more important issues.  As indeed finally, Cardinal Joe Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI confirmed.  (In his 2004 memo to the bishops, entitled “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion.”)  Indeed, even if human embryos were full human persons, even then, there are many, many other, more important life issues.  There are many, many other issues – like wars, plagues, environmental disasters, floods and famines – that have already, historically, biblically, killed hundreds of millions, billions more human beings.  And that will kill billions more.  Unless we turn off our obsessive one-issue focus just on embryos; to look at the rest of humanity.  And work hard to prevent the other sins, that have already killed billions of indisputably human persons.

And by the way?  These other, worse sins, bigger issues, were mentioned over, and over, and over again – in the Bible itself.  So that even many Bishops, began to note problems with those who follow just “one issue” in Christianity, like abortion; and ignore or neglect to take care of dozens of other – often “proportionate”ly more important  – issues, or sins.

To be sure, today a vast anti-abortion machine exists worldwide; one that generates hundreds of anti-abortion arguments, huge masses of anti-abortion verbiage, every single day.  So that there are today, literally hundreds of anti-abortion arguments; that have been broadcast to the whole world, by entire media networks, like EWTN, Eternal World Television Network.  In arguing the case for abortion, we are not arguing with one or two people; we are arguing with a vast new kind of rhetoric-generating/propaganda machine.  Therefore?   Any single response or answer we make to them, will be countered by dozens, even hundreds of anti-abortionist media staffs, and hundreds of arguments, instantly.  So that finally?  There is no way to defeat this vast apparatus … except perhaps, by presenting not just one, but literally hundreds of counter-arguments.  As we will do here.

Here, we will present literally hundreds of counter-responses, to the assertions of EWTN and Priests for Life.  But to begin?  In our present introduction, after briefly covering the main argument, it might be useful to summarize here, just five or ten of the major counter-arguments to anti-abortionists.

First, Pro Choice, anti-abortion theology is false, according to the Bible.

The Bible Never Mentions Abortion By Name;

Basing Your Christianity on It Is Therefore Risky

And Counter-indicated

First, note that the Bible never mentions abortion by name; not even once.  This suggests that in fact, it is strangely disproportionate and odd, and risky, to base your voting, your Christianity, on this issue; on an issue never mentioned by name in the Bible at all; not even one time. Anyone who does such a thing is going far beyond and outside, the Bible itself.  A very risky move, for a Christian.

To be sure, the fact that the Bible never mentions abortion by name, is it itself, not the strongest argument against anti-abortionism.  But it is a first, tentative red flag; it is the first of a hundred red flags.  This one forming the first hint, that abortion after all, might not be as important an issue as say, helping the poor – which is mentioned hundreds, even thousands of times.  Or healing the sick.  Though this in itself is a rather weak argument in itself – there are to be sure man specific sins not mentioned in the Bible itself – still, the fact that the Bible never mentions abortion by name, begins to hint that God himself, the Bible itself, did not consider abortion all that important.  While our later findings confirm this first impression:  that God  himself did not consider abortion to be all that important, or evil.  In the Bible, by God, other subjects, other issues like Sickness, Poverty and War, are regarded as far more important.  Nor does the Bible even imply that abortion is so important.  As we will see, as the bishops will later confirm, in Christianity and in the Bible, the “one issue” of abortion was considered unimportant, compared to many other issues; like health and so forth.  (As we note at greater length, in sections on “one issue” politics and so forth).

In fact?  That is one of the two main protests against the Pro Life movement:  anti-abortionism is exceedingly, criminally narrow, in its perspective on God:  that it focuses just on “one issue,” while neglecting and therefore encouraging, countless other sins.

That in fact is the main objection of the Church leadership to anti-abortionism.  It is based on the Bible.   And then the second major objection follows:  there is a fairly good case that the Bible itself, did not regard the embryo in the womb, as a fully formed, complete human being, and/or human person.  In fact?  In the Bible itself, God himself even appears to order a priest, no less, to perform an abortion.  In the Book of Numbers, Ch. 5, God orders a priest to administer a “dust” to a suspected adulteress; a powder that can cause her upper “thigh” or “womb” to “fall.”  This powder would have been in effect, an abortifacient:  if it was administered to a pregnant woman, it would cause an abortion.

Thus, the Bible itself not only seems to allow – but even commands priests to perform – abortions (Num. 5.12-31).

Just a quick look at the Bible itself therefore,  you would think, would be enough to end the anti-abortion case forever:  God himself, ordering a priest, to perform an abortion, in the Bible itself.   But there are hundreds more counters, to Pro Life claims.

Second?  Especially?  The main argument allowing abortion, is that the embryo is not really a human being or human person yet, with the thing that makes us human:  a human mind, spirit, or soul.  And indeed, this idea came from the Bible itself: elements of the Bible seem to consider that we are not entirely “form”ed, we are not full human beings, in the womb.  There is only an incomplete substance, “being” formed in the womb – as it says prominently in Psalm 139.13, RSV etc..  Whose “days” as a human person, have not yet begun.

Other parts of the Bible will refer conventionally to a “child” in the womb, especially when Mary and Elizabeth feel motion inside them; which is called “quickening.”  Conventionally and traditionally, at about 6 months or so.  Yet this term “child” can be read as a convention; while even children have a lower status in the Bible than say, circumcised members of the Jewish tribes.  And the term applies in any case, at the conventional age of quickening, normally; about 6 months.  Not conception.  While then too, the whole point of Psalm 139, is that God knows us in his mind, before we, our “days” as real persons, have begun.  To be sure, the many passages of the Bible often have two or more interpretations; and Psalm 139 speaks of God having us in mind from the beginning of time.  But having us in mind, and then us actually existing in physical form, are rather different.

Indeed overall, Psalm 139 in fact, clearly calls the embryo in the womb, merely an “unformed substance,” whose “days” as a human person, have not yet begun.  We are only “being” made, which is to say we were not yet complete in the womb.  God to be sure, knows everything -–and knows us – before we appear.  But the whole point of the passage, is that God had us in mind … even before we existed; when our form, our bodies, were “being formed” in the womb.  When our days as a human person, had not yet begun:

“I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.  Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Ps. 139.15-17).

Some here try to distinguish two parts:  the moment when we are being made in the womb, and the earlier moments when God merely had us in mind.  But in any case?  In both the moment when the embryo is forming in the womb, and in the earliest days when God had an image of us in mind – we however did not yet completely exist.  Being formed in the womb, we are not fully “made” yet, but are merely “being made.”  While if our names were written in the book before all this, still at that time, the days that were “formed” for us … had not yet come; of our days as human person, “there was none.”

Elsewhere to be sure, we will need more extensive discussion on issues like calling the older embryo, a “child”; and the issue of “quickening.”  Yet Psalm 139 is the part of the Bible that discusses the embryo more directly and extensively probably, than any other part.  And it is clear:  before, and when we are an embryo, we are only in the process of being formed; we are not yet formed; we are only “being” made; and our “days” as a human person, have not yet come.

And this in fact will be today, the main reason, behind allowing abortion, finally:  the firm conviction, from the Bible itself, that the embryo in the womb is simply, not yet a full, real, human person.  So that, though the Catholic Church has often said that abortion is even “gravely” wrong, normally, typically, it does not say that abortion is “murder”; because the embryo does not appear to be a full human person, in the Bible itself.   If recent priests and bishops, have informally called abortion “murder”?  Then such statements do not match the prevailing language of Catholic tradition; and any such pronouncements go against the Bible itself.  And therefore go against God, himself.

[Some critics today, sophistically try to disappear Psalm 139 and the whole word "form"ed; and try to say that the whole idea of a "formed" embryo, comes from the first full, authoritative Greek translation of the Bible, the Septugint or LXX; its reading of Exodus 21.22, concerning and involuntarily-caused miscarriage; it is claimed that our present Bible's reference to no "harm" being caused by a miscarriage, lead to a mistranslated word, something not yet "form"ed.  Yet this alleged attempt to show that the Bible opposes abortion, depends therefore on simply saying that … our Bibles are wrong/ mistranslated.  Which is clearly of course, self-contradictory.  One cannot defend a case from the Bible, by saying that the Bible is wrong]

The fact is, Psalm 139 clearly presents not only the idea and terminology that an embryo is not yet a “formed” substance, moreover; it clearly is entirely centered around that concept, as well.  The whole point of Ps. 139, is to show that God has us in mind, even before we existed.  Which necessarily, logically, entails that we ourselves as yet, simply do not exist, in the womb. If the embryo really is us, really is a person, then the entire sense of Psalm 139 evaporates.

So it’s clear enough:  the embryo’s “days” as a human being, have not yet begun.  We are only an “unformed substance” in the womb, in the mere process of “being” formed; our days as a human person, the Bible clearly says, are not begun, in the womb.

To be sure, this will be a hard part of the Bible for many Pro Lifers to face; and so they will “twist” this part of the Bible, a hundred different ways.  And yet finally, we will be finding that the entire Bible itself, overall, finally rather firmly supports what Psalm 139 began to most definitive say:  that the embryo, in the womb, is not yet a human person.

The Roman Catholic Church, and the Pope;

Their Arguments Against Pro Life

Anti-Abortionists:  As Dis “proportionate”ly

Focuses on “One Issue”; An Object Without

A “Soul”

Our focus in this very first section, on Christian arguments allowing abortion, will be on Bible-based responses to anti-abortion arguments.  But to some extent, since the Roman Catholic Church in particular, has played a major role in the anti-abortion movement, we will note some specifically Catholic arguments against Pro Life anti-abortionism.

Today, we are used to hearing countless Catholics, “Catholic” media,  assure us that the Catholic Church has always opposed abortion. But amazingly, several major theologians – and even saints of the Church – have held positions that suggest that abortion is not so bad after all.  Many saints, theologians – like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, followed the suggestion in the Bible itself – that the embryo in the womb, is only “being formed” in the womb, just as Psalms said.  These two saints took from this part of the Bible, the idea that the embryo in the womb is not yet completely formed – and that the embryo is therefore not a fully-formed human being yet.  And if the embryo is not a full human being then therefore, we conclude,  aborting it is not so serious; since abortion does not kill a human being.

This in fact, is the major argument allowing abortion.  And today, many scholars say that this was actually,  amazingly, the true, traditional Catholic argument on abortion, too.  They say that the status of the embryo, was that the embryo is not really fully a human being.  Especially, Aquinas felt that it was not developed enough to have a soul, or spirit, or mind.  Therefore, though abortion is bad, it is normally not the most serious and pressing sin.  Since it does not kill a full human being, but only an embryo.  A half-human being.

In fact, there are historical confirmations of our first suspicion, that abortion was a minor subject, to God:  it is said by many Jewish scholars, that in Jewish culture – which is a major root of Christianity – even a newborn male was not considered a full child, until circumcision, several days (eight days?) after birth.  (Nor apparently was this lower status for the embryo, formally changed with St. Paul and Christianity, as we will find later in a look at the New Testament).

Also seeming to confirm the minor status of Abortion, for the God of the Bible:  in the Old Testament, the penalty for accidentally causing a related miscarriage, was minor.  In a day, under a “law” where merely gathering food on a Sabbath, or cursing your father, was a capital crime punishable by execution, the penalty for causing a miscarriage was … [minor. Q.v].

But for those who are “stiff-necked,” who still will not believe …there are still other Biblical arguments too, with the assertion that Abortion is incredibly evil; and/or with the assertion that Abortion should be the core, “non-negotiable” issue in elections.  And in fact, it centers around what is the major issue in Abortion debate; the matter of whether an embryo is even a full human being.  See “ensoulment” in our section on Church Doctrine, Aquinas.  This is indeed, at crucial question; one directly relevant to the question of abortion.  Since if an embryo is not fully human … than aborting or killing one is not such a serious crime as say, murder.  And indeed, this question was prominently asked in Roe-v.-Wade; the U.S. Supreme Court decision or law, that allowed abortion.  It was said there that, it could not yet be determined that the embryo was a human being.  Indeed, it seems to many that the embryo is just a sort of pre-human being, or just a lump of almost animal flesh; therefore, it is not a human being; and therefore, killing one is not so evil as, say, murder or homicide.  Specifically, therefore, what does the Bible say about the status of the embryo?  Apparently it said a) nothing very directly at all. To be sure, b) many Pro-Lifers, anti-abortionists, argue that the Bible called the embryo a “child”; and that therefore, the embryo should be regarded as a full human person.  But c) some might argue that if the Bible called an embryo a “child,” it was generally, after obvious motion of the embryo – “quickening” some call it; only after the embryo began to move in ways obvious to the mother; usually in the last trimester.  Or in any case, d) it might be that after all, the translations, or even the language used originally, was simply not very exact; but was metaphorical.

[In any case, we will find in our section on Church doctrines, a great saint, the great doctor and “angel” of the Church, its chief theologian, a “saint,” and indeed the very heart of the church – Saint Thomas Aquinas – followed Aristotle and St. Augustine too - when he said that an embryo is not formed enough to accept a “soul,” until the age of 40 days for a male; 90 for a female (Tribe 1990).  While it is hard to imagine anything being fully human, without a “soul” or human “spirit” or “intelligence.”  Thus, when no less than saint Thomas Aquinas says a young child has no soul – Aquinas, who is mandated as the theologian on which all seminary training is to be based; in the 1917 canon – that suggests strongly, that a very young embryo, for more than a month after conception, is not fully human.  And that killing an embryo is therefore not murder.  Certainly not before 40-90 days after conception; or indeed, not until quickening; a moment traditionally thought to be about five months into a pregnancy (Aquinas, Commentary on the Sentences III, Dist. 3, Question 5; Summa Contra Gentiles II, Ch. 89).]

Then e) too, even if the Bible sometimes used a term like a “child” to describe an embryo, the term “child” does not itself mean a human being:  historically in many ancient societies, even women and young children were not quite regarded as fully human; as full members of the tribe, etc. (See Jewish society, above.  Not until circumcision even for the male, for example, several days after birth.)

f) More conclusively, the Bible in some translations reputedly refers to our status as embryos, as being simply an “unformed” “substance” [in Psalms?  Revised Standard Version of the Bible?  In the original Hebrew it is said, the phrase is even less flattering than that.  Also see “womb” in a Biblical concordance too].

It is often said on the radio that the Bible regards the embryo as a full “child”; yet Psalm 139 for example, seems to suggest that a person is only still being “knit together” in a womb; that it is not yet fully formed, but is only “being made” there; that it is, while being made, while in the womb, only “unformed substance”:

“Thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 139.13 RSV?).

 

“Being made” there; (Ps. 139.15).

 

“Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance” (Ps. 139.16).

“As yet there was none.”

Aquinas or others were in fact to focus on the Bible itself when they made their determinations; especially when they talk about the embryo as not being fully formed, not being sufficiently “formed” to have a soul, they are following the Bible; the phrase “unformed substance.”  Many unqualified person today – in the “Catholic” media especially – no presume to tell us what the Bible says; and they other things.  But the people are better advised, to go not to apologists or EWTN, but to the most reliable sources; including at least say, the Pope, the Vatican.

Indeed, as we will find in our section on Catholic Doctrine, g) Aquinas and others seem to fix on this word; and accept the idea of an embryo as “unformed,” pre-human.  As perhaps, not being materially complex yet, big enough yet, to accept or generate a fully human mind or intelligence.

No doubt today, some liberal people and liberal priests, want to be more generous in extending the definition of “human,” in our sensitive times.  But we will eventually ask, how good-hearted or useful is it, ultimately, to begin to define a being without intelligence or a soul, as fully human?  And thus begin to accept … mindlessness.  Here we find in any case, that even our religious traditions, present many good reasons, to suggest that the embryo is not a full human person. (While we will soon also not, outside of our religious traditions, many logical problems with proclaiming an embryo fully human; since in part soon, next, we might want to declare sperm to be human; as indeed, the – in part, Catholic –  “every sperm is sacred” campaign, that was still active c. 1968, wanted to say.  As we note elsewhere.  And as lampooned in a song by Jimmy Buffett; SP?)

In part it was the 1960’s, encouraging the voice of women, that brought up the issue of the status of the embryo.  Because no doubt to be sure, a woman who is carrying an embryo, will find it useful to think of it as rather like a “child”; and to protect it, nourish it, by eating well and so forth.  Yet to be sure, women who radically over-sentimentalize this or anything else, cannot face miscarriages, and many of the other realities of material life.

Proportion“ality:  “One Issue” Catholicism is Not Good –

Says the Pope

In any case too, we will be making the argument here, that to fix on any one, single aspect or “part” of morality, too obsessively, means that we will necessarily neglect the rest.  Thus even if abortion had been said to be bad in the Bible somewhere, this does not mean this “one issue” is all we should pay attention to, or vote on.  The Bible has other things that demand our attention, as well; indeed, as we noted above earlier, the Bible never mentions abortion by name it seems; and emphasizes and names other things, far, far, far more often.  All this, suggesting that God himself never intended this subject to dominate our consciousness.  (See Bishops, Cardinals, talking about “many issues” aside from abortion; against “one issue” Catholicism).  Remember indeed, Cardinal McCarrick, on those who look at politics, only from the point of view of one issue anti-abortionism:

“One issue may be primary, but there are many issues that need to be considered”;

“People who are with us on one issue” may be “against us on many other issues” (Catholic News Service, April. 27, 2004).

Here, leaders in the Church began to oppose “one issue” Catholicism (q.v. Internet).  And indeed, we might now add, the Bible itself warns us not to see just “part” of the larger picture (Paul); and some say it warned us all to obey “all” of God’s (New Testament?) laws or commands.  EWTN often condemned “Cafeteria Catholics”; who treated Catholicism as a cafeteria display of various positions, from which we can pick and choose which to follow.  While EWTN insisted that we must follow “all” Catholic rules.  But ironically, just as the Apostle Paul warned, EWRN was guilty of precisely the very same thing it accused everyone else of:  EWTN was guilty of picking and choosing which parts of Catholicism it chooses to follow.  Specifically?  EWTN heard and followed, any part of Catholic tradition that seemed “conservative” to it; only those parts were regarded by it as “true” Catholicism.  But?  EWTN ignored and attacked, even those legitimate pronouncements of popes and cardinals that seemed “liberal” to it (Like many of the pronouncements of Bishop Mahony, and Cardinals Bernardin and McCarrick).   In point of fact, EWTN was far more selective than anyone; following the “conservative” bishops and pronouncements, and simply attacking any bishops or cardinals, who made what it thought of as “liberal” comments.  Even though the Bible itself told us over and over, to “be liberalin issues like helping the poor and so forth (Deut. 15.14; Prov. 11.25; Est. 2.18; Acts 10.2; Rom. 12.8; 2 Corin. 8.2; 1 Tim. 6.1.8  ).

Conservative anti-abortionists like those on EWTN indeed, have been far, far too selective, in what parts of religion, of the Bible, they decided to hear, and follow.  For example, regarding the final word of the Bible, on abortion, and the status of the embryo? We will show here the Bible itself probably does not very firmly, explicitly pronounce on this matter; the Bible is rather equivocal at best.  But if anything, the Bible itself rather seems to feel abortion is not so bad – in Numbers 5 for example.  As we will see.  So that therefore, those many persons on EWTN today, who claim that the Bible or “God” firmly told them that abortion is bad, that the embryo is fully human, not only do not have much support from the Bible; it even seems fair to say that adamant anti-abortionists are really, if anything, going rather firmly against the Bible itself.  The fact is, as we will be seeing here, there is a strong, Bible-based argument, for abortion.  Especially in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 5, in particular.  Where it even appears that God himself, no less, ordered priests, no less, to in some circumstances administer a powder that would in effect, if administered to a pregnant woman, cause an abortion.  Thus, amazingly, God himself it seems, did not just allow, but even ordered, abortions.  Even more surprisingly, God even ordered priests, no less, to perform them.

Numbers 5 would seem a conclusive case for abortion, as far as Christians are concerned, all by itself.  Amazingly enough however, those anti-abortionists who are alleged Christians – or are they just sentimentalists that want to deify their own sentimentalism? – somehow just ignore that part of the Bible.  Or they know about it – and they just flatly disobey it.  But indeed, thus adamant anti-abortionists are actually, disobeying the Bible and God.)

And finally, in part because the Bible itself allowed abortion it seems?   It is for this reason among others, that finally even the Cardinal who was head of the Vatican office in charge of doctrine – Cardinal Joe Ratzinger; who is now furthermore our current Pope, Benedict XVI – finally said that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (Card. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” 2004 memo).

Both the Bible, and then the Catholic hierarchy, often backed off any very, very strong anti-abortion stance.  Indeed, what has the Church itself really, finally, fully, traditionally said on abortion?  To be sure, we will find, a) the Church has often said that Abortion is bad. But the central question is:  b) how bad is it?  Is it as important as other issues?  Is abortion as bad as, the same as, murder?  Is it even more important than helping the poor?  We will find here that c) various “Catholic” organizations have often said that abortion is extremely evil; so evil, that we must always vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election.  No matter what a candidate’s stand may be, on other “issue”s.  But d) here we find from the start, that not only the Bible itself, but also e) two saints, seem to contradict what Catholics are saying today.

In fact, f) not just the Bible, and the saints, but also, we add now, at least two Cardinals and the Pope, have spoken in effect, against any extreme anti-abortion position.

First, Cardinal McCarrick spoke against “one issue” Catholicism.  That is to say, the Cardinal spoke against the idea that Catholics should focus – or vote in elections – on the basis of just “one issue.”  Here, eventually the matter of voting comes up; because anti-abortionists insist that we must vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election.  But here in effect, Cardinal McCarrick spoke against voting for a candidate, just because of his stand on the “one issue,” of abortion. McCarrick and others noting that there are many different, important things, issues, in life.  And indeed, a political candidate that is “good” on abortion, may be against other important Catholic issues.

Therefore, said Cardinal McCarrick, Catholic voters should not focus just on the “one issue” of abortion, in elections.  Specifically, Cardinal McCarrick said that the Church was …

Not telling people how to vote”;

“One issue may be primary, but there are many issues that need to be considered”;

When voting, Americans, the Cardinal ordered, need to be aware that there are many more important things, worse sins than abortion. So that there are many issues that should be considered when voting.  Therefore finally, the Cardinal began to suggest, Catholics should not necessarily be committed to voting for the most anti-abortion candidate at all.  Since …

“People who are with us on one issue” may be “against us on many other issues” (Cath. News Service, April. 27, 2004; reaffirmed by McCarrick after retirement, as antagonistically noted by Catholic Insight, Dec. 07 issue).

Cardinal McCarrick’s criticism of anti-abortionism therefore, was that some Catholics concentrate too much on just “one issue,”like abortion. And in doing so, they ignore, neglect the importance of other issues.  And this is the second great objection to anti-abortionists.  Indeed, it was to become the very heart of the Church’s objection to Pro Choice activists.  As it began to explicitly criticize those many Catholics who focused, in voting, just on the single, “one issue,” of abortion.  The objection being that in effect, those who just look at one thing in life, for voting, neglect the rest of life.

This objection  (along with the assertion that the embryo is not fully human), forms the second major objection to anti-abortionism, in fact. This criticism of focusing too much on abortion moreover, is especially important for Roman Catholics – since it was voiced first of all, by a Cardinal.  A Catholic official that is superior to even the Bishops.  Furthermore, being criticized by specifically, Cardinal McCarrick, is nothing small, at all:  Cardinal McCarrick was not an ordinary Cardinal, but was sometimes head of the USCCB:   the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the coordinating agency for all U.S. Bishops.  So that McCarrick’s condemnation of anti-abortionism, as being “one issue” Catholicism, his statement that the Church was “not telling people how to vote,” was coming from not “just” a cardinal; but from perhaps the very highest Catholic authority in America.

And furthermore, Cardinal McCarrick’s statement against anti-abortionism, was confirmed next, by yet another extremely important CardinalCardinal Joe Ratzinger, of the Vatican itself.   Confirming problems with any focus on just “one issue” in life – like abortion –  was next, an even more important statement by one Cardinal Joe Ratzinger.  Joe Ratzinger moreover, was not “just” an ordinary Cardinal; when he wrote on this subjected, he was at the time, head of the Catholic Church’s Office or “Congregation” for the Doctrine of Faith; the office of the Vatican itself, whose job it is to pronounce definitive rulings on doctrinal matters – like abortion.  And importantly, Cardinal Joe Ratzinger, in that office, wrote a 2004 memo that confirmed there is something wrong with one-issue, anti-abortion Catholicism.  In his own crucial 2004 memo, Ratzinger criticized dis-“proportionate”ly narrow, Catholicism.  Specifically, the Cardinal’s memo in effect also spoke against a too-narrow, one-issue Catholicism.   And even more specifically, the Cardinal was criticizing any narrow focus, on abortion. And in his extremely important statement, Ratzinger specifically allowed Catholics to vote for pro-abortion candidates.  If there were “proportionate” reasons for doing so.  If there were proportionately more important issues. 

 

As Cardinal Ratzinger and the Vatican said in the 2004 memo:

 

“When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour

of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons,

it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the

presence of proportionate reasons.”

(Cardinal Joe Ratzinger/later Benedict XVI, of the Vatican; as reported in L’Espresso, July 3 2004?  Found also in Catholic Culture – “Catholic Culture”; “culture” “library”; “Pope Benedict XVI”; “June 2004”; “Worthiness …” Read more on this later, in our section on this concept and memo).

 

This 2004 memo, by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, explicitly allows Catholics to vote for pro-abortion candidates.  This memo  explicitly says, that voting for pro abortion candidates, “can be permitted.”  And it calls our attention to “proportionate”ly more important issues.  And  furthermore, this memo was to become even more important and definitive –  when Cardinal Ratzinger became our current pope, Pope Benedict XVI, around 2005. So that finally in effect, “Our Holy Father,” the Pope himself, Benedict XVI, has said that we can vote for pro-abortion candidates.

The general concept, by which elements of the Church began to back away at times from extreme anti-abortionism, was the notion of proportion, balance, or “proportion”ality.  Particularly, note that the Pope confirms in effect, Cardinal McCarrick and his attack on “one issue” Catholicism; the Pope above stressed the fact that there are often proportionately more important issues, other issues, than abortion.  We should never focus just on one narrow thing in life; life is always complex, and we need to look at many things.  And for that matter, there are many proportionately important issues, aside from abortion, hat deserve our attention in life, and in the voting booth.  Today, many conservatives (following the informal comments of the radical bishop Burke?) try to spin the term “proportionate,” and insist that no issue could ever be proportionately greater, than the issue of abortion; which they insist, has killed 50 million human beings.   Making it, they claim, by far the proportionately most important issue.  And yet however, the Bible and History tell us that far, far more indisputably human beings have been killed by other issues – like Disease and plagues; by environmental disasters like floods; and by just but unnecessary wars.  The Bible itself emphasized other issues than abortion, – issues like famine, disease, war, poverty – as being far, far more important than abortion. Historically in fact, environmental disasters have often wiped whole species off the face of the earth.  So that indeed, the very survival of the human species often stands in the balance.  From avoidable disasters, like disease and war.  Which are finally, biblically, a proportionately far more important issue than abortion.  Especially since, we will also add here, the embryo is not even a full human person.  As we will be demonstrating here.

There have been many other, proportionately far more important issues, therefore, than abortion.  There are accordingly, many Christian texts and doctrines, that would de-emphasize the importance of abortion, therefore.  Indeed, the testimony of many parts of the Bible, and the testimony of the saints, will finally lead us to other issues, beyond abortion.

While here, finally, there would seem to be a definitive word supporting this idea – of “proportionality” – from the current Pope himself.  It seems clear now, that “Our Holy Father” himself, supports the whole idea:  that focusing just on one issue in elections – specifically, abortion – is not the way to behave.  Because life is complex, and there are many other evils and issues we all need to consider, when voting.  Finally, not only the Bible, but also the central authorities of the Catholic Church, opposed concentrating too much on abortion as an issue in elections, particularly.  Clearly in fact, the real, central, core Catholic authorities – the saints; the Cardinals; the Pope –  are actually telling Catholics, that abortion is not the most important thing we should consider, when voting; there are many other “issues,” to look at in life.  And they are telling us that to focus just on abortion,  in elections, would be obsessive, narrow.  Finally, the current Pope himself  spoke against abortion; but he also told us in effect, not to be dis- “proportionate” in opposing it.   Indeed, ultimately the Pope himself will be found to have been telling us, explicitly, that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (Card. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive”).  So that finally the extreme, rather one-issue anti-abortionism of EWTN and Fr. Frank Pavone’s Priests for Life, was rejected, by the highest authorities in the Church.  Including the Pope, himself.

Perhaps the main problem in the Pro Life movement, that the Cardinals and the Pope have been noting, is that it is too narrow.  The problem has been that to focus too much just on one “issue” in life, is to ignore many other important things. While indeed, we will soon note here, many, many specific issues turn out to be more important than abortion.  Like unjust wars; and environmental issues like plagues, famines, and so forth. All these issues need attention, even over and above abortion, as we will show here. Indeed, it is extremely rash and im-“prudent,” to ignore and neglect these issues.  Wars are not “intrinsically” evil some say; but we will show that even an “intrinsically” “good” or just war, that exterminates the human species, would be a very, very, very bad war.  (As we wills see in our argument on “intrinsic” evils).

And so finally?  We here note three main things here.  First that 1) even according to many official pronouncements of the Church, according to many Cardinals and the Pope himself, Catholics are allowed, even by most of their cardinals, the Pope, to vote even for political candidates that back abortion.  If there are other, more pressing issues, more important problems to address.   And 2) then we will be confirming that there are indeed many, many other far, far more important issues than abortion, even “intrinsic”ally.  Especially since 3) the embryo can be shown to not be a full human person.

 

If any one of our three points is true, that is enough should stop radical anti-abortionism in its tracks.  But we will be supporting all three of them … and a hundred other arguments against anti-abortionism as well.  So that finally?  Whatever elements there are in the Church that oppose abortion so single-mindedly, obsessively … need to simply, change. And adopt more moderate views.

“Catholic” Media like Eternal Word Television Network,

Eternal Word Radio Network,

Teach Heresies

 

Amazingly therefore, those many “Catholics” who insist on talk radio and the Internet, that the Church is telling us to vote only with anti-abortion candidates in every election, are not really following the Church at all.  No strongly anti-abortion theology, has any real basis in real Catholic Tradition, in the Catholic “Magisterium.” As we have come to see a preliminary way here, in our introduction, the fact is that most of the major traditional authorities in Christianity, have issued many statements that would allow abortion, as a minor sin.  Those authorities including:  a) the Bible. And two major saints. Saints who are also among the major theologians of all time:  b) St. Augustine and c) St. Thomas Aquinas.  In addition to the Bible and the saints, next we noted two or three contemporary cardinals, confirming this too.  Including d) Cardinal McCarrick. Who spoke not only for himself, but also to some extent, for e) the USCCB; the United States Congress of Catholic Bishops.  Then to all that, we added the authority, not least of all, of f) Cardinal Joe Ratzinger; of g) the Vatican.  The testimony of Ratzinger was particularly important; since Cardinal Ratzinger became our current pope in 2005.  So that in effect therefore,  h) the current “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI,  supports our position here, too.

How and why have so many Christians managed to claim that God, the Bible, are very firmly against abortion?  The fact is, their position is opposed by much of the Bible; two saints; the theologian mandated as the core of Catholic theology; then two cardinals; and finally, the Pope.  All these opposed the Pro Life, anti-abortion position of most anti-abortionists today (like EWTN/RN – and Sheila Liaugminas, pronounced Sheila “Log-MEAN-as”).

Clearly therefore, the real authority of Christianity, opposes any very strong anti-abortionism.  Especially, key elements in the Church clearly oppose the extreme position that a) the embryo is fully human, and b) that abortion therefore is the “one issue” that should determine our votes in an electionJust our first quick look at what the real authorities in Christendom really, actually said, should be enough to firmly end “Catholic” anti-abortionism.

But to be sure, anti-abortionists are emotionally attached to their position; heretical as it is.  And they are extremely stubborn.  So that therefore, we will need to present it seems, many, many more arguments against them, before they will be convinced.  Though surely it would seem that, to any rational or pious person, who really, actually follows the Bible or the Church, these first few arguments alone, should be enough.  But often they are not.  So that after all, these first six or seven arguments, will be just the first of more than 100 arguments that we will offer here, against Pro Life anti-abortionism.

Here we will offer more than 100 arguments allowing abortion.  And allowing Christians, even Catholics, to vote for pro-abortion political candidates. In doing this, we are not going against the Church itself. In fact, our book here is really far, far more obedient to the Bible and Church traditions, than anti-abortionists have been.  To the extent that in fact, our present book is effectively, nothing much more or less than an extended defense of the Pope and Cardinals and saints.  Here we simply outline their stance; which turns out to be rather strongly against the one issue obsessive-ness, of today’s anti-abortionist “Catholic” talk show hosts and guests.

The real authority in Christianity, from the Bible itself, to saintly and canonical theologians, and even the current cardinals and the Pope, tell us that the embryo is no quite a full human being, but is a half-formed human being.  Therefore they tell us not to focus too strongly on the “one issue” of abortion.  So what finally must we finally conclude about the Pro Lifer’s?  The anti-abortionists?   We will be showing here that they are not really following God, or even their Church, after all.  Actually, they are disobeying the Bible, and the Church; and in the end, far from being the obedient Christians, Catholics, they thought they were being, finally they are simply, heretics.

 

Our final conclusion will be, that the Pro-Life or anti-abortion movement, that today dominates many “Catholic” media networks – like Eternal Word Television Network and Eternal Word Radio Network – and that has dominated and determined countless elections in America from  1980 to 2008, is not really following God or the Church at all.  In fact, the all-too-popular Pro Life movement is simply, a heresy.  While all those who follow it, are following a false idea of God and Christ.

You would think that just these first seven or eight arguments alone, should finally be conclusive, just by themselves; that they should be enough to silence “Christian” and especially “Catholic” antiabortionism forever.  However, in spite of any number of conclusive arguments against anti-abortionism, that tenacious movement has not yet disappeared; partially because of sentimental support, at the grass roots.  But especially because, as it turns out, the “conservative” wing of politics supports antiabortionism. While the conservative lobby, including the anti-abortion lobby, is extremely large and professionally staffed.

Antiabortionism to be sure, eventually impacted the Church itself, and appears even in some of the present-day Church’s official pronouncements.  Though clearly much of church Tradition does not support it, by the time of Pius X, there was developing a growing, conservative/Fascist resistance to much of “modern” life and ideas, which were casting many old ideas into doubt.  And as late as around the 1960’s, there appeared a number of Vatican documents that began to speak against new phenomena, like birth control; and eventually, abortion.  So that by the time of  the 1997-2007 Catechism of the Catholic Church, there were coming to be many statements against abortion; to the point that the 2000 Catechism suggested that anyone who got an abortion, or who helped others get them, could be excommunicated, subject to conditions.  (See “from conception” below). But to be sure, we will suggest here, that these more recent developments, stemmed from an emotional folk/political sentiment of the deceptive “heart.” The Bible itself warned over and over, that even our “heart”s can deceive us often.  So that the sentimental feeling against abortion, was ultimately a) not consistent with the Bible, b) or Church Tradition, or c) science, or d) ethics.

 

So finally, what should the Church do today?  Finally, any Church authorizations of excommunication in cases of abortions, should be dropped.  Or the conditions under which such things might be allowed, in canon law, should be clarified in an expansive way.   Indeed, if anything?  It is the anti-abortionists that should be ex-communicated.  As being heretics; as being in rebellion against the Church.

For some time, there has been building in the world, a “conservative” or Fascist politics, trying to counter modern ideas and modern life.  Due in part to the efforts of the new legions of right-wing conservative organizations, there is in effect, a vast “conservative” political machine out there.  With legions of media people like Rush Limbaugh, talk shows, constantly generating false arguments and sophistries on a moment’s notice. To support any “conservative” position – including the position that abortion is wrong; and that voters must therefore, always vote for anti-abortion Republicans in every election.  But we are noting here that this vast “conservative” political machine, continually misrepresents for example, what the Catholic Church really, actually, fully said.

One would hope that just our brief outline of what Catholic tradition what the saints and Cardinals and the Pope really said, would quickly end Catholic anti-abortionism, here and now  But to be sure, “conservatives,” anti-abortionists today have many dishonest speakers, working continually, in a vast Internet web; to generate one false argument, one sophistry after another, in defense of their own false version of Christianity.  And their conservative philosophy, their antiabortionism, eventually, entered the Church itself.

In particular, anti-abortionism has survived and grown, to the point that it has controlled most elections in America, from 1980 to 2008. And even today it is taking over the Church itself.

Antiabortionism was able to do this, partially because this heresy is being spread by several major “conservative” media networks.  Media organizations like EWTN/RN – Eternal Word Television Network/Eternal Word Radio Network – today have dozens of talk show hosts and staff members, generating dozens of responses to any arguments directed against anti-abortionism.  So that any arguments against antiabortionism – like even our own, here – will no doubt be immediately countered, by a large, professional, full-time media machine. By any number of professional, even full-time anti-abortionists; by dishonest speakers who use unfair, dishonest arguments. By the new media rhetoricians, apologists, polemicists, demagogues.  Borrowing on the tradition of Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson, today’s anti-abortion speakers include especially, Sheila Liaugminas, Frank Pavone, and Karl Keating. These new polemicists, demagogues, sophists, rhetoricians, use emotional and dishonest arguments, to try to influence the masses to vote “conservative.”  Which means that these media are telling us all to vote for the Republican party.  Even the Republican Party’s pro-military, pro-“American,” patriotic, nationalist/militarist, right wing.  And shockingly, since much of the new conservatism claims to be religious, to be the voice of God, in the end we are being told that “God says, ‘vote Republican.'”  And yet however, the Republican party, if it is “good” on protecting the life of embryos, is not so good on avoiding unnecessary wars; or in protecting the lives of grown children and adults, through better health care, and so forth (2009-10).

But since more and more people are now under the mistaken impression that antiabortionism is the authentic word of the Church and of God, now is the perfect time for our book here:  to begin to show in fuller detail, that in fact, though many Christians and Catholics today think that antiabortionism was instituted by the Bible and by God himself, actually, antiabortionism disobeys many of the core tenets of Christianity, Catholicism, Reason, and science. 

Today, it is hard to get this message out; due to the vast conservative machine out there, even our own, seemingly conclusive arguments against any “Catholic” anti-abortionism, will probably not be enough.  Legions of  Catholic apologists will immediately attack our major points; and since they own several major media outlets, their false arguments will probably win the day.  Except among a cogent few.

To overcome the vast conservative/anti-abortion machine, may require dozens, even hundreds more arguments.  But fortunately, we may be able to present here at last, enough ammunition to take on the conservative machine:   presenting a summary of about 200 arguments for abortion; more than one hundred arguments against anti-abortionism.  Furthermore, since most of the objection to abortion comes from a semi-religious standpoint,  our concentration here, will be on what the Bible itself says.  Or, if much of anti-abortion sentiment comes from especially “Catholic” media, many of our arguments will have been directed especially, at Catholics.

We would prefer to advance a strictly logical, or strictly Christian defense.  Still, there are many Christians though, that do not pay too much attention to their Bibles; and there are many Catholics especially, that think they do not have to pay much attention to the Bible, but only to the Pope. Therefore, we will have quoted here, up front, from Catholic saints, Cardinals, and from the current Pope.  All of whom, have issued statements in effect, opposing the one-issue Pro Life anti-abortionism, heard on “Catholic” media, like EWTN and especially, EWRN.  The very core authorities of the Church, have told us that the whole idea that we must always vote for the most Pro Life, anti-abortion candidate in every election, is just, wrong.  And that voting for pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted.”  As the current “Holy Father,” the Pope, Benedict XVI said, in his 2004 memo “Worthiness to Receive.”

To be sure, there are anti- and pro-abortion positions within Church doctrine.  But what is the better stance for the Church?  Many, many Catholics were constantly lead to vote for Republican anti-abortionists, in dozens of elections, c. 1980-2008.  And that was enough to determine dozens of elections in America; to control America, and the world.  But when many Catholics voted Republican, they voted for candidates who were not so good on “other issues”; who may have caused unnecessary wars, and opposed Health Care for the poor and the sick.  And so Catholics especially, now need to be told over and over again, by Church authority,  that real Catholic authority – beyond self-appointed radio networks like EWTN and Relevant Radio – has said that extreme, “one issue” anti-abortionism is wrong.  The fact is, as we just noted, no less than at least three Cardinals, a Pope, and two saints, in effect told us that the anti-abortion theology that dominates so many “Catholic” organizations and churches, the theology that insists that we must always vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election, is false.

Anti-abortionism to date, has based itself largely on religious grounds.  And so we, first of all, note problems with anti-abortionism, even on strictly Biblical grounds. And also, at times, on grounds that specifically, many Catholics should consider.  The fact is, one major Catholic authority after another has spoken in effect, against Pro-Life anti-abortionism.  Including:   a) Cardinal McCarrick, then-head of the USCCB.  And b) Cardinal Ratzinger, then head of the Vatican office for Doctrine of the Faith.  And c) by the way, Cardinal Ratzinger became our current Pope, Benedict XVI.  While then too, d) Cardinal Mahony also began to speak against the main media advocate of anti-abortionism; Mahony speaking against EWTN and its founder, Mother Angelica.

But especially, the main Catholic argument allowing abortion, is the “ensoulment” or “homization” argument … offered by the two foremost Church theologians of all time.  Who are also major e) saints too:  f) St. Augustine, and g) St. Thomas Aquinas.  Though Aquinas at times seems to have objected to abortion, both in effect concurred in the central arguments:  that the young embryo or “child” in the womb, is not fully human, with a rational “soul.”

Thus we offer many arguments here that should prove, that the abortion of a very young embryo especially, is not such a great sin.  That avoiding abortion as if it was the “one issue” we should always consider in every election, is not right.

The fact is therefore, a very strong position against abortion, is not supported to date, by the Bible; nor even by the Catholic Church leadership.

In fact, Pro Life anti-abortionism finally, simply, speaks falsely in the name of God.  It is not supported by the Bible, or by the Church; but is contradicted by them over and over. So that finally we must say to Christians, that anti-abortionism is not from God; but consists of the mere opinions and the political “traditions” or false, political (conservative/liberal) “doctrines of man” (Mat. 15.9; Mark 7.7; Col 2.8-22; 1 Tim. 1.10-4.1).  Where “everyone does what is right in his own eyes” (q.v. Bible).  Where everyone is following politics, political theories and doctrines, ideologies like “conservatism” or “liberalism,”  rather than following God.

 

Finally in fact, insofar as it is a false idea of men, that deceitfully presents itself as the voice of God, the Pro Life position is simply, a heresy.  It is an opinion that goes against the Bible, and against God.  The Church therefore should no longer support it.

There would seem to be no real Biblical – or as we will see, practical – case, for any very strong anti-abortionism.  For the position of say, Karl Keating and EWTN.  So that finally we have to conclude here, that anti-abortionism, which constantly represents itself in religious media networks as the voice of God, is actually a false doctrine. One that actually goes against the Bible, and God.

Or in short, the Pro Life, anti-abortion movement, is simply - a well-intentioned but dangerously false doctrine.  Or simply?  The Pro Life movement is simply – a heresy. 

 

Narrow, One Issue Catholicism – Encourages a Thousand Other Issues, Evils,

To Flourish:

The Evil Practical Effects of Anti-Abortionism,

And One-Issue Disproportionality

Not only is anti-abortionism a) against the Bible; and b) against true Catholic authority; but c) also it is bad, simply because of its deadly practical effects:

The Pro Life and any other forms of anti-abortionism are not just a heresy; they are extremely destructive,  in their practical effects.  First of all, focusing on just one issue in political candidates, gave votes to countless Republican pro-war candidates.  In this way, Pro Life anti-abortionism encouraged wars.  Many of which may have been unjust –  or better said, unnecessary – wars.

In addition, by supporting just one political party, conservative anti-abortionism has worked against Democratic support, for helping the poor and the sick. A Democratic agenda which followed a major goal of Jesus.

 

Then too, the focus of anti-abortionism just on one issue – abortion – neglected the large “life issue,” of the environment.  While neglect of biblical/environmental issues like plagues, famines, floods, droughts, threaten the lives of all human beings; threaten the lives of six billion human beings.

Eventually, the Pro Life movement, inadvertently encouraged the development of anti-abortionist terrorism; it encouraged anti-abortionists who have bombed many abortion clinics, and killed several abortion doctors.  (Like Dr. Tiller).

Just this brief introduction, our present, quick summary of a dozen or so arguments against anti-abortionism, should be enough to convince a reasonable person that anti-abortionism is wrong.  However, these and many other arguments have already been informally submitted to anti-abortionist apologists … with no effect.  And so we will need to offer these arguments … and many, many more arguments.

Just our first dozen or so introductory arguments against the anti-abortionists, to be sure, would normally be enough to end the theological argument.  Especially, the above arguments should be enough to end “Catholic” anti-abortionism:  normally, Catholics do not cross the Bible, and their own cardinals, saints, theologians, and popes, all at once.   But to be sure, the right-wing Republican anti-abortion lobby, is so virulent and well-staffed, so widely distributed through huge media networks, that our very brief introduction here, may not be enough.

Our brief introduction here may not be enough to make our points stick, in the persistent, obdurate world of “Catholic” and “conservative” media apologists and sophists.  And so ultimately, we will offer here, many, many more arguments against anti-abortionism.  In fact, we will offer more than a hundred more arguments against Pro Life theology, or  against anti-abortionism.  In our following book:  “The Pro Life Heresy:  100 Arguments Against the Sins of Anti-Abortionism.”

Though no doubt, one or two or our arguments against anti-abortionism, might be “refuted” by media pundits, finally, they must refute each and every one of all one hundred of them;  it only takes one good argument, to win.  And surely, among the following 100 arguments and more, there will be one or two, that will stand.

Another Introductory Summary

There are many, many ways to argue against anti-abortionism.  But since the major opposition to abortion seems to come from a religious/Christian element of society, our pro-abortion arguments will be based especially, on the Bible itself.  And since many anti-abortion voices are particularly Catholic, we will address the Church especially.  Basically, our arguments here will show that neither a) the Bible, b)  nor Christianity, nor c) real Catholic authority, support the radical anti-abortionism that many Christians hold today.  And to prove this, we will show that the religious tradition that anti-abortionists often cite as their authority – the Bible; the Church – in fact, does not support them and their arguments at all.

In fact, anti-abortionists are going against the a) Bible, b) the Church. And c) against God.

Especially,  the main Christian tradition relevant to abortion, has actually been that the embryo is not really a full human being.  This is partially an idea that comes from the Bible itself; which says at times that a child is only “being formed,” is at yet “formless substance,” in the womb (Ps. 139?).  This idea was also developed later, from the Bible, in saints Augustine and Aquinas.  Their theology does not firmly say the embryo is fully, completely human; rather, we are only “being formed” in the womb; but are not fully formed yet.

The most important point:  in Augustine or Aquinas, what specifically is missing from, not yet formed enough, in the embryo, that would make us human?  Particularly, thing that defines us as human most of all, is our mind or spirit or soul.  While it appears that embryos in the womb don’t have that. In the debate on abortion in other words, the key issue is “ensoul”ment; whether the embryo has a human spirit or soul or not. And at what moment we acquire a spirit or soul.

The mind or soul, is extremely important.  The thing that defines us as human, that makes us more than the animals, in our intelligence or mind or reason, part of our human “soul,” many like Aquinas suggested.  While most anthropologists and others confirm it:  that the thing that makes us more than most animals, is our mind or intelligence.  (Or some of the humanities might speak of the “human spirit”).

So our spirit or intelligence is absolutely central to being human.  Then the question is, “when” do we get one?  When do we get a soul?  And thus become human beings?  Saints Augustine and Aquinas suggest that a “child” in the womb, is not sufficiently developed, does not have a complete enough brain, to be capable of a rational “soul” especially.   Therefore, a child in the womb is not really, fully, human.  So that therefore,  killing an embryo or fetus or “child” in the womb, is not really killing a human being.  Instead, abortion is killing just a mass of protoplasm. Or at worst, a sort of half-person; an incomplete person, in the making.

This is really the major argument allowing abortion:  the major argument is that what makes us human, what distinguishes us from the animals, is that we are smarter; we have “intelligence,” “wisdom.”  But it is said next, that it seems from Biology, the small size of its brain, that the embryo is not well-enough developed, to have a recognizably human mind or spirit or “soul.”  And so therefore the embryo is not quite fully a human being.

That is a very sound argument.  But anti-abortionists often simply ignore the “ensoulment” or lack of intelligence argument.  Or they claim that modern science in fact affirms the existence of a soul or spirit.  Many claim that ancient philosophers like Aquinas simply did not know enough in their own time; did not know what modern “science” now “knows”:   that the early fetus does have a human spirit or soul, and is firmly human.  But that is junk or fake science.  In fact we will show, real science says no such thing.  The fact is, science often says a) it cannot say anything about things that are invisible are immaterial.  Or b) if it can, then what evidence we do have, is that an embryo does not have a full human mind; it is not recognizably human.  The embryo does not have a big enough brain, or enough input, to become a human mind. Not until, we will show, after birth.

So when does the embryo get that human intelligence; a mind; a soul?  And become human?  The intelligence or spirit, is extremely important; it seems to be what makes us human, and more than an animal.  But when do we get it?  Most observers, would confirm the Bible:  it seems certain that a very young fetus is not completely “formed”; and adding science to that, we would say specifically that it does not have enough of a brain, or enough social experience, to have much of a mind, or spirit.

Today we know from science, that the human mind or spirit, is produced by our larger brain; but a fetus does not have that.  And indeed finally, that is part of the reason why abortion was make legal, in the Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade:  since the fetus probably does not have much of a human mind, it is not quite a full human being.  So that therefore, killing one is not so bad; since abortion does not really kill a human being.

This seems clear enough, both from science, and from common sense.  But many common people – and unfortunately also even many priests – have ignored or twisted all the scientific data, even the common sense, that suggests that a mere embryo is not fully human.  Many priests continue to insist that the embryo is a full human being.  And many priests have even insisted that abortion is therefore “murder.”  Many priests have thereby, radicalized millions of people.  By convincing them that abortions are murders; and that therefore, anti-abortionists are justified in almost any desperate action they choose to take – like killing abortion doctors.  Including abortion doctor, Dr. George Tiller, assassinated in 2009.  Thus radically anti-abortion priests like Fr. Frank Pavone have in effect, sent off hundreds of radicalized Catholic and others, to finally, bomb abortion clinics, and to murder abortion doctors; creating anti-abortionist terrorism.

In contrast to what anti-abortion terrorist priests think, however, or what mere parts of Catholic Catechism say, let us all now at last, consider the real, “full”er doctrines, traditions, of the Church.  Consider St. Thomas Aquinas especially.  Aquinas is particularly important: he was made in effect, the official, Chief theologian of the Church, in the 1917 book of Catholic laws (the 1917 code of canon law; 1918 revision, canons 589:1 and 1366:2).  While importantly, Aquinas suggested specifically, that the young embryo especially, is not formed enough to have a human mind or spirit. So that Aquinas implied that, therefore, the embryo is not really, fully a human being or person.

Many priests and even a few rash bishops have said that abortion is very wrong.  But what is the actual, fuller Church’s opinion on abortion?  In part, the key question is the status of the embryo.  To be sure, the Church has often said elsewhere, that abortion is wrong.  But many key elements, authorities, saints, say that however, the embryo is not fully a human being.  And therefore, clearly, killing an embryo therefore, is not as serious as say, murder.  It is not really killing a fully human being.  As the Church said, at least, before 2008 or so.  Any other statement is inconsistent with say, Thomas Aquinas, and therefore with the 1917 Code of Canon Law.  Or simply, inconsistent with good reasoning and science.

The real bottom line for the Church itself therefore, we will see, is that the embryo is not fully human; and therefore killing an embryo was not as serious, “proportionate”ly, as many other sins.  This opinion came partially from Aquinas and Augustine; who followed the Bible, and the observation that the embryo was not yet fully “formed”; and then added to that,  the finding that specifically, among the many things an embryo did not have, the embryo could not have a recognizably human mind or spirit.

But in addition, the whole notion that therefore, there were many other, worse sins than abortion, gave rise eventually to the second major objection to anti-abortionism:  the idea that if the life of the embryo was not so important, therefore, we should not focus too strongly on it.  But should look at other things; there were many other “issues” that were “proportionate”ly more important in our lives and in elections, than abortion, and the life of the embryo.   Surprisingly, it is this idea that is actually, the real core of what the real Church, really says.  Surprisingly perhaps, it was this train of thinking, this language, that was verified recently by the more contemporary proclamations by two or three Cardinals, and by the current Pope.  As when Cardinal Joe Ratzinger of the Vatican, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, began to note in a 2004 memo, that a) any very strong focus on anti-abortionism, often ignores other more serious issues.  Or “proportionate”ly more important issues.  So that Ratzinger b) told us finally, that voting for pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted.”  A ruling which was to become even more important, when Cardinal Ratzinger, in 2005, became our current “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI.  And when another Cardinal, McCarrick, confirmed that we should not focus just one “one issue” – presumably, like abortion – in elections.

Abortion therefore, is not so important, says the Church itself.  And abortion should not necessarily be our major concern in the voting booth.  This sentiment was expressed by no less a Catholic authority, than Cardinal Joe Ratzinger.  While Cardinal Ratzinger, note, was no ordinary Cardinal:  at the time of his 2004 memo, Joe Ratzinger was the Vatican Cardinal in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith; the Vatican office charged with authoritatively determining matters of doctrine – like the matter of abortion.  Furthermore, this memo by Joe Ratzinger was eventually to assume even greater importance – when Cardinal Ratzinger became our current pope, Pope Benedict XVI.

What therefore, should be the real position of the Church?  It should be this:   the a) embryo is human tissue, but it is not quite a fully human being; in b) particular, it is not fully a human being, because it does not have a fully human mind or spirit or intelligence.  And c) therefore, killing an embryo is not the same as murder; it is not killing a real human being.  So that d) there can be “proportion”ately, far more important “issues” for our attention and our vote, in elections.  Eventually, the main objection to anti-abortion politics, therefore, is that a) the embryo is not a full human being; and b) giving abortion too much attention, ignores other, more important issues.

This is probably the better position for the Church.  It was an idea which was accepted it seems, by the Vatican, and by the current Pope.  And that was further emphasized, reiterated, by say, Cardinal McCarrick.  Who is former head of the USCCB.  McCarrick basically backed the Pope, in his own similar attack on one-“issue” Catholicism.  Where McCarrick said essentially, the same thing as Ratzinger: suggesting there could be many “issues” that were proportionately more important than the one issue, of abortion.

This seems to be the more definitive Catholic doctrine:  since the pronouncements of Ratzinger and McCarrick, indeed, there has been a  constant steam of references to, condemnation of, “one issue” Catholicism, by dozens of bishops. (Like Steib, etc.?).  While any dissenting bishops, seem to be contradicting, disobeying, far too many saints and the current pope.

Finally therefore, it seems best to suggest that the real, the best core message from the Church, is not what radical anti-abortionist talk-show hosts and guest speakers and radical anti-abortion priests have told us.  The fact is, the highest authorities in the Church itself – saints, Cardinals, the Pope – have often spoken in effect against “Catholic” anti-abortionists.  At least one Cardinal, the USCCB, and the Pope, have specifically spoken any dis “proportionate” emphasis, on just “one issue,” like abortion. While we are also showing here, that “Catholic” anti-abortionism clearly has violated the guidelines set by the saints and the Bible,  too.

What finally, is so wrong with anti-abortionism?  It is with concentrating so intently just on just one issue, one part of life.  The problem is in large part, a practical one. The fact is, that even if abortion is somewhat bad, still, that there are many, many other evils in life, that we need to consider.  The problem with anti-abortionism, is that those who concentrate primarily on “one issue” like abortion, often in effect neglect other evils.  And even, by their neglect, encourage the other evils.

This therefore, is the second major objection to anti-abortionism.  And it is not just a theoretical possibility.  In the time period 1980-2006, we saw that when the electorate is fixated on the sole “sin” of abortion, we also unfortunately see the neglect of (and even creation of) other possible sins and errors.  Like fighting unnecessary wars; neglecting the poor and sick; neglecting the environment.  And this neglect, undoubtedly caused hundreds of thousands of people to die.  Conservatives opposed abortion … but did not care so much for the victims of sickness and disease, and environmental disasters.  Regarding lack of health care:  a Sept. 2009 Harvard study estimated that about 47,000 more Americans die every year, from lack of health insurance, for example. While many more people were lost in Tsunamis and other floods, that could have been prevented.  If the attention of the electorate, had not been devoted so exclusively to saving only embryos.

The major problem with anti-abortionism therefore, is that it a) focuses on an entity, the embryo or “child” in the womb, that is not yet fully human or “en-souled”; and b) by focusing too strongly on that entity, it thereby, ignores or neglects other, more important issues.  And ignores millions of other lives.  Lives lost, through neglect.

But for that matter?  The other great evil of Pro Life anti-abortionism – is that it denigrates and attacks the core value of human and Christian life too:  it minimizes, denies, and attacks, the spirit, or “soul.”

Unfortunately, not only conservatives, but also liberals, mischaracterize the status of the embryo.  No doubt today, some liberal people – and many partially conservative, partially liberal priests like Frank Pavone – want to protect the embryo.  And then do this by being more generous in extending Human Rights.  By liberally extending the definition of what is “human,” in our sensitive times, to say that even the unyet-fully-formed embryo is human. But we will eventually ask, how good-hearted or useful is it, to say which things, ultimately?  Does it protect humanity … or hurt us?  One might doubt that it helps much, to aa) go against the Bible and God.  And bb) against the Church.  And against cc) science too.  While for that matter, note this very serious, unexpected problem:  dd) it seems obvious that an embryo does not have much of a mind or spirit; not compared to even a one year old child. And therefore, those who define it as human, note,  begin to define a being without intelligence or a human soul – a soulless entity – as fully human.  This ultimately, is an extremely dangerous and evil thing to do; it leads to minimizing the importance of the very core of religion and science:  it minimized, denied, the importance of the spirit or soul or intelligence. Indeed, Frank Pavone and others begin to accept … mindlessness; even stupidity itself; lack of intelligence.  Even as they attack one of the core values of Christianity:  the spirit. Liberal priests like Frank Pavone need to ask themselves:  what will be the long term effects, of having told millions of people, that it is OK to be without a soul, or a mind.  Here, oddly, priests end up attacking the soul; the heart of religion. And the heart of humanity and science too.  All at once.  Which must surely be, diabolical; from the devil.  And not from God.  (For more on priests supporting soulless bodies, see the Theology of the Body; and the support for Terri Schiavo).

Many liberal priests want to protect our “weakest citizens,” the really poor and helpless.  And so they want to extent human rights to embryos.  Specifically they often use old liberal Human Rights arguments; and claim that to say that something like an embryo, is not human, was the same argument used to deny rights to black people etc.; but of course black people are human.  But a blob of protoplasm?  And where does this slippery slope end?  Are dead bodies full human beings?  Since they have a human body; if not a spirit?

Where indeed does the slippery slope of extending human rights to anything that looks vaguely human, end?  Consider what absurdities have happened in the past, when the churches over-extended what is considered human.  Following down the slippery slope of declaring human, the things that make us human, lead some Catholics around 1950-60 to declare that  “every sperm is sacred.”  A major religious campaign (against masturbation; and artificial insemination?) was based on this very slogan, this very idea.  The idea being that finally, sperm cells were sacred, were even human beings.  But this is obviously very, very silly; though this campaign was still active enough c. 1968, to be lampooned in a song of that name, by Jimmy Buffett.  And to be refuted in the movie, Legally Blonde, with A. Silverstone?

Declaring every previous step of our making, as fully human, not only ignores the Bible itself; but also traditionally has lead to many obvious, even laughable absurdities.  Are sperm cells, really human beings, sacred, as some Catholics and others said in the 1950’s?  Just because they are destined to become human?  If sperm cells are human,  then this leads to many absurd problems.  Note for example, that in every natural insemination, a million sperm are produced, and employed.  But only one or two will find their way to the egg.  While rest of the sperm cells – a millions cells – die.  Thus millions of sperm cells die, for every single act that impregnates a female.  So if a sperm cell is a human being, than the average act of procreation, is also mass murder; we kill hundreds of thousands, millions of sperm cells, in every act of intercourse.  So that if these cells, even those that are “intended to become” a human being, are to be given human rights, to be declared to be human beings then, nearly every man on earth is a mass-murderer. While by the way, sperm cells are not formed enough to really be human.

The notion that every sperm cell is sacred – or is even a human being – is just one of the many extremely, even offensively silly conclusions, that we have heard from priests.  That have come from priests trying to overextend the definition of man, to earlier embryonic and earlier stages.  And we might add, that, unfortunately, some very prominent Catholics were major advocates of this ridiculous position.  While priests like Frank Pavone essentially continue this offensive absurdity.

Those liberal priests who truly wish to protect humanity, would do far, far better, to teach people to protect and value the human and divine spirit and soul, or intelligence. In the end protecting soulless bodies as fully human, is a diabolical attack on humanity’s foremost asset.  And will radically, seriously destroy mankind, rather than protect it.  It is straight from the Devil; and not from God.

(Relating to this, though not from the Bible itself, we might note another, practical reason why those who want to protect humanity, might not over-stress the human status of the embryo.  No doubt to be sure, a woman who is carrying an embryo, who wants to carry it to term, will find it useful to think of it as rather like a “child”; and to protect it, nourish it, by eating well and so forth.  Yet to be sure, often there are many women who radically over-sentimentalize the embryo – and so their lives are destroyed by miscarriages.  Many women’s lives have been ruined or ended, because they had over-stressed the status of the embryo … and were emotionally destroyed by a miscarriage.  Here it is wise to remember that even sentiment, even our “hearts,” can deceive us.  Here again, sentimental liberals who just want to help, often end up destroying the core of humanity and religion.  To err on the side of over-caution is after all, to err.

Related to this:  those many priests who now over-emphasize the evil of abortion, in effect, are traumatizing many women, who have had abortions.  Such priests and speakers, are making women feel even worse then they might normally feel.  Even, making them mentally ill.  It would actually be better, if some women were not quite so extremely attached to the embryo. A woman who is going to carry full term, should of course, have great reverence for her embryo; and should get good nutrition and so forth. But to be too attached to it, to imagine it is fully human, a “baby,” is not quite right.  While too much attachment to the embryo, can even cause mental illness, and suicide, in the case of miscarriage, and so forth.)

.  .  .

There are many people today who speak falsely for the Bible or for God, therefore; and many of them are priests, like Fr. Frank Pavone.  Today, unfortunately, many unqualified persons – especially talk show hosts and guest speakers in the “Catholic” media, and even many well-intended but priests  – presume to tell us all, very firmly, constantly, that the Bible, God, and the Church, have firmly declared that a) the embryo is fully a human being.  And so, they say, b) killing so many embryos, they claim, is the greatest evil of our age; so that c) opposing abortion, voting against pro-abortion politicians, should be our major concern in every election.  But such anti-abortion speakers – like Drew Mariani, Karl Keating, Sheila Liaugminas,  Fr. Frank Pavone and others – are speaking falsely for the Church;  speaking falsely for the Bible; and therefore, are speaking falsely for God.  The many Catholics who listen to such speakers on “Catholic” media networks, should cease to do so. Because these talk show host and popular speakers, we now find, are actually, heretics.  They are presenting a view of the embryo that is not true, first of all, to the Bible itself.

Catholics who want to really what the Bible says, who really want to follow God, should not listen primarily to even religious talk shows.  Instead, they should go to the most reliable sources.  Catholics should not listen to Sheila Liaugminas and Karl Keating and Frank Pavone; but more to the saints and the Pope. If they listen to the saints, then moreover, read what they say in larger context, yourself; do not trust the often misrepresentative excepts that others chose to quote.  Read the saints themselves, like Aquinas, more fully:  Not the Pope as dishonestly and inaccurately “summarized” (actually, bastardized) for you, by talk show hosts. Or especially, people should go to read… the Bible itself.  As we have, here.

The main defense of abortion, the main reason that abortion was made legal, is the idea that that the embryo, is not a full human being. Particularly, it is not really human, because it does big enough, not fully “formed.”  Aquinas suggested especially, it was not formed enough to accept a mind or spirit.  More specifically, as we know from science today, it does not have an adequately formed brain, to have human intelligence. And this idea can be found, in the Bible itself.  Here therefore, before fully discussing intelligence, we have chosen to quote Ps. 139, on the embryo not being sufficient “formed.”

If abortion is somewhat bad then, still it is not so bad that it should be a major issue in our lives; because after all, killing an embryo is not killing a full human being; but just half a human being at most, it would seem.

More?

Aside from millions of lives lost through neglect of health and environment, there are more obvious, immediate evils, caused by rabid anti-abortionism.  Consider finally c) the rabid anti-abortionism of EWTN and Mother Angelica, of Father Frank Pavone, EWTN, Karl Keating; which have, in spite of their own disavowals, encouraged anti-abortion terrorists.  When anti-abortionist priests insisted that the embryo was fully human, that quickly lead (c. 2006 especially), to the logical conclusion that therefore, aa) abortion killed a human being. Which meant that bb) abortion therefore was “murder.”  Not only that, but worse, cc) given the number of abortions, millions of abortions, abortion was mass murder.  Since it was killing millions of human beings.  Then finally, dd) if abortion was mass murder, therefore, abortion doctors were … mass murders.  And therefore finally ee) killing abortion doctors was justified.

This was the final extreme but logical conclusion, the reducto ad absurdum, to which the anti-abortion movement was quickly lead:  if embryos were fully human, then abortionists were “murder”ers; even mass murders (as some even said on EWTN?).   So that, perhaps ff) hearing this on EWTN and Fr. Frank Pavone, listeners no doubt felt justified in killing abortion doctors; a move that many might justify, to prevent murders. So that later in 2009, an anti-abortionist actually assassinated an abortion doctor, Dr. George Tiller.  (And not long afterwards, radical priest Fr. Frank Pavone, helpfully repeated on Relevant Radio, the addresses of one or two other major anti-abortion doctors. Making Fr. Frank Pavone, effectively, more clearly than ever, a supporter of terrorism. In spite of his own denials, and protests that these addresses had already been mentioned in other media.)  Though gg) many radical priests themselves denounced such terrorism, still, their train of logic, their rash suppositions, if followed to their logical conclusion, would inevitably encourage many to follow that path.  Once you have said that abortion is “murder,” even “mass murder,” then this is enough in the mind of even many Catholics, to justify assassinating abortion doctors.  Indeed, hh) it is hard to find anything in Catholic doctrine, that would absolutely block this.  Abortion doctors being, in one construction, not “innocent” persons themselves; the killings therefore being potentially “just.” Ultimately therefore, the inexorable train of logic of anti-abortionism, has been leading even to encouraging terrorism.

Given the increasingly disastrous consequences of anti-abortionism, there were more and more good signs that anti-abortionism would not bear good fruits.  More and more reasons why finally, even the Roman Catholic Church began belatedly, indirectly, c. 1998-2009,  to speak against Pro Life anti-abortionism.  Both the testimony of the Bible, and of the Saints, and of the Cardinals, and of the current Pope –  and now, some of its terrorist fruits – all suggested that regarding the embryo as fully human, logically, inevitably, lead to many unusual – and extreme – results.  Including a new kind of religious-based terrorism, in the United States. Though today the Church explicitly renounces such acts, still, many rebellious priests back the above chain of logic. Once you declare an embryo human, there follows an apparently inexorable logic,  that seems to demand very rebellious acts, even assassination of abortion doctors. (A possibility discussed on Catholic Radio in fact, Relevant Radio and EWRN; c. 2007-8; just before the murder of Dr. Tiller.  Cf. the many favorable references on Relevant Radio, to the Dec. 2009 Manhattan doctrine/document; that suggests that Catholics do not have to obey unjust laws?).

There are many problems with extreme anti-abortionism, therefore; finally it inevitably encourages a new kind of religious terrorism.   Our present book here, will not concentrate just on the Bible, or on Catholic doctrines. But to be sure, since the Catholic Church was long somewhat opposed to abortion, it has been lay Catholics and extremist Catholic priests in particular, that have come to the most extreme conclusions.  It has been a) Catholics that have lead many, to the conclusion that we should vote only for Republicans, and their pro-“troops,” pro-military, pro-war stance.  A stance that perhaps created many unnecessary wars … and a million unnecessary deaths.  But more than that, it is b) “Catholic” organizations like EWTN, that have undoubtedly lead some to become even, terrorists.  In spite of their disavowals of violence, it has been the constant, obsessively-repeated assertion by “Catholic” organizations like EWTN and Relevant Radio, that abortion was incredibly evil.  While these organizations also often even outlined the train of logic, that would end by asserting that we are logically and morally obligated to break the law; to murder abortion doctors, and bomb abortion clinics.  Therefore, Catholics have been at the very heart, of the new religious terrorism.  And finally, it is only a religious-based argument, that can end this.  Therefore, we will need to address specifically, Catholic Christian doctrines and authorities.  In order to show what real Catholic authority – the saints, the Cardinals, the canon, and the Pope – should say.

To be sure, in recent years, major elements of the Catholic Church – “Catholic” media, priests, and even bishops – have issued many statements that have inspired the new religious terrorism.  But the fact is, these priests and bishops have been mistaken.  Our better survey of what the Church has said more fully, begins to outline a better theology; one that backs off religious terrorism.  And the doctrines of the embryo, that leads to it.  In particular, it is useful to focus on saints, theologians, like Augustine and Aquinas. When they said that the embryo is not formed enough, to have a mind or soul.  Then, after the saints and theologians, it is also useful to recall that at least two recent cardinals – and the Pope –  noted other problems, with too much emphasis on abortion.  It was particularly useful when higher authorities began to note that when some people focus just on  “one issue” like the embryo,  that can be bad, because that causes them to ignore more important things.  Issues like, we will note, saving the Environment.  Which involves saving the lives of six billion human beings.  And then too, issues like avoiding unnecessary wars.

Indeed finally, we will show that the narrow anti-abortionism of EWTN and associated organizations and radical priests, has been a gross offense to the Church.  And to God.  Because it has spoken falsely for God.  Especially, the excessive narrowness of one-issue Catholicism, limits our attention; its obsessive, narrow focus, caused millions of voters to neglect many other issues, many other evils.  And allowed many greater evils therefore, to flourish. Including not least of all, religious terrorism.

Ultimately we will show, EWTN and associated media organizations therefore, have lead the world very far away, from the Church, and from God.  Particularly,  the narrow focus of one-issue anti-abortionism, focused voters in America, on supporting just Republican issues.  But that was a problem.  Because the Republican Party was not entirely good on every single issue.  Anti-abortionism ultimately, elected one “conservative”/right-wing Republican administration after another, c. 1980-2008.  But Republican administrations were “good” on some issues like abortion, but not so good on “turning the other cheek” to our alleged enemies in Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan.  Republican administrations did not support “negotiation” with enemies, or turning the other cheek:  they supported confrontation, even military intervention.  Republican administrations propelled us not into gentle pastoralism, but into militaristic threats; as Reagan threatened Iran with nuclear annihilation, in 1980.  And into a pro-American, pro-military state of mind.  One leading, some would say, to “patriotic,” nationalist/militarist wars. The female ambassador of the first George Bush, told Iraq, c. 1990,  that its border disputes with neighboring countries – like Kuwait – were “no concern” to America; and Saddam Hussein heard that as a green light to invade Kuwait, as a reward for earlier cooperation with America. His son, the second George Bush, in effect also baited Arabs; when as his first pronouncement out of the White House, Jan. 2000, Bush announced support for Israel, not Palestine.  So that enraged Arabs attacked and destroyed the World Trade Center 9/11/01.  And in response, America re-entered the Iraq war, and Afghanistan too; which continue to be a problem, eight years later.  Arguably, Republican disinterest in “loving your enemies,” and their pro-military sentiment, preoccupation with wars, partially caused these conflicts, these wars.  Then too, voting for Republicans caused a neglect of Democratic issues, the social gospel:   the care of the poor, and the sick.  In 2009/10, the Republican Party – and anti-abortion Catholics especially – were urging legislators not to back universal health care … that would have, among other effects, extended health insurance and far better medical care, to 30 millions uninsured Americans.  (And by the way, the fact that health care might fund abortion, appeared to be about to end this health care bill).  Then too again, eventually, the assertion on EWTN/RN that abortion was “murder,” in effect guided many activists to feel justified in becoming terrorists; and assassinating abortion doctors, like Dr. Tiller, c. 2009.

But especially, no one knows how much environmental damage might have been done, through neglect of the issue of the environment.  Neglect of environmental flood protection, neglect of the New Orleans dikes, at least caused the flooding of much of New Orleans during the Republican Bush II administration.  While no one knows how much destruction might have been caused, by neglect of other Democratic and Biblical issues.  Like avoiding wars, and disease, and famines.  Things that are warned about in the Bible over and over again.  Things that have already, historically, killed hundreds of millions, billions of indisputably human persons.  And that will kill many, many more.  Unless we learn to keep these “other issues” firmly in mind.

Here to be sure, many anti-abortionists insist that  there can be no issue whatsoever, that is as important, as the deaths of say, 50 million embryos, to date.  But in fact?  There are two arguments here.  First a) we are arguing here, that these deaths are not deaths of human beings, but merely of embryos; the Bible’s “unformed substances.”  While secondly?  B) Historically, already, deaths caused by other issues – like disease and enviornmental disaster – have already, provably, killed hundreds, thousands more than 50 million.  For a billion years of human history, year after year, a very high percentage of the whole human population, died prematurely; from disease, starvation, warfare, and exposure.  So that anthropologists estimate that  the average life span in ancient times (as in even relatively recent American Indian populations), was at most, 35 years of age.

Most people died young.  And they died of the “other issues,” the other, far worse evils; the things that anti-abortionists now choose to declare to be insignificant.

And many millions, billions more will die, unless we persuade narrow, one –issue folks, to look beyond their nose.  At the larger world.   And at “other issues.”  As the bishops have called them.

END OF PREFACE

Chapter 2

100 Christian and Rational

Arguments

Against the Pro Life,

 Anti-Abortion Movement

THE BIBLE:

What Does the Bible Say

About Abortion?

The Bible Does Not Firmly, Unequivocally

Condemn Abortions;  In Fact,

The Bible Commands Priests

To Perform Abortions

(The Holy Bible:  Num. 5.11-30 RSV).

We have just outlined, informally, a half-dozen or so quick arguments allowing abortion.  But now it is time to begin our more systematic, numbered, more comprehensive survey, of one or two hundred and more arguments against Pro Life anti-abortionism.  In this chapter we will survey first, 1) arguments from the Bible itself, that the Bible allowed abortion, or did not think of it as a very serious sin.  After examining the Bible, we will move on in later chapters, especially to 2) arguments against antiabortionism, arguments for allowing abortion, from Science.  And then 3) from say, specifically, Catholic Tradition.  And well as other sources.

For decades, many talk show hosts and guests, have insisted that the Bible, is firmly against abortion.  But we will note here that actually, two or three cardinals, and our current pope, have opposed any very strong, dis “proportionate,” one-issue, Pro Life, anti-abortion position.

And what is the reason, that so many very high officials in the Catholic Church – including at least two Cardinals and the Pope – have often opposing EWTN, and Karl Keating, and any strong, “one issue” Pro Life stance?  The reason is in part that a strong, unequivocal anti-abortion stand, is not supported, ultimately, by the Bible itself.

# 1 THE BIBLE NEVER MENTIONS ABORTION BY NAME

Politics and priestly fashions, ecclesiastical/priestly fadism, have made Abortion the very centerpiece, the touchstone issue, of the Roman Catholic Church , in our time; even the Bible never mentions abortion specifically by name; not even one.  To be sure, there are many modern issues that are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, that might be found important, in that they relate back to other primary Biblical ideas, commands, commandments.  But at the same time, when an issue is not directly mentioned at all, that means a certain amount of mental guesswork, extrapolation, is required, in determining whether that issue is really addressed by the Bible, or not.  And in the present case?  We find that the Bible never very, very clearly addressed this issue directly at all.  And we find that if anything, the Bible approved of abortion.  While all those various allegedly Bible-based arguments that try to condemn abortion, are found to be simply, political fads; on the false “traditions” and “doctrines of men.”  Which are not based on a firm understanding of the Bible.

In general, when someone or some movement, makes an issue never explicitly named in the Bible, not even once, into the very centerpiece of Christianity, that seems perverse, of course, to people who value and honor the Bible.  And in fact, the Pro Life anti-abortion movement is a perverse movement, which will be shown to be even inconsistent with – or simply against – the Bible itself

a) First, the fact that the Bible never mentions the word “abortion” at all – while the Bible mentions other issues like poverty, and disease, thousands of times - clearly hints right up front, that  a) abortion was not a major topic for God.  Or that the Bible therefore, perhaps never very firmly pronounced on this subject; so that no one should ever say that “God” himself ever said anything firm on the subject of abortion; God himself said no such thing.  Those who claim otherwise, speak falsely for God.  The fact is, neither God nor anyone else, ever said anything very firm about abortion; it is never even mentioned by name in the Bible; not even once. While in contrast (as Democrats began noting finally, in the 2006 and 2008 elections), the Bible mentions other issues – like helping the poor and sick for example – hundreds of times.   So it would seem the Bible itself intended to suggest there many more important things, issues in life, other than abortion.

Of course – as many will object – there are many perhaps occasionally notable sins and issues, that are not mentioned specifically and by name, in the Bible.  But the fact that God himself never mentioned it by name, at least raises one red flag about religion anti-abortionists.  Indeed, we can firmly say this to religious anti-abortionists:  b) no one should say that “God” himself said abortion is bad; in fact, God himself said nothing about it.  And therefore, all those many religious anti-abortionists who claim otherwise, are committing a very, very grave sin:  they are speaking falsely for God.  The Bible itself – and therefore many would say, God himself – never actually said anything about it.  Those who pretend that our religion, the God of the Bible, is against abortion … speak falsely; they are deceivers.

This is not a conclusive argument in itself.  But after all, it begins to quickly raise a red flag on religious anti-abortionists.  Doesn’t it seem strange, even alarming, that there should an issue today, that many religious people, many alleged Christians insist is the supreme issue that should govern our lives, that should determine our votes and our future .. but that issue was never actually mentioned, not even once, in the Bible?  One might well c) ask what religion these people are following:  it would seem to many it is not Christianity; not a religion based on the God of the Bible. And indeed, it is a false religion that seems d) exceedingly reckless; since the millions of  “Christian” anti-abortionists are now gambling almost their entire lives, their vote and their future, around something that is not in the Bible.  Which seems odd, at the very least. It seems like taking a great rash risk:  at once, straying so far from the Bible itself, even as they follow it with the total loyalty due only to things firmly pronounced by God.

We see religious, allegedly “Christian” anti-abortionists, doing a very, very self-contradictory thing first of all:  they claim to be following God … and yet they put so much faith in something never explicitly spoken of in the Bible.  So that as we will see here later, perhaps indeed, e) anti-abortionists are actually the foretold deceived persons, spoken of in the Bible:  who are following a False (idea of ) Christ.  Since they think they are following Christ, but they are clearly following things that Christ himself never said; while mistakenly thinking that he did say these things. (See more on this our writings on the False Christ, etc.).  So that they are following, manifestly, a false Christ, as we will show later.

In any case, note that f) the Bible itself gave infinitely more attention to other issues aside from abortion – like helping the poor, and helping the sick.   Suggesting again that other topics than abortion, were far, far more important to God himself.

To be g) sure – as apologists for the Pro Life position will be quick to point out – the mere fact that a specific sin, is not specifically named in the Bible, is not very strong proof that God is not concerned with it.  Many individual varieties of sin are not named in the Bible, and yet might be regarded as important.  Still, as our first point, it seems at least odd, it raises a quick red flag, when we find that an issue never mentioned by name in the Bible, not even once,  should today be presented as the foremost command from God, outweighing all other considerations in the voting booth say.  This seems at the very least, odd; and strangely … as the Pope said, dis”proportionate.”   At the very least.  If it is not even,  a gross misrepresentation of the Bible and of God.

If we listen to anti-abortion media networks, like EWTN, we hear abortion mentioned at least a dozen times a day; and we are told that this single issue should be the one issue that absolutely determines our votes – and our future – in elections.  But that seems very, very strange and odd, up front:  just casually, it would seem unlikely, it would seem to be quite a stretch, for millions to claim that something that was never specifically mentioned in the Bible, would take such absolute precedence over, say, many of the Ten Commandments; like the commandment that tells us that Adultery is bad.  (Is that not mentioned on “conservative” stations, because that is a sin committed by many Republicans as well as Democrats by the way?).  It is odd that this minor sin of abortion should be mentioned say, more than the sin of failing to recognize, honor the Sabbath.  Or the sin, of not helping the poor.  To be sure, some will claim that that abortion finally, is an example, a subset, of the violation of the major commandment, “thou shalt not kill” or “murder.”  But we will see here later, that is not the case.  Because finally, we find, the embryo is not a full human being, with a human intelligence or spirit; and therefore, killing it does not violate the commandment against killing a human being. So that we will find here that not only does the Bible not mention abortion by name; nor does it really speak against it by way of its discussion of larger concepts, either.  Like say, the Ten Commandments.

But in any case, too, h)  the fact that the Bible never mentions abortion by name, means this:  all those religious persons who claim that God, religion, is against abortion, are not really speaking from something God said firmly; but are merely extrapolating, guessing.  And extrapolations, guesses, are often dangerous.   While indeed, it is extremely rash,  and even culpably evil, to tell everyone to firmly follow, as the word of God, something that is a mere guess, or extrapolation.

So in fact, i) all those religious anti-abortionists that speak as if Christianity or God spoke against abortion, are actually, we will have to conclude, heretics.  Since they are claiming something of God, that God himself never said.  That the Bible itself, never said. This, we will conclude, means that religious anti-abortionists are finally, simply, disobeying the Bible and God.  And in the end, they must be firmly pronounced to be, finally, simply, apostates.  Fixated far, far too narrowly on just one issue, that was never spoken about much in the Bible at all.  Suggesting firmly, that anti-abortionists are, for one thing, not based on the Bible.  Nor as it will turn out, are they based on the Church either:  by focusing on “one issue,” as we will see, they have come up with a deformed, warped, dis “proportionate” Catholicism.  Or more simply put?  Finally we will find that, because they cross the Bible, and then their own Church too many times?  Finally, they are best called simply, heretics.

 

# 2  PSALM 139 SAYS THAT THE EMBRYO IS THE WOMB IS NOT A FULLY “FORM”ED PERSON; BUT IS ONLY AN “UNFORMED SUBSTANCE”

To note that abortion is never mentioned in the Bible, though, is not necessarily, to many, a very, very firm argument against it; a far, far more important argument – indeed, the main argument for justifying abortion – is this one:  the argument that the young “child” in the womb, the fetus or embryo, is not quite yet fully human; is not a fully “formed” human being.  It is not a real person, with a soul.  As many theologians will confirm.  It is an incomplete person; a half-made person.  We will say far more on this, the main argument allowing abortion, later on.  For now, let us note first of all that there are historical confirmations, in the Jewish culture that preceded the Bible, and in the Bible itself, of our suggestion that abortion was a minor subject, to God.  Specifically it is often said by many Jewish scholars, that in Jewish culture – which is a major root of Christianity, the Old Testament especially – even a newborn male was not considered a full child, until circumcision, several days (eight days?) after birth.   Therefore, in ancient Jewish culture – and some would say, in the Old Testament – the very young embryo was not really considered fully human.   (Nor apparently was this low status for the embryo, formally changed later on; by St. Paul and Christianity.  As we will find later, in a look at the New Testament).

The central issue in scholarly debates allowing abortion, we will see, is whether the child in the womb is really a full human being or not.  (See our remarks on Augustine and Aquinas).  And there is lots of evidence, we will see here, that the “child” in the womb, is not really regarded as a complete human being, in the Bible itself.  As we will note elsewhere, much of the Bible suggests that no newly born person is fully good, or “saved” say, until various acts or rituals are performed; like say, circumcision.  Or in Christianity proper, baptism. Or, not until – as even televangelists like Billy Graham liked to say – you “make a personal decision to follow Jesus Christ.”  Until then, it was often said, our “soul” was not “saved”; and therefore in a sense, you were not fully human, or fully good; with an immortal soul or spirit; a spirit good enough to get into heaven.  So that, as we will see here later, there are various measures that the embryo does not meet.  Therefore indeed, much of traditional Christianity allowed that the embryo had an imperfect or incomplete spirit or soul at best; and therefore it was best said to be in “Limbo,” for example; n a vague and undecided space.  The embryo therefore, was Traditionally not regarded as being clearly saved, or
ensouled.”  Or even, some might say, the embryo was not even regarded as being fully human.

Specifically?   The Bible itself – Psalm 139 – told us rather explicitly, that the young embryo in the womb is not yet us; not yet a human person; not an adequately “form”ed being to be considered a human person.

In fact, Psalm 139 clearly calls the embryo in the womb, merely an “unformed substance.”  One whose “days” as a human person, have not yet begun.  We ourselves, as human persons, do not yet exist:  in the womb, we are only “being” made.  Which is to say we ourselves, were not yet complete in the womb:

” I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.  Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Ps. 139.15-17).

Some here try to distinguish two parts:  the moment when we are being made in the womb, and the earlier moments when God merely had us in mind.  But in any case?  In both the moment when the embryo is forming in the womb, and in the earliest days when God had an image of us in mind – we however did not yet completely exist.  Being formed in the womb, we are not fully “made” yet, but are merely “being made.”  While if our names were written in the book before all this, still at that time, the days that were “formed” for us … had not yet come; of our days as human person, “there was none.”

Elsewhere to be sure, we will need more extensive discussion on issues like calling the older embryo, a “child”; and the issue of “quickening.”  Yet Psalm 139 is the part of the Bible that discusses the embryo more directly and extensively probably, than any other part.  And it is clear:  before, and when we are an embryo, we are only in the process of being formed; we are not yet formed; we are only “being” made; and our “days” as a human person, have not yet come.

# 3 Confirming the low status of the embryo, for the God of the Bible:  in the Old Testament, the penalty for accidentally causing a miscarriage, was minor.  In a Bible where merely gathering food on a Sabbath, or cursing your father, was a capital crime punishable by execution, note that a) the penalty for causing a miscarriage was very, very minor. A simple “fine” (Ex. 21.22 NIV):

“If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely, but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows” (Ex. 21.22).

So in the Bible  itself, accidentally causing a miscarriage – which aborts an embryo – was in effect, a very minor sin; one incurring only a minor fine.

Then note furthermore, next, that the text here considers that when a miscarriage is caused, b) there is “no serious injury.”   So that apparently, in at least one common reading, the Bible implicitly regards the termination of an embryo, as not a serious problem. Not a serious injury.  The concern in the Bible is for the life of the mother; not the embryo.  If an embryo dies, the Bible says, “no serious injury” has occurred.  The Bible here does not impose anything like the sort of penalties on causing the death of an embryo, that it would impose on causing the death of a full human being.  Suggesting again that after all, for the God of the Old Testament, the embryo is not quite fully human.  (Nor is this idea dropped in the New Testament either; to be sure, anti-abortionists often mention the embryo of John the Baptist, in Luke 1.41-44, kicking in the womb, on hearing the voice of Mary outside. But embryos of even animals, can respond to some noises, or kick spontaneously; that does not make them human.  As we will remark in our sections on “quickening” and so forth.).

In the Bible itself therefore, right up front therefore, there are a number of indications that the unborn child, the fetus, was not considered important, or fully human, in ancient society; or to God himself.  And this stands to reason, we will soon see:  the fetus is much smaller than a baby or a child.  And later on key theologians and saints like St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas – following the Bible itself we will see – would confirm that the very young unborn child, simply did not have a well-enough developed brain or body, to be capable of human thinking; or to have a human soul.  So that the unborn child is not really quite, fully, a human being.

# 4 These are moreover, just the first, early, faintest hints that God might approve abortion; later on in the Bible, there is much firmer evidence.  Amazingly for example – and in seemingly absolute, conclusive condemnation of the anti-abortion position – there is part of the Bible, in which God ordered priests to perform an act that was, in effect, an abortion (and often, sterilization).  In Num.  5.15-29.  This at first, seems utterly impossible to anti-abortionists.  Yet this is in the Bible; in the biblical book of Numbers, chapter 5; verses 15 thru 29.

As background to Numbers 5:  the following quote from the Bible, was addressed to the question of what a priest is supposed to do, when a married woman is accused of infidelity or adultery; of cheating on her husband. Here, as a way to deal with a case where a woman was accused of infidelity, God orders that a priest should administer to such woman, a “dust” or powder.  A powder which it is said, if she is guilty of infidelity, will indicate her guilt (among other things), by causing her upper “thigh” or “womb” to “fall.” While doctors today say that if a woman’s womb fell, this would in effect, among other things, cause an abortion, if the woman was pregnant. While the Bible itself suggests that this could induce sterilization as well; implying that if found guilty, if her womb falls, she would not “be able to conceive” after that.

For those who care about the Bible and God?  The Bible itself never directly mentions abortion by name.  But here  is the main section of the Bible, that seems to pertains most directly to abortion.  It is the section where God commands priests, in the case of a woman suspected of adultery, to administer a “dust,” that causes an abortion:

NUMBERS 5.11-30, from The Holy Bible:

[11] And the LORD said to Moses,
[12] “Say to the people of Israel, If any man’s wife goes astray and acts unfaithfully against him,
[13] if a man lies with her carnally, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and she is undetected though she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her, since she was not taken in the act;
[14] and if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him, and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself; or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him, and he is jealous of his wife, though she has not defiled herself;
[15] then the man shall bring his wife to the priest, and bring the offering required of her, a tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it and put no frankincense on it, for it is a cereal offering of jealousy, a cereal offering of remembrance, bringing iniquity to remembrance.
[16] “And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD;
[17] and the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water.
[18] And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD,
and unbind the hair of the woman’s head, and place in her hands the cereal offering of remembrance, which is the cereal offering of jealousy. And in his hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse.
[19] Then the priest shall make her take an oath, saying, `If no man has lain with you, and if you have not turned aside to uncleanness, while you were under your husband’s authority, be free from this water of bitterness that brings the curse.
[20] But if you have gone astray, though you are under your husband’s authority, and if you have defiled yourself, and some man other than your husband has lain with you,
[21] then’ (let the priest make the woman take the oath of the curse, and say to the woman) `the LORD make you an execration and an oath among your people, when the LORD makes your thigh fall away and your body swell;
[22] may this water that brings the curse pass into your bowels and make your body swell and your thigh fall away.’ [Womb to fall.]  And the woman shall say, `Amen, Amen.’
[23] “Then the priest shall write these curses in a book, and wash them off into the water of bitterness;
[24] and he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain.
[25] And the priest shall take the cereal offering of jealousy out of the woman’s hand, and shall wave the cereal offering before the LORD and bring it to the altar;
[26] and the priest shall take a handful of the cereal offering, as its memorial portion, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall make the woman drink the water.
[27] And when he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has acted unfaithfully against her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her body shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away, and the woman shall become an execration among her people.
[28] But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be free and shall conceive children.
[29] This is the law in cases of jealousy, when a wife, though under her husband’s authority, goes astray and defiles herself,
[30] or when the spirit of jealousy comes upon a man and he is jealous of his wife; then he shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. (The Bible; Revised Standard Version?)

The word “thigh” here, is sometimes better translated “womb.”  Which is caused to fall; probably making the woman sterile; incapable of “conceiv”ing?  In any case, this dust, that God orders priests must give to some women, would, most doctors agree, probably cause an abortion in a pregnant woman.  In effect, the “dust” or powder was what we today call an “abortifacient.”  Many such abortive substances, dusts, powders,  abortifacients, were known even in ancient times; like Belladonna and so forth.

Therefore, how can anyone possibly say that God abhors abortions?  Here in the Bible itself, God himself commands a  priest – no less – to  perform in effect, an abortion.  God commands a priest to administer a “dust”; a powder which, we may conclude from its stated effects, was an early version of what we today call an “abortifacient”; a substance that causes abortions.   Many such chemicals were known even in ancient times; like “Belladonna.”   So that such a dust could easily have been available to ancient Jews, even in Biblical times.  (Such substances would especially be available to contemporary Arabs, the neighbors of the Jews;  Arabian medicine was more advanced than the rest of the world at the time).

So it seems clear that the Bible itself, God himself, doe note really oppose abortion.  Or value the status of the embryo all that much.  In fact, quite the contrary:  here in the Bible itself, amazingly, God himself, no less, orders priests, no less,  to perform abortions.  God orders priests to administer a dust to some women; a powder that was in effect, a medicine that would cause an abortion.

In the Bible therefore, God himself orders a priest to perform an abortion. In this part of the Bible therefore, we have a passage that absolutely, powerfully contradicts, disproves, the central contention of Pro-Life anti-abortionists. It is not true that God, the Bible, oppose abortion.  Far from it.  On the contrary.   Here, we see God himself ordering an abortion.  Not only God himself ordering an abortion – but moreover, God ordering a priest to perform it.

In our book here, we will present more than a hundred different arguments, allowing abortion – many of them directly from the Bible.  Indeed, true Christians – who actually read, and actually follow, their Bibles and God – it would seem from Num. 5, could never for a moment say or imply that God himself abhors abortions.  Far from it; God himself commanded priests to perform them.  Just this single Biblical passage alone, would seem to be enough to say all-but absolutely, conclusively, and forevermore, that anti-abortionism is a heresy, as we define heresy here; it is against the Bible, and against God.

Here in fact, the a) Bible itself not only allowed abortion; b) but in some circumstances, God actually ordered them.  Moreover, amazingly, c) God even commanded priests – no less –  to perform abortion.  God himself here commanding priests to administer powders, that were abortifacients.  In light of this, it is hard to see how anyone can claim that the God of the Bible is against abortion.  In fact, any alleged Christian that asserts that God or the Bible told him that abortion is wrong, is simply, wrong.  Clearly, those “conservative,” allegedly tradition-following anti-abortionist Christians … have chosen to ignore parts of the Bible.  Anti-abortionists have chosen to disobey some of the commands of God.   Those many persons in the media who claim that God himself forbade abortion are therefore, not the loyal, pious “conservatives” they believe themselves to be; not at all. In fact, the many religious anti-abortionists we hear on the airways, are actually rebelling against the Bible, and are rebelling against God.  Far from speaking for God, they are in actual point of fact, heretics.  Presenting their own flawed, false human opinions, the “traditions of men.” They are speaking falsely for God.

No doubt, d) many people – even the author of this very book – personally find abortion repugnant.  And many might wish to oppose abortion.  Which is a personal decision that we ourselves would allow; indeed, the “Pro Choice” movement allows that a woman might “choose” to have – or not have – an abortion.  The Pro “Choice” movement does not force people to have abortions, normally; it merely asserts that the decision should belong to the individual woman, as one of  her fundamental freedoms of choice.   In fact, abortion may even be a slightly bad thing.  But no matter how repellent we personally might find abortion, the fact is, no one is authorized, ever, to say that God himself opposes it.  The fact is, God himself never said any such thing.  Indeed, there is every indication that God himself at times, said the exact opposite of that.  So that finally, there should be no such thing as a “Christian” Pro Choice anti-abortionism.  The fact is, from the point of view of the Bible and of its God, abortion is allowed. Indeed, those who would make it illegal, are simply, against the Bible, and against God; they are heretics.

Amazingly though, there are some “Christian”s who feel they can ignore the Bible.  Amazingly in particular,  e) some Catholics and others, feel they can ignore the Bible; and follow whatever a Pope or the Catholic body of knowledge, the “Magisterium,” says, instead.   But those Catholics who feel that what the Bible says has no hold on them, are simply hypocritical and mistaken.  They have a mistaken concept of Catholicism.  Catholics should note that even the current, larger, “universal” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2000 AD ed., says that the Bible is “sacred.”  The current Catechism also goes on to say that the Bible is regarded as authoritative. The rule established in the Catechism, is that the though the Church may pronounce on matters not directly mentioned in the Bible, the general rule for Catholicism and the Bible, is this:   though the Church can add to things said in the Bible, it can never add anything that contradicts the Bible.  The Church it is said, can add rules, add laws, that are not mentioned in the Bible – but only so long as what is added, does not contradict what is already there.  This rule is so firm, that even the Pope cannot ever add anything to the Church laws, that contradicts the Bible; not ever. So that even Catholics are obliged to follow the Bible.  Because it is “sacred,” even the Catechism says.  And moreover, if the Catholic Church today, says anything – say, regarding abortion – that contradicts any part of the Bible?  Then after all, that portion of Catholic rules, laws, doctrines … should be canceled.

Ultimately, even Catholics, even the Pope, are obligated, just like other Christian religions, to follow the Bible. And f) we might add, if the Bible itself seems to allow abortion – as it seems to above – then eventually, the Roman Catholic Church must soon formally reverse its apparent ban on abortion; and declare that God and the Church allows abortion.

Some anti-abortionists g) might argue next, that even if the Old Testament commanded priests to perform abortions, still, the New Testament changed this law.  And yet however, Jesus himself often said that he had not come to change an “iota” of the “law.” To be sure, many scholars now assert that in effect, Jesus did in fact, change many laws. But Jesus himself and much of Christianity, more often claimed to perfectly follow the old God.  Possibly to be sure, eventually St. Peter and St. Paul changed some laws it seems.  Particularly, some Old Testament laws on not eating pork or shellfish were dropped; and the day of the Sabbath was changed, from Saturday, to Sunday.  But then the apostles were not perfect:  Paul confessed that he himself was “not … perfect” even as he wrote his half of the New Testament.  While Jesus called Peter “Satan,” in Mat. 16.23.  Those who still insist that these figures were authorized to change the words of God, of the Old Testament, should note that in any case, even then, there is no part of even the New Testament, that directly contradicts the specific passage in Num. 5; where God allowed abortion, and even ordered priests to perform them.

So finally, we will simply say this:  God, the Bible, often said abortion is OK.  Indeed, God even commands a priest to perform one, at times.  And therefore, h) no one who opposes abortion, could actually be a Christian; i) much less, a “conservative” one.  First of all,  they are anything but conservatives; they are rebelling against the Bible.  And they are not Christians either: since they are therefore disobeying God.

Particularly, any contemporary priest who says that God hates abortion, that abortion is hopelessly evil … is a priest who is very far from the Bible.  And very, very far from God.  In fact, any such priests – like say, Fr. Frank Pavone, or Fr. Edmund Sylvia – we will show here, are simply, finally, heretics.  Anti-abortion priests are rebelling precisely and exactly and diametrically, against the Bible.  And against God.  Such “Catholics” and priests, we find here, should simply be excommunicated; kicked out of the church.

The single passage, offset and quoted from the Bible above – from the Book of Numbers – would seem conclusive:  the Bible, God, firmly allow abortion.  Given even just this single passage of the Bible, from God,  it would hardly seem necessary, to introduce any more evidence at all, against Christian anti-abortionism.   But anti-abortionists are remarkable in their resistance to factual information; and to reason; and to the Bible.  So that finally, amazingly, in spite of rather conclusive evidence from the Bible itself –  that a normal embryo is not regarded by God, as quite fully human – still, amazingly, millions of alleged Christians, conservative cafeteria Catholics, ignore this; ignore part of God.  So that it is amazing that anyone who calls themselves Christian, could actually oppose abortion so adamantly, still, it will apparently be necessary to introduce, it seems, more arguments.  Technically, such a thing is not necessary, when speaking to true, real Christians.  But apparently, that is not who we are really talking to, when we speak to conservative Catholics.  Who must really be hypocrites.

Surely no more proofs are needed to convince a real Christian.  But to be sure, many claim to be Christian, who are not.  And so therefore, to be sure, we will present many, many more religious pro-abortion arguments here.  Numbers 5, is just one of the first of a hundred, strong, often Bible-based and logic-based arguments, against anti-abortionism.  Especially, since many wayward Catholic priests in particular, assert that the Church and God oppose abortions, we will offer dozens more Bible-, Christian-, and specifically Catholic-based arguments, for abortion.  So that even if you are a “Catholic” who does not follow the Bible, soon, here, we will produce sayings from saints and Cardinals and Popes, in support of our position.

To be sure, we are here offering a book that is hundreds of pages long.  While in the course of 400 pages or so, we might well offer one or two arguments that seem uncertain.  But if one or two of our pro-abortion arguments here, are later refuted, note that all it takes to prove the case for abortion, is just one single good argument.  And among our hundred or so defenses for abortion, surely, there will be at least one, that is good.  Critics may think they can disprove one or two of them; but they must in fact disprove every single one of them.  While for that matter, we believe that every single one of our arguments is good; and that if given a fair and equal opportunity, we can defend every one of them; we will be able to answer the counter-objections, and counter-counter objections too.

All it takes to prove the case for abortion, is just one good argument.  While already, early on, we have shown many casual indications at least, that the Bible itself does not consider abortion an important or major sin.  While in fact, we have just shown a neglected passage in the Bible itself, where God himself seems to order a priest, no less, to administer an abortion.  That in itself, would seem conclusive. But if this passage from the Bible, from God, somehow does not convince someone, then we will now simply present a hundred and more defenses, next.  Can our alleged Christian opponents answer every single one?  Or will they continue to play God, and announce their own opinions as the word of God? Even when their opinions are against the Bible, itself.

# 5 Some anti-abortionists assert, that the Bible often speaks of the embryo, as a human being; when it calls it an unborn “child.”  And to some, parts of the Bible – particularly parts on the embryo of Jesus and John, kicking in the womb at a sound – seem to suggest to some, that the embryo is a full child, a full human person in the womb.  In part, because the embryo reacts to sound and moves – or “quickens,” as it is said.  But here we note there are other reasons to say that the term “child” in the womb, is being used loosely.  As we can see particularly, in Psalm 139.  In that passage – which is perhaps the passage in the Bible that considered the embryo more than any other – the embryo is not referred to as a child, but as an “unformed substance.”   When speaking of the Bible, it is important to always keep in mind, all of it.  So that when reading of the “child” in the womb, like the following, we should also always keep in the mind the dozens of other parts of the Bible that tell a rather different story.  Suggesting that the following references therefore, after all, are just conventionally referring to the embryo as a “child.”  Including the following, oft-quoted sections:

“Mary arose … and she entered the house of Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among woman, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! … For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy'” (Luke 1.42-44).

Here we hear the testimony or emotional exclamation of Elizabeth; however, note its contrast with other parts of the Bible – like Psalm 139:  Psalm 139 supports the argument that suggests that the embryo, the “child” in the womb, is not a full human being.  This is the main argument for abortion, in fact, in the literature (see “ensoulment” in our section on Church Doctrine, Aquinas).  The argument is that the young “child” in the womb, is not quite fully formed; and not fully human.  Because among other things, it’s brain is not big enough to think like a human being.  And there is much in the Bible to support that. Even over and above any reference to a “child” in the womb.

What should we make of Elizabeth’s proclamation of a “babe” in the womb therefore? .  Critics note that a) this after all was the testimony of a woman; and in the paternalistic time this was written, women were considered unreliable, often over-sentimental witnesses.  While then too, b) the use of the term “child” to refer to an embryo, was likely just a common convention, of people who didn’t know enough science to refer to an “embryo”; while as noted earlier, c) the other parts of the Bible that consider the matter more carefully – especially Psalm 139 – firmly call the embro a mere “unformed substance.”

For a moment, the testimony of a woman, appears to refer to the embryo as a “babe.”   But what does the Bible finally, ultimately say about the status of the embryo?  We found above, that perhaps it said nothing very directly about abortion at all.  Though it c) considers accidentally causing a miscarriage, to be a minor, rather insignificant sin, above.  While the loss of the embryo’s life can be read, above, as being “no harm.” While it even seems that God allows – even orders – abortions; in Num. 5.

In spite of this, many Pro-Lifers, anti-abortionists, argue that the Bible called the embryo a “child”; and therefore, they claim, the embryo should be regarded as a full human person.  But d) others argue that if the Bible called an embryo a “child,” even in Luke, above, it was generally, only after obvious motion of the embryo of John – its “quickening” some call it.  Only after the embryo began to move, or “quicken,” in ways obvious to the mother.  A moment traditionally located in the last trimester, or last three months of pregnancy.  A moment that often is said, in many circles, to be the truer beginning of a human life; well after the moment of “conception.”  Though here we will support a much later date than that.  Indeed, Luke 1.42-4 above, would at most, support the notion of an embryo being a “child,” at quickening.  Which at the time, was taken to be when dramatic and obvious motion was clear to everyone; at about 6 months or more.  (While furthermore, there are reasons that science today, would not extend this date backwards; for various reasons, to be explained herein.)

Especially important here, finally, is Psalm 139 from the Bible. That referred to the embryo, in language that continually suggests that the embryo is not quite a fully “formed” person or child.  Most conclusively for many – including for theologians like St. Thomas Aquinas – the Bible in some translations, reputedly refers to our status as embryos, as being simply an “unformed” “substance” (in Psalms 139.16,  Revised Standard Version of the Bible.  In the original Hebrew it is said, the phrase is even less flattering than that.  Also see “womb” in a Biblical concordance too).

Psalm 139 is extremely important.   Though apparently quoted in the current Catechism in support of the idea that we are human “from conception” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, pub. Libreria Editrice Vaticana1994-97, 200 AD ed. Sec. 2270, footnote #74),  actually, this passage merely suggests that if you are born, then after all God had you in mind from the beginning.  While the text more fully suggests that when there is an embryo in the womb, there isn’t a complete human person in the womb; but only an incomplete being.  One that is – as the Bible says in its own language – only in the process of being made; of a) being “knit together” in a womb.  What we see in the womb, is b) not yet fully “formed,” the Bible says;  but is c) only “being made” there.  So that what we have in the womb, with an embryo, is not yet a complete human person; but only an d) incomplete “substance.”   What we have in the womb, is something like a pile of lumber that is about to be made into a house … but that is not a house already.  That will not be a house, until the parts are nailed together.

Contrary to what many think, Psalm 139 tells us in many ways, several times, that the embryo is not yet a being fully made being.  But is only an “unformed” “substance,” merely “being knit”; an incomplete thing.  As we see in Psalm 139, over and over:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, you eyes saw my unformed body”

Thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 139.13 RSV?).

“Being made” there; (Ps. 139.15).

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance” (Ps. 139.16; unformed “body” RSV).

It may be that the Bible at times casually referred to the embryo in passing, as a “child” in the womb.  But when the Bible here, in Ps. 139, closely regarded the embryo at length, it clearly regarded the embryo in the womb as being not yet a complete human being; but as being a mere “unformed substance.”  Something “being” “knit” into a human – but that is clearly not a full, completely completed, full human yet.

Psalm 139 is extremely important.  There, the Bible said, that we are not really fully human in the womb; but were only incomplete, “unformed substance” there. There is not yet a complete, full, real child or human being in womb; only a “substance” in the process of being made or “knit” there.

To use an analogy: the substance in the womb is no more a full human being, than a pile of lumber is the same as a house that will be build of it.  What we see in the embryo, is not more a full human being, than an acorn, is an full oak tree.  What we have in the womb, is what might, under certain conditions, eventually become, or be built into, a human being.  But that is not a human being, yet.  According to Ps. 139, in part.

e) And so, if the Bible elsewhere seemed to call an embryo a “child” in the womb?  Then it might be that after all, the translation, or even the language used originally, was simply not very exact; that the word “child” was metaphorical, or conventional.  Since we now find in Ps. 139, that  the Bible, when it at last devoted an extended passage specifically to the embryo, referred to the fetus as merely “unformed substance”; or a human in the making, “being knit.”  But not yet complete.

f) So that, it would be better for priests to refer to the embryo, by the biblical term, as an “unformed substance.”  Rather than “child.” This seems to be the preferred language used not by women, but by God himself.

g) This sense of the quote from the Bible, Ps. 139,  we will be seeing furthermore, correctly used, emphasized, and reaffirmed, by countless later theologians.  Thomas Aquinas or others, were later to strongly focus on this very important part of the Bible, when determined the status of the embryo. Theologians like Aquinas, specifically quoted Ps. 139, when they talked about the embryo not being sufficiently “formed” to be human.  (Especially when they spoke of it, as being not formed enough, to have, specifically, a mind or a soul, as we will note later). Thus indeed, the most famous theologians in theology and Catholicism, affirmed the importance of this part of the Bible. And the modest status of the young embryo. As being simply, an unformed substance.  Not a full human being.

No doubt, the woman who is pregnant, and growing what will be a child in her womb, should take care that, if she plans on carrying to full term and birth, that she takes care of the embryo; the embryo will be the future foundation of a real child and person.  But here h) women should not be too sentimental about the embryo, or mislead too much by what their “heart” tells them;  “hearts,” the Bible itself tells us, often “deceive” us.  While a fuller look at the entire Bible itself , rather firmly declares that the embryo is not yet, fully, a human person.  But is only an “unformed substance,” as God himself more exactly declared, firmly, in Ps. 139.   And specifically, what is lacking, is the large and fully formed brain, that is required, for the embryo to acquire the “mind,” the intelligence, that it will need, to become a real, full “child” or better said, a human person.  Our hearts are important; but so is our “mind” the Bible says:  we must not be “fools,” or even “children,” but should have “intelligence,” and the “mind of Christ.”  But a very young embryo, we will see, does not exhibit enough intelligence, to qualify.  And if we might make some concessions here, finally, the earliest date, at which all the various attributes of personhood, real childhood, seem to begin to come together?  Would be, say, the moment of birth.  As we will be seeing, here.  Since it is only at birth that the brain is large enough – and the baby is fully enough exposed to the external stimuli of the world, to get enough information, data, to process.  And to begin to become, more and more … a human person.  With a full “mind,” or a human “spirit.”

Aquinas and others, we will see, later saw the importance of the rational soul or mind, rather clearly:  what it was, than an embryo did not have, that it would need to be a human being, was a larger brain, and the Reason it engendered.  Of course, we later found out, even an embryo has human DNA in it.  But one of the core intellectual traditions – one that coincides with a related, central religious tradition – has always said that the most important thing that we have, the thing that makes us human beings, the thing that makes us more than the animals, is our mind or intelligence; or in religion, our “spirit” our “soul.”  The major difference between man and the animals, is that man is much more intelligent; that is what makes it possible for us to have language, and culture, and technology, and to save ourselves from starvation and diseases, etc.. While this human intelligence, is linked (especially in Aquinas), to religious value on the “spirit” or “soul.”  (Aquinas identifies our Reason with our spirit).

And so, the fact that a human embryo has human DNA in it, or even a sort of miniature human body, is not the important thing, many core traditions say.  To determine whether an embryo is really, fully human, we need to ask whether the unformed substance in the womb, has a full, human mind. And crucially we will find here, beyond our preliminary remarks on what the Bible suggests,, we will find in our later section on Church doctrines, that Saint Thomas Aquinas – following Aristotle and St. Augustine also – said that an embryo was simply not physically “formed” enough, (or we would say today, did not have a big enough brain), to accept or have, much of a mind or a “soul.”  Confirming that today, we say that normally, you have to have a big brain to have much intelligence; but the brain of an embryo is far, far too small.  So that it cannot have a mind or human spirit.  It is for reasons like this, no doubt, that St. Thomas Aquinas – perhaps the core theologian and saints of Catholicism – said that the embryo simply does not have a human spirit or “soul.”  That Aquinas suggested, could not take place until at least about the age of 40 days for a male; 90 for a female.  While contemporary science would suggest that the embryo does not have a sufficiently large or developed – or “form”ed – brain, until about the time of birth in fact; nine months.  (While even at that, the infant at birth has a brain that is probably less than half, 50%, of full adult size; and not capable of much.).

So ultimately, after the Bible, even core Catholic traditions, followed the Bible; and suggested that the embryo was simply not “formed” enough to be a full human being.  Aquinas in fact, used the very language of the Bible; speaking of the embryo not being fully “form”ed.  As we will later find in our section on Catholic doctrines, Aquinas and others seem to fix particularly, on this biblical word.  And to accept this Biblical idea: of an embryo as “unformed,” and therefore, as pre-human.  But particularly, we will find, eventually science would suggest that the main thing that makes us human, is our larger brain. And therefore, the reason that most today feel that the embryo is not a human person, a human being, is that its brain is not materially complex or complete or not big enough yet, to accept or generate, a fully human mind, or intelligence, or spirit.  This moreover, seems rather certain; given what we know today about psychology and biology.

So the first hints in the Bible that the embryo was not quite human, were later confirmed and expanded.  Both by core Catholic philosophers and theologians, and for that matter too we will see, by scientists.  Based largely on the Bible, Thomas Aquinas especially – the theologian who was often made out to be the most important theologian of the Church, Aquinas; the theologians whose method was made the core of Catholic tradition in Canon Law (the 1917 Canon, canon # 589:1, and 1366:2), in effect was saying that the embryo is not really a full human being; it is only a proto-human being; a human being in the making.  An “unformed substance” that is only in the process of being “knit,” as Psalms says, into a future human being. While in the meantime, it does not have a full “soul” or human “spirit” or “intelligence.”

i) Then too, even if the Bible sometimes used a term like a “child” to describe an embryo, the term “child” does not itself mean a human being:  historically in many ancient societies, even women and young children were not quite regarded as fully human; as full members of the tribe, etc. (See Jewish society, above.  Not until circumcision even for the male, for example, several days after birth.)

# 6  Looking at the Bible itself, leads to some of the major arguments that currently allow abortion.  But here are many other very, very good arguments for keeping abortion legal. As it turns out, the next most important argument, is that even if abortion is somewhat wrong, still, if we look just at this single evil, then we may neglect to take care of any number of other, major evils.  Here in other words, the idea is that even if abortion was bad, to focus just on it, would neglect many other aspects of life.  It is like watching the hen house all night, to make sure the fox does not slip in there; while leaving your own house open to burglars.  This idea later becomes extremely important in current Catholic theology; but might also be found in the Bible itself.  Which tells us that a) Ecclesiastes tells us to attend not just to one thing, but to many things:  “for everything there is a season.”  While indeed, b) God tells us to obey all the laws of God; not just one.  Or perhaps c) those who cast out one demon, need to be alert; since often many more return in its place.  Casting out one sin … neglects many more.  Also relevant here:  d) see the Bible affirming the desirability of looking at the “full”er view; and e) not just “part” of the truth (1 Corin. 12.15-13.12; 2 Corin. 1.14, etc.). We need to look at all of life; not just the life of the embryo.  (As per our later remarks on widening the definition of “life,” too.)

Looking Ahead

At the Church:

“Proportional”ity Vs. “One Issue” Narrow Fixations

This last idea in particular – of always looking at, being responsible to, the wider range of “life,” not just the embryo – has lately become extremely important, prominent, in recent Catholic theology  We will show in our sections on Church doctrines, that the excessively narrow focus, just on abortion, was condemned by Cardinals McCarrick and Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.  As being a too narrow, “one issue” or dis-“proportionate” state of mind.  The basic problem with putting too much stress on abortion, is that when we look just at one evil, we ignore other evils, and allow other evils to flourish.  By neglect.  By failing to give them equal attention.

This particular argument, minimizing the importance of abortion, was therefore, presented by the Catholic Church hierarchy, as we will see:  it will be considered more fully, in our section on the Church.  But as this applies to the Bible itself, for now?  We are in effect, making the argument here, that to fix just on just one single aspect or “part” of morality, or any one part of the Bible, a part that seems to say the embryo is a “child,” would neglect the rest of the Bible.  It would neglect a) the parts that suggest the embryo is only an “unformed substance.”  And it would b) neglect other, more important sins, that Jesus told us constantly to attend to.  Like helping the poor, and healing the sick.

Thus, even if abortion had been said to be bad in the Bible somewhere, this does not mean this “one issue” is all we should pay attention to, or vote on.  The Bible has many other things that demand our attention, as well.

In fact, as we noted above earlier, there are many indications that the Bible itself does not regard abortion as the central issue in life.  For example, the Bible never mentions abortion by name it seems; and so it emphasizes and names other things, far, far, far more.  The Bible is not a reflection of the conservative or Republican Party platform only; it mentions Democratic issues – like helping the poor and sick for example – many more times.  While it does not mention abortion by name, even once.  Suggesting once again, that the Bible regarded abortion as a  relatively minor matter. Indeed, if the Bible ever speak of abortion at all, it suggests that it is permissible; as when God seems to order a priest to perform an abortion, (in Num. 5, above).

Therefore we will see – confirming the saints, the theologians, the cardinals, and the Pope – the  major argument that allows de-stressing abortion at least, would be .. the issue of proportionality.  We must consider abortion to be no more or less important than it is.  While the Bible and finally the Church, we will show, rather clearly tell us that there many, many evils (and goods) that are much more important, far more pressing, than abortion.

These Bible-based ideas are in fact later taken up – and confirmed – by the better elements of the Church.  And we will say much more about this later, in our section on Catholic doctrines. Because indeed, eventually the Catholic Church focuses heavily on this concept.  Eventually, many Bishops, Cardinals, begin talking about the importance of being balanced, “proportionate.”  Of considering not just “one issue,” in life, but “many issues” aside from abortion. Eventually the Church hierarchy in fact, begins speaking against too much focus just on abortion, as narrow, “one issue” Catholicism.

Among other current Catholic authorities, we will eventually note Cardinal McCarrick, former head of the USCCB, noting the importance of looking at more than one side of life, when we vote in elections:

“One issue may be primary, but there are many issues that need to be considered”;

“People who are with us on one issue” may be “against us on many other issues” (Cardinal McCarrick, Catholic News Service, April. 27, 2004).

Catholic anti-abortionists always insist that they are speaking for the Church, and for God.  But the Bible does not support them.  And we will add that here, the real leaders in the Church do not support them either.  Beyond radio talk show hosts, the real authorities in the Church began c. 1997-2007, to oppose Catholic anti-abortionists; in part by opposing “one issue” Catholicism (q.v. Internet).

The attack on one issue Catholicism was not even most definitive statement by the Church itself, on this subject.  Eventually, we will note, the present Pope himself – Cardinal Ratzinger, currently Pope Benedict XVI – told Catholics specifically, that they could vote for political candidates who were for abortion.  Since there were other, “proportionate”ly more important issues:

“When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour

of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons,

it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the

presence of proportionate reasons.”

(Cardinal Joe Ratzinger/later Benedict XVI, of the Vatican; as reported in L’Espresso, July 3 2004?  Found also in Catholic Culture – “Catholic Culture”; “culture” “library”; “Pope Benedict XVI”; “June 2004”; “Worthiness …” Read more on this later, in our section on this concept and memo).

How much more evidence do Catholics need, that anti-abortionism is not the voice of the Church, but is only the personal opinion of talk show hosts?

That fact is, we should never have narrowed our attention to the point that today, Jan. 2, 2010 for example, in order to protect the embryo, it appears that the Catholic Church is about to block health care to the poor.  The fact is, it is always more important, to see the larger, fuller picture, as the Bible itself often said.  See Jesus for example, on those who notice the “mote” in other’s eyes … while missing the log in your own.  See Jesus on those who honor the ”letter” of the law; tithing this or that small objects … but who neglect weightier aspects of the law; the importance of the “full” view of God.   Or indeed, we might now add, the Bible itself warns us not to see just “part” of the larger picture (Paul).  While some say it even warned us all to obey “all” of God’s (New Testament?) laws or commands.

All this is quite ironic, for allegedly “Catholic” anti-abortionists on EWTN/RN.  Many Catholic anti-abortionists there, have continuously condemned other, pro-abortion Catholics, for picking and choosing which Catholic laws to obey; as if they were in a “cafeteria” picking this dish or that one.  The anti-abortionists that dominate EWTN, constantly condemn such “Cafeteria Catholics.”  But ironically, just as the Apostle Paul warned, those who accuse or “judge” others, Catholic radio, are in the end found guilty of precisely the very same thing it accuses everyone else of.  In this case, it is precisely conservative Catholics, who are picking and choosing which parts of Catholicism and of the Bible, they choose to follow.  And they choose to disobey, ignore, massive amounts.  In this case, the narrow anti-abortionists ignores, disobeys, topspins – in Biblical language, “twist”s and “whitewash”es – the testimony of the Church hierarchy.  EWTN for example ignores, disobeys, a) much of the Bible; b) two saints.  And also we will see, it chooses to ignore c) Cardinal McCarrick; d) Cardinal Mahony; e) Cardinal Ratzinger of the Vatican.  And since Cardinal Ratzinger was to become our Pope,  f) anti-abortionists defy our current Pope, our “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI.

But that to be sure, is just the Church; regarding for now, just the Bible itself, and God himself?   To really know the will, the full theology of the Bible, we must indeed look not just at and honor, just the parts of it that we choose to accept, like items in a cafeteria; instead, we should look at the entire Bible, overall (as the Catechism notes).  And when we do that, we find that the Bible itself, overall, simply does not every firmly, explicitly pronounce against abortion.  If anything, we find that the Bible overall seems to feel abortion is not so bad.  As we saw in Numbers 5, for example.  Then too, related to this, is what the Bible said or implied about embryos; especially in Psalm 139.  Where there, the Bible does not even use the misleading term a “child” in the womb, but refers to the embryo it seems, as an “unformed substance.”

The many one-issue anti-abortionists, who have “presumptuous”ly spoken for the Church and the Bible – especially our new self-appointed media popes, on allegedly “Catholic” talk radio for example; who claim that the Bible or “God” firmly told them that abortion is bad; who claim that the embryo is fully human – do not really have much support from the Bible itself, or God himself.  Indeed, it seems most accurate to say that adamant anti-abortionists really, if anything, are going firmly against the Bible, and against God.

The fact is, the Bible never directly condemns abortion.  Indeed, there is a rather strong, Bible-based argument for abortion.  The Bible gives us many statements that tell us that a) the “child” or “embryo” (NWT) in the womb, is b) really not yet a full child or human being at all; that an embryo is not a completely “form”ed human especially, with a human “soul” or mind.  But that the embryo is only at most, a “substance” in the process of “being” made, or “knitted,” into what may become, one day later on, a human being, and human person with a mind and soul.

For these reasons, since the embryo is not fully formed, ultimately c) the Bible itself told us in several ways, indirectly, that the embryo is not as important as a full human being.  For example:  we noted that the penalty for causing a miscarriage, is not as severe as the penalty for, say, cooking on a Sabbath.  Accidentally causing a miscarriage is penalized by a “fine”; while cooking or working on a Sabbath or Sunday, is punishable by death.  While finally, amazingly – even to be sure, shockingly – d) it even appears that God himself, no less, ordered priests, no less, to in some circumstances administer a powder or “dust” that was in effect, an abortifacient.  In Num. 5.12-27, amazingly, God orders priests to give women accused of adultery, a “dust”.  A powder that would, if administered to a pregnant woman, cause an abortion.  (And perhaps, sterilization). Amazingly therefore, the Bible itself, God himself it seems, did not just allow, but even ordered, abortions.  Even more surprisingly, God himself ordered priests, no less, to perform them.

Just Numbers 5, would seem to be enough to firmly end this question, as firmly decided in favor of abortion. But we will have begun to note other arguments here too:   e) in general for example, if there are one or two parts of the Bible that seemed to oppose abortion, then after all, Paul and the Church eventually told us to look beyond just “part”s of the Bible, and of morality; to see the overall, “full”er, whole message.  And they told us that in effect, even if abortion is a minor evil, still, it is only “one issue” among many others; even if abortion is a minor evil, a misdemeanor, we cannot afford to fixate on this single issue  – and allow dozens of other sins.  To flourish.  While indeed, even if abortion is somewhat bad, there are many other sins,  that can be “proportionate”ly greater.  As the Bible itself implies.  Indeed in fact, the Bible itself regards (involuntarily) causing a miscarriage, less important than working on a Sunday; which is a capital offence, in the Old Testament.

So the Bible itself does not support Pro Life anti-abortionism.

Just this brief summary of the Bible itself therefore, would seem to, just in itself,  firmly close this subject down; as firmly decided in favor of God himself, firmly allowing abortions.  So that it hardly seems necessary, to go on with our hundred more reasons.  But since most anti-abortionist conservative “Catholics” today, are hardened persons, with “seared consciences,” who do not really care about the Bible or the Church either, finally, a merely Bible-based argument will not be enough.

But as we will see, neither do arguments from Science and from the Church, support Pro Lifers. Our views here are confirmed by the most prominent authorities in the Catholic hierarchy:   Cardinal Ratzinger, our current Pope Benedict XVI, and Cardinal McCarrick of the USCCB, told us that there can be “proportionate”ly more important issues, than abortion.  The Pope himself told us that a Catholic can vote for a pro-abortion political candidate.  That such voting “can be permitted” (Card. Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion”).

Amazingly, we will see, “Catholic” radio ignores, or topspins, “twist”s, the Bible, and the thoughts of God.  Even more amazingly, “Catholic” radio networks like EWTN, ignore and denigrate the Pope himself.  A good and honest Christian – one who honestly looks at not just parts of the Bible, but at the whole book – will clearly find in it, many, many parts that do not support the radical anti-abortionism of EWTN/RN, and Frank Pavone. Numbers 5 alone, would seem a conclusive case for abortion, in fact; so far as Christians are concerned.  Amazingly enough however, those many anti-abortionists who are alleged Christians (or are they just sentimentalists that want to deify their own sentimentalism?) somehow just ignore that part of the Bible.  Or they know about it – and they just flatly disobey it.  And they disobey the Pope himself, when he reminds them of the Bible and God.

So what should we now say, to the many ostensibly “Catholic” anti-abortionists, who have so long posed as the voice of God?  We should finally say, that most “Catholic” anti-abortionists,  are actually, simply, heretics.  They have seen and obeyed, part of the picture – but only part of it.  They refer constantly to the part of the Bible that seems to refer to a “child” in the womb.  But they have willfully ignored the rest of the Bible; which shows that the embryo in the womb was most often, not really regarded as fully “form”ed human person, but only an “unformed substance.” The Bible overall, does not really consider the unborn child, the embryo, to be anything more than an incomplete, pre-human being.  An entity “being” knit in the womb.  But one that is not fully “formed” yet.

So that therefore, the Bible suggests that an embryo is not a full human being or human person. And therefore, abortion is not murder, as anti-abortion terrorists have claimed.

But what specifically is it, the part, that is missing from the embryo?  Particularly, we will see next in our section on Science and abortion,  the most important thing, the all-important thing that makes us human, that makes us more than animals, is our human mind or soul or intelligence. While those who focus just on the embryo’s DNA or body, ignore, deny in fact, the greatest asset that human beings have; the very thing that makes us both human, and divine:  the mind, or soul.  So that ironically, anti-abortionists end up attacking, minimizing, the soul.

In ancient, Biblical times, the Bible itself  suggests, people did not know, to be sure, very much.  They did not know “how the body is formed in a mother’s womb” (Ecc. 11.5 NIV).  Or know the “path of the wind” – while “wind” was often an early term translators claim, for our spirit.  So that in ancient times, to be sure, people did not know for example, when the embryo might be sufficiently “formed” to have a human mind.  But today we will see, Science can tell us.  As we will see next, Science can confirm and expand, what the Bible and St. Thomas Aquinas said:   that the embryo is simply not “form”ed enough, to be more than a “substance.”  Or more specifically we find, the brain of an embryo is just too small, to be fully human.  Or some might add, to have a fully human spirit, or soul.

And so we will confirm another part of the Bible, for that matter, later on:  we will confirm Ecc. 11.5.  Finding that, just as the Bible warned, Catholics make mistaken judgments about God himself, and his will, because they do not know enough yet; they have not studied his works, his science, well enough yet.  Specifically, because they have not studied the embryo enough, the Bible itself said, that some of the readers of the Bible just “do not know” enough.  Especially, they do not know the importance of the spirit or soul:

“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.  Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well” (Ecc. 11.5 NIV; or “know how life or the spirit enters the body being formed”).

Or in some translations, as we will note in our additions:  “As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.  In the morning sow your seed” (RSV).

Life is complex; we should not allow our attention to narrow down to one thing … which we probably do not understand adequately anyway, suggests Ecclesiastes.  Here specifically, many Christians the Bible said, do not really understand the embryo, and the issue of the “soul” especially.  And so therefore?  We should always be prepared to turn from fixation on just one thing, to the wider spectrum of things; not just one issue.   Since “there is a time for everything” (Ecc. 3.1).  In particular, we should be prepared, as it turns out, to turn next, to practical works of our “hands,” and science; to planting our crops, and farming.  Doing practical things.

 

Parts of the Bible explicitly advocate especially, “science” (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE). While as it turns out, the matter of scientifically understanding the way the “body is formed in a mother’s womb” is, the Bible suggests, crucial:   indeed, those many persons who do not understand the matters of natural science, the nature of the “wind” and how an embryo is formed, “cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” 

Surprisingly, if the embryo in itself is not so important, investigating the subject of the natural history of the “wind” and of the embryo, is rather more important than many might have thought, in an unexpected way.  Therefore indeed, we will go on in our next section, to look at Science; to understand indeed, at last, the embryo forming in the womb.  Amazingly, this will lead next, even to understanding God himself better.  As the Bible itself suggests.  Indeed already, our look at the embryo has begun to rediscover and clarify, the recently-neglected importance, even in the “Theology of the Body,” (John Paul II), of, after all, the spirit or soul or mind of Christ, and the intelligence of man.

The Bible itself seems to have told us that its own readers did not know many things (Ecc. 11.5-6; also the tradition that tells us all is not fully revealed, until the Second Coming.  See also Paul on Christians knowing only in “part.”). While many say, the Bible itself told us therefore to turn to practical “work,” and “works”; letting not our hands be idle. Therefore, let us turn to the form of knowledge that judges visible works:  let us turn next, to science.   Ultimately we will see, though the readers of the Bible did not know much, according to the Bible itself,  those current scientists who have studied nature, the works of God, know better.  Amazingly, science confirms the Bible:  that much of what makes us more than just an average animal, is our superior, more fully formed brain, and the intelligence or “spirit” that we get from that.

But finally scientists and many modern people also confirm some crucial parts of what the Bible said: that an embryo is not quite fully “formed” enough to be more than a “unformed substance.”  At last moreover, science is able to be more specific about this:  more specifically, exactly, an embryo’s brain is simply, not large enough, or not well enough developed enough, to have a fully human/divine intelligence or spirit.

Science will confirm this.  But remember, this is not just the opinion of modern or current science; it was also confirmed earlier, by the Bible itself.  And for that matter, by Aristotle … and by the saints, St. Augustine, and St. Aquinas. All of whom, amazingly – scientists, theologians, and Catholic saints – concurred with finally, the Bible itself.  All confirming that the embryo was simply not “formed” enough, particularly its brain, to have a full human intelligence, spirit, or “soul.”

To be sure, it was all in the Bible itself, all along; for those who can “see.”  But few saw; even the most pious.  Probably because, we will find, you don’t really know the Bible, as it turns out, until you know fully, the “science” in it (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE; 1 Thess. 5.21).  Therefore, we will see, “Catholics” especially it seems, need to study far, far more. First they need to know their Bibles better.  Then they need to know more science.  When Catholics at last, turn from all-too-blind faith in the Traditions of Men,  to the science of God, then they will finally see the fuller nature of the embryo, the Bible, and of God.  Seeing God at last, much more clearly.

 

Chapter 3

SCIENCE:

WHAT

RELIGIOUS SCIENCE SAYS

ON EMBRYOS, ABORTION

 

It is clear proof of the hypocrisy of Pro Life “Catholics,” that they themselves condemn others, for being “Cafeteria Catholics”; for failing to follow all of what the bishops and magisterium has said, but instead just picking and choosing.  But when we examined the Bible more fully, we saw quickly how conservative, Pro-Life Catholics, are just as much Cafeteria Catholics, as anyone:  they ignore so many parts of their Bibles, and of Catholic tradition.  Today in fact, we a) clearly see the inconsistency and hypocrisy of allegedly devoted “conservative” Catholics; when for example they tell us they revere their Bibles … but then they themselves, ignore key parts of the Bible, like Numb. 5; where God orders priests to perform abortions. Then too, b) we again clearly see the hypocrisy of many Catholics, when they tell us over and over, to honor the saints – but then we clearly see them simply ignore two of their most famous saints and theologians, St. Augustine and St. Aquinas.  The c) hypocrisy or silliness of anti-abortion Catholics, is clear enough, too hen they tell us over and over, to honor the Cardinals, the Pope –  but then they themselves ignore Cardinal McCarrick.   When the Cardinal spoke against their “one issue” Catholicism.  And especially, d) the hypocrisy and dishonesty or pro-life Catholics is seen, when they told us over and over to honor the Pope … even as finally they themselves ignore Pope Benedict XVI; when he spoke against any dis-“proportionate” fixation on the single issue of abortion.  And finally e) we will see later, the hypocrisy and infinitely destructiveness of anti-abortion Catholics is even more shocking, when they tell us that it doesn’t matter if the embryo doesn’t have a mind or spirit. These alleged Christians telling us ultimately, in effect, that the soul does not matter.

How do anti-abortion Catholics defend their position?  They can only defend their position, by eventually telling us to forget most of the Bible; forget the saints; forget the Church and its cardinals and pope; and then finally forget the importance of the human soul or spirit or intelligence.  Finally, you have to give up the very core of Christianity and Catholicism, to believe in the holy fetus.  That is actually, amazingly, the shocking, very dark, very anti-Christ-ian message, deep, deep down, in anti-abortion theology.

But surely of course, once anti-abortionists have done all that, then surely they cannot really, honestly call themselves Catholic – or even Christians.   Surely they must simply be called, heretics.

Anti-abortionists of course, constantly assert they are better than everyone else; they alone know God.  Predictably,  d) many alleged Catholics constantly assert their own religiosity, their own piety, constantly, on EWTN; assuring us that they are much, much better than especially, “Cafeteria Catholics,” and “liberals.” Assuring us that they alone, really see and follow, all the Bible, all the Church. But that is not what we are finding, out about anti-abortionists, here and now.  Instead of finding that they were the most loyal and conservative of Catholics, we are actually finding that these persons, who so often accused everyone else of so many sins – like the sin of ignoring the Church hierarchy; or of being “Cafeteria Catholics,” and just picking and choosing what parts of Christianity they chose to read and follow – are actually, themselves, the very worst offenders of all, in that realm.  Anti-abortionists ignore or “twist,” all too much of the Bible itself; and for that matter we will see, they ignore far too much of their own Catholic authorities.

Finally by the way, e) to be sure, eventually some of the more intellectual priests on EWTN/RN – the main anti-abortionist network – are not exactly hypocritical; their rebellion against Tradition is open.  They no longer even pretend to defend the saints, but simply urge us explicitly to simply, abandon the saints.  Like Augustine and Aquinas.  Abandon them in fact, in the name of “science.”  But while there is some truth in this new position – even the saints are not perfect after all; and therefore some science is useful to correct them – still, if the saints the priests once embraced were flawed, false, so is their new “science” too. So that we will need to present a better sense of science, than most priests have.

 

The Bible itself suggests that turn to “science,” often (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE etc.).  But we will need to turn to good, true, real, full science; not to whatever any scientifically- uneducated priest chooses to support. Particular, many priests assert today, the current science “proves” that the embryo is fully human.  But as it turns out, if such priests are not good at all in following the Bible, or the saints, or the Church, they are even worse, at following science. Because, as it turns out next, real science does not confirm what anti-abortionists say:  it does not firmly say that the embryo is a full human being.  In fact, science rather says, precisely the opposite of that.

What arguments do many people, even priests and bishops, now use, to suggest that we can now safely just ignore a saint, like St. Thomas Aquinas? Who said (confirming the Bible) that the embryo was not fully “form”ed?   In  effect, some priests tell us we can ignore a saint like Aquinas …because Aquinas followed old, false (“Aristotelian”) ideas of science. Whereas, they claim, today we have better science.  A better science which, they claim, affirms that the embryo is fully human.

But does current science really say what some priests (most of whom don’t know science at all), claim it says?  While it undoubtedly is a very good idea for priests to learn more about science, and what science tells us about God from observation of his “works,” on the other hand, it is also important for priests learn good, honest, genuine science.  While in this case, we will find that real science, does not say what priests are telling us it says; not at all.

Today, many priests are rightly, stressing the importance of knowing science.  But they themselves have not yet learned how to be honest about this.  Typically, they claim things for science that science itself is not saying, at all.  In fact, far from confirming ancient prejudice, that the embryo is fully human, more often by far, real science is saying the exact opposite of what anti-abortionists say.

So far we have already hinted that Science tells us, for example (Psychology and Anthropology), that the main, most distinctive feature of a human being, the things that distinguishes us from the rest of the animals on this earth, is our intelligence.  (Or “soul” in religious language; “reason” in Aquinas?).  Indeed, science itself is based in large part on reason and intelligence.  But therefore, real science does not verify that the embryo is full human; because it suggests that an embryo’s brain, after all, is simply not big enough, not “formed” enough, to support a full human intelligence.

Far from confirming that the embryo is a human being, science – embryology, Biology, Psychology, Anthropology – firmly suggest the exact opposite of that.  Far from telling us that the embryo has, it is claimed, many previously-unknown abilities, that make it human (a grasping hand for example; the ability to move in the womb?),  examining what we see with ultrasound and so forth, actually, science really comes to opposite conclusion to what is commonly claimed.  In the main we suggest, real science in fact was the basis of the legalization of abortion; abortion was legalized in the first place, in Roe v. Wade, in large part because science was firmly coming to the conclusion, that what makes us human is our intelligence; and especially, the embryo therefore could not be a human being, simply because its brain was not large or complex or full enough, to have that; to have a full human intelligence.  Which is obvious enough in one way; embryos cannot walk or talk for example. Their motor and conceptual skills are minimal.  Those begin to develop far more, only after birth.  Only after the baby is more fully exposed to the fuller experiences, of sensory inputs, from the world.

Should Christians be following Science?  Amazingly, it is possible for researchers to show today that, surprisingly,  the Bible itself authorizes us to follow science (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE).  Amazingly, others will be showing elsewhere, the Bible does tell that it is good to turn to science; even over most traditional religious authority.  But to be sure, God’s advocacy of Science, is a different subject; one too big for our current discussion. And that proof will have to be left to other scholars and other books.  For now though, we would simply show that, when you decide at last to follow science, we find here that real science here does not contradict the Bible, but confirms it.  Confirming Ps. 139.16 especially; when it said that the embryo is simply, not fully “formed,” in the “earth” or our “mother’s womb.”  While the embryo has many abilities, it however, lacks the most important ones.  Especially, its brain is not yet big or full enough, to sustain significantly human intelligence.

Ultimately science is extremely useful in point of fact.  But when we look at real science, we find that it, current embryology, does not confirm what anti-abortionists claim.  Instead, it confirms what the Bible, and Saints Augustine and Aquinas, suggested:  that the embryo is simply not big enough, “formed” enough, to have a human mind or spirit or intelligence.

Those many antiabortionist Catholics and priests therefore, who claim to be following science, are not really following real science at all.  Which should not be surprising;  since priests of course – with a few notable exceptions; exceptions that merely prove the rule – are usually not very -trained at science, after all.  Priests are typically, trained in theology, dogmatics, religion; not in Science.   So when the average priests starts doing science for the first time, he or she usually ends up, doing very, very bad, amateurish, junk  science.  Priests who are not adequately trained in Science, accept far, far too much pseudo or fake science. (Cf. Fr./Pere, Theilhard de Chardin for example, rightly trying to bring religion to incorporating the study of nature; in “Le Milieu Divin,” Ed. Du Seuil, Paris, 1957.  Note to be sure Chardin’s own occasional mistakes; he was involved in the discovery of “Peking Man,” around 1929.  But he was also involved in the “discovery” of “Piltdown Man,” c. 1910; which was later found to have been a fraud).

Today, a few priests rightly tell us to incorporate science into religion. But inevitably, the average priest does science very, very badly.  The average priest’s idea of science, is hopelessly tilted.  (While those very few priests who do know real science by the way, typically end up saying very different things from the others).  Anti-abortionist priests, citing “science,” today telling us many bad things.  First, telling us we can just entirely forget about the saints – and indeed, the two foremost theologians of Catholic tradition – like Augustine and Aquinas, is bad enough, from the traditional Catholic point of view.  But even worse, antiabortionists tend to abandon the saints … in favor of, worse, not good science, but bad, false, junk “science.”

# 7 There are many, many problems in those priests, who now assure us that “science” tells us firmly, that the embryo is human.  Especially with those priests who appear on EWTN, to assure us that science “proves” that the embryo is a fully human being.  Even one with a soul.  But if we are to follow Aristotle at all – because he was considered at least, a) one of the founders of science, if not a full scientist himself – then note that apparently Aristotle suggested that the embryo is not fully formed enough, at a very young age  – some say, 40 to 90 days – to have a body (today we’d say, a brain), capable of having recognizably human thoughts (source?).   So that the very young embryo is not human; does not have a “soul,”  if we follow say, admittedly crude Aristotelian science.  And as a matter of fact, though Aristotle made many scientific mistakes, this aspect of his thought at least, seems useful.  It is b) confirmed by major Catholic theologians; but c) can also be at least partially confirmed, by what we know today, from more current and reliable science.

Today, d) some vaguely scientific-minded priests, rightly try to learn and apply science.  And they rightly suggest that if Aquinas implied the embryo was not quite human, then after all, Aquinas relied too much on Aristotle’s primitive science; asserting that modern science goes past Aristotle in many ways. Aristotle they say, was only semi-scientific; and had a science that was allegedly, specifically, too crude to see how alive and fully human an embryo really was, from conception.  Whereas now, priests claim, in contrast, today we now have a better, real science; contemporary Biology. But while it is true that Aristotle’s “Science” was flawed in many ways, it was better than raw superstition, still.  Indeed, it holds up here, better than one might think. Priests in fact, make a wrong move, when they assert that Aristotle was absolutely wrong about the embryo; or that our new, modern embryology, firmly proves that the embryo actually is a full human being, with a soul. Whereas, we will show, Aristotle was reasonably accurate here, if he said this.  While contemporary science actually expands and confirms it:  the embryo is simply not developed enough to have a full or adequately human, spirit or intelligence.

# 8 Should we therefore. trust what priests and anti-abortionists, say about science?  Some anti-abortionists, priests, assert that “science” tells us that embryos are human.  But first of all, most anti-abortionists and priests, are not good scientists.  Much less, are they good embryologists. The idea of embryological “science” that most priests have used to oppose abortion, is simply, false.  As is often the case, when religious-based persons first embrace “science,” anti-abortionists often embrace … a simplistic or even false, pseudo-, fake science.  Religious people, the priests who tell us that “science” is against abortion, normally do not have a very clear idea of science.  Few priests know much about science; few of them have PhD’s in scientific disciplines.  By far most priests simply do not have the credentials to speak authoritatively on the subject of science.  (For that matter, they make plenty of mistakes even on the subject of the Bible too.  So that they are generally untrustworthy.)

# 9 What does real science, actually say?  A quick look at real science, confirms that real science does not fully verify what anti-abortionists claim.  Especially, consider the claim that embryos have “soul”s.  The fact is, real science for example in the past, often said it cannot in principle, to day, observe a soul.  Or describe a soul very exactly. Because after all, souls are supposed to be invisible and non-material.  Therefore, many  have claimed that souls “can’t be put into a test tube”; they are not even in principle, observable. Therefore, science cannot confirm or disconfirm soul, some say, at all.  (To be sure, we ourselves do not support this position of earlier science; we will suggest that the soul is part of the mind; and we can observe an invisible mind, by its material effects.  Though when we do this, still we will see, observation suggests that a fully human mind develops very late).

# 10 But in any case, if traditional science could not until recently, observe a soul, therefore, a) past science can’t, they say, tell us the crucial question:   when a soul enters the body.  When the embryo becomes a human being.

In part, b) even the Church at times agrees with this.  In one or two examples – the Gospel of Life and Declaration on Procured Abortion (?Vatican, 1974) – it is said, good Catholics should …

“Acknowledge that you can’t scientifically verify when a soul enters the human body” (AmericanCatholic.org, “Catholic Update,” 1998.  See also “A Brief, Literal, Catholic Defense of Abortion, by Dan Dombrowski and Robert Delete, [real names?]; U. of Illinois Press, 2000.  From Ecc. 11.5, NIV footnote b.  See the Church before c. 1863/8?).

This common saying, c) seems to be confirmed by parts of the Bible.  Like Ecc. 11.5, noted above:

“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.  As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb” or “know how life (or the spirit) enters the body being formed”[NIV note], “so you cannot understand the work of God, the maker of all things” (Ecc. 11.4-5 NIV).

Much of science therefore, has said in the past, that science could not confirm such things as a soul or spirit at all.  In part, because science once studied mostly visible, material things; while the spirit is invisible.  To be sure, here and elsewhere, we will find that possibly, our more recent sciences, like Psychology, can confirm invisible things, like electricity and the spirit or mind.  But while this so, still, we will find that even then, even with these abilities, science will look for the invisible mind, and find that it does not exist fully, in the unformed embryo.

# 11 To be sure though, most embryologists for now, a) do not believe that the young embryo has a “soul.”  Or b) if a soul exists, they believe is probably invisible, and is for that or other reasons, more properly the object of study for theologians, not embryologists.  So that, against what many priests say about contemporary science, the bulk of contemporary science, the embryology community, does not in fact, suggest that the embryo has a soul.

The priests who tell us “science” says the embryo is human, are doing many bad things.  The “science” we hear from most priests to date, is not good science.  (Nor are the things they say come from “natural law” really what nature tells us either; what is natural law should always be an open question, and only determined, and only in part, only by natural science; not dogmatism).   The “Science” of the Church to date, is a perverted, prostitute, whore science. One that is not good in many ways.

The fact is, c) anti-abortionists typically bring out only one or two alleged, atypical scientists,  that support their positions.  Such persons are aa) often not real scientists at all; or they are not trained or credentialed in this specific subject at all however.  While bb) the very few renegade scientists (if any) who support anti-abortion, are misrepresentative and atypical.  The fact is, the vast bulk of real scientists do not support anti-abortionism, or its assertion that the embryo is fully human. Just as a practical, statistical matter, we find that few if any real human embryologists, say that the embryo is a human being, with a soul.  (Note by the way, that any such embryologist, could not be fully scientific; since he would not be able to experiment very much with embryos.  Believing they were fully human would make that unethical, many would say.  So that there cannot be, by definition, a fully scientific embryologist who really believed an embryo had a soul; such a person could not perform many experiments on the embryo, and therefore, could not be fully scientific).

Indeed, d) any embryologist who says an embryo can have a human soul, would be rather conflicted; since most human embryologists, or doctors who know the most about embryos, support abortions.  Which suggests they do not believe the embryo is really fully human, with a soul.

The fact is, most embryologists, have to dissect human and even kill embryos, as part of their job. Yet most Catholic anti-abortionists say that, if embryos are human, dissecting or sacrificing embryos for scientific purposes, is clearly immoral.  Even illegal, under canon law.  (The canon law that to be sure, Catholics themselves regularly ignore, in their own ways.  Like the canon telling priests to honor Augustine and Aquinas).   And perhaps indeed, many embryologists would not kill a real human being.  So again, the actual actions or behavior of embryologists, suggests that they do not really believe the embryo is fully human.  Their behavior suggests they do not subscribe fully to the doctrine that embryos are full human beings. Or the related doctrine that abortions are immortal.  Or that using embryos for scientific purposes, is immoral.  In actual practice, human embryologists, do many things that they would not do, if they actually believed these things.  (We will also add below that a major pillar of the scientific community – medical doctors – also support abortion.  Which clearly they would not do, if they for example, really thought the embryo was human).

Indeed, aa) the rare formal pronouncements of human embryologists, typically either suggest that they themselves cannot determine whether an embryo has a soul.  Or bb) they are unconcerned about the religious concept of a soul, which is a religious concept and not in their field.  Or in any case cc) probably most embryologists are naturally moral enough not to hurt or kill real human beings; their actions in experiments would therefore suggest they do not regard embryos as fully human.   Indeed, many human embryologists have assisted in performing abortions.  Something they probably would not do, if they really thought the embryo was human.  The very, very few true experts in this field, who would at times appear to support Catholic contentions, probably do not really fully, sincerely support them.  Or are very conflicted, hypocritical persons.  Or are very, very rare, atypical exceptions, to majority expert opinion.  (As indeed are any “scientists” who support most religious claims).  Any such scientists, are atypical and unrepresentative.  Majority opinion in Science is that the embryo is not fully human; because its brain is not fully formed yet.  An opinion which is perhaps not derived from the Bible; but which amazingly, happens to match the Bible itself, as we are finding here.

# 12 Some Catholic anti-abortionists claim that science supports their claim that an embryo is a human being, in a different way:  many say that science confirms that an embryo has a complete, unique set of human DNA.  Therefore, they claim, a) science says an embryo is a human being; because it has a complete set of human DNA.  But a complete set of DNA, we note, does not prove that something is a human being.  A cell like cheek cell, might have a complete set of human DNA; but that doesn’t make a cheek cell, a human being.

Here, probably priests are not correctly hearing what embryologists are saying.  We should not confuse semantically, say, the statement by science, that something is “human,” with saying it is a human being.   Often scientists say things like  “the hair was human; human material was found on the crime scene.”  Or “this DNA is human.”  This is however, just to say that the material is part of a human being; but should not be confused with the statement that this material is a full human being.  The fact is, human DNA alone, does not make a full human being.  Cheek cells for example, are human; and they have a complete, unique set of DNA some suggest.  But cheek cells, with DNA in them, are still, not a human being.  Or as some now call it, a human “person.”

 

The fact that something has human DNA in it, makes it “human material”; but not a fully human being.  A human hair might have human DNA in it; but a single hair, is not a human being.  (See also silly priestly arguments about sperms, etc.).

A real, full human being, we will see, has not only human DNA … but also has developed enough of a body, a brain, to also have a human intelligence or mind or spirit.  While manifestly, a mere strand of DNA, or even a single human cell, simply does not have that.  To claim that whatever has a complete set of human DNA in it is a human being, is absurd; it means declaring a human hair, to be a human being.  Thus making haircuts illegal?

Just something having a strand of human DNA in it therefore, even a complete set of DNA, is not enough to make something, a full human being.  Nor is even a strand of human DNA in the body of an embryo enough; since the embryo’s brain is not developed enough to have a human mind, spirit, intelligence, or soul.

# 13 Some anti-abortionists, next try to say that, even if a strand of DNA is not a human being, still however, an embryo, a fertilized egg at least, is clearly human being. Because, they say, it both has a complete set of DNA in it, and it is also “intended to become” humanBut consider a similar example:   an acorn, say, has all the DNA of a unique, individual, adult oak tree.  And what is more, it is clearly “intended” to become an oak tree.  But we can easily establish that still, in spite of all this, an acorn is clearly not the same as a full, adult, real, oak tree.   As some ethicists are now noting.

Is it really true that something that is intended to be something, or that may eventually grow into something, is the same as the finished product?  Let’s look closely at our example here:  is an fertilized egg or a seed, intended to become human, really one and the same as a full human being?  Consider the example of the acorn (a now-well known example, first used by at least one caller to EWRN & Colin Donovan etc.,, several times, years ago c. 2005/2006.)  Consider this:  suppose you were told that you could buy all the oak planks that you need, to build a solid oak house, for just a hundred dollars.  So you paid the money for the oak wood.  But then, after paying for the wood, the salesman gave you … just ten acorns.  In such a case, would you really accept that the fertilized seed, intended to become a tree … really was one and the same, as a real oak tree?  The fact is, though the fertilized seed has the complete DNA of a complete individual, and though it is also “intended” to become an oak tree, still, it has to go through lots of growth and development, through many extremely significant changes, before it becomes the final product.  Likewise then, a fertilized human egg, is really different from, not the same as, a real human being.  No more than an acorn, is the same as an oak tree.  (If a priest persists in such a silly argument therefore, then simply invite him to put his money where his mouth is:  tell him to buy a million dollars of lumber, for a thousand dollars; and when he pays, just hand him a thousand acorns.)

Some might next say (as Colin Donovan did, on EWRN), that you “just” have to plant them. And “just” water.  And wait, just twenty years. And then “just” add a little sawing and planing.  And then after all, you would have all the oak wood promised.  But to be sure, these are very, very significant expenses and delays.  And changes. In which after all, many more things must be added, before you get the final product.  Indeed note, the final product – the oak tree, oak planks – is quite different from, the original seed.  Indeed, a great deal of development, changes, growth, nutrition, has to happen, before the seed comes to be what we might call the final, recognizable object desired. And so indeed, an oak seed, an acorn, is not an oak tree, or an oak house.  And a human seed, is likewise, not full a human being.

So this common argument, is simply not true:  it is not true that a fertilized egg, a blastocyst, an embryo, because it has a complete set of individual DNA, and is “intended” to become a human being, must be one and the same as, a full human being. The fact is, a seed is not the same as the final product. (As indeed the Bible itself suggested in regard to seeds; some fall on rock ground, and nothing comes of them after all?).  The process of development and growth, should not be neglected or minimized; it is an absolutely crucial factor, after all.  With regard in particular, to human seeds?  Young embryos?  The human seed must pass through many developments, before it is the final product.  And as it turns out, the later development of the brain, is especially important; since it is not until we have a large and developed, well formed brain, that we are capable of the intelligent thought, that characterizes human beings.

Is the acorn really the same as an oak tree?  Clearly, not. And neither is a human seed, one and the same as a full, real, human being. (Which out to be obvious enough, just looking at say, a zygote; or a blastocyst).

Most current priests don’t know enough science.  And when they try to use science, they usually end up saying very, very silly and offensive things.  Some priestly apologists like Colin Donovan on EWRN, have tried to say that an embryo is human because it has human DNA in it; and when challenged, say it is more human than a skin cell, say …. because it is “destined to become” a human being.  But this argument is very silly for the many reasons noted above.

But such an example is not even the worst case.  Consider one more example of the very silly and dangerous things untrained priests have historically said, when they try to be scientists:  many years ago, in the 1950’s and 60’s, many silly theologians and priests declared that sperm cells were intended to be human; and therefore, they were human beings.  And then in fact, based on this, many priests and ministers, launched an “every sperm is sacred” campaign.  (As in part, an argument against masturbation; but also as an anti-abortion effort, to extend personhood, to the level of the sperm.)  But this revered Catholic argument, it soon became apparent, was clearly just silly.  In part, it is silly because again, a) something intended to be human, is not a full human being.  Then b) consider an example of the practical consequence of actually believing that the sperm is a human being.  If our priests had known enough science, they would have known that the average procreative act, uses hundreds of thousands of sperm; of which only one impregnates an egg.  So that for every single sperm that impregnates an egg, hundreds of thousands (millions?) of sperm die.  Therefore, if every sperm is a sacred human being, then every male on earth, is a mass-murderer; killing millions of sperm, for every single baby born.

Many extremely silly, false and fatal things, have been proclaimed by priests.  Often, today, they are proclaimed by them, as science.  But priests’ ideas of “science” are typically offensively ludicrous, when they are not literally fatal. Their bad training, leads priests to many very, very stupid conclusions.  In the future, we need priests to be far, far, far better scientists than they have been, in the past.

# 14 Next, our “scientific” anti-abortionists, to prove that the embryo is human, will point to a famous picture:   of an embryo in an operation, grasping at a hand of a doctor.  This picture, many priests claim, proves that the embryo is a full, conscious human being; because it reached up and grasped the hand of a doctor.  But in fact, even the lower animals, even salamanders, have what is called a “grasping instinct.”  Many animals, monkeys and marsupials and lizards, have hands that can grasp things; the fact that something is able to grasp something in its hand, does not prove that it is a human being.  If grasping a hand or a finger, makes something human, then say, salamanders and squirrels are full  human beings.  (We hesitate to say this; since next some idiot priest will next declare squirrels human; and in the name of human rights no doubt, make killing them illegal. Since to be sure, we must err on the side of caution).  Likewise the “beating heart” often noted, does not make something human:  frogs and worms have beating hearts.  To be sure, human beings are not just minds; we are “hearts” in the sense of having deeper sentiments and instincts too.  But this is where women especially make their mistake:  trusting the heart too much:  not all those instincts are good; the Bible constantly warned that our “hearts” were unreliable, and often “deceive” us.  Some – like the fight or flight instinct – can even be evil.  Nor are these instincts and sentiments finally our greatest asset, the best quality that we have:  eventually philosophers and theologians and Anthropologists agree, that what makes us human is … having more intelligence than the animals; it is our human mind, intelligence, spirit, or as Aquinas called it, our rational soul.  And an embryo has not yet got that.

# 15 Priests and mothers, will often insist that an embryo must be a human being, because it looks like one (in miniature); it has a vaguely human body.  But in fact, the core thing that anti-abortionists fail to grasp, is first of all, that it is not a completely developed human body; as per our remarks above, on seeds.  But especially, they fail to grasp the main thing that one must have, to be a human person.  It is not DNA; nor a grasping hand.  Most thinkers (and for that matter, theologians) agree that the thing that makes us more than the animals, the essence of a human person, is our superior mind, or intelligence.  It is thanks to our intelligence, that we were able to think about God; and form societies; and generate the technology that makes our lives better.

Many theologians and philosophers and others indeed, have traditionally said, that to be a human being, we need to be more than a mere “body,” a bit of unthinking “flesh,” like an animal; to be human, we need a developed “mind,” “Reason.”  Or “spirit” or “soul,” as these are sometimes called in Religion, above, by Aquinas and others.  Much of traditional philosophy says firmly, that makes a human being, what makes us more than the other animals, is our spirit or soul or mind, Reason, or intelligence, or consciousness.  That is what distinguishes us, in Social Science and Biology – as in Theology – from the animals.  That is the great, central characteristic, of humans.  That is what makes us more than the animals.  Furthermore, this idea is not found just in philosophy; it is actually a core concept, in theology, we will note here. Theology has long said, the Bible itself suggests to many, that what makes us “eternal” and “divine,” what makes us more than an animal or a “beast,” is … a well -formed mind or spirit or soul.  Indeed, this concept is so central to Christianity, that it is shocking that anti-abortionists should forget and minimize, this:  the importance of the soul. And proclaim a mindless/soulless entity, fully human.

Here again there is another coming together, of opinions from many different fields:  like philosophy, psychology, theology, religion.  All of which agree, that the mind of man, his thinking, intelligent spirit (see “intelligent” in the Bible), is important. (Particularly to be sure, his intelligent thoughts about God).   But if so many different fields converge and confirm this, then it is a very strange perversion – and a strangely impious act – to now see anti-abortionists focusing just on the body, and totally forgetting this quality – the spirit, the soul – that was for so long, traditionally, perhaps the major core concern of generations of priests and thinkers.

This Tradition in fact, being so likely, so firm, being verified from so many different directions, was the very reason that America eventually, legalized Abortion, in Roe v. Wade.  It was becoming more and more certain, from the convergence of so many fields, that the main quality that makes us human beings, is our intelligent spirit, and consciousness.  And it was becoming clearer and clearer, from Biology, that the main organ that is responsible for our intelligence, is the human brain.  While next Biology was saying that it seems extremely unlikely, that the very small brain of an embryo, could have very many thoughts, or much intelligence, in it.  The embryo, the brain, is not sufficiently “formed” to accept a soul, or full human intelligence.  (Aquinas and others often relate our soul, to our Reason, our intelligence).  While d) to be sure even embryos might have some brain activity, so do alligators; their brain, thinking,  provably does not really seem sufficiently intelligent and conscious, to qualify as human.  So that therefore, because of all this, because it is not formed enough to have a full, human mind, or soul, it was concluded by many, that the embryo is almost certainly, not really a full human being.

This in fact, was the main argument justifying abortion.  Roe v. Wade itself, to be sure, was not absolutely sure about this; it held that it might be one day proven otherwise.  But Roe v. Wade regarded this as certain enough, to let stand, the assertion that an embryo was simply not presently capable of full human thought.

This idea in fact, is the main argument that finally legalized abortion; and it was dependent on, a massively converging tradition, from both theology, and philosophy, and science.  All coming to the same conclusion:  that the heart or essence of a human being was our mind or spirit; and the embryo did not have one of those. (To be sure, there are anti-abortionists who insist that that Roe v. Wade left open the possibility that this argument would be proven to be false; but their claim that current science proves this all to be false, is simply, wrong.  Such persons are misusing science, to support their own deceived hearts.  As we are showing here).

This is in fact, the main augment justifying abortion.  And it was not a casual conclusion. It is a conclusion based on a massive convergence or agreement, in at least two or three major fields of inquiry; including Religion and the Bible; and Science; and Philosophy.  So that finally, this decision seemed well-based, and conclusive.

The argument again, for those who have gotten it yet?  Is that a) the most important thing in being a human being, is our mind or intelligence; b) the intelligence develops thanks to a complex and large brain; but c) an embryo however, is just not physically complex enough, not “formed” enough, it does not have a big enough brain, to have a full human “mind” (or soul).  And d) the embryo therefore, cannot therefore really, fully be, a full human being.  And e) therefore, aborting it is not as serious a sin as say, murder.

This is the main argument justifying abortion.  This is why abortion was made legal.  And furthermore, it was not a causal or confused thing; it came about in part as the conclusion of three thousand years of theology; combined with many generations of solid philosophy; and Science. It represents a convergence of ideas, findings, that has never been refuted, to this very day.  And is extremely unlikely to ever be refuted at all.  And furthermore, among other things, it agrees even with the Bible itself.

This single argument in itself, would seem to be enough to justify abortion.  Yet somehow, ant-abortionists ignore this.

[Indeed, the only way to try to refute this, is for priests to begin to denigrate reason, intelligence itself.  Which they unfortunately do; as opposed to the human apprehension of divine intelligence and spirit.  But we will show elsewhere, that others like Aquinas, assume that these two things are related; intelligence it is a major part, of the religious soul or spirit itself.  Though the Bible at times attacked the vanities of say, bad varieties of “philosophy” and the “mind,” and some forms of human of “wisdom,” on the other hand, it acknowledged that humans could have the “mind of Christ,” and an “intelligence,” a true “wisdom,” that was good.  And the Bible we will show even allowed that the true, human and divine wisdom, as we will show elsewhere, need a material substrate, a divine “body,” in which to develop and survive.  So that finally, the old attempt to suggest that we refer only to a mere human intelligence, and not to the divine, is wrong.  For reasons developed in detail, elsewhere.  But sketched here.]

# 16 Priests today, occasionally cite science; as they should.  But unfortunately, priests are not well enough educated in science.  And usually, when they quote it, they merely misuse it.  Typically, they quote and understand, only misleading parts of it.  Typically, they fix on misleading parts, to try to prove their prejudices. As we seen especially in anti-abortionism.  For example:  in yet another false argument, claimed to be real “science,” ignorant priests, eager to defend their idea that the embryo is human, will claim that Biology says that the embryo, is an “organism,” or some such.  Implying, they claim, that the embryo is a full entity, a human being, somehow.  But it fact, though Biological science might (or might not) seem to support the idea that we are an “organism,” even a human “organism,” from conception, once again from things said earlier here, this does not say we are a full human person.  (Particularly, with a mind and so forth).  Many things are “organisms”; every living animal.  Even an embryo might be a roughly human “organism,” the way a human hair is “human.”  But again, just as in the case of saying a human hair is “human,” that is not to say that it is a full human being or human person.  That is:  if Biology says we are a human “organism,” it therefore does not necessarily give the embryo, any more status than a human hair, or an animal.  (Indeed in fact, the embryo is rather more like an animal, a mere organism, than a human.  Because it does not yet have the crucial thing that humans have, in addition to an animal or physical body:  it does not have a well developed, human mind or spirit.)   It says a human “organism” exists; it does not say a full human being.  Indeed, typically, the word “organism” just denotes an animal; so that indeed we might agree precisely, that our animal “flesh” exists in the embryo, our animal or “organism” side; but not yet our inspired human spirit or intelligence.

Recently, it has become popular to distinguish between something that is merely a) “human,” from b) a human “being,” from c) a human “person.”  The distinction might be roughly this:  there a) are many things that are “human,” in the sense of being from humans:  human skin is “human.”  But of course, a piece of skin is not an animate being; it is not a human being.  Nor is it rational and conscious; parts of the definition of a “person.”  Not in the sense that an adult is.  Then too, b) next, there are even living things that are human, and beings:  like sperm cells and embryos.  And yet, they are not quite fully conscious or rational or intelligent, the way children and adults are.  They lack intelligence, or a rational “soul.”  Some anti-abortionists argue though, that “ensoulment” or the possession of a soul or mind is unimportant; that if something is merely “human,” or is a being that is human, that is enough to give it the very same legal status, as a child or adult.  Today (c. 2010-11), many anti-abortionists now argue that an embryo is human, and is a being, so it is a human being; and therefore it should be protected the same as grown children, or adults.  But?  A sperm cell is also human, and appears to be a motile, animate being.  Yet? Are sperm cells really the equals of children and adults?  Should sperm cells have all the rights of a grown child or adult?  Note that the average procreative act,  involves the ejection of hundreds of thousands of sperms; all but one or two of which, die, when they fail to reach the egg.  If each of them is the equivalent of a full human person?  Then almost every man on earth, is a mass murderer; having ejected and killed, trillions of human beings.

# 17 Indeed though, it might even be that we should not even call an embryo an “organism.”  Many have said in Biology, that to call something an individual “organism,” is to call it a reasonably self-sufficient being, acting freely, outside the womb; separately from its mother say.   But an embryo is not that.  Indeed, common sense (natural law?), sees the embryo inside, and even attached to, the mother in the womb.  Attached intimately, fed by, by an embryonic or umbilical cord.  This has long suggested to many that the embryo after all, is still part of its mother; and that it is not a separate organism at all.  While indeed, this is another common argument allowing abortion:   the view even in some legal opinions, that the embryo is really, simply part of the mother.  So that therefore, the mother is free to do with it, as she “chooses”.  Hence indeed in part, the term, “Pro Choice.” Especially we believe the mother has a right to abort, if a continued pregnancy or even birth, will endanger her own life.  The life of the mother, is foremost.  We should not sacrifice an adult, for an embryo.

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# 18 Biology itself therefore, many would say, does not typically say that the embryo is a full human being.  But next especially, crucially, consider not just Biology, but also the other sciences.  What do the other sciences beyond Biology – like Sociology for example – say about the beginning of humanity?  Crucially, when discussing the embryo or anything else, we need to look at more than just one science.  When considering the embryo, or the human being, we should look beyond Biology; at especially, Social Science. (The Church is especially fond these days, of Anthropology; in addition there is Psychology and Sociology).   But indeed Social Science, would confirm our Biology here:  Social Science even more firmly telling us, that the embryo is probably not yet human.  Because the embryo has not entered the world, to a) have its mind and brain filled with many images and sense data; and b) to be socialized. These turn out to be extremely important things; to be human, means more than being a mere Biological organism; it also means being educated, encultured, with religion and science for example.  These things are so important, that Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, suggest that we only really develop into real human beings worthy of the name, we only develop beyond the animals and the flesh, only after we are born.  And come to be educated in daily life, in the sights and smells and logic, of God’s world; and human and religious, culture.  Until we are socialized, or acculturated.

First, our brains need to be filled with many perceptions, data, to really be focused  But until the embryo is born, it lives in a relatively dark place; the embryo does not see very much at all, or hear sounds fully; and thus the embryo’s mind does not know very much (relatively speaking).  The embryo lives literally in a rather dark place, in the womb).  It is only after we are born, only after we open our eyes and other senses, and see the many fascinating things in the physical universe, and human culture, that our minds at last are exposed with,  filled with, what we were designed to know.

 

Even if we have a reasonably complete brain at birth, until birth however, this brain is not getting as much sense input from its senses, as it would need, to be recognizably functional human being. This begins to happen primarily, at birth. We need at to get much sensory input, to be human.  And this happens no earlier than birth.  And progresses even more, as we learn how to listen – and eventually talk, and walk; as we learn skills like how to reason.  (Acquire the “age of reason.”  Or in a traditional theology, when we acquire baptism, and divine, religious culture).  So that we do not really begin to become fully human, until at last our minds, our brains, are exposed to the world, and so forth.  Then at last, our minds have enough data, information, in them, to be considered human.  And this is part of the world, the experience,  that the social sciences study.  And tell us are important, in forming what we are as human beings.

To fully understand embryos and humans, we need to look at more than one single science, like even Biology.  Especially, we need to look beyond the extremely limited “Biology” that many anti-abortionists cite.  To really understand human beings, we need to look at many different fields, or academic disciplines.  There is much to suggest that according to social science, we only become fully human, only when we enter the sphere of the external material world, and human beings. Here Psychology suggests we need sensory input to be human.  We are part of a material universe that God made; and we do not really become much, until we enter it.

Second, Sociology suggests that among the things we need to be human, is not just fairly complex sensory input,  but also … education and culture.  We do not become very human, until we can really see our mothers, say.  And are at least somewhat educated by the world, and socialized to culture, to humanity (and the culture of religion?).  Which happens mostly, only after birth.  It is only after the embryo is born, and can open its eyes and see the complexity of the world (that God made), that it begins to form its mind, in a way that will become knowledgeable enough, to be called human.  (See also elements of the Church that suggest we are not fully human, and/or saved, until baptism).  It is only when we are given external life, with many sensory inputs, that our intelligence is given enough concrete material to work with, and “form” itself.  But also, it is not until we begin to interact with other human beings in far more complex ways than kicking the womb, that our minds are at last filled with the images, sensations we need, to realize ourselves as fully human.  Indeed, to be human, we need some socialization.  Which is best seen, as beginning at birth; and bonding with the mother, say.

So what does “science” say about the embryo?  Most priests have assumed that only the science of Biology is relevant here.  But in fact, there are many other relevant sciences.  And these other sciences suggest in dozens of ways, in the many different sciences, that real, fuller  Science does not confirm what anti-abortionists have asserted:  real science does not affirm that an embryo is a full human being, a full human person. Not at all.  In this case, Social Science for example, suggests that we only begin to develop noticeably, fully, at birth, and thereafter.  As the child begins to interact with the material universe that God made (and said was “good,” in Exodus 1).

We would in fact therefore advance this theory here and now:  that we only begin to become appreciably human, when we leave the womb at full term; and enter the universe outside the womb.  We become human, only when we a) adequately, more fully see, smell, touch, fully hear, the universe of physical things.  And b) interact in more complex, conscious ways, with society; including specifically with the mother, and with other human beings, in socialization.

These things can be seen today.  Perhaps though c) such things were in the minds of theologians like Augustine and Aquinas.  When they said that the very young embryo, was too young, not well enough “formed,” to have the distinctive and necessary quality of “reason,” and/or a spirit.  It seems that from Biology, we can know that embryos could not have adequately formed ability to reason; because their brain is not yet large, formed enough.  But even if their brain was fully formed, they would still not be fully human because, as Social Science would now add, here, they have not experienced enough.  They have the hardware, but not the software; the brain, but not the programming or sense data.

Intuiting something like this, is perhaps a major part of the reason why the early dogmatists of the Church, traditionally did not quite want to say, that the embryo had a “soul.”  It is probably part of the reasons d)  they also noted that the status of a child before baptism, for example, was not very clear; was in “limbo”; a word for being in an indeterminate, provisional status, at best.

The related subjects of “Limbo” and so forth, will be discussed more fully later on; for now though, in this section on the Social Sciences, we hereby propose the theory, here and now, that embryos do not begin to become significantly human, unless or until we reach nine months of age – and are born into the external world.  Where Psychology and other Social Sciences now can document a great growth of our minds, as the embryo brain at last confronts the fuller complexity, sense data, of the external world; including the world of human beings and culture, in socialization.  As suggested by the Social sciences of say, Psychology and Sociology and Anthropology.

# 19 There are many more sciences than just straight Biology; indeed consider also the closely related but somewhat different science of Medicine.  The many findings in the various sciences, in fact in the past have lead (until very recently) a main bastion of science – the medical community – to not give human rights to even a child … until one year of age, some say.

Though we ourselves would here suggest that the moment, the mere act of birth, is enough in itself to begin exposure to the real world, and the beginning of real humanity, many people – and in this case it seems, the medical profession –  have even often suggested that it is not until a baby can clearly think, or even talk, that a baby becomes really human.  To be sure though, that standard – which is normally achieved at say nine months or a year after birth, as the beginning of humanity – seems a little severe. We ourselves here for now, support the dramatic and natural moment of a full term birth, as the best, most “natural” (Natural Law) moment, to declare an embryo, as have made the transition, to the status of a human being.

# 20 In fact, what if a priest is going to cite Science?  Then the priest should know more science.  Among other things, a priest might consider this:  what does the medical/scientific community, one of the pillars of science, really seem to believe regarding abortion and the status of the embryo?  As further evidence that the vast bulk of the scientific/medical community does not in fact regard the embryo as human, note this:   thousands of doctors regularly authorize or perform abortions.  Suggesting strongly, that the vast majority of scientists – here, medical scientists – are not strongly against abortion, as evidenced by their actual practice. Suggesting strongly, too, that most of the scientific community does not really believe that the embryo is a human being.  If most doctors would agree that saving human lives is extremely important, yet they do not prohibit abortion, that is evidence that they do not regard embryos as fully human.

# 21 This impression – that real Science, or the overwhelming opinion of the real scientific community, does not regard the embryo as human – can be confirmed in part, by looking at the language Science uses to describe the embryo.  Science typically, often, does not refer to an embryo as a “child”; but as a “fetus.”  Or an “embryo.”  Or say, as a “blastocyst.”  After all.  This is not a deliberate attempt to de-humanize the embryo, as Fr. Frank Pavone asserts; it is just a natural reflection of what scientists actually see and believe:  the embryo just doesn’t have the major qualifies a real human being has, to be called a child or a human being.  It seems like something other than a human being; it seems more like a typical animal “organism.”  Or a “fetus.”  And so, scientists use another term for the embryo, than say, “small child” or “small human being,” say.  The very language that scientists use, suggests they do not see the embryo as a human being. (Frank Pavone tries to turn this around; and says that language is being used to de-humanize the embryo.  But it might be better seen, the other way around:  the language reflects a genuine, original perception.  Indeed, anyone who has actually seen a very young human embryo pickled in a jar, knows that they do not seem to be particularly human; rather they look more like a sort of an ugly toad, or a monster.  Or earlier, a misshapen “unformed substance”).

# 22  Then too, consider our general sense of nature – or “natural law.”  That would also suggest, that we shouldn’t think of the embryo as a “baby” or “child” entire and complete.  Since the embryo is not separate, but is inside, part of, naturally dependent on, the mother.  While when we look at an embryo in real life, in the full daylight (not just ultrasound) it doesn’t even really look human; it looks like some strange glob; or a skinny misshapen animal.  Likely too, mothers are conditioned not to think of the embryo as fully a child, until they visually see it, after birth.  While the unnatural process of ultrasound, confuses this natural process, of impression and bonding.

# 23 Since the embryo is naturally extremely dependent on the mother, in fact, it is best not regarded as an independent organism we noted above.  Confirming this, expanding on this, many people have long thought that an embryo should be said to be human, only from the moment of “viability”; the moment it can exist as a healthy, full human, away from the mother,  and away from all other artificial support.  (Cf.  “quickening”; the moment an embryo can be felt moving).  Many philosophers in fact, typically spoke of Viability, as the defining moment.  Though today to be sure, we can keep many early embryos alive at a very early age, unfortunately, these prematurely born embryos though, have many more diseases and problems, later on in life.  So that for this reason in part (and also because of the great importance of the embryo entering the external world, of perception and socialization),  we ourselves here, would stick not just to a bare “viability,” but to nearly full-term, fully developed, birth.  As the better, more defining, traditional – and quite natural – moment.

# 24 Further elating to the matter of the dependency of the embryo, to the question of whether it is an independent organism or not, is another, certain kind of natural senseAt one time, mothers did not see an embryo, until birth; it was hidden from our eyes as the Bible said.  Therefore our sight, our natural sense, our natural law, often (if not always) did not really think of the embryo as really, fully a human being; because after all, we could not even see it.  In the natural course of things, it did not enter our consciousness as a real being.  Partially because it was hidden, and we could not see it.  Until birth.  (As confirmed by Ps. 139.13-17 NIV; Job 42.5; etc.).

 

Today to be sure, this natural process, has been defeated.  Thanks for instance, to ultrasound. Thanks to ultrasound, we now see embryos; and that awakens the motherly instinct, (like impressing ducks), earlier than was once natural.  But after all, ultrasonic picturing, is an unnatural process.  That is defeating the normal course of nature.  Indeed, that may be one reason that so many people want to declare the embryo human today; because today, they can see them.  But people should remember, that after all, in the natural course of things, they would not have seen them at all.  And probably would not therefore have thought of them, as fully human.  (While for that matter:  look at what you see.  Does even that, really look fully human?).  Antiabortionists like Frank Pavone, see this the other way around:  ultrasound, science, they say, thus informs us of the true baby/child status.  But we say here, it misinforms us; it is an unnatural process, that artificially gives us, a misleading, premature impression of a being ready to be visible.

If we really go with the natural sense of things – or as they might call it, in theology, part of natural law – probably for reasons like this, most people long did not really consider the embryo, fully human.  Not until it emerged naturally from its mother, after say 9 months of development, at birth.  When indeed, they could see it.  Therefore again, nine months of age, and birth, is probably the best, early, natural dividing line, between the embryo, and the child.

# 25 Many priests have claimed that “science” firmly tells us the embryo is human.  But we have found the opposite of that here, strongly; current Science we have found here, says no such thing.  Real science does not really say the embryo is fully human; if anything, it says quite the opposite of that.  But for that matter, whatever Science says or does not say, those who quote Science should consider this:  that Science can change.  That even if some future science was to unexpectedly say that an embryo was a fully human being or person, then we should note that science can be wrong.  Science is always open to change, revision.  That is one of the major principles of the discipline.  So what if some past – or even future – scientific judgment, did say that an embryo was a fully human being?  Remember:  that judgment could change.  We should base ourselves on classic, conservative science; not recent speculations.

# 26 It seems here, that the best, classic Science, really does not support the idea that the embryo is a full human person.  So that in fact, those priests who have claimed that science says the embryo is a full human being, have not accurately represented real Science to the people.  Or, to put this in biblical language:  priests and religious persons have not been reliable “witnesses,” as the Bible says.  Religious anti-abortionists, have not been at all reliable when they speak on science in general.  And they have misrepresented the science involved in abortion in particular, over and over again.  To find out what real scientists think,  not priests, look at what the real, considered consensus of opinion is, among real, published scientists, with PhD’s.  Not a few priests with an undergraduate degree in science; not a very few renegade scientists speaking out of turn, outside their field of expertise.  Not people with a religious or political bias.  Listen to people who are not sworn in advance to believe this or that political or religious position, but who simply, objectively, “weigh” the evidence.

Many priests have claimed that “Science” supports this or that religious opinion.  But there are many problems with the reliability and objectivity of all religious believers.  Because, after all, they are sworn in advance, to believe and “have faith in” various religious beliefs.  Even beliefs that are countered by science; like miracles. They are sworn to believe in this or that religious opinion, even before, and even after, they have seen objective scientific evidence.   Therefore, they believers are sworn in effect, not to be objective.  They often swear to have faith in the Bible, and in miracles say, even when their senses tell them they rarely happen.  Thus they are in effect, sworn to precisely, ignore all material evidence; ignore what the “world” says. But here believers of course, are precisely the opposite of being an objective scientist.  Science means following the material evidence, no matter how often it crosses our preconceptions and ideological – and religious – preconceptions or commitments.

Anyone who is really honest, who really wants to be what the Bible often calls for – a good witness to what we have really, fully “seen,” as the apostles asserted – anyone who knows anything about what real, observational, empirical science says today – anyone who knows more than just misrepresentative snippets of science, quoted by anti-abortionists – knows that science today, is very, very, very far from confirming the ideas of Pro-Life advocates.  Anyone who know real science, knows that it is very, very, very far from saying that an embryo is a full human being, with a soul.  Or with a full human intelligence.

Therefore, those strongly anti-abortionist priests like Frank Pavone, who oppose abortion, sometimes on “scientific” grounds, should be called simply, very poor, false scientists.  Or, since they hypocritically probably don’t really care about science all, but only religion, then we should apply some biblical terms to them:  they are unreliable or “false” “witnesses,” “hypocrites,” and “deceivers.”  People who “speak falsely.” To use the language of the Bible.

# 27 How do many religious people, deceive themselves, and then others?  Typically they do it, they see things wrong, as St. Paul suggested, because they fix on just a part” of the “full”er truth.  They are used to rhetoric, and to representing only one side of an argument; not the full picture.  Antiabortionists typically, find one or two tiny, misrepresentative parts of science – tiny bits of Biology for example – that seem to support their case.  They find tiny, misrepresentative parts of the truth – which they have blown up beyond reason, in support of their own positions.  But their sin is that they have neglected the “full”er picture of the Truth; of the Bible, and the fuller evidence of the world that God made.  Indeed, antiabortionists they reject the vast bulk of science; they look at ultrasound evidence, and declare that to be all one needs to be sure an embryo is a baby; while they have ignored Social Science.  They have ignored a major part of science; Social Science, with its suggestion, now advanced here, that we are not really fully human, until after birth.  Not until exposure to the physical universe, and to socialization.

Anti-abortionism in fact therefore, ignores not only, much of the Bible and God (like Numb. 5; Ps.139); it also ignores or just goes against, the fuller picture of Science.  To understand what it means to be a human being, you need to include all the sciences; not just Biology, but also, Sociology, Psychology, and Anthropology.

# 28 For that matter, especially, anti-abortionists, by declaring a young embryo to be a human being, even “from conception,” have declared something that does not have a real mind or spirit, to be human.  And though the extension of full human status to the embryo was well-intentioned, to extend human status to something without a mind or spirit, ironically ends up attacking the very heart of religion, and the heart of humanity:  it attacks, it minimizes the importance of, the spirit or soul.  And if that wasn’t bad enough:  by declaring something without human intelligence fully human, it also attacks the essence of Science too: as it attacks, minimizes the importance of intelligence; of the mind. So that ironically, an impulse that was originally well-intentioned, that sought perhaps to be overly-protective of human beings, by extending the definition of human being and human rights … ends up, ironically, attacking and weakening, the very core of humanity, science, and religion.  As it now declares a soulless, mindless body, a clump of DNA, to be fully human.  Thus attacking – and weakening – humanity’s focus on these all-important core values.

Far from being a sincere, honest, accurate witness to what Science says therefore, anti-abortionists bears false witness, continually.  They dishonestly quote only misleading fragments of what science really fully said.  But much worse than that, the pseudo- or junk science of antiabortionism and much of religious science, secretly attacks the very heart and essence of science.  And for that matter, it also attacks the essence of the humanities, and the social sciences; indeed, it attacks the very core of religion and theology.  In that it ignores, denigrates, and ultimately seriously weakens, especially, the most important thing a human being has.  The thing that makes us human:  our human mind, or spirit, or soulDeclaring a mindless body to be fully human (be it the embryo, or Terri Schiavo), seriously weakens the all-important, absolutely crucial focus of humankind on developing our spirit, our intelligence. When liberal and conservative anti-abortionists declared a mere clump of bodily “flesh” without a mind, to be fully human, anti-abortionism ended up, through its false witness, committing one of the worst sins of all:  denigrating, weakening, minimizing the importance of our very intelligence, our soul.  (See anti-abortionists against validating the mindless, the soulless, the mere body without a spirit; when they support brain-dead bodies, too.  Like Terri Schiavo.  See also for that matter, John Paul II’s theology of the body).

Ironically, “Catholic” Pro Lifers, end up attacking and weakening, the very most important religious values.  And those of science too.

By the way, can we hold both to religion and science, the mind and the spirit, at the same time? In our future vision of Science, we will find science itself, acknowledging the soul, indirectly.  Science suggests that the key element of our lives, the thing that makes us distinctively human,  is our Reason, or human intelligence; which we can show some day, conforms to, is clearly a major part of, what is often called out spirit or soul, in theology. (Thomas Aquinas for example, seemed to largely identify our spirit, with our reason).  And so, finally, science and religion both begin to converge here on the same conclusion:   the mind or soul or spirit, (and we might add, right “knowledge”) and “intelligence,”  is the crucial thing.

Just as Christianity sometimes affirmed that human beings are not just a lump of “flesh,” but were more importantly, minds or spirits or souls,  especially, we discover here that social science confirms now that real human beings are not just a clump of biological material, of DNA, or just our material body; the crucial part of us, is our spirit or mind or soul.

Not only is the mind or intelligence important to religion; it is the very heart of science too; its methodology, as well.  Science in large part is itself just applied Reason, and intelligence.  (For that matter though, see the many times the Bible embraces “intelligence,” in a Bible concordance or index; for the RSV).

Conclusion?

To be sure, a woman who is pregnant, who intends to retain her embryo until birth, should care for that embryo; as a crucial part of the foundation of the human person it will become.  However, there is massive religious and scientific evidence, that though it is a crucial part of a human being, the body, the embryo before birth, is not yet a full human being; the really crucial part that makes us human beings, is not there in the embryo:  the human mind, or spirit, or intelligence.

To be sure, our body or flesh, is an absolutely crucial part of the foundation, of what will later become – be “formed” into or “knit” into – a human being.  Indeed the physical brain in particular, is the foundation of our later minds or intelligence.  So that a future mother should always pay attention to pre-natal nutrition and so forth; and remember that taking care of the biological life in her womb, will be extremely important, in creating a healthy child later on.  But she should also know that however, taking care of the physical body, is only the first step, in the fuller process of producing a real, full human being; a being with not just a body, but also, a mind.   At the moment of birth, the mother should know especially, the importance of next socializing – training, educating – her child.  Which takes her child to a fuller, complete humanity.  (The necessity of socialization, training, in making us human, probably becomes particularly evident to many mothers, somewhere in the “terrible 2’s”).

Our priests need to learn real, full science; and stop misrepresenting science and truth to the people.  In fact, the better theologians today, show that this is what even the Bible itself said.  (Cf. Teilhard de Chardin;  etc.).  But of course, Christians and others, should not just use science, or use misleading parts of it;  to try to simply confirm their biases and prejudices or beliefs.  Instead, good Christians should always be honest and full witnesses; and should follow good, classic, well-established, full, honest science.   Considering here for example, not just a Biology of the body, but also a the social sciences. And the supreme importance of the mind and intelligence.

Real, fuller science, firmly suggests that our most valuable quality, is our minds and our intelligence.  While the embryo does not have much of that.  And so finally,  the public should look very, very critically, at the alleged “science” of priests.  The fact is, looking at it more fully, we found here that real science does not support anti-abortionism.  Science if anything says that the embryo, the fetus, is not a full human being.  Rather, the embryo is only a preliminary part of a human being.  And amazingly, in this, Science does not contradict, but actually confirms the Bible:  which said after all, in Psalm 139,  that the embryo is only a partial, “unformed” “substance”; an unformed substance, that is at best merely in the process of being “formed.”  Before our truly human “day”s are realized.   No doubt,  God “knew us” in his mind even before conception; and yet to be sure, we were known only in the mind of God; and not yet in material reality.

Many priests and anti-abortionists quote “Science”; but the vast majority of them, are not good, honest, fully qualified scientists.  Indeed, their real alliance is to firm belief in unsubstantiated things; they study religion, not science.  So they do not really follow science at all, but only pretend to.  In Biblical terms, their quotes from “science” are therefore “hypocritical” and “deceit”ful.  In the words of God, they are not good, honest “witnesses,” to what science and nature and God, really, fully say.

Chapter 4

Protestants:

Aside From the Catholic Church,

What Do Other Christian Churches Say About Abortion:

Protestantism,

For Example?

# 29 It is sometimes asserted on Catholic shows, that “all” of Christianity opposes Abortion.  But a) by far, as of the date of this present writing, or until about 1990 or so, most Protestant churches did not firmly say that abortion is extremely bad.  Almost none said it was forbidden. 

By the way:  b) Protestant churches of course, try hard to obey God – and to obey especially, obey the Bible; obeying the Bible, “solos scriptura,” is one of the main principles of the Protestant faith.   But c) if  in actual practice, most Bible-following Protestant churches allow abortion, this is also therefore, another rough, early confirmation, that there is probably nothing in the Bible that firmly opposes abortion.    Most Bible-thumping Protestant churches presumably would not allow abortion, if the Bible had strongly forbidden it.  Protestants in fact, might d) well confirm in fact, what we found in our section on the Bible; that not only does the Bible not firmly forbid abortion … but it actually orders a priest to perform one, in Num. 5.

Catholic politicians who are harassed by bishops over the issue of abortion therefore, could simply leave the Catholic Church, and become Protestants.  Since Protestants allow abortion.  (See Raymond Arroyo, typically egging on/seducing one bishop, to recount excommunicating a female Catholic governor, gloatingly accounted in some non-privileged detail, from EWTN around MLK day; replayed on Relevant Radio, Sun., Jan. 24, 2010, , 5:40 PM AM 970  Today, the issue of abortion is becoming a sort of shibboleth for being really Catholic, as opposed to being “merely” Christian; it is the imagined distinctively better feature that vanity now uses as an excuse, for thinking yourself better than others.

Chapter 5

ETHICS:

 “Proportionate,” “Prudent,” Multi-“Issue”

Catholic Ethics

 Did

Not Definitely Prohibit Abortion, Either

In Philosophy, the field of thought which deals with matters of morality, what is good and moral, is called “Ethics.”  And it might be useful to ask here, what does Ethics in general, say about abortion?  Here, we will have been considering particularly, what a Bible- or Christian- or Catholic-based or science-based ethics or morality, would say about this subject.  But what does the rest of Ethics in general say about this topic?  To survey all of Ethics to be sure, is not quite our subject here; that topic is too large and complicated, for a simple survey.  But suppose we try to make our own limited contribution to Ethics here.  By enlarging on the broad, interdisciplinary view of the subject; to include many science and not just one.  And to include the broader view that we will see, was spoken of by the Catholic Cardinals and the Pope, as a “proportionate” approach.  One that might suggest that abortion to be sure, is a minor evil; but that it is only “one issue” in life after all.  So that after all, there are far more important things to consider, in the voting booth.

# 30 First, we will here support some ideas related to those that will be advanced by the Catholic Church among others; the idea of “proportional”ity, and balance.  Here, we are urged to look at the “full”er scope of all of “life”; not just “one issue” like abortion.  In general, the basic problem with focusing strongly, just on one part of life, like abortion, is that ignores, neglects, and allows to flourish, many other evils.  There are many bad things in life, that are individually – and certainly collectively – “proportionately” worse than abortion.  A misstep that causes the entire planet to go into a catastrophic famine, for example, or that destroys the entire planet and all of human life, we will show, is a far, far worse evil, than abortion.  And so, we should not just focus all our attention, just on abortion; we should always keep in mind the “full”er outline of all of life; and keep an eye on other issues than abortion.   If we spend all our time focuses on, voting for embryos, we will inevitably neglect other major problems; we will forget to take care of the dykes that prevent floods for example (and lose part of New Orleans).  Or we will forget the destructiveness of wars – and stop trying like good Christians, to turn the other check, and avoid even just, but unnecessary wars. Or, if all our attention is focused too much of the time on the embryo, we might forget, for example, to take care of diseases and plagues; forget to help the sick.   And thereby, we might allow massive epidemics to form.  Because we allowed our attention to narrow to just a tiny part of the whole of life; to our fuller responsibilities.

Later we will see that the Catholic Church hierarchy, has confirmed this problem; and that cardinals and the Pope spoke against the dangerously narrow, unbalanced, vision of “one-issue” anti-abortionism in particular.  Especially, we add here, anti-abortionists focused only on the “life issue” of abortion; while they neglected many other more important “life issues,” like the life of the environment; and the billions of grown children and adults, whose lives depend on a sound environment. (See Sean Herriott speaking from the too-narrow sense of life issues, “The Morning Show,” 7:49 AM, Jan. 8, 2010, Relevant Radio, 970 AM; assuming abortion is the only life issue?  Not health care?).  All humans need productive environment, sound farms, to feed them.  But as the Bible itself noted, if there are problems in the environment – the Bible noted droughts, floods, diseases – then our health and food supply and physical security can be ended.

Today, people think too narrowly even of the “environment”; they think the only problems that can happen there, is the controversial idea of “Global Warming.”  But in fact, the “environment” includes many other traditional and well-documented problems; including the plagues, famines, floods, that, as even the Bible mentioned, have historically already killed hundreds of millions of human beings.  The fact is, the “environment” includes many, many more things than “Global Warming.”  And furthermore, we will see here, neglect or lack of control of these other issues, these sins, has already killed hundreds of millions of people.  While failure to control environmental issues indeed, threatens the life of the entire planet; and threatens to kill billions of human beings.  It even threatens to exterminate the entire human race.

So that the essential ethic we advocate here, is to always take the broad view.  To look at the “interdisciplinary” view, or sum total of what all the various forms of human knowledge report; so that we can see, look at, remain responsible to, all of reality; not just a narrow part of it.   This we will see, corresponds to the Bible itself; in its advocacy of the “full”er view of good and God.  And it corresponds also to what is advocated by the Catholic Cardinals and by the Pope:  attention to “proportion”ality; moving beyond too much concern just with “one issue.”  Indeed, to focus too narrowly on just one thing for too long, too exclusively, is to be psychologically dysfunctional or ill; to be “obsessive.” Even, demonic.

The call to usually see and be responsible to a larger vision of life therefore, a “full’er view, is always needed, as a counterbalance to people becoming too narrow, in an “age of specialization.”  Though to be sure, each of us should learn to do one simple job well, to make a living, at the same time, to be responsible citizens, and leaders, we also at times need a broadly aware, “full”er view of all of “life.”  And all its “issues.” As much as is humanly possible to know.

To behave responsibly, to be good citizens and leaders, “prudent” adults need to pay attention not just to their own special profession or job – or worse, their obsession or fetish or cult.  Instead, we always need to keep in mind the full spectrum of life.  And when it comes to evils? Keep in mind the great variety of bad things in life.  There are many, many things we need to attend to, to stay alive and healthy.  And that means that none of us can afford to obsess, fixate, mono-maniacally, on just, say, the “life” of the embryo.  Instead, we should also always consider, many other possible problems in life.  Like maintaining health care facilities.  If we don’t do that, millions –even billions – might die from lack of media care to control plagues, or epidemics. And this is not just theory or speculation; we should always keep in the back of our minds, the historical memory of the hundreds of millions of people, already historically killed by droughts and famines and disease.

Just to get through life, and to really help others, we should not be too narrowly focused for too long, just on any “one issue” or one tiny “part” of life; we all need a broader awareness.  A broad education. To see the “bigger picture,” as they call it; the fuller outline of all of life, and the many different things we need to control.

This idea – always keeping at least part of our minds, on the broader view; considering many, many issues in life – can be advanced here and elsewhere, in academic/secular language; as part of an academic, “interdisciplinary” Ethics.  Or as part indeed of the basic foundation of any Democracy:  a citizenry educated broadly enough, to vote responsibly in elections.   But then too of course, this broader view of life, complements what is said by Catholicism.  As we will see, our interdisciplinary, or broad-view Ethics, confirms what has recently been said in theology, by the likes of Cardinal McCarrick; and indeed, by our current Pope, Benedict XVI.  McCarrick confirming that Catholics cannot be too narrowly focus just on “one issue” in life, when voting; while Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI even specified that there are things “proportionate”ly more important in life than, specifically and by name, abortion. (See our separate chapter on Ratzinger’s “proportion”ality, from his 2004 memo.).  So that ultimately, we support the Cardinals and the Pope here at least; in suggesting that voting for pro-abortion political candidates, “can be permitted” (Ratzinger, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” 2004 memo).  Given “proportionate”ly more important issues to consider.

# 31 Ethics to be sure, is a very large and complicated academic field; and we will quickly lose a general audience – and the voting public, and the Church too – if we try to do it justice here. Ethics is a typical academic field: –  in which nearly everything is considered problematic, and nothing absolutely firm can be said or recommended.   But if we were to hazard a very quick survey of what the entirety of Ethics says about abortion?  In ancient religious ethics, the Bible, seemed to allow it; even recommend it in certain circumstances (Num. 5, RSV). While it is said that the Church regarded the embryo as not fully human, till about 1863-9, some say.   While much of later Ethics, presents a position that would allow abortion; based on arguments like those presented here.  In particular, many, from the days of Aristotle, then later Augustine, and then Aquinas, have suggested that the embryo is probably not well-enough “formed” to have a real mind or soul.  So that the core of traditional, philosophical/ religious ethics suggests that the embryo is not a full human being; and therefore, aborting an embryo should not be an offense for which someone should be excommunicated; or very severely punished; much less, a capital offense.  The basic idea that an embryo does not have much of a mind or soul, was in fact a very large part of the background of the ethical reasoning that finally made abortion legal, with the Roe v. Wade decision.  Which explicitly depends on the feeling that the embryo is not fully a human being or a human person.  Though perhaps the minority report of Roe v. Wade leaves this subject open for future discussion, the major opinion allowed it.  While the background for this allowance, was precisely, ultimately, ethical opinions, that may or may not have been directly alluded to in the decision itself , but that were well known at the time.  Science at the time of Roe v Wade, in 1973, was coming to the conclusion that a) the most important quality of a man is mind or spirit; that b) his mind is a function of the brain, and then later c) social experience; while d) it was evident that the embryo did not have much of either of these. So that the logical conclusion was that e) an embryo was not a fully human being, or person; and f) therefore, aborting one is not a serious moral evil or sin.

The above in fact, is a short summary, of the very heart, of the main argument allowing abortion.  In particular, not only religious ethics, but also secular ethics, use science and reason, to conclude with science, that the embryo is not fully human.

So that those anti-abortionists who sometimes say that “all” of  Ethics is against abortion, are simply wrong.  In point of fact, a quick survey shows that even a) religious ethics, by figures like St. Aquinas, did not universally support the idea that abortion was really bad.  While now we add here, b) that most of secular Ethics does not support any extreme anti-abortion position, either.  Though we don’t have much time here, in a general survey, to look at the full scope of academic ethics here, anyone who is interested, can find many papers on abortion, from secular Ethicists; the prevailing opinion that finally determined Roe v. Wade, agreed that the embryo is not a full human being or “person.” And therefore, aborting or miscarrying an embryo, is not so serious.

Many secular ethical arguments, by the way, develop arguments very similar to the Bible. Including some on “early” versus early “hominization,” and so forth. These arguments are very much like Aquinas on “ensoulment.”  The “secular” arguments reach conclusions very similar to religious thinkers.  Based on very similar thinking:  a stress on the importance, the centrality, of the mind or spirit, as the crucial part of what makes us human beings.

No doubt to be sure, abortion itself, is unattractive.  But the testimony of science and reason are very, very influential in secular ethics.  While they say that the embryo cannot be really, fully, a human being.  Mostly because its brain and mind are not fully formed.

[See the many papers on abortion, from secular Ethics scholars].

# 32 To be sure, there are some ethicists, who will take a position against the fetus, that seems more hesitant.  Some will occasionally say for example, that “no one can tell” whether an embryo is human; that it is “not certain” whether an embryo is human or not.  To be sure, a) for many logicians, if something is not certain, that is enough reason to flatly reject it.  But b) here of course, the anti-abortionists jump in; on this moment of uncertainty.   Hearing uncertainty, anti-abortionists cleverly say this:  that if we are “not certain” that an embryo is not a human being, then after all the matter is not certain.  And not being certain, therefore we should not risk killing it.  Since the embryo might after all, be human, we should not take a chance, and kill it.  Since in that case, we might have killed a human being, after all.  (An idea suggested in the 1973 Roe vs. Wade case in fact).

Many priests today like this idea:  they like to say that even if we cannot show an embryo is fully human, then, since we are not really sure that an embryo human, then we should not kill any of them. Because they might be human.  Therefore, we should err on the side of caution, just in case.  Because after all, it turns out than an embryo is a real person, then we will have committed a grave sin.  A risk, some say, we should not take.

A popular example used here, to demonstrate that telling us to take no action, when there is uncertainty, is the example of hunting deer.  Here it is noted, that it is often said in hunting, that if you are hunting deer, and hear a rustling in the bush that you think might be a deer … you should not shoot into the bush however.  Because good hunting practice, experience teaching us that a rustling in the bush, might not be a deer; it might be a human being.  Therefore the moral taken here is this:  when we are not sure whether something is not a human being, we shouldn’t shoot.

But to be sure, c) note that to use this argument, the anti-abortionist himself, must admit that his own ideas are “not certain” either.  Here after all, we are talking about something – but we are not sure what it is.  We hear a rustling in the bushes; we see a vaguely human-seeming embryo; but after all, the anti-abortionist is not sure what it is, either.  The scenario, the presumption here therefore, is that we are not sure.   But first of all note, if he really believes this argument, then this means that the anti-abortionist is not sure here, either.

 

And d) if the anti-abortionist’s own ideas about the embryo, are not certain, as this argument assumes … then why are so many now asserting them to be the word of God? 

 

Then too, e) as we read more and more, about science below, perhaps we can be quite reasonably sure, after all, that a clump of cells, the first few months of pregnancy, are not a human being at all.  After reviewing a hundred or more arguments here, it might seem that for example, we might use common sense, prudence:  and doubt whether a clump of cells, is the same as a human being.  (What about the slippery slope that comes from saying a sperm cell was a human being … as the ridiculous “every sperm is sacred” campaign once claimed?).

 

d) Most importantly though, there is a major problem with arguing this:  that if we are “not certain” about the embryo, then we must not abort.  This popular argument against abortion, often adds that we must think of the consequences of an act.   In this case, it is being argued in effect, that even if it is not certain that embryos are not human, still, we must not have abortions, because it might be that embryos are human … and in that case, in consequence,  the millions of abortions, will have committed millions of murders.  An awful consequence or result.  But note, this part of the argument depends on something that some have said, is a logical error or fallacy:  the fallacy of “arguing from consequences.”

Why is “arguing from consequences” often thought to be wrong?  It is wrong some say, in part because aa) we are not really arguing the case on its own merits. Or bb) in part, because we can easily think of practical examples of what stupid consequences can come from …this type of argument.  Supposed for example, that someone comes to you claiming that the whole universe was made by say, Zeus.  And when we doubt this, they tell us we had better believe in Zeus; because if we don’t, as a consequence of our disbelief, Zeus says that he will destroy the whole world.  (This Zeus example is also in effect “Pascal’s Wager”; also a related, flawed, bad argument from consequences.  In the case of Pascal’s Wager note that by his logic, then we are compelled to believe not in God, but also in Zeus!).  Note that here, the argument does not really try to convince us by logic … but by threats.  We are not really being convinced logically, by argument, that Zeus exists; we are just told that if we don’t believe, the consequences will be bad for us.  But this really gives up on logic and reason, and in favor of threats and sensationalism.

And then too cc) it is not even certain that this disaster would be the actual consequence.  After all, anyone can say this or that is bad for you, and will have awful consequences … without proving it.  Here, the example has not really, fairly proven that Zeus exists.  And therefore, since there might not be a Zeus – and indeed it seems today there probably isn’t a Zeus - the alleged consequences are extremely unlikely.

Note therefore,  that many philosophers regard many forms of “arguing from consequences,” is a very cheap, false way to win an argument.  Because in fact, anyone can dishonestly predict dire consequences, from any given action.  Someone could say that if you don’t believe the moon is made of green cheese, then earthquakes will destroy the world.  But how convincing would you normally find this?  Here, Someone is trying to convince, not by a convincing argument, but by using simply empty threats.  This is not a classy way to win an argument.

Many ethics and logic professors therefore, have called attention to a severe kind of problem, with the kind of argument that suggests we should not kill embryos, because they might be human; this kind of argument they call an “argument from consequences.”  While Ethics professors, philosophers, rightly tell us that this kind of attempt to persuade us, should not have too much force.  We should listen to the “why” of it all. Just because some people say, that failing to believe this or that, might have disastrous consequences, should not over-influence us.  Since many people use idle threats to convince us, the threat of dire consequences alone, should not prevent us totally, from critically examining the argument; we should not neglect the many rational steps that are required, to really prove whatever is being asserted.

To be sure though, dd) in our present book here, we ourselves differ slightly with some ethics theorists here:  we would give “consequences” a certain amount of force.  If it seems a given train of logic or behavior, is not certain, but that the given action might have very, very dire consequences, then even though the prediction of dire consequences is not entirely convincing, still, here, it might be the better part of wisdom to … hesitate for a moment.  The fact is, it is true that there are many things in life we do not understand; and there are often bad consequences to this or that action.  Therefore, even when we do not understand quite how something bad might really come from something, the fact that some suggest there are bad consequences, might give us pause, for a moment.  So, when we hear of possible bad results, disasters, that might come from this or that action, then to be sure, many of us might just sit down, and think. We might indeed consider, briefly, the alleged consequences.  Before we go on and do the deed, we might think more carefully, about the situation; to see if there are any better reasons at least.

And so to be sure, here and there, we ourselves here therefore allow the consideration of consequences, to a small degree.  Especially, consider the problem of the environment.  Here, many say – but to be sure, some say that no one has to date fully proven –  that there is global warming and so forth, that could have awful consequences.  So many now say that unless we think of the environment, we could, in consequence, destroy something important … and end all human life on this planet.  A hugely disastrous consequence …that is so large, that in fact, the consequences probably should be considered here.  Even if the argument, the evidence, is not conclusive.  Indeed, when the consequence is huge – like causing the end of the world – even if the probability is only 1 in 100 of it happening, still, that would probably be too great a chance to take.   Here we should therefore… always keep even consequences in mind somewhat; but we should ways weigh and balance things, prudently. We should consider consequences, but not let them entirely sway us; we should look for at least some good reasoning too.  Keeping in mind that any idiot can threaten huge, catastrophic consequences, and try to avoid making a convincing argument in that way.  So that to be sure, the mere assertion of consequences by itself, by an impotent idiot, should not in itself dissuade us from anything.  Though on the other hand, if there is any solid aspect to the argument at all, and if the consequences are utterly huge, in such a case, we might allow alleged consequences, after all, to have at least a marginal place in our decision-making process.  But with great reservation, and caveats, to be sure.  Since all too many people, try to win arguments by rash statements and absurd threats.

As part of this remember that it is true that that even an uncertain situation, is often worth considering.   Basically, we are talking about gambling here; and there are smart gambles, and stupid ones too.  An uncertain situation, uncertainty in argument, is like rolling the dice.  And we need to consider many factors, to be good gamblers.  One consideration, is … how dire or wonderful  is the risk, versus the advantages.  We might say, risk a day’s salary, on a roll of the dice; on an uncertain thing.  But should we risk our entire lives?  Or risk even a billion human beings, and the entire future of mankind?  On something very, very uncertain?  On a roll of the dice?  And/or, how much should we risk?  Should we give up all of civilization, to avoid the possibility of a disastrous scientific experiment that destroys the world?  If not that, then how much should we risk?  How much can we afford to lose therefore, and how much do we have to gain, is a major consideration here.  In addition to how likely a given outcome seems.

It would be better, if life was very clear, and we knew for certain what to do in every situation.  But in fact, in life normally,  (outside of science), we are not entirely sure about many things. And so we have to simply, make our best guess, and gamble.    Clearly, there are often occasions when we our best efforts at logic and math just cannot tell us all we need to know about a given situation; where logic and math and science simply fall short.  When they cannot tell us something with clear certainty. And in such cases, though we should try as hard as we can to come up with a reasoned analysis, we might well, to some degree,  have to gamble somewhat, on an uncertain thing.  And in this very common situation in everyday life and business, we typically indeed, allow some consideration of, for example, the possible or asserted empirical, practical consequences of following a particular belief or action.  Life is full of these moments.  We might for example, not be sure if we should take a job at the pharmacy, or a job at the insurance company; normally, we cannot be absolutely sure in advance, which job will be more rewarding in the end.  And so we merely .. guess, and gamble.  But there is still smart gambling and dumb gambling; there is still an opportunity to make our best estimation. To weigh the odds. And the consequences.

So we might allow some consideration of consequences in some arguments.  To be sure though, just when to do this – when to consider consequences, and how much –  is a tricky decision.  We should not let obviously idle, silly threats of dire consequences, by typically unreliable and sensationalistic persons, bully us, into believing one improbable argument after another.  Instead, we should consider who is making the threats; whether they are reliable in other ways.  And then too, we should probably demand that any arguments, seem to have at least some merit or logic, on their own.  And then too, finally, we should consider the size of the consequences.  If the consequences are hugely disastrous – especially if the consequences are say, the end of the world, and the extinction of the entire human race – then to be sure, we might here allow … some consideration of consequences, to influence our decision.

In the case of abortion though, ultimately we here will decide that, aa) arguments against the embryo are overwhelming.  While bb) those who want however to still regard consequences, should consider especially, this one:  consider the consequences of neglecting other important “issues” in life. Consider for example, what might happen, if you decide your future, entirely, by voting for a political candidate that protects embryos … but is not so good on preventing environmental disaster?  In this case indeed, consider the consequences of each, and compare their magnitude.  In this case, we will consider what is at risk with each. To be sure,  with abortion, potentially the lives of tens of millions of embryos – and in the worst case, tens of millions of human persons – are at risk.  But we would suggest here that this outcome is not likely; because it is not like an embryo really is a full human person. While in any case, we will compare the magnitude of even this very great risk or consequence … with the already proven consequences of failure to control environmental disasters, like historical (and even Biblical), floods, plagues, famines.  History confirms that a very high percentage of the human population died prematurely, in the past, from lack of control over environmental disasters. So that indeed, probably already, hundreds of millions of human beings have been already killed, by – today preventable – environment-related problems. (Disease depending on sanitation, population density, flood control, and other environmental factors for example).

So that if we just compare the historically proven record of the number of lives lost, we find that even if we accepted embryos as fully human (as we do not here), even then, abortion at worst, kills far, far less lives, than neglect of environment.

Indeed we will see, even if we are to consider “consequences,” human lives lost, even here, we should give concern over environmental “issues,” a more important place than concern over embryos lost.  Because indeed, not only has History (and for that matter, the Bible itself) documented countless lives already lost through environment; but in addition to that many today reasonably project the possible destruction of  even greater percentages; even all of humanity; even the destruction of the whole world.  The death of today, seven billion human beings, and even the extinguishment, extinction, of all of mankind itself.  Which seems possible, given various somewhat plausible scenarios.

So finally, our recommendation here will be this:  we will suggest for now, that indeed, some consideration of consequences, is appropriate, in Ethics matters, like the ethics of abortion.  But next we will also show that even if we allow consideration of consequences, then we will have to note that the consequences of neglecting to try to prevent environmental disaster, make taking care of the environment, a “proportionate”ly more important thing to consider. Over and above the life of embryos.   In our rough calculation:  it seems pretty impossible that embryos really have much of a mind or spirit, and are human.  But even if we did regard the embryo as fully human – which is not justified – even then, the deaths of a hundred million human embryos, would not be as serious as ignoring the environment … and risking the deaths of seven billion people; risking the destruction of the entire planet; even risking the extinction of all of mankind, forever.

So to be sure, in our Ethical arguments here, we will actually allow, some qualified, cautious consideration of “consequences.”  But even according to this kind of argument, there are important issues, that outweigh abortion.  Especially we need to take care of the environment.  Where hundreds of millions of lives have already been probably, historically lost.  And where billions more are at risk. Even when we consider “consequences,” the issue of abortion, loses to other issues.

# 33 Can we even reject some anti-abortion arguments, that appear quite reasonable and logical?   Though we very much like Logic and Reason here, we might note in passing, some problems even with Reason and Logic and so forth. Amazingly, there are problems even with Reason and Logic.  While ignoring Empirical data, practical or material consequences.  But the fact is, even Reason and Logic have their shortcomings.

Accepting some consideration of  consequences, can at times look like abandoning or denigrating, Reason and Logic.  While we ourselves here to be sure, strongly defend Logic and Reason.  But since we to some extent here allowing arguing from consequences, even over apparent Logic?  Then let us defend that.  By noting, amazingly, a problem with following just Logic.

The fact is, simple a) often we just make mistakes in Logic; as when we do Math wrong.  Or perhaps even, b) the best idea many people – and even experts – currently have of Logic, is in error.  As the science of logic progresses over time, we see that things that once appeared logical, were not as well grounded as we thought. So that History suggests, that even logic and Reason have their limitations; and sometimes make mistakes.  Or certainly, mistakes are often made in the name of even Reason and Logic.

Therefore, since it is clear that for whatever reason, Logic at times fails us, therefore, we should not decide everything, just based on what Logic apparently says at the moment.

Here we advocate Science; and Reason and Logic are a major part of Science.  But amazingly, noting problems in pure reason and logic, is a major principle in Science itself.  Science to be sure, is itself based in part on Logic and Reason and Math.  But on the other hand, Science recognizes some shortcomings in pure reason; so that c) just as much as being based on Reason, science even more based on … Empiricism.  Which is … observing “consequences.”  Science is largely based on looking to see what actually happens in real life; totally aside from what logic and reason would predict.

How can Logic and Reason fail us?  An example:   in the early days of our rocket development programs, many a rocket looked “good on paper”; good “in theory”; good according to logical arguments.  But then, when we tried to start our rocket up, it blew up.  Empirical experiment, suggested something was wrong.  And often, when we went back, we found we had made a mistake in the Math, in Logic itself.  Or that our logical, mathematical calculations, had failed to take into account, this or that important factor.

Therefore at times, amazingly, even Logic, Reason, fail us.  And because there are occasionally problems even there,  an apparently logical, rational argument, should not always, necessarily, totally and absolutely trump just “prudently” thinking about  – or better, observing – practical, physical consequences; and/or what empirical observation tells us actually happens in real life.  To be sure, though we use a lot of logic and reason here, there are some fundamental problems even with just Logic and Reason, when used alone, by themselves.  And that is why Science does not just employ Reason, but also Empiricism; observation of physical things in the material world.  (For more on this?  From this first general consideration of typical flaws in Logic, bad logic, we will eventually go on to consider some errors in people like Colin Donovan of EWTN, when they tried to support anti-abortionism, with logical arguments; like the “intrinsic” argument; below.)

The problem with Logic, is somewhat hard to describe in terms acceptable to logic itself.  Unless we remind logicians that after all, sometimes their logic goes wrong, even on its own terms; they calculate, outline the logic of something, incorrectly.  They do the Math wrong. While then too,  the history of the development of formal Logic, shows that some earlier formulations, of what is considered to be logical, were later proven to be inadequate.  So that Logic itself therefore, is not entirely certain.  And so finally, we must ironically, express reservations, even about possibly the greatest acquisition of human beings:  Logic and Reason.  (And related to them, Math).  And even to some logic-based anti-abortion arguments.  This we do, not to support so much, Sentiment and Emotion; like Captain Kirk, vs. Mr. Spock.  But to support especially, Empirical Science.  Reasoning from observation of material realities. Looking at original rational speculations … but then comparing them to what we see actually comes to pass in real life.

d) Intuiting problems even with Logic itself at times, finally, we will note a specific kind of error, in some seemingly, very logical anti-abortion arguments.  In particular, consider this error: , taking things that seem logically certain, to always be more important than things that do not.  In much of Philosophy, it was held that if only we could find things that were logically certain, we could then base ourselves on them; and have a well-grounded life.  But in fact, there are often mistakes in our logic.  But in addition, let us note now that there is a particular kind of error, that is often made in connection with Logic:  there is an error in saying that things that seem logically certain, will always outweigh, trump, things that are not.  This is a wrong thing to do, we will show.  In part, because in part, often things seem very logically certain … but trivial.  Whereas things that do not appear absolutely clear, are however more deserving of our attention.

Example:  most people would agree, that “one and one is two, is always logically true.  It is very, very true.  But here is the problem that commonly comes up:  since it seems very firmly, logically, mathematically true, should we therefore regard the idea, that “one-and-one-are two,” as always, therefore, more important, than things less certain?  Often logicians and others, adopt this kind of thinking; that asserts that things that are logically certain, are always more important than things that are not.  But the problem with that conclusion, can be tentatively pointed out, by a few simple examples.  For example:  suppose “one and one are two,” seems mathematically or logically certain.  This gives it a certain importance in Philosophy and Math.  But does really mean, that this fact is always more important than things not logically certain?  What if for example,  we are in a situation where we are sick. And there is a vaccine that works not every time, but only nine times out of ten.  Here we have something therefore, that is not entirely logically certain.  Should we not take the vaccine, therefore?  Just because it is not certain?  Clearly, we should not always reject things, that are not entirely certain.

Furthermore, regarding the same example, regarding the vaccine that only works most of the time, but is not entirely certain:  should we reject it for something that is more certain?  Suppose for example, we have a logician sitting in the Emergency Room, and on being offered a vaccine that works only nine times out of ten, and on being told that the vaccine is uncertain, the logician insists that therefore, he will not take it.  But instead, he will sit in the Emergency Room and concentrate on more certain things.  So that the logician, decides to not take the shot; and instead to just sit in the Emergency Room,  saying “one and one are two.”  Here the logician has indeed, followed something more certain, over something that is less so.   But of course, in doing so, he has just done something … rather ridiculous.  And possibly, in real life, fatal.

Here – in part to support at least some consideration of empirical consequences – we are trying to get at a fundamental problem, even with pure logic and Reason.  There is a problem for example, with always preferring, following things that are logically certain, over things that are not.  One problem is that many things are more logically certain, but are still trivial. Or you might say in other words, the problem is a problem of “scale.”  In the case of the logician in the emergency room, the logician should have considered, in his rational calculations, the scale of importance of different things.  Often things are logically certain it would seem – but rather unimportant compared to more pressing problems, that are better decided by guesswork and gambling.  Especially, the Logician should have given more consideration – as Science does – to practical outcomes; consequences.  (While for that matter, he might have done so also in the name the traditional virtue of “prudence.”)

Another example, of the error in always preferring things that are logically compelling, over things that are only true sometimes?  Suppose a logician says this:   a) “Some rocks are valuable diamonds.  But b) most rocks are not diamonds at all.  So, c) only some rocks are valuable.  In d) contrast, a one-hundred-dollar bill is always real money, real value.  Therefore, e) since a rock is only sometimes valuable, therefore, a hundred dollar bill, should always be preferred to a rock.” Here again, the strict logician, who always prefers a logical and certain argument or situation, to another, can comes to grief:  based on this, a kind of silly logician might  say that he will always prefer hundred dollar bills, to any and all rocks, every time.  Which looks logical.  But which in actual practice, would not be wise –  if the logician is offered a bag of raw, diamond rocks, but turns it down.  (To be sure, ultimately there is probably a strict logical error here too; but before it turns up or is clarified, in the meantime, in the name of “logic,” an error has been made.  And by the way, note, it is by practical examples, practical experiences, that we first began to see a problem with his Logic itself)

So that to be sure, at times, even logic fails us.  Therefore, always preferring things that appear logically certain, to things that are not,  is simply, unwise.

In our book here, we very much value, and like to employ, logic. But indeed, any person that honors logic too much, and gives it predominance in every situation, often does something that is not good.  Such a person fails to note that in real life, many things are logically and practically certain – but still, they are relatively trivial.  Or in this case, sometimes something not likely or certain, is still worth striving for.  Indeed, Christians might consider this example:  the Christian quest for Heaven, is not certain; should they therefore give it up?  (Though to be sure, some Atheists find it all  so uncertain, that finally, it should be given up.  Or for that matter, so few rocks are diamonds, that practically speaking, you could give up looking for diamonds in the average field, and find a better use for your time, as a matter of fact.  A little logic is still of some assistance here.)

 

Just one more example in any case:  a man is holding a gun on your wife:  he may shoot her – or may not, to be sure; it is not certain.  Should you sit down here, and concentrate on your logic, your arithmetic/  Which is rather logically certain?  Should you sit there telling yourself “one and one are two”?  Or should you do something more practical, if uncertain, about the man holding a gun?  Who may be about to shoot your wife?  Here to be sure, the situation is so uncertain, that it might be unwise to intervene.  You might try to save your wife … and panic the man into shooting her.  So that finally we would have to say, as we said in connection with reasoning from empirical “consequences” above, that most situations must be weighed, accessed, individually; on a case by case basis. In any case though, we should not simply, dogmatically decide in favor of Reason, every single time.

Our tentative conclusion here, is that many things that are compelling from the point of view just of philosophy and logic, are often not so important from a broader perspective.  They should not always take precedence, over practical sense.  Related to this, to religious persons, we might note that Catholic ethics especially says – as we will find here -that we should never follow narrow logic, to the point of absurdity or practical disaster; we should never abandon common sense or what the Bible and the Catechism call “prudence.”  Practical sense.  If a given chain of alleged logic, leads to conclusions that would be literally, physically fatal to undoubtedly human beings, in real life, then we should let common sense and prudence suggest that, after all, something was wrong with our logic. (Good by, beloved, logical Socrates? You had an invaluable lesson to teach; but there are other lessons to learn, beyond even that.)  In addition, all this relates to “proportional”ity as well. Sometimes things are logically certain, but in many situations, they are however, in a given situation, proportionately, trivial.

# 34 Many say in Catholicism, that “you cannot commit even a small evil, so that a larger good may result.”  But this is not true, good, or biblical. God himself allows, even “sends” evil spirits … so that a larger good results. God allowed men to commit the evil of killing Jesus … so that his death could save us all.  Jesus commits the small “evil” of working,  healing on the Sabbath … in order to save people.  This common argument in the Church, is not true to the Bible.

# 35 All this is preface essentially, to our refutation of another anti-abortionists argument:  the assertion that abortion is the killing of an innocent human being; something that is always, “intrinsically” – or say, logically – wrong.  Therefore they say, we must absolutely not do this thing.  But here we will have begun to argue against this assertion (by people like Colin Donovan), on two grounds.  The first being that a) after all, the embryo is not a human being, innocent or otherwise.  While moreover, we will now add, b) though it would seem that an embryo must be “innocent,” and therefore killing an embryo is logically bad – it would seem bad to kill an innocent, just from the meaning of the terms – on the other hand …once again, let’s be prudent in considering the empirical consequences here.

A sort of problem with following what is often called “Logic,” could be seen when we considered the practical consequences, of following all too closely, some things that seem logical, while ignoring things that seemed less certain.  And among the more important examples of what can go wrong here: consider an allusion to such a logic-based, ethical argument against abortion, that seems to be alluded to even in Joe Ratzinger’s 2004 memo.  In the future Pope’s memo, one implied argument, alluded to, seems to be this:   a) taking the life of an embryo, is deliberately taking the life of an “innocent” human being.  And b) according to Ethics, or even just logic:  there is something always, basically, logically, “intrinsically” wrong, they claim, with deliberately killing an “innocent life.”   And so, c) since it is logically, basically, or intrinsically wrong, we should therefore never kill an embryo.  And d) furthermore the memo at times hints, because killing an embryo seems always, intrinsically bad, we should furthermore, therefore, consider this deed worse, more evil, than most other things that appear basically bad, but that might not be so logically, certainly bad.  For example, as the 2004 memo suggests, even causing “wars” that kill billions, might not be as bad  abortion.  Because after all, not all war is logically, intrinsically bad and evil.  There are after all, the memo suggests, “just” wars; defensive wars, that are allowed.  Therefore, from the 2004 memo, some commentators like Colin Donovan used the logic we are refuting here:  they suggested that since abortion is killing an innocent human life, and that is always, “intrinsically” evil – and in fact is more certainly evil even than participating in a “war,” as mentioned in the memo – then after all, the implication is, the anti-abortion issue is not only certain, but also probably trumps, outweighs, any other issues in life.  Because it is so certain.  But here remember, we just pointed out two errors, in that way of thinking:  the first error, is that a) embryos are not human persons, innocent or otherwise.  While moreover b) things that are logically certain, “intrinsically” true, never less, do not necessarily outweigh all other considerations. And indeed fortunately, the memo alludes in fact, to the other kind of thing that should be taken into consideration here; and that can even outweigh things that seem logically, intrinsically true:  a consideration of “proportionate” consequences.  Here remember, we are finding that  even if embryos were innocent human beings – which they are not –  and even if other disasters were not as intrinsically evil, or certain either, still, there are many other issues that can be far more important than abortion; including the environment.

Indeed, of the most common arguments used today by anti-abortionist Catholic ethicists, is the “abortion-is-intrinsically evil” argument.  (As used by Colin Donovan; and then archbishop Chaput for example?  Oct. 30/31 2008, EWTN?  In turn this was alluded to in Joe Ratzinger’s 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion”).  As we just summarized it, this argument claims that the killing of an embryo is the deliberate taking of the life of an innocent person.  And next it is claimed, that such an act – deliberately taking the life of an innocent person – is always, logically, “intrinsically” bad and evil. This is apparent just from logic:  if someone “ innocent,” and we do something wrong to them … how can that be defended as good, or just?  [Though might do even this later, if we separate out what is practically useful or good, from what is just]..

a) But again, there are two major objections to the “intrinsic” argument.  The first is simple: our evidence shows that an embryo is not a fully human being. Therefore, taking its life, is not taking the life of a human being; an intrinsically evil thing.  Some might try to get around this, by saying that taking a “life” – human or not – is bad.  But that argument is silly:  taking the life even of “innocent” animals is allowed, for example.

b) But that’s just the first objection, to just the first premise of the argument.  Our present objection, goes to the core of the “intrinsic” idea itself.  And problems with Logic itself.  The problem is again, that we can tell from practical consequences, that this “logical” thinking is a little stiff … and likely to lead to disasters, in real life.  Consider for example,  the following, practical example, arguing from consequences:   suppose by killing one innocent person, you could save the life of all of humanity?  Suppose for example, there was one innocent person, who had just accidentally invented a germ that would destroy humanity; and who was just about to lift up the lid to accidentally spread it worldwide.  But you could stop its spread,  just by killing that person and his germs, together in a flame thrower.  Here, in point of fact, some ethicists might say, that we should not kill the innocent person… even when the consequences of that, are catastrophic.  Here many Christian ethicists are sometimes very adamant:  many insist that we should not do this. In part because of this often-stated principle or example:  “you cannot do an evil, so that a greater good might result.”  So that it would seem, we could not do the small evil of flame-throwing an innocent person to death – he and his germs – even if a greater good – saving all of humanity from a devastating plague – would result.

 

But to be sure, we have just noted several objections to this kind of thinking, above.  And to those objections, we might consider this one too:  c) though this principle of avoiding the intrinsic evil of say, taking an innocent life, is often advanced by priests, in the name of Christianity, among other earlier objections, we might note that it does not even seem entirely obedient to the entire Bible itself.  In the Bible, for instance, God himself often sent evil spirits, to punish bad people, and in part to thus help others.  Thus God allowed – and even sent – evil; so that a larger good would result, it seems.  Then too, as for the intrinsic evil of taking innocent life, it seems that God himself allowed an innocent Jesus to be killed, when allowing his innocent life to be lost, would save all of mankind.  Indeed it seems if God had not allowed evils, allowed even the deaths of innocents, the results it asserted would have been catastrophic; all of humankind would have remained in sin forever, it seems, for instance.   And thus it seems, God himself allowed this “intrinsic evil.”

Again though, of the above objections, our main objection would be to many forms of “logic.” The logic behind the “intrinsic” argument, seems to in part be that often it is hard to evaluate whether this or that action is morally good or bad (whether a war is just or unjust for example); so that many moralities, many ideas of what is good, are just not certain or reliable.  But then it is claimed in effect, that however, we might trust in a rather logical-seeming analysis:  that surely, Logic cannot lie. While logic tells us, it seems, that it is always bad to deliberately kill “innocent” human beings.  In part because, it might seem, any idea of justice, would have to say that no “innocent” person “deserve”s death.  According just to the meaning of the word “innocent,” it would seem.  But to be sure, we just found here that some things that appear to be “logical,” are narrow, and false. And trivial.

d) As we will see, the “intrinsic” argument, to be sure, was alluded to in Card. Joe Ratzinger’s 2004 memo on abortion and elections.  Specifically, the memo seems to flirt with the notion that abortion is always and intrinsically evil; and even that therefore, it should always be more important than the matter of wars for example; since wars are not always intrinsically evil.  While indeed, the memo rashly declared that there can be no legitimate difference of opinion of such a thing as abortion.  But for that matter, it e) was not clear even there, in Ratzinger’s memo, what the final clear conclusion should be, regarding abortion.  Nor that f) that intrinsic evils should always outweigh all others. Ratzinger for example suggested that abortion appears to be “intrinsically evil,” whereas wars are not; some wars being possibly “just” for example.  So that abortion it hints, is always bad.  While wars are only sometimes bad.  But this does not mean that that all abortions, are always worse than all wars. Some wars after all, might be unjust.  And cause far more deaths than abortion.  So that some wars can be proportionately more important than abortion.  Remember after all, that Ratzinger suggested that there are things “proportionate”ly as (or even more?) important, compared to abortion.  So that in Catholic ethics it seems, a practical, prudent proportionality, can outweigh strict logic, or things that seem “intrinsically” bad.

Especially, consider again our very brief argument, that there are often problems with “logical” analysis, with the idea of “intrinsic” logic, in evaluating the rightness or wrong-ness, of any given act.  It might seem that we can tell, just by a look at the “innocent” status of an embryo, that it could not be “just” to kill one.  But we have found some flaws in many apparently “logical” arguments.  First, we found false premises, in this one:  the assumption that an embryo is a human being, is a questionable assumption.  As we have been showing here at length, there are many arguments, based on the Bible, on Augustine, Aquinas, and science, that the embryo is not yet “formed” enough, to have a human mind, and to be considered therefore, human.  While then too, we find that the narrow scope of the “intrinsic” logical analysis, can miss some important factors.  And lead to huge practical disasters or consequences. So that the “intrinsic” idea for that matter, ignores the Biblical ethic, of commonsense “prudence.”

g) Now, to further illustrate the basic problem with the “intrinsic” argument, consider the problem from this angle for a moment:  the whole notion of an “intrinsic” evil outweighing all others, basically follows Immanuel Kant; specifically, the widely questioned but often popular, rather rational, Kantian ethic of the “categorical imperative.”   Kant’s assertion here, seems to have been roughly (if memories of Freshman logic are true),  that we must always act on the most certain principles; on the basis more exactly, what logic and reason seem to tell us. And so,  if logic and reason seem to tell us, for example, that lying is bad, then we should always tell the truth, even when the practical consequences are disastrous.  For example:  if the Nazis come to the door, and ask if we are hiding a Jew in our basement, if Reason tells us that lying is bad, then we should tell the truth, and say “yes.”  Or more specifically again, in this case, since surely an embryo in the womb could not sin, and is “innocent,” (even in spite of Original Sin?), then therefore, there is no good argument allowing its death.   But here again, perhaps real reason, a fuller logic, would note the after all, disastrous consequences of this kind of honesty.  In the case of the Nazis coming to the door, an innocent person in fact would be killed by your adamant, “categorical” retention of the principle of telling the truth.  While in the case of honoring the innocent embryo, and ignoring all other issues, you might allow the whole of mankind to perish, by neglecting other issues, like taking care of diseases and plagues.   (One solution might be a better Logic to be sure:   indeed, a more complex logic used in the Nazi example, suggests, that the real question being asked, by the pragmatics situation is, in effect:  “do you want to have Nazis pick up the person in your basement, and execute him?” To which the semi-honest answer would be, “no.” But to be sure, this verifies that at least what is called “logic” today, is often inadequate. While then too we suggest that all future logics too, will always have some shortfalls.  So that though we honor logic a great deal, we believe  – as science does – that it should always be supplemented by consideration of empirical consequences; works.)

Kant himself would probably hold to the idea, that we should always tell the truth in a simple way though.  And Kant’s Ethics theory of “Categorical Imperatives” is extremely influential; no doubt it is the main foundation of the whole idea of avoiding “intrinsic” evils, absolutely.  And yet to be sure, these Kantian and other ethical theories, have some very major practical shortcomings.  So that h) perhaps it is best to finally honor the Bible itself, when the Bible itself told us not to be “righteous overmuch”; and to be “prudent” about things; to use some common sense.

Here i) indeed, rather than following a seemingly stiff-necked, Kantian logic, we might finally better use the biblical/Catholic Ethic of practicality; or “prudence.”  Suppose we recall in the end, our previous examples of what might happen, practically, prudently speaking, when we apply such inflexible, “rational” theories in real life.  Suppose for example, someone says, categorically, that we must never take the life of an innocent person.  But what happens when, on some occasion, that the life of the whole earth and all the people on it, depended on taking that one innocent life, to save the rest.  Suppose for example, you have a gun, and a hundred yards off, you see an innocent child is about to break open a vial full of germs, that will destroy all of humanity; do you shoot the single innocent child, to save the other 6,000,000,000 human beings on earth?  Or not?  If you do not, then you save one child … but contribute to the death of billions, and the extermination of mankind.  (Cf. Jesus, giving his own innocent life, in fact, for all).  One might hope that this would work out somehow; but that hope is rather forlorn. And not supported by a reasoned, rational thought process.

Then too, does the Bible itself hold to this idea of intrinsic evils, and not taking the lives of innocents?  See God, possibly taking the lives of say 10 innocent persons, in Sodom.  Or allowing innocent Jesus to die, etc..

 

The fact is therefore that, strange to say, there are problems, sins, even in pure logic; even with all “intrinsically evil” arguments; even with Kant, and his categorical thinking.  So that finally, comparing some apparently logically certain things, and then considering the practical consequences, suggests that arguments that rest on some kind of logical/analytic/“intrinsic” “imperative,” are in real life, often disastrous.  (And for that matter, if we had the time to fully analyze them, we could probably show they are not really even, fully logical).   For that reason, though we like and honor reason here, we will also at times consider arguments from consequences, to some extent.

Finally, it seems clear that though the current Pope, Benedict XVI himself, in our documents to date, does mention the “intrinsic” evil problem, he does not however, really, finally use the “intrinsically evil” argument, as his final, ultimate, decisive argument.   Instead, the Pope seems to have indicated, in his final footnote on this subject, there can be “proportionate”ly more important things than abortion.

The fact is, the “intrinsic” focus is far, far too narrow; we must look at the bigger picture.  Said two cardinals and the current pope, as well.

j) Or indeed, some etymologists, have noted that the real meaning of “reason,” or “rationality,” the origin of the word, is in balance; or “ratio.”  In this case, it would seem that the very origin (and deep meaning) of Rationality, Reason itself, is in effect, not narrow Logic … but common sense “weighing” or balancing, many different logics, many different points of view.  So that “external” considerations, like hugely disastrous consequences, should figure into truly Rational calculations.

For that matter, it seems likely that there ultimately is no such thing as a purely logical kind of thinking, totally divorced from all material experience; there is almost always a sort of empirical thinking, going on even in the most ostensibly logical, abstract thought.  Note for example that even in formal Logic, it is common for logicians, to explain their thought, and examine the validity of their thinking, by way of practical examples, of what the practical consequences of following a given logical act would be, in real life.  And those practical examples, are continually used, even by Logicians, as a corrective, as a check; as one way of testing what logic seems to say; seeing whether our logic was right, or not.  Indeed, essentially that is what we are doing in our present section:  showing examples of kinds of practical disasters that would result from following this or that apparent logical conclusion; and then by the way (just as most Logicians do), correcting our logic, not against itself, but against these predictions of absurd and destructive, practical consequences.  So that even most logicians end up, as we do:  deferring finally, to a consideration of real, physical, empirical consequences.  Using empirical knowledge, to re-examine – and finally even to correct, outweigh –  their Logic itself.

So after all, though we here value reason and logic a great deal, we feel justified in a) rejecting the alleged primacy of things that seem logically or “intrinsically” wrong; and b) in allowing after all, practical considerations to play a part in determining which course of action to take.  (And incidentally, as for the embryo itself:  the moment if develops Reason is good; but we assume it  likewise, cannot fully develop its reason and intelligence, until it opens its eyes after birth, and gets enough sense data, to see how the world works, too).

# 36 Parenthetically related to all this, it is sometimes said in some ideas of Ethics, that killing embryos is particularly bad, because it is they say, an evil done not by accident, but intentionally; or by “intention.” But finally, we need to note some problems in all those ethical theories that focus on “intentional” behavior; problems with the many Ethics arguments that suggest that when bad things done “intentionally,” they are particularly unforgivable; whereas things done unintentionally, “by accident,” are OK; or are not “culpable.” 

 

First, we might briefly suggest  that a) to be sure, some common sense does suggest that bad things done by accident – when a child accidentally knocks over a vase – might not be as bad, as such things done deliberately.  Yet, b) a child who is careless, and breaks a vase even by accident, has done something wrong, still.  And indeed arguably, c) there is something wrong with the child; he or she is clumsy, or badly made.  (Cf. “original sin”).  And then too, d) many people play games with “intention”; perhaps after all the child was often secretly, willfully – intentionally – careless; which in turn caused the accident.  While indeed many people pretend they did something “by accident,” that they really helped to happen, intentionally.   So that there might be many “unintentional” acts, which are far more intentional than anyone thought, after all.  There is a degree of culpability or evil, one might say, even in people who “accidentally” do wrong things.

Many people, especially Catholics – knowing that especially Catholic ethicists are inclined to forgive things they think are “accidental” – play games with “intention.”  At times they will do something bad with, actually, some foreknowledge.  But then they will say or claim, that they did not “intend” the consequences. Often such people are fooling even themselves; telling themselves they did not “intend” to do something.  When in fact they did intend it, deeper down.

 

e) Then too, relating to “intention,” people often say that “no can know what is deep in the mind or heart.”  And though this argument is usually used to suggest that aa) we should assume a person did not sin intentionally, perhaps after all, bb) if no one knows, he did intend it, after all.  

It is interesting to speculate especially, from (b) above, that it seems likely that a hopelessly inept or stupid person, who constantly causes injury to others, even by accident … has a kind of culpability or badness yet to be described in Ethics; such persons to be sure, are not entirely responsible for their own state; and yet they are bad, clumsy, stupid, and dangerous to themselves and others..  No doubt many people are just created badly, with low IQ’s; or were influenced in some way, to be clumsy and dangerous to themselves and others, it would seem. And so they are actually bad; in the sense that they were badly made, and do bad things.  Even if not by their own intention.

What should we do and say about such persons, who are born dangerous to themselves and others?  Today, most of Ethics lets such people entirely off the hook; and says they cannot be blamed.  And that is true enough, much of the time.  Yet, though we might not blame these people as much as others who do wrong things intentionally, still, we don’t want to be around them, either.  There still, is something bad in them.  They make many mistakes, and are dangerous to themselves and to others.  Even through their “innocent” errors, still, it is wise not to associate with them too closely. (Cf. the Bible on “fools”).   And then too, they could always try harder.  So that maybe we should retain a tiny part, of an ancient native sense of a semi-culpable badness,  disdain even for those born with deficiencies, who are not personally to blame for their inadequacies.  Surely we should not entirely blame such persons; but at the same time, we should not say these persons are wholly good either.   Perhaps here we should partially extend the idea of being “good,” beyond an  Ethics that only blames us for things deliberately done, to include the sense of those who are well-mad, versus those who are not.. In the end, does being even a congenital idiot, really let us off the hook?  Doesn’t nature itself apply severe penalties to those who were badly made?  Even when it was not their own fault?  Maybe we should not personally blame such people; but also not chose to have them around us, in positions of responsibility, either. Indeed, if having a low IQ makes us “fools,” then after all the Bible itself blames people for being fools; even though God himself made them the way they are it seems. Then too we are all bad from original sin … not of our own making.  Somehow, we are blamed or punished, or penalized in some way, for things we ourselves did not personally will or do.  To be sure, it is hard to reconcile this with any viable ethic, any sense of justice.  And yet the Bible says that the sins of the fathers are continued into the sons, three generations.  We are blamed for, weakened by,  the sins of others.  Perhaps there is no way at all to really reconcile this to Justice; and so we must simply say the Universe itself has a sense of things that is not moral or just in human terms at all; that is not ethical.  Yet unjust as it is, it is still a reality that we must know about, to get thru life.  A sort of trans- ethical sense.  We would not defend this here as just in any way; but would note it as a cruel fact that however, must always be kept in mind.  A side of life beyond human Ethics it seems.

f) Does lack of personal will, or conscious intention, in doing something bad, really totally absolve us?  Are all standards relative, to the degree of our intention?   To be sure, Jesus himself once suggested, “bless them Father, for they know not what they do.”  But “bless”ing in the Bible, surprisingly, does not always connote approval or forgiveness or acceptance; we bless people who sneeze or do evil, not to forgive their present error, but to help them stop such errors in the future. In other words, we hope they will be less bad, more blessed, in the future.  Surprisingly therefore, to be “blessed” in the Bible, does not mean that God approves of you; often, quite the opposite.

The Bible itself often seems to consider that you can inherit bad traits.  It seems that people are in fact, at times, blamed in the Bible for even hereditary inadequacies; for “the sins of their fathers,” at times; “even unto three generations.” While then too, as many as ten (or more?) totally innocent people, found merely in the company of sinners in evil cities, might be destroyed with the rest.

But our main concept here, is that when we are born imperfect – not smart or strong enough to get through life – though this would not seem to be a moral or ethical inadequacy, because we ourselves did not intend it, yet still we are “bad” in a way:  we are badly made; we are not adequate to a task.  And that is distasteful and dangerous to others. So that it is understandable if others to some extent, do not blame us from the point of view of traditional ethics, but at the same time, do not want to be around us either, when we make inevitable mistakes..

Curiously therefore, here is another side to being “bad,” that is not adequately noticed by Ethics.  And Nature itself, discriminates against, judges against, this kind of “bad”; animals born without any legs, are quickly eaten by other animals.  Perhaps such persons, those born with some disability, should feel … not much sense of personal culpability in such things; and accept their fate with cheerful philosophicality.  As simply, bad luck. Not their own fault, to be sure.  Though we might ask what their parents were drinking. And though after all, there is still something “bad”ly made about them.  Without blaming them, we might still … not make too many concessions for them.  Here though, the laws regarding disabilities, might be re-thought somewhat. To allow the severe laws of Nature, to have some effect here?   Or to think carefully, about the conflict between Ethics, and the laws of Nature.  And try to come to some kind of reconciliation between the two.  Perhaps some future system of Ethics will manage to deal with, resolve this problem.  Though at present, it is hard to imagine how.  Today, we simply average it all out; and do not particularly blame people badly made, with obvious birth defects; and in a wealthy society we can feed such people and keep them alive; but on the other hand we do not give them the best jobs, either.

This applies not just to people with obvious birth defects; to some extend we ourselves, each and every one of us, is in this position; we were born with a body and mind that can do bad things; and as Paul perhaps said, even if we do not “intend” to do evil, still, we do it.  And although overall, we should not blame persons for such things, on the other hand, we do not pretend they are perfect; or put them into positions of responsibility, either.  Here, somehow, conventional Ethics, a sense of Justice, based on intentionality, fails; is not enough.  There is still something “bad” in such people.  Even if they don’t “intend” to be bad.  You might say they are morally, ethically good; but physically or mentally bad?  No matter what their intention might be.

How will the future deal with this situation?  Here, we cannot resolve it.  But in any case, it seems that even in the Bible, even God blames us for things for which we had no personal responsibility; for an original sin of Adam, that happened long before we ourselves were even born.  If God removes that sin later, then after all, there are other inadequacies we have. If we lack a certain immunity to a given disease, through no fault of our own, then after all, we can die for that.   Here, for now, we will make no attempt to reconcile this hard fact, with any reasonable Ethics.  No doubt, it is hard to imagine any ethics which would blame for things that were not our intention or choice.  Yet to be sure somehow, nature seems set up to do precisely that.  So that we need at least to keep this fact in mind. Whether we like it or not; whether we can justify it ethically or not.

Here we fudge:  people who are made badly, might get off the hook to some extent, if at least they follow a few simple rules, like staying out of the way of the others.  We don’t’ really fully blame such people; but we don’t give them positions of responsibility either.

Trying to resolve this into any ethical scheme, might be impossible; it is related to other apparently irresolvable problems, like the Problem of Evil; how can an allegedly all good God, have made the Devil, and allowed Evil into the world?  In this case, how can God or Nature made us badly, with short legs … and then penalized us when we couldn’t run fast enough?  Finally most attempt to deal with this, by simply saying that the Universe is just not quite entirely fair, or just, or ethical.  And it seems unlikely that this will ever be squared with any recognizable human ethic; in which normally people cannot be blamed for what they do not “intend.”  Or for what they try to avoid.

Here we do not have any very satisfactory answers.  And yet still, we have to acknowledge this kind of thing as a real force in real life; a kind of badness – being badly made – for which nature punishes us.  Without it ever having been our “intention” to do badly, at all. Perhaps all we can do here is … to some extent, know we are off the hood.  There is a sort of secular equivalent of forgiveness and Grace, and a certain peace of mind, here: we can make some honest mistakes, and stop blaming ourselves too much at least. Though there are still natural penalties, often, after all.  While we should also not let ourselves too much off the hook either though; we can always do better, find another answer, after all.

In any case, there is an aspect of life that rewards or punishes us:  Lady Luck, or Fate; entirely apart from, aside from, our intentions.  If this is not Ethics, then we have to just say, there is something beyond Ethics we should always keep in mind.  Insofar as Ethics comes into play here at all though, we might say, we are always required to “do our best,” as they say.  A relative standard to be sure.

# 37 There are in fact, many, many arguments that would allow abortion; so many – including even arguments from the Bible and the saints – that one begins to ask where exactly did the current, adamant, inflexible opposition to abortion come from?  What motivates it?  Historically, the opposition to abortion, does not come from the Bible.  And it is not based on scholarly ethics either.  It’s more likely, that the opposition to abortion, begins primarily as a popular movement or sentiment, particularly among women.  Women carry the embryo – and almost cannot help thinking of it, one supposes, as a future baby.  Even as their “child.” So probably, the major impulse against abortion, is no doubt,  a sort of grass-roots, folk sentiment among women especially; an almost native attachment to the interior of one’s body, an embryo.  (And then too, a revulsion to the grisly outcome of abortion.)  One might be tempted to call this “natural.” Even a “Natural Law.”  But a) far too many Catholics think what is “natural” is settled; and is just whatever corresponds to what the Pope says.  While in point of fact, all of Natural Scientists study nature though… and finds that nothing in it is finally closed and dogmatically settled.  So that those religious theorists who appeal to “natural law” to support their own dogmatism, need to change:  no one really knows, what “nature” really wants; that will always be an open question; best decided – and then only tentatively – not by dogmatic priests, but by scientists … who always keep in mind that “nature” after all, always has a trick or two in it.

An b) example? Of the open quality of what is really “natural” or the will of nature?  That is even harder to know than knowing the full will and plant of God? For example:  some might consider a supposedly “natural” affection of mothers for their embryos, as being Natural Law.  But consider though, against that, the equally native revulsion to the grisly appearance of the fetus, in a miscarriage.   Which does not naturally inspire affection. Indeed, the young fetus, even up to birth, does not really look much like a human being; but like a sort of ugly monster; a cross between a human being and an oyster.  Indeed no doubt, what many think is a revulsion to abortion, is partially, revulsion to the …ugliness of the fetus, after all.  Which does not really even look all that human; but is deeply ugly.  And by the way, our revulsion to the fetus appears to be natural enough.  So that perhaps after all, this is the judgment of Natural Law:  the young fetus, so long as it is properly “hidden” in the womb as the Bible says, might be affectionately regarded; but if it exits prematurely, we properly, naturally, regard it with revulsion.  As a very ugly – and inhuman – thing.  So in this reading of nature, it is natural to regard the fetus is not human at all.

No doubt, the opposition to abortion, comes to be sure, from c) a folk feeling, among women especially;  that their embryo is almost a child.  Yet to be sure, this is only a folk sentiment.  One that perhaps is not inevitable, but partially learned from various cultural values.  One that furthermore is countered, by the at least-as-native sentiment, that the embryo is actually, quite ugly and inhuman-looking.

Or for that matter, d) it might be a mere sentiment of some women, and our “hearts.”   But after all, even our seemingly natural “hearts,” are often “deceived,” as the Bible itself often warned.  So there are deceptions, feints, even in nature.  Attachment to the embryo is a common sentiment; but sentiments, our hearts, the Bible itself suggests, are not entirely reliable.

Related to this, e) no doubt to be sure, many uneducated pregnant women, tend to more or less “naturally” think of their embryo, in common terms; as a “child” or “baby.”  Yet to be sure, how natural is this?  The word “baby” after all, is from culture, not nature.  While this understandable sentiment, deep as it is, is a misleading sentiment; one that is not quite, fully, absolutely right.  Women here, should be encouraged to think more logically.  At most, an embryo is what can, in some circumstances, eventually become a child, and a human being. But it is not really a human being yet. Which indeed, is a sort of unattractive animal, until about full-term.

To be sure,  f) those women who intend to carry a embryo to full term, to birth a child … should of course, deeply honor,  and deeply protect, the health of the embryo.  Since its health will be the basis, the foundation, of a genuine, future human adult, with luck.  To be sure though, if that embryo is not going to be carried to birth, is not going to be kept until it becomes a human being, then after all, its status is, not of a full  human being; not yet.  It’s status is of a sort of a very ugly, half-human being.  According even to one major aspect of our Natural Law response to it.

To be sure, any sentiments toward the embryo – positive or negative – should not be simply settled by some priests; but be continually examined by future science,  to see how natural they are, or are not.  The feeling or sense of some woman, that the bulge in their belly is a “child,” or a full human, seems fairly deep. But again, even if such sentiments are  from the “heart,” the Bible suggests the heart is often deceived.  While then too, perhaps these feelings not even necessarily entirely  “natural”; or from the real “heart.”  But are probably, partially culturally conditioned.  If we continually call the fetus a “child,” that imposes a mindset after all. One that moreover, does not really match our natural revulsion to seeing one out of the womb.  The fact that people are revolted by pictures of aborted embryos out of the womb therefore, does not “prove” that we find the fetus to be human; it may prove the opposite.  We are not shocked by the abortion .. but by the ugliness of the fetus, after all.  The shock of recognition that after all, it probably was not human after all.  But was a shocking ugly thing, inside us.

 

Therefore, in our ongoing and endless search to find out what is truly Natural Law, we should never dogmatize and merely repeat standard ideas as priests do, and declare them to be natural; rather instead, discovering what Nature really wants or is, should always be an open question, for natural science; not for dogmatists.  In this case, we cannot be entirely sure what the natural status of the embryo is; though it seems certain enough, that any attachment to them is a “sentiment” of the “heart,” whether natural or culturally-conditioned.  While the Bible itself told us that the “heart” often “deceived” us.

Indeed for that matter, if something in natural, that does not prove it is good; snakebites and disease germs are natural; but not good for us.

So this should be a question for open and endless investigation by qualified investigators, PhD’s; though so far endless presumptuous and foolish priests and churches, have endlessly asserted that their own perceptions are the “eternal” will of God and Nature, they have proven not to be so reliable, at all.

Indeed in fact, the fullest information available to us today, suggests that your natural revulsion to the appearance of the fetus, is reasonably natural, and in this case, even gives us a good sense of its real, low status.  Which is confirmed above, in what the sciences say; the many various sciences suggesting that indeed the embryo is not fully human, until fuller physical development; and an adequate response to the external world.  In particular, the ingredient missing in the fetus, that makes it more of a monster than a human being, is … a human mind or spirit.

The fetus therefore, should not be considered a full human being.  With one very important caveat however.  To repeat this important point, to be sure:  the fetus can become a human being, eventually.  And if it is going to be carried to full development, then it will have been the foundation of a healthy human being.  And therefore, any woman who intends to carry a fetus to that point, to give birth, should in treat that specific fetus, very reverently; as a major part of the foundation, the basis, of a future human being.  (Though even here, that body is only part of that foundation; the rest being added, only by the additional ingredient or process, of socialization and enculturation).

In any case though, the error that women make here, is strikingly, the same error that causes people to overestimate the status of the embryo:  g) going by the heart, and neglecting to value the mind.  If we know the value the mind, intelligence – as the Bible sometimes calls for; to have the “mind of Christ,” to be “intelligent”; to avoid being a “fool” – then we aa) see the real essence of being a human being; bb) see what the embryo is lacking; and cc) are capable, ourselves, of making rational, thoughtful decisions.  No doubt the “sacred heart of Jesus” is a good thing; but a billion people have had their intelligence destroyed, and have thus been propelled into poverty, by stressing that heart,  over and above the “mind of Christ.”  There is nothing more beautiful than to see a child learning about things, and developing its mind; but also nothing less attractive, nothing uglier, than an incomplete body, without a mind in it, at all.  But the antiabortionist theology, a theology of the “body,” that focuses just on a human-seeming body, or DNA, and neglects and does not value the soul or mind, over-worships precisely that monstrosity:  a body, flesh, without a mind or soul.

# 38 The rest of us, seeing at last the real core of what it means to be human – having human intelligence; a mind  – at last return, to the real core of humanity, and the traditional core of religion:  to the mind, the spirit.  Re-acknowledging the importance of the mind or spirit, of course, is absolutely crucial to the future of mankind.  And it has countless practical advantages.  But among other things, it allows us see the real status of the embryo, at last.  As we see it after all, as a rather ugly and incomplete body, almost the Biblical “formless substance”; one that has not yet begun its “days” as a human being with a spirit or mind (Ps. 139; Numb. 5).   To say this, is not radical or unnatural either; we are even “conservative” here.  We are “conservative,” in the sense that we are after all, a) obeying the Bible.  And obeying b) natural revulsion to the embryo, and the soulless body.  While c) valuing what traditionally was always the core of Christianity:  the spirit.   In fact too, d) we are truly “conservative” in the sense that we are simply, obeying, following,  the law of the land.  For some time, since 1973,  there have been laws in America allowing abortion; and so, to regard the question of abortion to be settled, is after all, just going with the status quo; just “conservatively” leaving things, the laws, they way they are now.

So here at last is a real conservatism some might say:  just obeying present laws allowing abortion; allowing those laws to remain.  In part for no other reason, than it is the law of the land.  But also of course, we conserve this established law, since there are so many signs and proofs, that it is right.  Whereas in contrast, we now see a hundred or more errors and contradiction, in anti-abortion ideas.  For these reasons, finally let us be conservative: and leave the question of abortion precisely as it is, in currently traditional American law.  After the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, the decision of a woman, whether to abort or not, has been left as a matter of freedom, of conscience, of religious freedom, to the individual. Let us be conservative, and conserve the existing law. That allows abortions.  Today, (Jan. 2010), “conservative” “Catholic” networks like Relevant Radio, are growlingly alluding to the “Manhattan Declaration”; which asserts a “coalition” in America against abortion; and even hints at the necessity of disobeying unjust laws; of “civil disobedience” against a Democratic administration say, or abortion laws.  However, note, that  America is founded not just on majority rule, but also on a Bill of Rights that protects minorities from mob rule; gives them inalienable rights, even when the majority wants to take them away.  While finally too, no one is forcing anyone to have an abortion; indeed therefore, there is no unjust force here, to rebel against. Only a right to chose, with the “freedom” that was the core value of the real American revolution.  To which we might remain today, conservatively loyal.

Today therefore, a better conservatism, now calls us away from anti-abortionism.  Here we are conservative in defending the basic rights outlined in the Constitution; but we are also, amazingly, conservative too, in the sense of simple loyalty to the Bible, and what it really says.  Here remember, we will have found that God himself, never firmly spoke against abortion in the Bible.  If anything, God allowed abortions to take place – in the Book of Numbers 5; where God even ordered priests to perform actions which, if performed on a pregnant woman, would cause an abortion.

So let us indeed, be conservative here:  let’s follow the law. And the Bible. Anyone who does anything else, is not really conservative at all; but rather, a radical new heretic, after all.

Or, as we will also see, we should also e) be conservative, traditional, in seeking to conservatively maintain the land.  We should keep our minds open to the full scope of all of life; including the importance of other “issues” than abortion, like the environment.  As we will see, we should be conservative, in preserving the land, the woods, the natural ecology, or environment, much as it has been in the past.  Respecting and conserving, the natural source of so much of our lives.  Keeping much of it, just the way it was; conserving it.  (Cf. the “Nature Conservancy”).

In many ways indeed, our pro-abortion (?) view is far, far more conservative, than pro-Republican radical priests have been.  Here we are really reading, and actually obeying, the Bible; and not new liberal extensions of human rights to inhuman objects.  And we are far more loyal to the Church too:  we will have begun to show here, that the Church has suggested over and over, that the obsessive focus just on the “one issue” of Abortion, causes us to become narrow extremists; to see and deal with only a small part of life, while ignoring other important issues in life; the wider range of things that we traditionally paid attention to. In particular we value the more traditional idea of a human being:  considering not embryos, but children and adults.  While we remain conservatively loyal to the land.  As we also note here, that ignoring the importance of the environment, in particular, could have disastrous consequences; if the environment collapses, then millions – even billions – of human beings, could die.   And indeed, we might be conservative here therefore, in valuing the traditional life of the earth itself, and human beings, traditionally conceived as grown bodies with minds, intelligence.

# 39 We are far more conservative than arch- liberal priests like Frank Pavone; in being cautious about changing the definition of a human being; or changing the law; or changing the environment. And in addition, we are conservative in adopting the traditional, conservative catholic virtue of … “prudence.”  (As mentioned in the Catechism).  In exercising conservative caution and circumspection. Prudently considering the wider scope of life, beyond the embryo; and considering the practical consequences of an extremely narrow vision of life.

Conservatively following the Pope – Pope Joe Ratzinger’s call for a prudent sense of “proportion”- we are here at last, moving beyond the extremely fixated, limited sphere of attention,  of Mother Angelica’s fixation on just the embryo; to a broader, global, interdisciplinary perspective.  For religious precedent, we read not just “parts,” but all of the Bible; including Ps. 139, and Numb. 5.   But especially we are conservative, in that we adopt the very, very cautious, “catholic,” traditional ethic, of “prudence,” or practical sense.  Let us not become narrow anti-abortion extremists; let us maintain our balance, and sense of “proportion.” Let us no longer remain fixed on just a tiny part of life; but consider the fuller range of problems we must now attend to in life.  Caution, and the conservative consideration the broad catholic view of life, should indeed prevail.  Let us all now be “prudent” … and consider the many, many other issues, in life, besides the embryo.  Let us consider the importance especially, of the earth … and of the mind.   Which seems only prudent, proportionate, after all.  While in contrast, the narrow fixation on the embryo is even clinically pathological; could literally be called, clinically, an “obsession.”

Prudence tells us not to abandon all intelligence.  And if the life of our own minds is what is needed here, then our minds might tell us here, that we particularly need to be broader-minded.  We need to know and use reason and logic –  but also know also how get over a strict, too-narrow “logic,” that focuses on “intrinsic” things.  We need the broader mind, that considers the practical consequences of following a given ethic.  No doubt to be sure, as we enter the life of the mind, as we learn to use our brains, we must have respect for not only logic; but also we need a respect for empiricism  – or in other words, a prudent concern for practical material consequences.  While reasoning just from practical “consequences” has its problems, on the other hand, the opposite extreme – reasoning just from logic – can lead to absurdities too (cf. Socrates, Mr. Spock, etc.).  A broader, more prudent state of mind, now keeps in mind not just the narrow logic of liberal priests, but considers the broader practical material outcome, of a too narrow fixation.  Those who can see and focus, only on the embryo, should consider the consequences, of voting for anti-abortion political candidates, who protect the embryo … but don’t really care so much at all, about “other issues,” like taking care of the poor and sick, with better health care.  Candidates who are “good” about protecting a lump of flesh, but who are narrowly jingoistic and super-patriotic and pro-military; and who are all too prone to start nominally “just” but unnecessary wars.

To prudently balance out the narrowly logical and disproportionately impractical doctrine of  “intrinsic” evils, and the narrowness of focusing far too small-mindedly, only on the embryo, while ignoring all other issues in life,  let us come to consider for a moment, the bigger picture.  Let us come to consider the horrible practical consequences, of focusing too narrowly on the one issue of abortion … while ignoring all the rest of life.

Or in other words – in simple, conservative, traditional language – let’s all just be more prudent” here, at last.  (A word that even Sheila Liaugminas reports on Relevant Radio, in “A Closer Look,” that the Pope himself seems to have used again in fact; today, early Jan. 2010).

# 40 There are dozens, hundreds of reasons for rejecting anti-abortionism.  But before moving on to the others though, we might incidentally recall, among other objections, that anti-abortionists at times have suggested that we are supposed to accept signs of uncertainty in an argument, as being reason for caution.  As suggested by one anti-abortion argument above; the deer hunter, shooting at an uncertain object rustling in the trees, for example, is urged not to take action, not to shoot.  But let us now note here, that we have seen lots of very, very uncertain things – even flatly false things – in anti-abortionist arguments.  If we are supposed to be conservative, let us look hard at the uncertainty of anti-abortionism, and … tell anti-abortionists not to act, on their uncertain ideas.  Not to try to enact their uncertain assertions, into all-too-firm “law”s.

The “Proportionately” Far Greater Importance of

Environment,

More Broadly Conceived:

Beyond “Global Warming,” Considering the Consequences After All, of

Biblical, Environmental Things, Like

Droughts, Floods, Famines, and Plagues

# 41 Earlier we argued that there are many things to keep in mind, when considering the rightness of act; one thing we need to consider is the larger, broader “consequences” of an act, as part of evaluating an act.  This we noted in our discussions on a) problems with “Reasoning From Consequences,” vs. b) our simple practical answer to Kant, and the ethics doctrine of excessive fixation on logic, and “Intrinsic Evils.”  But, since we here elsewhere favor Reason, Logic here, we might have seemed to be embracing two contradictory positions; both for but also against, Reason.  So let us recall that our position is not contradictory.  Our  position would be this:  following logic is good; but prudently considering larger, pragmatic, physical consequences, should play some part in how we decide to live our life. Here we prudently seek not extremes, but a balance.   In the same way that Science pursues not only Logic and Reason, but also is interested in Empirical observation of physical, material results, we also here consider both Logic, and Empiricism; considering the intrinsic quality of anti-abortionist logic, but also the larger practical consequences of ignoring other issues, outside the embryo.  Especially important, we have found, is the bigger picture; the larger consequencesOutside the narrow sphere, the womb-like place of our own immediate lives, is a much wider world to always keep in mind.  In particular, we will all need to begin to consider here and elsewhere,  the problems that happen, when people focus on, vote on the basis, of just one issue like abortion … but ignore the rest of the world.  Ignoring other issues – like, especially, the Environment.  The physical life of the world.

Beyond the single, narrow issue of the embryo, there are many, many life issues that are important for all of humanity.  As our main or most pressing example of something that is proportionately more important than abortion:  consider what happens when we focus our national and international politics only on abortion, and ignore … say, the environment.

Even at that, most people until today, have seen the “environment,” in too-narrow terms; but it is time for us to note here, that “environment” includes much more than problematic theories of “global warming.”  The fact is, the environment includes many, many things.  And there are many things that can go wrong with it.  Not just global warming, but also there are many other huge, well-known, proven things that can go wrongIn fact, the Bible itself noted, constantly warned about, many huge problems that we can show, related to the environment:  like floods, droughts, famines, plagues.

Today, narrow anti-abortionists identify the “environment,” solely with contended and problematic theories about global warming.  But we here and now, we note at last, the fuller, broader, more complete understanding of “environment.”  The fact is, droughts are of course, a common kind of environmental disaster, caused by lack of rainfall. And floods are also environmental problems.  For that matter, so are plagues, diseases; which are caused in part by environmental factors, like excessive population density and mobility, bad civic sanitation, and so forth.

It is time to take a much more complete picture of what “Environment” includes therefore.  Most people have thought, that the only possible environmental problem there might be out there, is just global warming; but global warming is a widely questioned theory.  And so, many people have decided that they can simply ignore the environment; concern for the environment has been discredited for many, because they regard it as being one and the same, as problematic theories of carbon dioxide and so forth.  But we here and now, we insist that it is time for everyone to at last see, the broader scope of “environmental” things out there.  And furthermore, it is time to see that problems with the environment, are not theoretical and unproved; the fact is, there have actually, already been hundreds of huge, major environmental disasters, recorded in history. Environmental disasters are not just theories about some future global warming disaster; there are hundreds of environmental disasters that have already been documented by conventional History:  history tells us that millions have already died, historically:   from plagues, droughts, floods, famines.

 

The possibility of this kind of environmental disaster is not just questionable theory:  history already records hundreds of millions of deaths, from this kind of disaster; History is full of plagues, droughts, floods, famines.  In fact, for that matter we will add, the Bible itself told us about many deaths caused by Environmental disasters like these.   As in the Flood of Noah.  And many more deaths will be caused … unless we attend to them.  Many more deaths will come, unless we always keep this “issue” in mind.

 

So the possibility of environmental disasters, is not just a questionable theory; it is a well-established fact of recorded History.  Furthermore, given the past importance of these and other environmental disasters, the hundreds of millions of deaths already historically caused by neglect of them, it would seem that it is the better part of wisdom, to today, continue to take the environment very, very seriously, today.

Many people today contest the reality of a single, narrow issue of “global warming.”  And on the basis of the uncertainty of that single idea – global warming – many anti-abortionists and others say that therefore, the environment should not be a major concern for us, in the voting booth.  But we are here and now, broadening the public understanding of “environmental”; to include environment-related things, like plagues, famines, floods, and so forth.  If we do that, then we can quickly see that the “environment” is extremely important,  While its potential for causing gigantic disasters, is not some questionable theory, but is well-established historical/scientific fact.  The “environment” has already proven to be a matter of life and death, for hundreds of millions of people.  Indeed, for the whole of mankind.  And therefore, the neglect of the various “issues” relating to the environment therefore, is criminal neglect; an act of gross and culpable, willful stupidity.

In the past, the neglect of some environmental issues, has caused many deaths.  In the Bible, the failure of the neighbors of Noah to build an arc, resulted in the deaths of everyone on earth, excepting only Noah and his friends.   Likewise, many other environmental disasters are preventable or survivable; and it is our duty to keep that in mind, and prevent them; building and maintaining things like dams for example, to prevent floods and famines. While in the past, inability or  neglect to build dams, or good irrigation systems and so forth, has, throughout history, killed huge numbers of people; has killed a very, very high percentage of the global population.  Failure to control environmental things like floods and plagues has, over history, killed hundreds of millions of people.  So that indeed, over the centuries, mankind devoted much time, to trying to fix these problems; building dams and irrigation systems, a health care network, municipal water works and sanitation systems, and so forth.

Today to be sure, most of these environmental problems – and the dams that fix them and so forth – work well enough. Well enough that the average uneducated person has forgotten about just what a problem the environment was in the past; and  the average person also underestimates the amount of problem the environment might be in the future, as well.  Today, narrow anti-abortionists focus in just on the single issue of abortion; and they assert that this is the only thing or issue that is, proportionately, important.  Indeed, when the Church speaks of “life issues,” antiabortionists assume it is speaking only of the life of the embryo.  But in fact, just as the “environment” is infinitely more than global warming, the scope of “life issues” we will see, also goes far, far beyond the lives of embryos; especially, everyone should be concerned about the hundreds of millions of lives of children and adults, already historically lost, to environmental problems.  And then, narrow anti-abortionists should broaden their outlook to consider especially, the potentially huge disasters that could be caused by their continued neglect of such matters.  In particular, consider the outcome of their current neglect of a good health care system; one that could control future epidemics/plagues.

Today, few people know how serious environmental problems can be; how serious diseases related to bad crops and nutrition, bad sanitation and so forth.  But in past ages, the typical life span or life expectancy, of a typical human being, was usually only about 35 years of age; as compared to about 75 years today. The fact is, in earlier eras, most people lived only a very short time … because, before modern controls on environmental problems, many people died of diseases/plagues, floods, famines. Which are all related to control of the environment; especially control of the water supply.

Historically therefore, environmental problems killed billions of people prematurely.  So the fact is, environmental problems are not just hypothetical; they are historically proven to be very, very real.  Indeed, billions of lives have already been lost, historically, from environmental problems.  While furthermore, modern science suggests that there could be even worse, future disasters too:  especially, as environment-related things like the human environment, population density and mobility, increases.   From that, even today, we expect problems from plagues, epidemics; from say a flu virus, or other diseases.  Which might cause a modern plague, today.  So that now it is time for one-issue anti-abortionists and anti-environmentalists, to open their eyes and look around.  The fact is, today we are not even sure embryos are human beings.  Whereas in contrast, hundreds of millions of deaths of undisputedly human persons, have already, provably resulted from the neglect of environmental issues.  So that, if we are considering “consequences,” the number of lives gained or lost,  in effect, the environment is the most important issue. Even if embryos were human beings, and even if a hundred millions embryos have been killed in abortions, still, environment is a far greater “life-issue” than that.  Indeed, the environment is already proportionately, far more important than abortion, in the number of lives at stake.    Since it has already killed, more many more than abortion has.  While indeed, environmental disaster has the potential to kill even … all or nearly all, of mankind.  In massive plagues and so forth.

So that even if “global warming” is not true, there are still many other potential environmental problems to keep in mind.

Anti-abortionists are never, very – criminally – narrow.  They say today that abortion is the only important issue in life; and that this is the only issue we should consider at the voting booth.  But even the Cardinals and the Pope, warned about such a narrow fixation on just one “issue.”  While here, we offer a hundred reasons and more, for downgrading the allegedly central importance of abortion.  First of all, a) it does not appear that many embryos are even really, fully human. So that perhaps no human deaths at all, are involved here.  While then too,  b) for that matter, Catholics should note that the Cardinals – and finally the Pope himself – told Catholics to look at other things, other “issues,” that might be “proportionate”ly more important.  So suppose we here and now, begin to consider, say, environmental issues.  Which indeed are increasingly mentioned by our “Green Pope.”

In the past, to be sure, the “environment” has been controversial; in part because everyone has tended to identify “environment” with the problematic theory of global warming.  But we here and now, in this very book, are beginning to enlarge the public understanding of what the term “environment” includes. Here we note that it includes, for example, all the various natural and other disasters, related to the environment – like plagues, floods, and so forth.  These are all partially caused by problems in the environment, after all; they are caused things like lack of dams, lack of irrigation, too much population density, lack of health care and controls on disease, and so forth.  Problems in both the geographical and human environment.  Clearly, the environment includes many more things than we thought in the past.  And furthermore, these are, practically speaking, of immense importance;  the fact is, hundreds of millions of lives have already been lost, throughout History, through lack of control of such things.   While potential, the whole planet, all of mankind, could be destroyed by continued neglect, of one or more of these proven threats.  Especially by neglect of health issues, disease control.

So if we are to be sane, widely-informed, balanced people, and look at things in “proportion,” “prudent”ly, then note that there is something “proportionate”ly far, far more important than abortion.  In environmental issues, lies the entire fate of all of humanity.  Therefore, we should now turn away from the rhetorical, para-logical games, and narrow-minded obsessions, the fatally narrow vision, of anti-abortion apologists.  Here and now, we should all begin to expand the scope of what we look at in life.  And become far more practical, and more empirical.  People who have been narrowly, obsessively focused just on the single issue of abortion,  need to look at some “issue”s, that are normally, far, far more important in life.

Among other things, the Catholic Church, has often been particularly concerned with issues that involve the lives of people; preserving their lives; the Church has called these “life issues.”  But here, as usual, anti-abortionists on EWTN and other networks, have thought of this phrase, only in terms of their usual obsession:  they have interpreted the need to protect “life,” as applying only to the life of the embryo.  Indeed, religious fanatics, maniacs, narrow-minded anti-abortionists, often insist that their single issue, is the only issue that we should consider in elections, and in “life.” But here and now, we need people to at last learn to see the broader outline of “life.”  People finally should reconsider, at long last, the larger “life,” the millions of lives, of adults and children.  Consider the lives of the hundreds of millions of children and adults, already killed by neglect of environmental concerns. Above and beyond the tens of millions of embryos destroyed … consider the hundreds of millions of people already killed, historically, by environmental disasters; by floods, plagues, famines, and industrial and scientific accidents.  While finally, let us project now, how many billions of lives, might be killed by anti-abortionists’ neglect of these issues, in the future.  As anti-abortionists continue to elect politicians who pay attention to their single issue … but don’t seem bothered by any need to try hard to avoid other disasters; like say, unnecessary wars, and diseases, and so forth, billions of other lives, lives other than embryos, are at risk.  While indeed, no doubt, millions of grown children and adults, are already dying prematurely, yearly, worldwide; from lack of say, adequate health care.

As we will see particularly in our section on specifically Catholic theology,  the Roman Catholic leadership, has in fact, stressed “prudence” and “proportionality.” While warning about the focus just on “one issue” politics.  In effect, what we are doing here and now in this book, is merely expanding on and supporting, what the Cardinals and the Pope have said.   It now seems clear that anti-abortionist “Catholics,” should not have rebelled against so many doctrines of the Church; they should have listened more to a) their saints, and b) Traditional theologians, like St. Thomas Aquinas. When they suggested that a young embryo did not have a real soul; and therefore, was not fully human. And EWTN Catholics  b) should have actually followed their Cardinals; they should have paid attention, and obeyed, when Cardinal McCarrick suggested that anti-abortionists should try to go beyond a too narrow, one-“issue,” anti-abortionist Catholicism (above).  And now we add, c) anti-abortion Catholics should have obeyed their Pope. When finally, Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI began to suggest that they should begin to go beyond their obsessively narrow focus on abortion – to consider other, more “proportionate”ly important things.  (See Ratzinger and “proportionate” above, and in our appendix).

Anti-abortion Catholics in fact, have grossly and flagrantly and publicly, scandalously, disregarded disobeyed their own leadership; anti-abortionist Catholics on EWTN and elsewhere, have disobeyed Cardinals and the Pope.  As they constantly asserted everyone should have total obedience to authority, the Pope,  they should have paid far, far more attention to Church authority, themselves.

“Catholic” anti-abortionists, should not have been such inconsistent hypocrites; who criticized everyone else for the “speck” in their own eyes, even as they failed to see the log in their own eyes. Catholic anti-abortionists constantly criticized other, liberal Catholics for being “Cafeteria Catholics”; for not obeying every word of the Church, but only picking and choosing, what to follow.  But all along, conservative anti-abortionist Catholics were the worst Cafeteria Catholics of all; ignoring countless parts of the Bible; and countless pronouncements of Cardinals and Popes.

But religious anti-abortionists should have listened more to statements from their leadership, not only for consistency; but also because, when anti-abortion Catholics abandoned their own tradition, when they began to focus narrowly on a single issue – one never mentioned in the Bible – they in fact, turned toward evil and error.  Anti-abortionists in fact, turned to an error that … could kill millions, even billions of undisputedly human beings.  When they neglected the environment, they may be ultimately responsible, for the destruction of the lives of billions of men, women, and children.  A disaster that has already happened at least in miniature preview:  when anti-abortionist president George Bush II, neglected the dikes or dams of New Orleans … and allowed much of the city of New Orleans to be lost.  To a flood.

# 42 Above, we have outlined the problems with a narrow view of anti-abortionism, and have begun introducing a better, broader understanding of other important issues; including the environment.  And a broader definition of “the environment” at that.  Having introduced all that, having presented a broader overview of some important issues today, let’s present some of the major individual aspects of, or issues in, the environment, that all of humanity should always pay attention to.  First, to be sure, we need to note here that in the past, “environment” has been incorrectly thought to mean just global warming.  Which in itself, to be sure, though problematic, might be a very serious concern.  But to be sure, “global warming” is today controversial.  So let us consider a less controversial concept.  One that allows us to address many of the same issues though:   the idea of doing something about “climate change.”  This term enables us to talk about dry and hot periods, or even periodic trends.  Which are serious enough.  While reserving judgment about whether a given warming or cooling trend, is the result of greenhouse gasses or “global warming,” and might be irreversible.  To be sure, we cannot today be entirely sure about global warming.  But it is nevertheless certain, that our local and global climate, does change, from one decade to another.  This phenomenon, is part of what is called “climate change.”  And it is a major concern; since it includes relatively long periods of droughts; and of excessive rain and floods.  And so forth.

In effect, the phrase “climate change” allows us to address many of the same issues as “global warming,” without any particular commitment to problematic theories.  That fact is, everyone knows that there are indeed, periods of relative dryness and wetness, cold and heat, historically, geologically; whether caused by different levels of CO2 or not.  And those periods can be extremely important; indeed, huge droughts have been created that killed millions, within just minor, even just yearly, variations in climate.

While indeed, recently even the Catholic Church (various cardinals and so forth) c. 2007/8, began to acknowledge the importance of at least, “climate change.”  In particular, the current general warming, drying trend, has the potential to make agriculture, fantastically expensive.

Whether what we are seeing today is global warming, or just a “minor” climate change, still, it can be important. Even a relatively “minor” warning and drying trend, cold make agriculture much more expensive; and conceivably, lead to droughts, and famines; and the deaths of billions.

Having seen the seriousness of just one environmental problem – global warming/climate change – let us now move on to look at six or seven other environmental concerns. Which are just as dangerous; if not more so.

Climate change for example, is related to droughts; warming trends often cause droughts.  And we will see that droughts have provably killed millions of people in the past.  (Q.v.).

# 43 Given the controversial nature of “global warming,” suppose we here and now begin to greatly expand our awareness of the truer, fuller scope of what “environment” means to us.  Particularly, let us here begin to note that beyond global warming, and “ climate change,” there are many different classes of imperfectly-recognized environment-related problems.  Beyond climate change, consider for example many of the other various specific, “natural,” but often preventable disasters, that relate to the environment.  Like, say, plagues. Or diseases.  Plagues and diseases are related to both the geographical and human “environment”; they depend in part on things like city sanitation and water supply, and population density and so forth.  And these problems have historically been extremely important – and deadly.  Plagues have already killed hundreds of millions, even billions of human beings.   And they have the potential to kill billions more.  Which would mean consequences for human life, that are far worse than abortion.   Consequences that are “proportion”ately, far more important than abortion alone.  And for those who follow the Bible?  Note that such events as plagues and outbreaks of disease, were regarded as extremely important in the Bible itself.  While furthermore, problems with plagues are not theoretical, or just theology:  historical and anthropology can document hundreds of massive and deadly plagues, already.  So this is not a theoretical problem, like global warming:  it is a proven, deadly environmental hazard.

 

# 44 Consider next, the many deaths caused by floods.  This type of environmental disaster, like plagues, has already killed millions of innocent persons, historically.  Those who are interested in the Bible, might consider the Flood of Noah, for example; which it is said, destroyed the whole population of the entire earth, excepting only Noah and his family.  Though some say that God promised not to exterminate the whole earth again with a flood, still, floods historically, including say tsunamis, have already, historically killed millions of people.  While we know floods will continue to kill many … unless we take measures to address this issue.  (Making the anti-abortionists’ neglect of this aspect of environment, a culpable sin?  A case in point: anti-abortionists failing to monitor tidal waves or tsunamis; building dams; building dykes in New Orleans; etc.).  One–issue anti-abortionists have insisted that we can safely ignore such things in the voting booth.  But clearly, they are wrong.  Or in religious terms, they are even evil. They have ignored, disobeyed, too many warnings from the Bible and God, about specifically, plagues and floods.

# 45 There are many, many environment-related things, that  have already killed hundreds of millions of people, historically.  A many of these disasters, could kill hundreds of millions more.  Beyond floods and plagues, consider for example, how many people have been killed and maimed, by various industrial accidents and poisonings and so forth. (Bhopal; black lung; heavy metals and mercury; cancer-causing pollution, etc..).  One-issue Catholics like anti-abortionists, have directed us to ignore such things.  But there again, they are horribly wrong.

# 46 Related to problems with industrialization, it is also possible that various scientific – including nuclear – experiments gone wrong, might destroy the whole planet.  Note for example, that the scientists who built the first atomic bomb, speculated that the explosion might ignite all the hydrogen in the atmosphere … and incinerate the whole planet.  Though no such thing happened, sooner or later, one of these long shots is going to come in.  Consider for example, the CERN nuclear reactor, and the “black hole” it is supposed to create; the black hole that some say might suck up the entire planet.  One-issue anti-abortionists tell us such things are not important, compared the Supreme Holy Issue of the Holy Embryo.  But where do they get their evidence?  In fact, anti-abortionists have to ignore all too many things.

# 47 The fact is – as Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI hinted – there are many, many issues that deserve our proportionate attention, beyond braking for embryos.  And a) this is not at all speculative; it does not depend just on problematic theories of “Global Warming.”  In fact, there are hundreds of already-well documented cases of environmental disasters, including plagues and famines.  Problems in the environment are not speculative; they are well established, documented historically.

Not only is the importance of environment not at all speculative, but solidly proven by History:   b) environmental problems prove to be in fact, something that normally deserves far, far more attention than other issues in life.  Since, if you add up all past environmental disasters now more broadly seen – including now, as environmental issues, floods, plagues, poisonings, famines – suddenly the Environment is already, a gigantic issue.  It is already, massively, hugely important.  The central importance of the Environment is already evident…. just from the massive number of deaths already caused: hundreds of millions.

The massive number of previous deaths caused by environmental problems,  is extremely important, in determining the importance of this “issue,” relative to others.  But indeed, if we allow any consideration the “consequences” of any moral position, at all – as we should, in such a huge case; especially when the consequences are so dire – it seems clear that the environment vastly outweighs the importance of abortion.  Even in “just” the sheer number of deaths already caused.

# 48 Even more ominously, what is most serious about these recently-neglected environmental disasters, is not “just” that they have already killed hundreds of millions of people; but is also that they have the potential to kill almost every human being on earth; to extinguish all life on this planet; to indeed, exterminate all of mankind.  As global warming, or a worldwide nuclear winter say, might do.  (Which is a consequence that finally fits Cardinal/Pope Ratzinger’s call for us to consider things that might be “proportionate”ly more important than abortion.)

Indeed,  the environment is already historically, proportionately far, far more important, than even the millions of embryo deaths caused by abortion.  Just according to sheer numbers alone.  First of course, a) if the embryo is not fully human, then killing embryos does not kill any human beings at all.  So the score for anti-abortionism, compared to environmentalism, is 0 to at least 100,000,000 to 7,000,000,000,000.  But second, b) even if we regard embryos as full human being, even then, we have to weigh and compare say, the deaths of 1/100 of the population per year from abortion, to the past actual, and future potential deaths by environment, of from 1/50 to 100/100.  Looking at the relative deadliness of these two, Abortion is of relatively little or no significance, compared to the many hundreds of millions of human deaths already caused by environmental disasters and negligence.  Abortion is nothing, compared to the potential that environmental problems have; to even exterminate the entire human race

 

# 49 Lack of adequate, universal Health Care too, has no doubt killed hundreds of millions already.  (Related to plagues and diseases, above.)  A 2009 Harvard study suggested that even today, about 47,000 people a year die in America, from lack of universal health care. This seems like an extremely low estimate; and a low estimate of the current situation only.  Past figures, before emergency room care, would be much, much worse.  Especially when we consider world wide figures.

# 50 Religious folks should note too, that the Bible itself, God himself, speaks often of the seriousness of these; the Bible often mentioning many deaths caused by plagues, famines, floods, in the past.  Indeed, the Bible gives thousands of times more attention to these subjects, than to abortion, or to miscarriage.  Here again, the Bible itself tells us these are more important subjects, in effect.

# 51 Furthermore, the Bible itself suggests also, something else we noted above:  that not only have huge numbers of people already lost their lives due to environmental disasters; but also many millions, billions can lose their lives from these kinds of disasters, in the future.  The Bible speaks of such things happening, in the End Time, many feelUnless we act responsibly to prevent it.  Responsible action here includes, a) voting for preventative environmental measures.  And b) being good.  To c) the extent that one-issue anti-abortionism prevents us from doing this, anti-abortionism may well eventually be responsible for killing millions, billions of human beings.

 

One-issue anti-abortionism in fact, could cause precisely the worldwide disasters, that the Biblical foretold. And as foretold of the End time we will add later, it is a religious evil or error, that causes this:  it is people falling away from the Bible itself, and coming to announced their own private obsessions, the “traditions of men,” as the word of God.  Whereas, their ideas are no such thing. A narrow anti-abortionism not only never being supported in the Bible; it is never even directly mentioned.  Or, if it is indirectly mentioned, it is condemned as excessive narrowness, neglect of the “full”er view of God; and confusing the political “traditions of men” and political “philosophy,” with the true directives of God

 

# 52 Therefore prudence – or simply History; reviewing the known record or death toll, of known past disasters – reminds us that we should always be very, very careful about the environment. Especially as the “environment” is broadly defined; to include the causes of floods, plagues, famines, droughts.

# 53 The Bible suggested too, that we should be “good stewards” of the environment.

 

# 54 And so finally, voters should normally vote therefore, for other, more important issues than abortion.  Like the environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter 6

CATHOLIC CHURCH DOCTRINES

On Abortion, and the Embryo:

Catholic “Tradition,” “Doctrines,” “Dogmas,” its “Magisterium” Etc.,

Oppose Abortion Somewhat …

But

Do Not Firmly, Unequivocally, Say the Embryo Has a “Soul”;

The Catholic Church therefore Does Not Consistently Oppose Abortion

As Murder; or as a Supreme, Unforgivable Sin

Anti-Abortionism Conflicts

With Core Doctrines

Of the Roman Catholic Church;

And Causes Severe Legal Difficulties,

Violations of International, National, IRA Law

Intro

The most effective opposition to abortion, currently comes largely from Catholic activists.  Catholic anti-abortionists have been disproportionately effective among Catholics; and have influenced votes even of non-Catholics.  They have been especially influential, because a) they claim that not only the Church, but also the Bible itself – and finally God himself –  oppose abortion.  This has made their message extremely influential in Christian community.  But b) this was not the end of Catholic influence.  The most anti-abortion political party in America, is the Republican Party.  And many key, c) self-appointed “Catholic” media networks, like EWTN/RN, have made abortion their major, foundational issue.  And d) though this conclusion is seldom explicitly or openly stated, out loud, the final, implicit message from these Catholic anti-abortionist networks, has been this:  God commands us all, to vote for the most anti-abortion political candidate, in every election.  And since the most anti-abortion party is Republican?  Then in effect, we are being commanded in the name of the Church, as the will of God … to vote Republican in every election.

God commands us vote Republican in every election:  this is the barely-hidden message inside the “Catholic” anti-abortionism..  And this message, we suggest, was extremely influential; it turned out far, far more Catholic votes for Republicans, than would normally be expected.  Very, very few votes for Republicans would normally be expected in an American Catholic Church that is largely composed of minorities, especially Hispanics.  Who would normally vote overwhelmingly, Democratic.   Amazingly then, “Catholic” anti-abortionists were not just incredibly influential in the Church itself; they were able to deliver millions of crucial votes, to conservative Republicans, rather than minority-supporting Democrats, in countless elections, c. 1980 – 2008.   And ultimately, the religious anti-abortion appeal, even influenced many Protestants too; since it insisted that not just the Pope, but also the Bible itself, God himself, was ordering us all to vote for the most anti-abortion party.  Which meant the Republican Party.  Thus many Protestant fundamentalists, or regular church-attending Protestants, evangelicals, voted overwhelming the way that Catholic anti-abortionists told them too.  In large part because … they simply believed it when they were told – even by mere Catholics; even mere Catholic radio stations – that God himself was ordering this.

“Catholic” and conservative anti-abortionists therefore, have had an effect on American society, far, far beyond what their somewhat small numbers might suggest.  They ve4ry heavily influenced the vote, from 1980 thru about 2007; throwing millions of votes into the Republican hat. In part, they were unusually effective, not just because they claimed to speak for the Church itself; but also because they convinced a hardened core of evangelists, that anti-abortionists were the voice of even, God himself.  Various Catholic media networks, did this, by constantly quoting (usually out of context) any parts of the Bible, and of Church doctrine, that, taken out of context, seemed to support their claims.  And then they broadcast that message full time, on international media networks, like EWTN/RN.  So that finally, thanks to this triple appeal – Catholicism, Christianity, and media – antiabortionists convinced millions that would not normally vote that way, that God himself was ordering us all, to vote Republican in every election.

Catholic anti-abortionists were thereby, far, far more effective than anyone thought; “conservatives” and anti-abortionists, controlled as much as 19% or so of the vote in almost every election; and that was enough to win the vast majority of elections for Republicans, from 1980 thru about 2007.  So that therefore, any argument against anti-abortionism, needs to address specifically, Catholics; and their holy Catholic “Tradition.” As our book here, in fact, does.

Our book here is in fact, framed in part, as a petition to the Roman Catholic Church.  We address our book here, not just to the general public, but also to the Vatican.  While much of our book, is centered around an argument – about to be more fully presented in this chapter – designed specifically for Christians, and more specifically, for the Church:  our argument being that anti-abortionism is radically inconsistent with, Christian tradition; with the Bible, themselves.  So that a real, true Catholic or Christian, would not be so anti-abortion at all.

Specifically, we are about to note here, that the very core of Catholic “Tradition,” with a capital “T,” does not actually support anti-abortionism at all. The fact is, key Catholic saints, and theologians, key doctrines and dogmas, canon law; and more recent statements by Cardinals and the Pope Benedict XVI, strongly militate against any very strong stand against abortion.  Particularly important, are relatively statements against “one issue” politics, by at least two Cardinals – and the Pope.  Which tell us that no one should ever concentrate so exclusively, so dis “proportionate”ly, on just “one issue” in life. Like specifically abortion. Instead, the Cardinals and the Pope himself made clear, we always all need to consider many issues in life, besides abortion.  Especially in fact, given “proportionate”ly more import issues other than abortion, Cardinal Joe Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI assured us explicitly, that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (Card. Joe Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” 2004 memo).

Since “Catholic” anti-abortionists are at the core of the problem, we need to show that actually, surprisingly, those Catholics who tell us to always vote for the most anti-abortion candidate, are actually, heretics.  Who are disobeying real Catholic authority:  “Catholic” anti-abortionists are disobeying the saints, the theologies, the sayings, that comprise what is called, in Catholicism, its core “Tradition” with a capital “T.”  Or its “Magisterium”; its body of doctrines and so forth.

What specifically, have Catholic activists said?  Most people who don’t follow talk radio, are unaware of the networks there are out there; and the message that has been sent worldwide for more than 20 years.  But there are a number of “Catholic” radio and TV networks out there, who have, for twenty years or more, talked, for hours, day after day, mostly about … abortion.  In effect, there have been a number of huge media networks out there, representing themselves as the voice of the Church, as the voice of God, broadcasting the same, endlessly-repeated anti-abortion message, for 20 years (Relevant Radio explicitly claims to be the “voice of the bishops,” 7:55 AM Central Time, 2/13/10).  Repeating the same message dozens of times a day, every single day, for 28 years, over networks offered to hundreds of millions, and insisting that their message is the voice of God himself, these networks have saturated the American audience, far more than anyone would ever expect.  And all for the worse.  Because in effect, they been sending out a deeply-offensive, heresy.

What have these massively-influential “Catholic” media, like especially EWRN – Eternal Word Radio Network –  been telling all of American, for so long?  First, they constantly imply, that a) they themselves, the network, are the official or authoritative voice of the Church.  And b) therefore, ultimately, EWTN network is the voice, simply, of God.  This of course, is fantastically offensive enough; but then it gets worse.  Next, c) these networks insist that the Church itself, God himself, specifically, absolutely, firmly condemn abortion.  Even though they cannot find Bible passages to support that firmly.  While next d)  they claim that, therefore, the Church and God insist, that we vote for the most anti-abortion candidates in every election.  And then finally, the most offensive conclusion of all:  that e) since the Republican Party is the most anti-abortion party, in the end, EWRN and its various talk show hosts and guests end up by telling us implicitly that … God orders us to vote Republican in every election.  And many priests now accept this [Fr. Rick Heilman of Madison WI, on Relevant Radio, 11:21 AM, 1/5/2010,  almost seems to speak of the womb as a place that should be the safest place on earth – or did he say the most “sacred”?  Then backs the right-wing “Manhattan Declaration” as “beatifying” us.  So that the womb now replaces the altar; and right-wing politics, not God, beatifies us.  In a new church of the Holy Fetus.]

But this, the main, distinctive message of EWTN/RN and anti-abortionists, is of course, horribly, deeply offensive; and false.  Because it is not true to the Bible, or to the Church.  As we will now see here.

As we will show in more detail here and now,  the real, fuller traditions of the Church, do not support anti-abortionism.  The Catholic Tradition that includes 1) key saints and 2) theologians, like St. Thomas Aquinas, and 3) canon law, simply states that the young embryo is not well-enough “formed,” to have a “soul” or human intelligence.  And therefore, the core tradition of key figures in the Church, says that the embryo is not fully a human being.   And then, furthermore, in addition to key saintly theologians like St. Aquinas, then too, the most recent leaders of the Church have also opposed EWTN/RN and anti-abortionism, in many ways.  Especially,  4) Cardinal McCarrick of the USCCB, told us that there are many other “issues,” other than abortion, that should concern us in life.  And that therefore we should not support just “one issue” Catholicism, in voting.  While 5) Cardinal Ratzinger, of the Vatican itself, likewise outlined the central principle of the Catholic doctrine that allows abortion:  when he told us that there are “proportionate”ly more important issues than abortion.  And that therefore, voting for pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted” (Card. Joe Ratzinger, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” 2004 memo).   Thus several saints, and two current Cardinals of the Catholic Church, have opposed any very strong, “one issue” anti-abortion stance.  While 6) the testimony of Cardinal Ratzinger, allowing us to vote for pro-abortion, Pro Choice political candidates, has become particularly important … since Cardinal Ratzinger, in 2005, became our current “Holy Father,” our current Pope:  Benedict XVI.  So that finally, the idea that voting for pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted,” was approved by the Pope himself.   While 7) on the other hand, as for EWTN, and perhaps its radical anti-abortion message?  Yet another Cardinal – now retired Card. Mahony of Los Angeles – all but declared EWTN founder and head, Mother Angelica, a heretic. 

 

So that in point of fact, we will show here that the fuller testimony and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, is that any very firm stance against abortion is simply, a heresy.  

 

In earlier chapters, we have shown that any very strong anti-abortion stance goes a) against the Bible itself; and b) against Science.  And c) against Ethics.  While now, d) in the present chapter, we will show that “Catholic” anti-abortionism, actually goes against all the major traditions, the core Tradition, of the Catholic Church itself.  First we will show that any very strong Pro Life stance, goes against several key saints and theologians.  Like St. Thomas Aquinas; who said that the young embryo did not have a human soul.  And who was moreover, declared by canon law to be in effect, the chief theologian of the Church (1917 canon; canons 589:1 & 1366:2).   But then in addition to the testimony of the saints, and #8 in effect, canon law, we will show that any very strong anti-abortion stance, crosses several recent cardinals.  Here, the testimony of Cardinal McCarrick might be useful and authoritative, when he spoke against “one issue” Catholicism; Cardinal McCarrick was then head of the “USCCB,” or the United Stated Catholic Congress of Catholic Bishops; the agency that have oversight over all American bishops.  But especially, the 2004 memo by Card. Joe Ratzinger against anti-abortionism, might be the decisive, to many; since Cardinal Ratzinger was no ordinary Cardinal.  At the time that he criticized extreme, dis-“proportionate” anti-abortionism, Joe Ratzinger was first of all,  in charge of the specific office of the Vatican, that had been given authority to address the matter of the propriety of various doctrines; like anti-abortionism.  (The office or “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”; the UCF).  So that Cardinal Ratzinger’s opposition to anti-abortionism, might be considered quite definitive; as the official word of the Vatican itself.  But furthermore, Cardinal Ratzinger’s message eventually became even more authoritative than that; when Cardinal Ratzinger, in 2005, became our current “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI.  So that finally, the Pope himself in effect told us, that voting for Pro Choice political candidates, “can be permitted.”

For many decades, thousands of questioners have tried to call-in theological and other objections to talk radio’s rabid anti-abortionism. But thousands of such calls, have failed to change EWTN/RN.  In fact, even the fairly direct opposition to EWTN, by several Cardinals and the current Pope, we will see, have failed to stop the Pro Life movement.  So how can we convince antiabortionists, of their sins and errors?  What can be done to stop their heretical message?  Since anti-abortionists seem to believe that they are commanded to believe what they think, by the Church and by God, finally, the staff and guests as single-minded, as any other religious fanatics.  And it would seem that nothing can stop them or convince them.

But finally though, there is one way, to change this. There is one way that we might get some real change, from especially, Catholic anti-abortionists.   And that is by clearly outlining here,  many of the Church authorities that anti-abortionists claim to obey, but really don’t.  Finally, one way to get some real change from Catholic antiabortion networks, is to show them that what they have claimed, actually radically mis-represents even the Church itself.  As well as misrepresenting the Bible.  And misrepresenting God himself.

Ultimately no doubt, given its momentum and its cultish religious fanaticism, its mono-maniacalism, there may be nothing at all that will even slightly slow down anti-abortion fanatics, like EWTN/RN, or convince it, itself.  But finally, we can begin to demonstrate to others – and to its superiors say – that the major doctrines of anti-abortionism, are all heresies.  Even according to the Bible itself.  But perhaps especially effective, on Catholic anti-abortionism, is the finding here that “Catholic” anti-abortionism, actually goes against, even the Church itself.  So that finally, we must say that Catholic anti-abortionism disobeys the saints, the cardinals, and the Pope.  So that the Pro Choice position is simply, a heresy. One for which Catholics might – and should – be excommunicated; refused communion, and kicked out of the Church.

.  .  .

Amazingly, we are about to show here, that anti-abortion organizations like “Global Catholic Radio,” EWRN, and its parent organization, EWTN, are actually, amazingly, not the loyal faithful Catholic organizations that they said or thought they were.  The fact is, their rabidly narrow one-issue anti-abortionism, was constantly condemned by the highest authorities in the Church itself.  Including most recently, the Pope himself.

How can we get through, to the anti-abortionist zealots and fanatics (and now, after the assassination of Dr. Teller), anti-abortion terrorists?  One might think that our quoting the Bible here, showing that the Bible allows and even orders abortions, should help.  But quoting the Bible to Catholics, will help far less than one would think.  First, because a) EWTN/RN has many guests and apologists, trained to “twist” the Bible, to say whatever they want it to say.  And then too, because … b) often Catholics don’t think they need to follow the Bible;  they think they only have to follow the commands of the Pope, and Catholic tradition.  And so we will focus here, on the Church itself; and its commands.

Remember that indeed, the Catholic Church is largely based, some think, around the authority not so much of the Bible, but of the Pope.  They follow not the Bible, but instead, they follow the tradition of the Church itself; its “doctrines,” “dogmas,” its “canon” of laws, its “Tradition,” its body of learning or its “Magisterium.”  In fact, now and then, some allegedly “conservative” “Catholics,” seem to say that they can entirely ignore the Bible; many Catholics think that what the Bible said, is not really important; since, they believe, Catholics follow just the Pope, and Catholic authority.  Not the Bible.

But we and many theologians, might note in passing, that even the Catechism of the Catholic Church, says that even Catholics are obliged to follow the Bible, as “sacred” and “holy”; the same as other Christians (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., Libreria Editrice Vaticana, c. 2000 AD, sect. 101-107).  While the Catechism also declares itself to be the “normative,” definitive description, of what the Church believes. While the Bible itself, we showed earlier, allows and even orders, abortions.

But what about those alleged Catholics, who will still say, they do not really need to believe in the Bible and its God?  Who blindly follow whatever EWTN/RN says the Church is really saying?  To any such persons, we will here and now show that, even if you don’t believe in the Bible, but only the Church itself, then still, even just Catholic tradition in itself, does not support one-issue anti-abortionism.   “Catholic” anti-abortionism,  we will show in this chapter, does not even obey the core Catholic traditions; the saints; nor the cardinals; nor the current Pope.  As we here look at the broader outline of all the Church’s rules, anti-abortionism violates one after another, of itsdoctrines,” its “canon” “laws,” its “dogma,” its “Tradition,” its body of learning or “Magisterium,” its “saints” and “theology.”  So that any apparent embrace of anti-abortionism, even by a few authorities in the Church, is simply not definitive; is in fact, a heresy.

To put it in a more dramatic way:  antiabortionist individuals and organizations, like EWTN/RN, are not following the Church; they are disobeying the Church.  In fact, EWTN/RN is guilty simply, of heresyIts anti-abortion stance disobeys the Church; disobeys the Bible; and disobeys God. 

 

An obsessive, radical, one-issue anti-abortionism, has long since essentially turned elements of the Church, networks like EWTN/RN, into a different church entirely, than the Roman Catholic Church.  In spite of their own constant protestations and even sincere conviction that they are loyal to the Roman Catholic Church, EWTN and related individuals and organizations are essentially, forming their own apostate, heretical church.  A church which, because of its obsessive focus on the embryo, might be jokingly called the “Apostate Church of the Embryo.” 

 

Catholic anti-abortionists, we will show here, are not following the Bible, or God.  Indeed, they are not even really, actually, following the Church, and its traditions.  Our survey of the fuller stance of the Church, here, will reveal that that the Church’s historical Tradition, its core laws and so forth, actually, ultimately, tells Catholics, roughly, this:   that a) abortion is to be sure, bad.  But b) the embryo is not a full, en”soul”ed human being.  So that c)  abortion therefore, is not so bad, that it must be considered, murder.  Furthermore, d) the Cardinals and the Pope recently insisted, that there are many “other issues that Catholics should consider when voting; issues that are “proportionate”ly more important than abortion.  So that finally, voting for pro-abortion candidates in elections, “can be permitted.”  Said the Pope himself.  Ultimately, the Church itself actually says, that there are many “issues” in life that we need to think about; and that abortion is far from the most important “issue” that we should consider, say, in elections.

To be sure though, this much has probably been said before – and has had little or no effect.  And so therefore, finally, we will conclude here, that we now need a far, far more  dramatic and unequivocal condemnation of the anti-abortionism of EWTN – and of core anti-abortionist leaders like Sheila Liaugminas, Fr. Frank Pavone, Karl Keating, Johnnette Benkovic, and Archbishop Burke.   Finally, in order to finally get through to these people, we must declare simply, but dramatically, that these people are just, simply heretics.  According to the Church, and according to God, anti-abortionists are heretics … that can be excommunicated:  refused communion.  In effect, they could be kicked out of the Church.  For simply, heresy.  Or going against the Church, the Bible; for going against God.

 

# 55 What has the Church itself really, fully said on abortion?  Here is a first, crucial point:  historically, to be sure, the Church itself has now and then seemed to suggest that abortion is bad; that it is a sin.  But exactly how serious a sin,  is it?   At times, some people in the Church spoke of abortion as a horrible thing.  But in other eras, the Church itself apparently regarded abortion, as only a rather minor sin; rather as it was in the Bible, Num. 5.

As it turns out, many Catholic authorities – like Pope Gregory XIV (according to the original Catholic Encyclopedia) – in effect suggested that abortion might not be quite as bad, as many have said.  Gregory allegedly said for example, that aborting an embryo is not murder, not a serious offense calling for excommunication.  Not until after “quickening”; which was understood in that time as being in the third trimester, probably.

For a quick outline of the long history of Catholic thought on Abortion, noting the times it allowed it, or minimized its importance, see, on the Web: Abortion in Catholic Thought:  The Little-Told History.”  (Internet reprint from Conscience, Autumn 1999.)  Such articles begin to suggest that Catholic traditions on abortion, were rather mixed.  Though often people thought that abortion was bad, even awful, other times, even Popes and others, simply allowed it.  With at most, only minor penalties.

We will find this confirmed over and over:  at best, in the history of the Church, the status of abortion, of the embryo, seems marginal and confused at best.  Therefore being unclear, the matter of abortion is by no means clear enough, to determine the fate of elections, and of the world.  (Or if anything, the Church had simply allowed abortion as a minor sin at best.  Even today, the Catechism’s insistence that abortion is reason for excommunication, conflicts with the statement by the Pope, that voting for pro-abortion politicians, “can be permitted.”).

# 56 If there is any consistency at all in what the Church has historically said about abortion, then we should say that fairly consistently, over time, overall, the Church has spoken in a way that says that abortion, while bad, is not necessarily murder.  Various authorities in the Church, often said that abortion is bad … but in the way abortion is described, it seems … not necessarily as bad as many other sins.  As we see from the history of penalties historically applied by the Church, to those who had abortions.   In general, the Church seemed often (if not always) to apply  penalties in keeping with what the Bible said about those who cause miscarriages:  the Bible seemed to consider it a relatively minor offense, punishable by a mere fine. (Again see “Abortion and Catholic Thought:  The Little-Told Story”; Internet reprint from Autumn 1999 Conscience. And related articles that if there was any consistency in Catholic traditions, it is this).

# 57 Particularly, the Church has often been uncertain, on the exact status of the embryo; whether it was a fully “formed” human being, with a good “soul,” or not.  Most of anti-abortionism, assumes rather great importance, a rather firmly human status, to the embryo.  And yet … for some time, the Church itself has admitted in many ways, that it did not fully know what the status of an embryo was.  For example, some doctrines of some churches relating to Baptism, suggest that even a human infant’s status, was not fully and adequately formed, until Baptism.

# 58 Confirming the problematic quality of even a child even after birth, of an unbaptized baby, the soul of an unbaptized baby was said to be in “Limbo.”  Which is not firmly in heaven or even Purgatory; but in a place whose name has come to be synonymous with … existing in some undetermined state; “in Limbo.”  To be sure, recently (c. 2007?), the Church made changes in “limbo”; but if so, then Catholic doctrines are obviously shifting, changing, and unreliable.  (The Catholic doctrine of the embryo and even the unbaptised infant being in limbo, may come incidentally, from Psalm 139.16, calling the embryo  an “unformed substance”).

# 59 How certain in any case, would most existing Catholic sayings, doctrines on abortion, be?  Along these lines, regarding their authority, we might note that in any case, Catholicism often holds, that not all its traditions, doctrines, are absolutely certain.  The only “infallible” doctrines, are those which are firmly, formally, explicitly declared to be infallible; and/or delivered from the official throne, “ex cathedra.”  While arguably, even encyclicals that appear to say that that the embryo has a soul, or is a full human being, “from conception,” were not, many might say, formally announced, from the Pope’s throne, “ex cathedra,” as “infallible.”

Or finally we are about to see, if the notion of embryos being fully human from conception, really was finally said to be authoritative recently, then any such recent proclamation was not only not infallible, but was simply false.  Since any such statement is in obvious contradiction to much of the Bible.  And to many central traditions of the church.  Including we will see next, especially, the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas.  The saint and theologian, who was in effect, made the foremost theologian of the Church, by 1917 Canon law.

Anti-Abortionism Denigrates, Disobeys

Two Major Saints:

St. Augustine, and Saint Thomas Aquinas;

On En”soul”ment

We mentioned earlier, that at least two contemporary Cardinals, the Vatican, and the current Pope, have in effect, attacked EWTN/RN, and anti-abortionism.  But even the attack on EWTN or anti-abortionism by two or three cardinals, and the Pope, is not the most important objection to the movement; the very most serious objection to anti-abortionism, is yet to come.  Having disobeyed the most important Church authorities of our time – several cardinals, and finally the Pope –  it should not be surprising that finally, EWTN and other “Catholic” anti-abortionists, explicitly attack and disobey, even the saints.  In fact,  Pro-Lifers, anti-abortionists, disobey two of the major saints of the Church:  St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Probably the most well-known and most important argument, in the literature that would allow abortion, by way of Catholic Tradition, is the proposition that … the young embryo is not really a full human being.  Because, specifically, it does not have a “soul.”

# 60 “Ensoulment.”  Probably the most important argument allowing abortion, is this:  importantly, it is said that no less an important personage – and Saint – than Saint Augustine, asserted that the very young embryo especially (c. 30-90 days old, depending on whether male or female), is not “formed” enough yet, to have a “soul.”  So that in effect, the embryo is not really a full human being.  And so that therefore, killing a young embryo, before “ensoulment” or “hominization” as it is now called, is not as serious as say, murder.  Note from above, that Augustine (and later Aquinas) in saying this, in part followed the Bible, the Book of Psalms.  Which suggested that the embryo is “unformed substance” (Ps. 139.16); that we are only just being made, knitted together, in our mother’s womb (Ps. 139.13); that we are only “being made” there.  And are not yet fully “form”ed.  (A very silly anti-abortionist argument is made somewhere, that the Bible’s use of the word “formed” was a mistranslation, in the old Greek Old Testament, in the Septuagint, of Ex. 21.22.  But in any case, in Ex. 21.22, it is said that if men fight, and a woman suffers a miscarriage, if the woman herself is not injured, there is no “harm”; and furthermore, the penalty for causing a miscarriage is only  to be “fined.”  But especially?  This alleged “defence” of the Biblical case against abortion, works by … asserting after all, that our present Bibles are wrong.   Wrongly translated.  Then too for that matter?  The word “formed” is not used in the RSV in Ex. 21; while the word “formed” is again used in another part of the Bible, in Ps. 139.  Was Psalm 139.16 also wrong?  If so, then the alleged “Biblical” case against abortion, says the Bible is wrong, in many, many places.  Which effectively cancels this “biblical” objection.  Since it clearly does not really believe in the Bible at all.

At times it is also claimed that here Augustine and Aquinas merely followed Aristotle; who said something similar.  But?  Note here, that they clamed to speak not for Aristotle, but for God.  Aristotle may have said something similar; but when Augustine says it, it was then offered as the word of God, after all).

For some time, this Austinian idea of “ensoulment” or “hominization” has in fact, been the mainstay of academic arguments against anti-abortionism.  The very core of the pro-abortion argument, has been that abortion may be wrong, but it is not as bad as murder, because the embryo is not a full human person.  Because it does not have an adequately formed rational mind, spirit, intelligence, or “soul”; the thing that makes us human and divine.  Many generations of philosophers and theologians indeed, identified the thing that makes us human, as our spirit or soul; while many identified the chief characteristic of a human soul, as Reason, rationality.  Indeed, the very name of God, “Logos,” in part means “Logic.”  So that the real essence of humanity, is our ability to reason.  While science confirms that the embryo’s mind or brain, is not large or formed enough, to sustain human intelligence or reason.

Therefore?  The main argument allowing abortion, is that the embryo is not a human being, or as is currently said in some circles, not a full human “person.”  Because it cannot think; it does not have the power to Reason.

Countless arguments have been attempted against this position; one is that “science” today confirms that the embryo is fully formed, and rational, and conscious, at a very early age; from conception.  But of course, science overall says no such thing. Indeed, the overwhelming, vast majority of doctors are highly trained in science; yet they allow and even perform abortions.  The vast majority of real scientists – probably 97% – know that the brain is the organ of the mind or spirit or intelligent soul; and the brain of an embryo is just too small and empty, to sustain Reason, or be fully a human person. (See our section on science).

Some antiabortionists argue from Aristotle, that our “soul” is one and the same, unified with our body from birth.  But that concept is not Christian, but Aristotelian.  Indeed, if the soul is whole and entire at conception, unified with the body, as part of our biological inheritance or inheritance from God, then any number of objections ensue.  For example? If the body is deformed … isn’t the soul deformed too?  And if we inherit our entire soul … then our soul is always ignorant?  Our soul never changes … and can never be, say, “saved”?  The whole notion of a soul fully inherited at conception, is Aristotelian, and not Christian.  Indeed, it contradicts any number of core Christian concepts.

Some anti-abortionists therefore say the “soul” is no concern; we are human without it.  But in fact?   The anti-abortionists notion that a mere configuration of genes, without a mind or spirit, is a fully human mind … is ultimately a minimization and even an attack on, the soul.

# 61 After Augustine, a perhaps even more authoritative Catholic saint and theologian - Saint Thomas Aquinas – also suggested that a) the embryo does not have a soul until 40 days after conception for a male; 90 for a female.  (Source? Aquinas’ Commentary on the Book of Sentences, dist. 3, q. 5, q. 2, Responsio?).  This in turn, is directly relevant to the question of abortion; since if an embryo does not have soul, then the embryo is not entirely human.  So that finally, therefore, killing an embryo is not killing a human being. Even if abortion is a sin, therefore, it is not as bad a sin as say, murder.

b) Thomas Aquinas at times, seems to have opposed abortion. But did he think of it as murder?  As killing a human person?  If a young embryo does not have a soul, the clear implication is that it is not a human person; and therefore, abortion is not as serious as murder; since it does not kill a human person.  And if Aquinas at times opposed abortion, other times he seems to explicitly say (in to be sure, very obscurely worded, or obscurely-translated documents), that abortion is allowed, for example, to save the life of a mother. Where the life of the mother is endangered by a bad pregnancy, it is better he suggests, to allow the infant to die, rather than commit homicide of the mother to save the infant.  As it seems to many, in the following:

“Let the infant perish, than that he himself do so by committing the crime of homicide in killing the mother” (Commentary on the Sentences, IV, dist. 6, q.1, ad4; Summa Theologicae, II a, II ae, q. 64, a8:  London: Washbourn & Oates, 1920).

 

It seems odd – even shocking – that Catholic apologists today, who often tell us how sacred the saints are, would simply ignore this kind of quote from, after all, a saint.  Especially, it is shocking that anti-abortionists ignore a saint as prominent as St. Thomas Aquinas.  It seems odd, inconsistent, that allegedly conservative, saint-following Catholics, would ignore a saint like St. Aquinas, when says rather clearly here, for example, it is OK to let an embryo or even an “infant” die, if its living would threaten the life of the adult mother.  Yet allegedly “conservative,” loyal Catholics, somehow just blithely ignore, or topspin this.  Just as they simply ignore the parts of the Bible where God commands priests to perform abortions.  Thus, our “conservative” Catholics, are systematically, consistently, ignoring and disobeying, much of God.  (And surely there will be a penalty for that, in the end?)

When might the embryo finally become a human being?  Regarding specifically, Aquinas, c) it also seems to many that Aquinas was elsewhere defending at most, the “animated” – well formed, obviously moving – embryo.  The embryo, in or after, “quickening.” A moment when the embryo seems to be clearly moving in the mother’s womb; a moment which was usually thought to happen, noticeably, around the fifth month of pregnancy, or later. (As noted even in “Aquinas on Human Ensoulment, Abortion and the Value of Life,” by Haldane and Lee, Phil. 78, 2003, pp. 255-78.  Citing Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II a, II ae, q. 64, a8:  London: an allegedly literal translation, by Washbourne & Oates, 1920?  And/or “Commentary on the Sentences, IV, dist. 6, q. 1, ad 4).

St. Thomas Aquinas therefore, consistently seems to declare the embryo to become human, at least a significant time after “conception.”  At least 40 to 90 days. While we will add d) later, that parts of Aquinas have been said to hint that we are not fully en”soul”ed and human, until birth, and “first breath.”  In part, this might have been based on a biblical reference:  Jesus is said in the Bible to have “breathed” the Holy spirit into people. And it was thought that the air we breathed, our spirit, was in effect, our soul or spirit.  This is why people blessed those who sneeze, it is commonly said:  because it was thought that since the air in our lungs was our spirit, if we sneezed, we might sneeze out our spirit.   So that we are not human, until we breathe – at birth.

Aquinas therefore did not hold that an embryo is human “from conception.”  Yet even though Aquinas was a saint, incredibly, many anti-abortion priests today, even openly tell us to ignore this saint; priests now telling us to ignore a saint like St. Thomas Aquinas.  Many now say that his ideas were based on bad earlier ideas about the embryo;  from Aristotle for example.  But note here that the official laws of the Roman Catholic Church – like the 1917 canon (revised 1918  ) – tell Catholics that Thomas Aquinas is the central theologian of the Church. Canon law says that indeed, all seminarians, are to be taught according to the methods of Aquinas:

“In the ecclesiastical law of the Catholic church, revised in 1918, canon 589:1 states that students for the priesthood are required to study at least two years of philosophy and four of theology, ‘following the teaching of St. Thomas.’  Further, canon 1366:2 directs professors in seminaries to organize their teaching of future priests ‘according to the method, teaching and principles of the Angelic Doctor.’” (Vernon J. Bourke, “Thomas Aquinas, St.,” in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy,  Macmillan Publishing Co. and The Free Press, NY,  1967; Paul Edwards, Editor; vol.. 8, page 114.  Translated from the original Latin text).

Canon law, is one of the core traditions of the Church; when it says that Aquinas is to be taken very seriously in the Church, then after all, he should be.  Or else finally, Canon law has no real authority … and likely, neither does anything else by the Church either.

To be sure, the Catholic church often subtly changes, twists old traditions once declared sacred; twists them into new shapes.  And in this case, the 1917 code,  was apparently revised in 1918.  And then revised again.  The current (c. 1983?) Canon, though, still also still suggests to many, that seminarians should learn according to the teachings of Thomas Aquinas. In Canon 252:3.  Though note a slight shift in what Catholicism now says is holy:  its now-equivocal language, offering an endorsement of Thomas, only in the form of a question. Paraphrased: “ is it now necessary to repeat the endorsement of St. Thomas?”

No doubt the Church often “refines”/twists statements around.  Still, if anyone acknowledges that it does that, then after all, they should not be citing it as authority any longer; either for or against abortion.

For those who continue to believe in Catholic traditions like canon law? It seems clear that they are committed to believe a) a major saint. Particularly since b) according to much of canon law, Aquinas is perhaps the preeminent theologian of the Catholic Church.  But if they do really follow, then they must follow him when he does not really feel that the embryo is human “from conception”; when Aquinas suggests we are human only perhaps, after 40-90 days or later.  Yet to be sure, anyone who believes this saint, is now in conflict with any current concept declaring an embryo fully a human being, “from conception.”  Any such declaration (as in the current Catechism?) violates the sayings of this saint.  And the sayings of countless other core catholic authorities.

What is a would-be loyal Catholic to do, when different core authorities seem to contradict each other?  Certainly, it is not time to become more and more adamant, and begin excommunicating those who support abortion.  Rather it is time for the Church to begin to confess its own confusions and sins and contradictions.  And to cease telling others how to live.

# 62 So what should we now say, about Catholic anti-abortionists, who insist the embryo is human “from conception,” and that abortion therefore is awful?  Aside from many logical inconsistencies, and many practical, fatal errors in those persons who obsess on abortion, we might note now, one very serious moral flaw or sin in anti-abortionists:  since they constantly tell us to obey the Church and the saints, but then, when it is more convenient, they flatly turn around tell us to simply disregard old saints, here we must note that Catholic anti-abortionists, are simply huge hypocrites.  Outrageously, many of them claim to be conservative; and they tell everyone else to follow saints and tradition.  But then, when the old saints cross their own new political ideas, here, suddenly, they flip-flop.  Our “conservatives” abandon the saints, wholesale.  Such hypocrites, may even present themselves as priests, and therefore as loyal to the Church; but we find here that they are actually, of course, hypocrites.  They are betraying the traditions of the Church. They are not only hypocrites for that matter; but also, “deceivers.”  As foretold in the Bible itself.  Such hypocrites should cease telling everyone else how to live.  And presuming to speak for God.  Be they ordinary lay Catholics; or priests; or Popes;

# 63 Indeed, many “conservative” Catholics now seem very, very foolish, contradictory, vain, and hypocritical deceivers.  Consider this for example: conservative Catholics on EWTN, often criticize others who do not follow every single Catholic rule, completely.  In particular, conservative Catholics have often criticized “Cafeteria Catholics”:  those who “pick and choose” which Catholic doctrines to follow.  Such persons they constantly condemn; criticizing “liberals” especially, for not following every single rule of the Church.  For acting like following the Church, is like visiting a cafeteria – where you can decide to pick up and follow one plate, but not another.   Yet finally, we are finding here that the “conservative” Catholics, that told us to simply ignore a saint like Aquinas, is himself, doing the very same thing:  he is picking and choosing which parts of Catholic tradition he decides to follow.  So conservatives and anti-abortionists in fact, are the same as the “Cafeteria Catholics” they constantly attack.  They pick and choose which things the church and the saints said, to follow. They follow some, but not others.

Thus it is today, just as St. Paul warned, in the end:  those who have accused everyone else of sins, are found guilty of the very same sins themselves.  Of, as Jesus said, criticizing every else … but failing to see the beam in their own eye.  Anti-abortionists assured us constantly on the airways that they are good loyal, “conservative” Catholics who tell us to obey every word of the Church; but then they turned around and told us next, to simply ignore St. Aquinas.  Such persons are clearly, foolish hypocrites.  Or self-contradictory persons.  Or, “Cafeteria Catholics.”  And as foretold, they themselves are guilty, of what they accused others of being. (Which is part of the reason of course, that parts of the New Testament told us to “judge not, least you be judged” in turn).  So that today in the end, conservative anti-abortionists themselves are to be doubly condmened.  For not only being wrong, and hypocritical; but also for bearing false teachers, and misleading many others too (James 3.1-8  ).  Furthermore, serious and continuous and willful and repeated as these sins have been, no priest should forgive them at Confession; not at all, ever.

# 64 Furthermore, by the way, many Catholics today claim to respect theology; to respect Catholic theologians in particular. But when the allegedlyconservative” Catholic begins to ignore Thomas Aquinas, the “conservative” abandons perhaps the chief Catholic theologian of all time; the founder of “Thomism” (after “Thomas” Aquinas).  Again, we see the hypocrisy of alleged conservatism.

# 65 To thus ignore Aquinas, is anything but conservative.  In fact, it should finally be read firmly, as a violation of one of the pillars of Catholic Tradition:  canon law.   The 1917 Code of Canon Law, for example, firmly told us that Aquinas is to be the very basis of the education of Catholic seminary students; of priests (1917 Code of Canon Law, canons 589:1 & 1366:2.  This idea was partially – if more equivocally – reaffirmed, in the current 1983 canon; canon section 252:3).  So that in effect, anti-abortionists, here reject yet another core tradition of the Church:  they reject the implications of canon law.  No doubt, many do this today.  But if so?  Then they should not represent what they are saying, as certain.

# 66 Most shockingly, anti-abortionists, who typically tell everyone else to revere the saints, the “communion of saints,” ironically, inconsistently, in rejecting saint Augustine and saint Aquinas, of course by that act, reject two saints.

So finally, what core tradition of the Church is left, for Catholic antiabortionists to violate?  As they now tell us not to follow the saints? What is left?  And why should we ever listen to these anti-abortionists at all, ever?  Clearly they have proven themselves to be utterly unreliable and hypocritical deceivers.

# 67 And by the way, canon law is normally cited as being absolutely authoritative; so that it must be part of the very core Tradition of the Church – if there is any solid core at all.   And so, if canon law supported Aquinas, then here Catholicism officially, by law, named Aquinas as the very heart of, in effect, its “Tradition.” Thus Aquinas was made a pillar, surely, of what is called the core Catholic “Tradition,” with a capital “T.”  Given his status as a saint, and as the “Angelic Doctor,” all furthermore supported moreover, centuries later, by canon law, it would seem that Aquinas is as central to Catholic Tradition as any human being can be (short of Jesus himself?). And thus, when Aquinas was rejected by anti-abortionists, they rejected the very core of Catholic Tradition.  Or, if a saint whose writings were so often affirmed, is rejected by the Church itself, then there is in effect, no real, stable Catholic Tradition at all.  Nothing at all stands or holds as true, in the Church.  And therefore, the Church should cease stressing its own authority.  Forevermore  (Mat. 16.23).

# 68 If Aquinas is rejected, then clearly there are no stable, good doctrines, dogmas, or rules in the Church either.

# 69 In any case, anti-abortionists in effect, do not obey catholic traditions, or “the Magisterium” as it is called, at all.

# 70 Those who ignore Aquinas, and what he said on ensoulment, can in no wise be considered “conservatives” – or even considered Catholics at all.  Since they have aa) just rejected the saints; bb) canon law; the cc) foremost doctors of the church; rejected the chief Theologian of the Church.  And later we will show, they have also rejected dd) recent cardinals, and the ee) current Pope.  So that finally, they have just rejected the bulk of, all possible sources of, the “authority” of the Church.  Its central “law,” “doctrine,” “dogma,” “canon law,” ”saints,” and “Magisterium.” After having rejected all that, finally, there is nothing whatsoever, no formal major tradition, to honor in the Church itself.  And so the claim of catholic anti-abortionists to be following the Church, or even speaking for God, is utterly baseless, self-deceiving, and evil.

To be sure, no doubt, today perhaps we all should all be less slavishly attentive to Catholic traditions; no doubt they are often wrong.  Yet let us be open and frank about it; rather than being hopelessly duplicitous or “double” (as the Bible might say).  Or being self-contradictory.  Or being simply -as Jesus said many would be – “hypocrites.”  Clearly, anyone who a) claims to be a dutiful and “conservative” Catholic, and b) yet rejects St. Aquinas, who simply admits that the Church has “changed” from Aquinas and the saints, is clearly … deceiving himself, and/or others.  Such a person is clearly not a “conservative” at all.  Indeed, he or she is not conserving, but rejecting, a major cornerstone of traditional Catholicism:  the authority of the saints.  While any such person is in fact simply, an evil deceiver.

Anti-abortionists often claim to be traditional Catholics. But it seems clear they are not.  They are clearly… trying to get around the authority of the Church. An authority which they no longer represent at all.  Their assertion they are following God, is simply a self-delusion and/or a deliberate deception of others.

# 71 Many of those allegedly loyal priests and others who now attack St. Aquinas, argue that the whole matter of whether an embryo has a “soul” or not, is unimportant.  (Or has been decided by science; q.v.).  But note that here in effect, many “conservative” Catholics – especially the anti-abortionists – must now be found to be simply, obviously, evil, deceived people.  (As foretold? See the Bible).  Because they now in effect, even attack and denigrate finally, the importance of the soul. (See more in our sections on Science and the mind; and Apologists).

To say – as some priests do today – that we can just say that the embryo is a human being, whether it has a soul or not, is to say that the matter of “ensoulment” is just a distraction.  In effect, it begins an assault on the importance of the soul.  So that thus ultimately, our anti-abortion priests are … minimizing – attacking – the soul itself. Which should earn for priests, far, far stronger condemnation than being called mere “hypocrites.”  A priestly assault on the soul, is clearly the most demonic aspect of the anti-abortionist heresy.  One that should earn not only permanent excommunication, but eternal damnation.

Ironically therefore, the anti-abortionist movement, which began with such high ideals, which defended traditional “Catholicism,” ends up in this way, committing at least two or three very, very anti-Traditional acts:  it ends up attacking the saints; attacking the core of traditional Catholic Theology. And finally, it ends up attacking the importance of the soul itself. It ends up glorifying what the mindless, soul-less body; glorifying the animal, fleshly part of us.  (A danger inherent, for that matter, in John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body”).  All in the name of representing God.

So what should we say now?  In particular, we should recall, here and now, that just as the Bible foretold,  the very people that appear to themselves and many others, to be the voice of God, to be the prophetic voice of all that is good and holy … are now found to have been, actually, all along, without knowing it, very vain and Proud; and to have been in fact, the voice of the devil himself.

We find that especially the anti-abortionists on “Catholic” radio, who constantly represented themselves as the very voice of the Church, and of God, were actually all along, attacking, without really understanding it, the very core of Catholic traditions … and even the very core of Christianity.  Ultimately, these anti-abortionists, who constantly declared the embryo human, without knowing whether it has a soul or not, were in effect, denigrating and weakening one of the pillars of Christianity:  anti-abortionists in short,  have been attacking – and thereby weakening – the soul itself.  And for that, EWTN and its anti-abortionist associates, deserve our and the Church’s, very firmest condemnation.

While if the Church itself does this, then after all, it should simply recognize its own inadequacies, and cease to represent itself as an authority.

Should the Church Just “Change” Catholicism?

Openly Abandon Parts of Tradition?

And Issue New Commands in the Name of Catholicism?

For Example:  That an Embryo is Human

“From Conception”?

Given the early firm support for particularly St. Aquinas – and the extremely firm, continuous support for saints in general – by the Church (indeed, what is Catholicism, as distinguished from Protestantism, without the saints?), how can the new anti-abortion Catholics, still stand?  How can they now insist, for example, that an embryo is fully human, “from conception”?  When one of the primary saints, Aquinas said the embryo is only human – with a soul – until at least 30-90 days after conception.  (Unless you want to declare something without a soul, human).

To both hold that we should revere the saints, and yet now utterly contradict one of the doctrines of one of their foremost saints?   Surely the speakers must be “fools,” or deceitful hypocrites.  Because:  on the one hand, our a) Catholic leaders, tradition, in the past, confidently told followers over and over, to follow the saints, and b) to follow canon law; assuring us that they and their truths are timeless.  But c) now, in Catholic anti-abortionism, these “conservatives” flip-flop. They do an about-face. And now anti-abortion Catholics tell us to even, simply, abandon a saint like Aquinas; and for that matter, the canon law that supports him.  We are told to abandon a saint so great that he was called “the Angelic doctor,” and made a doctor of the church; a saint made the official theologian according to which all priests are to be trained, according to the 1917 canon.

So what should we now say?  Either the old truths, and Catholic Tradition – like reverence for the saints, and canon law – are a) entirely true … or else b) they are not.   If the old traditions are true, then anti-abortionists should honor them, conservatively.  But if the old traditions are not true, if the old saints can be safely ignored, if even the soul is now regarded as dispensable, then we should have been told how uncertain the Church is, or antiabortionism is, from the start.  Before we followed, all too faithfully, so many uncertain, obviously contradictory and false things.  Before we followed so many false and blind prophets, false priests, into sin and error; into the pit..

But worse, is it only anti-abortionists, that are today making these errors?  Is it possible that even the Church, or some of our recent Popes, could have erred too?

# 72 Shockingly, in fact, some elements even of the Church – even some recent Papal Encyclicals – seemed to suggest, to many, that we can now declare that an embryo is a full human being, “from conception.” (In Humanae Vitae?  Evangelicum Vitae?  But read the fine print).   But this now-popular assertion in the Church … clearly runs counter to a hundred Catholic traditions, that we are noting here  Including among others, we note, the testimony of one or two major Catholic saints:  Augustine, or especially, Aquinas.

To be sure, the current edition of the current “Catechism of the Catholic Church” – the Church’s periodically-updated guide to Catholicism and what it believes, its “norms” – rather firmly declares, it seems at first, a number of statements that seem to forbid abortion. It begins by saying that a) the deliberate or “intentional” killing of an innocent person” is murder (Cat. Sect. 2261-64; though the un-intentional killing of one, is “not morally imputable” – 2269 – if “grave”).  While those who get an abortion, gut do not think that the embryo is not a human person, are not intending to kill a human person.

And then?  Here is a page or so from the Catechism, 1997 version, from Vatican. va.  That includes its main content, unabridged, on abortion:

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1997/2000 2nd ed.:

Here is what a page or two of the current Catechism says:

“2268   The fifth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful.  The murder and those who cooperate voluntarily in muder commit a sin that cires out to heven for vengence. 69

Infanticide,70 fratricide, parricide, and the murder of a spouse are especially grave  crimes by rason of the natural bonds which they break.  Concern for eugenics of public health cannot justify any murder, even if commanded by public authority.

2269  The fifth commandment forbids doing anything with the intention of indirectly bringing about a person’s death. The moral law prohibits exposing someone to mortal danger without grave reason, as well as refusing assistance to a person in danger.

The acceptance by human society of murderous famines, without efforts to remedy them, is a scandalous injustice and a grave offense. Those whose usurious and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is imputable to them.70

Unintentional killing is not morally imputable. But one is not exonerated from grave offense if, without proportionate reasons, he has acted in a way that brings about someone’s death, even without the intention to do so.

Abortion

 

2270  Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.  From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.71 [#72 in 2000 ed.; ref. cf. CDE, Donum vitae I, 1.]

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.72  [73 Jer 1:5; Job 10:8-12; Ps. 22:10-11].
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.73 [74:  Ps. 139:15]

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.
Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.74  [75:  Didache 2,2:SCh 248, 148; cf. Ep. Barnabae 19, 5: PG 2, 777; Ad Diogrnetum 5, 6:  PG 2, 11783; Tertullian, Apol. 9: PL 1, 319-320].
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves.
Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.75 [76 Gaudium et spes 1965 51 sec. 3]

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.
The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. ‘A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,’76 [77 CIC, canon 1398] ‘by the very commission of the offense,’77 [Codex IC, can. 1314] and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.78 [79 Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-24].  The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy.  Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

‘The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.’79 [80:  Congregation for the Doctrine of Fiath, Donum vitae III].

‘The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined…. As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.’80 [81:  CDF, Donum vitae III].

2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, “if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual…. It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.”81 [82:  CDF, Donum vitae I, 2].

2275 ‘One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.”82 [83: CDF, Donum vitae I, 3].
‘It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.’83 [84:  CDF, Donum vitae I, 5).
‘Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity’84 which are unique and unrepeatable. [CDF. Dpmi, votae I, 6]

END OF CATECHISM QUOTE

Problems in the Current Catechism

The current Catechism therefore (as opposed to the Baltimore catechism, earlier?), says abortion is very bad – and even hints that excommunication “may” result.  However we should note that the current Catechism in this part, is quite extreme.  Specifically, this new part of the Catechism, is  quite out of keeping with much of the rest of what the Church once said.  And what science says.  As we have been noting above.

So what should we say about this part of the current Catechism?   Must we accept it … and agree with all its many apparently very severe condemnations of abortion?

In fact, suppose we look at it a little more closely.  First,  we might  look for small qualifiers, that willl also be noted in our section on the almost equally severe – but also equally qualified – 2004 memo). Like the memo, the Catechism at times seems very inflexibly severe on abortions at first.  But indeed, look at the qualifiers:  excommunication for abortions, the larger, universal Catechism says:

a) Though seemingly automatic some would say, incurred by the “very commission of the offense,” is actually done in accordance with canon laws (Sec. 2272; footnote 79, ref. to  CIC, canons 1323-1323, 1314, 1398  ).  Canon laws which may in fact find extenuating circumstances, and not excommunicate after all.

b) While then too?  The Cathechism suggests applying laws in a way that “does not restrict the scope of mercy.” Which suggests that priests and bishops should not be too severe in condemning people for this.

c) Then too, the Catechism speaks of  excommunication “latae sententia”; or only “on the pronouncement of sentence,” some say; while in many cases such a sentence might not be pronounced?   This Latin phrase by the way, does not necessarily mean “by the very commission of the offense”; excommunication some say, is not automatic, without any necessity of anyone formally pronouncing it.

d) Then too finally, there is a line in the Cathechism, that all but effectively negates the whole anti-abortionist sentiment in it, the whole attempt to say that the embryo is a full human person.  When the Catechism finally says that the embryo is to be treated as a human person … “as far as possible.”  This is an extremely open-eneded phrase.  While as a matter of fact, anyone who thinks much about it, will quickly realize that it is going to be extremely difficult, in actual practice, to treat a permanently unconscious entity in the womb, with no IQ, or a frozen embryo, exactly the same as say, the King of England.  Indeed, the very attempt would result in constant aburdities.

In spite of its apparently adamant anti-abortionism therefore, the Catechism itself is less inflexibly adamant than many might hafe thought; it contains many qualifiers that make it less severe and inflexible on this subject, than conservatives know.

e) While then too, if finally the Catechism is taken to be absolutely clear, and inflexibly anti-abortion?  Then we might simply note that the Catechism itself, is not infallible most say.

f) And especially of course, we should all remember that this part of the Magisterium, this part of the Catechism, is just in flat contradiction, to the better minds in Catholicism; indeed it contracts the Bible.

g) Indeed, it contradicts St. Augustine.

h) And it contradicts and St. Aquinas, just for starters. Even though St. Aquinas as in effect, made the official theologian of the Catholic Church, in the 1917 Codex, or Code of Canon Law.

i) Worse,  the footnote references in this part of the Catechism, are over and over, to doubtful sources, like Didiche – which was long taken out of the Bible and the canon.

j) Even as this part of the Catechism, next quotes for authority Tertullian.  Who, shockingly, left the Church, apostate.  And was declared a heretic by the Church itself.

k) Then the Catechism, misses the main point of Psalm 139.

So what should we say, about espectially, this part of the Catechism?  Shockingly, the anti-abortion portion of the Catechism directly contradicts and abandons, the foremost, classic theologicans of the Church/Magisterium.  Even as it cites certified heretics – like Tertullian – as its highest authority.

So what will History eventually say, about the current Catechism, and the Vatican officials that backed it?  A Catechism that turns its back on the core traditions of the Bible and of Catholic Tradition?  For a new, trendy anti-abortion stance?  Here and now we are already coming to a quick condemnation of those parts of the Catechism that appear to speak too adamantly in favor of the embryo, and against abortion.  While we note that even this very severe Catechism, has some ambiguity and moments of grace in it.  So that finally, eventually no doubt, those sections in it that seem very strongly anti-abortionist, that declare that the embryo is adequately human “from conception,” will be dropped, or will continue to be very heavily modified, and moderated.  As they must now be; in light of what we are finding here and now.

l) In the meantime, we might note various extenuating circumstances, that would suggest that killing an embryo is normally not murder; even if the embryo was fully human.  Note that the Catechism says elsewhere that “deliberately” killing “a human being” or human person,  is a very, very grave sin.   But we note here that an abortionist typically does not believe that the embryo is a person.  So?  An abortionist has not deliberately killed an innocent “human being.”  Indeed, most abortionists are shocked at the concept of killing adults, or children, even in wars and capital punishment; clearly, they value human beings.  The only reason they more casually kill embryos, is clearly, that they sincerely (and as we are showing here, rightly), do not “know” or believe, that the embryo is a real person.

m) While indeed, in actual practice, it seems likely that most bishops by far, allow even women who have had abortions, to take communion; most bishops in other words, in actual practice, have not excommunicated abortionists.

n) Much less, have most bishops prosecuted them for murder.

So finally?  The current Catechism, when it speaks on the embryo, is simply unreliable. Even the very, very  radical page or two of the Catechism that we have today, that we have had since 1997, contains a dozen or more caveats and qualifications and escape clauses in it.  That have allowed any bishop who wanted to, to resist firmly condemning abortion.

o) While moreover?  Those ammendments and qualifications and caveats, were rightly put into the text.  Because, on closer reflection, we are finding here that any very adamant criticism of abortion, any attempt to very, very firmly declare the embryo to be a full human being, a human person … violates one major principle after another, of the Bible, and the core values of Catholic Tradition, and human life.  Indeed, the current Catechism depends for authority, on one heretical, questionable source after another.  The Catechism citing for example, “Tertullian” as its main authority; the same Tertullian that was always unreliable, and that left the Church; being declared a heretic by the Church itself.

p) Then the Catechism quotes “Didache”; a questionably simplistic Christianity-made-simple guide that was taken out of the Bible, and the canon hundreds of years ago, by the Church itself.

q) Indeed, the current Catechism on abortion, simply misunderstands the main point of Psalm 139: that if God knew us in the womb, he knew us before we existed; when our “day”s as a human person, had not yet begun; when we were just an “unformed” substance.

r) While finally, after quoing one doubtful and even flagrantly and literal heretical source after another, as its authority, the Catechism turns its back on the very core of Catholic Tradition:  the testimony of not just the saints, but its own two most revered saints and theologians, St. Augustine.

s) And St. Thomas Aquinas.  That the 1917 Codex, or Code of Canon Law, had in effect proclaimed as the offical theologian of the Roman Catholic Church (1917 Codex IC;  canon laws 589:1 and 1366:2).

Finally, the current Catechism is simply not reliable here.

t) Indeed, normally the Catechism is not regarded as “infallible”; it is not regarded as the Pope, speaking infallibly, on one of those rare, “Ex Cathedra” occasions.

So that finally? Given all the truly severe and shocking problems with the CCC, c. sections 2268-2279, finally it is best for the true Catholic, to simply note the many Grace notes in the text … and move on.  Without feeling bound to the letter of its law.  Especially, it is best to note not only the internal contradictions in the text, especially it is important to compare what this Catechism said in its more severely antiabortionist moments, to what the rest of Catholic Tradition and the Magisterium said.

While as we will see later, slightly later documents from even the very recent Magisterium – like say, Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s 2004 memo, printed in its entirety here, later on – tell us for example that though abortion is bad, still, voting for pro-abortion politicians “can be permitted” (“Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” 2004 memo by Card. Ratzinger; Appendix).

Extreme anti-abortionism therefore, giving too much status to the embryo, saying it is human – an presumably with a soul – from conception, is not necessarily supported, even in the current Catechism; which contains many qualifiers on that idea.  Furthermore?   Indeed, the current anti-abortion Catechism clearly quotes one heretical source after another.  And it finally runs straight up against many absolutely central Catholic authorities:  like saints Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Furthermore, the Catechism not only cites minor  – and then even openly heretical – sources; it then goes against saints.  Saints that moreover, are not even just “ordinary” saints; one of them – Aquinas – is a) not “just” a saint; but a saint who is moreover, b) “a doctor of the church.”  And who is even called c) “the angelic doctor.”  Aquinas is in fact, often regarded d) the greatest theologians of the Church.  Almost, an angel.

While finally e) Aquinas was the theologian/saint, whose system of thought was often named by canon law – and thus surely by Tradition, (or else of course, there is no identifiable Tradition at all) – as the very basis of the education, or formation, of all Catholic priests, at Catholic seminaries. (According again, to the 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 589:1 & 1366:2; and the current 1983 Code, Canon 252:3).

u) Therefore, finally?  At this point, some might simply just reject any anti-abortionist argument that pretends to be based on the Catechism.  Based just on our first few dozen objections to anti-abortionism, it is becoming incredible, unbelievable, that any “Catholic” would ever argue, that the Church itself, really supports one issue anti-abortionism.  How indeed, do “conservative” or “human-from conception” Catholics – who want to claim that the embryo is a fully human being from conception - get around the sayings of saints and doctors of the church?   And canon law?  And the pronouncements of current Cardinals and the Pope?  How can conservatives claim to be loyal, “conservative” Catholics?  When clearly they are going against, of course, the very core of any distinctively Catholic Tradition:  they are giving up on reverence for the saints?  Or they clearly pick and chose, which saints they want to obey.  The same as the very “Cafeteria Catholics” they constantly criticized.

How is it that anyone who calls himself “Catholic,” even a “conservative,” can still support strong anti-abortionism?  When that means say … directly disobeying the major saints?  Clearly, no “conservative” Catholic could ever do any such thing.  Since this clearly does not “conserve” or obey classic Catholic traditions, like reverence for saints.

Clearly, any real conservatism, any kind of Traditionalism, would clearly, absolutely, obviously, go flatly against what Catholic “conservatives” have done.  Indeed finally, anyone who says anything different, could not even be said to be, even “Catholic.” Not in the matter of the status of the embryo, and of abortion.  And if even a Pope, should tell us something different today?   Finally we should always understand that after all, by now, no Popes’ authority is all that great.  Not after having contradicted so many of the core Catholic traditions:  not after having contradicted the reverence for the saints; and canon law, and science, all at once.

v) Finally it is time to simply note that even Catholic Tradition by now notes over and over, that even a Pope can be wrong; that Popes are only infallible whem speaking “Ex Cathedra.”  While most agree, no one is sure exactly when those times are.

w) Pro-Life anti-abortionism in fact, is not really firmly supported by the Tradition and Magisterium of the Church: it is actually, a rather radical new idea; a new heresy in fact.  Though based on some old heretics, like Tertullian.  To be sure we might agree that there is somethings room for a “new thing” even in Catholicism.  That, regarding at least some traditions from the past, it is time to update the Church; and follow newer directions.  But aa) any such changes should be very carefully advanced; not by just talk show hosts and uninformed nuns, and biased priests.   Then bb) too?   If the Church itself is going to be reversing itself so obviously, then it should also at the same time honestly warn everyone, that it often makes many mistakes; and therefore that we should not follow it too religiously.  Since often we will merely follow it, in its mistakes. Into a pit of error. The Church should have warned everyone clearly, that anti-abortionism is actually, really, a “new” – and experimental, fallible – formuation.  The Church should not have proudly, pompously presented its most experiemental ideas, as the absolutely firm word of God.  The very words “Pro Life” were a totally new phrase not found, per se, in the Bible.  And that should have warned everyone, that these were very new – not conservative – ideas after all.

And so finally, after our present book?  The Church should begin to not only warn about its own, now-obviously failed Pro Life experiment.  It should begin to simply and frankly and openly and explicitly retract most of the violent anti-abortionism of say, Frank Pavone and Priests for Life; EWTN/EWRN.

“Conservates” Abandoned the Saints, like

St. Augustine and Aquinas:

A Liberal Solution:

Admitting Sins, Inconsistencies, in the Church?

Clearly, the Church is regularly contradicting itself today:  telling us one moment to revere the saints, like St. Augustine and Aquinas; and then telling us the next, to simply abandon them, for a “science” that turns out to be pseudo-science.

Can we just choose to abandon saints like Augustine and Aquinas?  To be sure, it happens today, that now and then an occasional priest of Mother Angelica’s church of anti-abortion,  will simply tell us today, that do not need to pay much attention to St. Thomas.   But for any priest to say these things, quickly proves that the priest is certainly, not really traditional, or conservative.  And proves that we don’t need to follow him very, very closely.  Because he is now more or less admitting, that the Church, saints, made mistakes in the past.  While?  If saints and priests made such errors in the past … then of course our new priests and popes, condemning abortion, could be making errors today, as well.

Finally, what should we learn, when we see the Church regularly contradicting itself?  Telling us to honor and revere the saints one moment – and then telling us to abandon them the next?  What we should all be learning by now, is that the Church itself, is not perfect.  (As even the Catechism admitted:  sec. 677, 769, 825; from Rev. 3.1-2, Jer. 7.4; etc.).  After learning this hard History, everyone should understand that the Church is today always speaking now, in a looser, less authoritative, advisory way only.  While indeed it suggests that his Church does not have to be followed too closely; since it says many inconsistent things.  Since it often reverses itself.

Any priest or Pope who tells us to ignore Aquinas, his doctrine that a young embryo is not fully human, is telling us in effect, to ignore a saint.  Yet the saints of course, were once very highly revered by the Church, traditionally.  Which means?  That any allegedly “conservative” and “Catholic” apologist, or Pope, who attacks Aquinas or his doctrine, has already proven himself, utterly, to be a deceived, foolish, or hypocritical and deceitful and self-contradictory individual.  Any allegedly conservative “Catholic,” who tells us to ignore Aquinas, has an utterly contradictory  position. As a Catholic, he is at once telling everyone else to follow Church authority exactly; while at the same time, he is absolutely failing to do that himself.

Can conservatives be forgiven?  What should our eminently silly and self-contradictory conservatives do?  Perhaps a conservative thinks he can just “confess” this sin – and then go repeat it over and over? Pretending to follow – while not doing that at all.  But if he repeats this sin, then he was not sincere in his first apology, his confession; and absolution was invalid. He has contradicted himself, and the Tradition he claims to defend.  Conservatives therefore, cannot finally, be forgiven.  And should not be granted absolution in the confessional or anywhere else.

The fact is, a real conservative, a real Catholic, would have actually, really, followed Church tradition. He or she would have followed the tradition, eighty generations, two thousand years of Catholic authorities, that have constantly assured us that we must revere the saints.  Yet now abruptly, we have a Catholic – even, allegedly, a “conservative” Catholic – telling us to just forget, ignore, a saint?   Even though one of the main pillars of Catholic tradition, historically, is … reverence for saints?

Here, our good “Catholic” should either a) honestly confess that he is not really Catholic any more; b) and/or, in any case, that he or she certainly is not, by any means, a “conservative” Catholic.   Indeed, to abandon full belief in many of the “pillars” of authority of the Church, is a characteristically liberal act.  And c) if our anti-abortionists  are really, actually, liberals?  Then after all, liberals believe that the Church has some usefulness; but also that however, the Church has often contradicted itself in the past.  So that? They should not be presenting the Church as such an infallible or even very strong authority.  Indeed, if they do, they are hypocritically deceiving themselves and others.  The fact is, most know perfectly well that real Church tradition is against them; even as they pretend otherwise.

Finally, those who are inconsistent with the Church, should simply … confess it, and not pretend.  Or if they have noticed sins and inconsistencies in the Church, and choose to go with one side of an open question, over another?  Then they should confess that indeed, their decision is not certain; and not based on anything entirely firm.

And if we are now to admit that our priests, our church, our popes, have often been inconsistent, and false?  Then we are liberals.  Freely confessing that the pronouncements of our Church were never all that certain; and that our traditions therefore do not have to obeyed all that strictly. And if we are honest liberals, then we should frankly say so.

This may happen some day.  In the meantime though, we have a fatal situation:  priests issuing clearly fallible ideas … and demanding that we follow them as if they were absolutely true.  And what finally is the price, for issuing bad or fallible commands, but then telling others to follow them, absolutely?  (In a war, for example?).  What happens if you tell someone you are absolutely sure, that the only way off a cliff, is a route that as it turns out, does not work?  If they follow your adamant words, your followers will die.  Therefore?  It is better to admit up front, when your words are fallible.  So that others will begin to look for other, more viable routes. Nothing is worse than someone who says they are infallible, and that commands us to follow them absolutely … but who then turns out to have issued bad, mistaken orders.  Our infallible tryrant, having compelled others to follow their mistakes; often to their deaths.

Finally, it is better for the entire Church, conservatives and liberals alike, to simply at last admit that even it, even the saints, often made mistakes.  And to say that therefore, there should be some slack, in the rules; the authority of the Church is not absolute.  After all, if we are told one minute to absolutely revere the saints – and the next second, to abandon them?  Then clearly, no pronouncement at all of the Church, is all that certain. And therefore?  It is immoral to ask people to follow the Church very, very exactly any more.  Since it will often lead us into sin and error.

Especially, those who work in the Church, but believe the Church often errs, should be careful about what opinions they issue.  Such people rightly see errors in the church – but may issue many casual and flawed opinions, still, as if they were very, very firm laws.  They know better; but they will tell other people,  to take their words very exactly.  Many indeed, take the words of “conservatives” very, very strictly; as law.  But that is dangerous.  If you tell another liberal, to “go jump off a cliff,” he will understand you as being hyperbolic.  But if you say that to a literalist, trained to obey you to the letter?  He may jump off a cliff.  Likewise, a liberal priest who appears on a “conservative”/literalist network,  might issue commands casually; expecting that the members of the audience will know to take them with a grain a salt.  But what happens, when someone speaking loosely … is heard by others, who take those loose words as absolute authority?  Often disaster results.

 

And so?  In fact probably no works should ever issued today, as the word of “God”; even exact quotes from the Bible, usually turn out to be misrepresentative fragments.  No doubt indeed perhaps, the very name of “God” should be so holy – that no one invokes it at all.  While in every way, priests today … should always issue a regular disclaimer, before every lecture or sermon.  Every priest – especially conservatives – should let listeners to the network know, that even priests are human; that even a saint will not and then confess that “we all make many mistakes.”  As St. James confessed, in James  3.2.  We should always remember, that even St. Paul, as he was writing his half of the New Testament, confessed that he himself not yet already “perfect” (Php.3.12); that he himself, “our prophesy” and “knowledge,” were imperfect (q.v.).

To be sure therefore, we might give up the saints to a degree.  But if you do?  Then you also at the same time, should explicitly renounce the claim to be an absolute authority, to be followed to the letter.  In such a situation, a priest is hardly in position to say any of his own opinions are the word of God; least of all, should a priest present anti-abortionism as the word of God.  Indeed, the Catechism at times, seemed to present itself “absolutistic”ally; assuring us in one voice that the embryo should “absolutely” be protected from the moment of conception (CCC 2270).  But then?  Flagrantly contradicting itself, it told us the next moment that this “absolute” command should be followed “as far as possible” (CCC 2274).

What should we finally say about the authority of the Catechism therefore?  Or for that matter, the authority of the Church itself?  Finally it seems we might accept them as rather serious authority; but by its own admission, the Church itself is not entirely “perfect.”  And will not be perfect; until the End of Time (CCC 669 ff, 769, 825):

“The Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect…. Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled ‘with power and great glory’ by the king’s return to earth” (CCC 670-71, 825).

“The Church … will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,’ at the time of Christ’s glorious return.  Until that day, ‘The Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and God’s consolations.”  Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord…. The Church, and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials” (CCC 769; citing LG or Lumen Gentium 5, and 48.  Tehn St. Augustine De civ Dei. 18, 51: PL 41, 614; cf. LG 8   ).

Perhaps we might allow liberal priests to teach – if they admit regularly, that their words are never absolutely reliable; that their Church is not perfect, and will not be perfect until the End Of Time.   But even such more honest, less hypocritical men, should be careful who they are talking to, and how they are talking to them.  No such priest should ever appear, to present fallible opinions, on a network like EWTN; not without carefully explaining that after all, such opinions are merely the opinion of the speaker, and come from a very, very speculative Church; one that often reversed, one day, things said to be absolutely firm an holy, a day earlier.

Legal Problems, Violations of Law, by the Catholic Church:

The Politicization of the Church Leads to Legal Issues,

And to Conflicts With Governments

Anti-abortionism therefore has many evils within it; particularly when it was presented as the absolutely firm, unqualified word of God.  When speakers thus ignored, even the Catechism’s own constant qualifications and so forth.  And furthermore, no doubt many millions of believers, have been very seriously mislead and even injured, by elements of the Church presenting themselves too hypocritically and inflexibly. Therefore?  Prompt action by the Church to correct this, is indicated in several ways.  Not only is an urgent need for action indicated by a closer public look at a) the Bible, and at b) Church doctrines and c) saints.  But also we particular now see a need for prompt action, as indicated by our quick review above:  following the better elements of the current pope’s 2004 memo, the Church should far more publically back off “one issue,” dis-“proportionate” anti-abortionism.  The antiabortionist credo should now be firmly qualified not as firm dogma, but as being at best a mere questionable hypothesis. While the Church should begin to re-emphasize the more balanced approach of Cardinals Ratzinger, McCarrick, and Bernardin:  calling attention to the evils of obsessive, dis-“proportionate”ly “one issue” theology; calling for a return to a broader concern for “other issues”; for Bernardin’s “seamless garment” in fact, of the fuller spectrum of dozens of major social issues, aside from abortion.  In particular? The Church should prominently indicate the importance of issues like the potentially massive environmental and other disasters that result from anti-abortion monomania or fixation. From the dissemination of false teaching, or bad advice.

But that list of “other issues” is not by any means, a complete list of all the problems with anti-abortionism, and with the doctrine that an embryo is human “from conception.”  Nor is even the finding that the embryo is not really fully a human person, the only problem with antiabortionism.  Finally, in addition to its many contradictions with the Bible, and with Catholic Tradition, finally “Catholic” anti-abortionism has been quite confrontational and assertive, on the political front:  it has often flagrantly supported the Republican Party, in one election after another; and indeed, Conservative Catholicism, by telling us all that God was telling us all to “Vote Republican,” has delivered the United States of America, over to patriotic/nationalist/militarist Republican interests, for decades (1980-2008  ).  This is already a severe and crippling incursion into politics.  While we should also note now, that unless the Church fixes this, resentment of Church interference in politics will grow; and we will likely see increasingly severe and crippling conflicts, between the Church – and secular, governmental law, and whole nations.

Anti-abortionists in effect, out of their political motivations, are dragging the Church into increasingly direct confrontations with governments and states.  What laws might increasing Catholic intervention in politics, violate?   Support by the Church for American Republican political candidates – which occurred when the Church allowed EWTN/RN to speak for it, and to sell its politically-motivated one-issue anti-abortionism, in the name of the Church – was not just a a) theological and a b) practical error; it was also c) a grave legal error too.  Indeed, we will show, such an entry of the Church into international politics may be aa) a violation of international and Italian law.  And bb) a violation of US laws, the Constitution.  And cc) a violation of US IRS rules.

These new conflicts between Church and state, caused by the increasing intervention of “Catholic” networks like EWTN in political events and elections, could be worse than the crisis caused by the discovery that many priests were sexually abusing children, c. 1980-2006.  In effect, this brings new conflicts, between the Church, and political organizations, and even government laws. A political conflict which could result in loss of the Church’s tax exempt “religious” status in America, for example.  And huge monetary losses. [920 406 7336, call-in line for Drew Mariani?]

# 73 Internal Revenue Service laws broken by non-profit Catholics’, EWTN’s political activity?  In the United States, various charity and other organizations, including religions, are not taxed.  Or they get special tax breaks for nonprofit organizations, 501 (c)(3)’s and so forth. But they get tax breaks, for only so long as they are charities, that are clearly oriented to simply helping poor people, and nothing else.  In the case of religious tax breaks, a church is not taxed – but only for only so long as it is a “religion” helping the poor and so forth.  But if a church or other organization begins however, to be oriented less to helping the poor, or if it specifically begins to be less a religion, and more of a political organization, engaged in partisan politics, trying to “influence ongoing legislation,” or advocate a particular political party – then the organization or church, is thought of, not as a charity or religion, but as a political group.  And significantly, political groups are not entitled to tax breaks.  This means that there are legal problems, as elements of the Catholic Church become increasingly active politically – as they are, in organizations like Fr. Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life,” and EWTN telling us how to vote.  As the Church continues to allow this, there is an increasing likelihood that the nonprofit networks like EWTN – and then the Church itself – will be re-classified.  As not being entitled to tax-exempt status.  So that in the future, all revenues, all contributions that go EWTN/RN, or to the Roman Catholic Church in the USA, will be taxed.  And all Catholic churches will be required to pay local city, state, and federal taxes.  Which will mean an expense of hundreds of millions – even billions – of dollars, to the Church, yearly.

Nominally, the Church itself has stayed out of politics … until lately.  But this has begun to change.  Especially as the Church in America is increasingly lead by self-appointed Catholic, activist media, like EWTN/RN.  When Mother Angelica and Eternal Word Television Network, and their radio branch, “Global Catholic Radio,” began to support radical anti-abortionism, telling us how to vote, they not only a) began to abandon the Bible; b) but also EWTN and the Church also became less of a religion or a church; and more of a partisan political organization.  One that by the way, c) clearly sides specifically, with the Republican Party.

Given the many, many times that anti-abortionist individuals and organizations (see Karl Keating)  told us how to vote, in the name of the Church, it should come as no surprise therefore, when we learn that d) the IRS  – the American government tax bureau; the Internal Revenue Service – began to investigate first, arch anti-abortionist leader, Karl Keating.  And his (former?) EWTN show, “Catholic Answers Live.” (See “Karl Keating,” in Wikipedia.  The IRS not investigating EWTN itself, unfortunately?).  The IRS was apparently investigating Keating’s anti-abortion organization, for violating, precisely, US tax laws.  Specifically, anti-abortion Catholics were being investigated for violating the US tax laws that prohibit tax-exempt religions, from engaging in political activities. (Keating, we are told in Wikipedia, has since changed his organization to another type, that does not claim tax-exempt status?  Though perhaps this mere face-lift is just cosmetic, and will not be enough).

Karl Keating apparently continues to claim that his organization is in effect, an official voice of the Catholic Church; as he says somewhere, he is operating with the permission of his diocese, the Bishop of San Diego.  (While he also elsewhere, presumed to tell us authoritatively what the Church believes; see our section on his Voting Guide).  So that in effect, Keating claims to be an approved, official voice of the Roman Catholic Church.  Which finally in turn, e) opens up the Catholic Church for similar investigations by the IRS.  And finally, to removal of its own tax-exempt/religious status.  For engaging in political partisanship.

As the Church continues to allow many various, largely politically partisan “conservative” organizations like EWTN and Karl Keating’s many operations, to operate in the name of the Church, or as “Catholic,” as the Church continues to allow anti-abortion activists to appear with Catholic priests and nuns voicing the approval of the Church itself of their activities, the Church itself is increasingly vulnerable to removal of its “religious” or tax exempt status in the US.  Which would mean the loss to the Church, of millions, perhaps billions, in US revenues or contributions. Among other problems.

How much – if any – political activity is a non-profit organization allowed?  The IRS allows this is tricky to determine.  But among other measures, as regards specifically lobbying activity, it suggests that non-profits should not spend more than 4% of their time lobbying to change legislation.

But consider therefore, the example say, Raymond Arroyo of EWTN/RN, attempting to influence current legislation many, many times. Consider for example, a typical show of his (“World Over Live”?) from Sunday, March 7, 2010.  This show was a typical EWTN orgy of continuous right-wing Republican campaigning, attempting to influence ongoing legislation especially on Health Care.  Starting around 1:10-17 Central time, 3/7/10, Raymond begins by literally laughing off health care for the poor as unimportant.  By 1:30 PM, he begins to interview US Rep. Dan Lepinsky – a congressman who, under Arroyo’s urging, talks for a half hour or so about changing the health care bill. Raymond guiltily seems anxious to egg the congressman into saying that he is not trying to influence the legislation; but of course every congressman does that, when he votes.  While it is clear that Raymond Arroyo himself, is of course lobbying the congressman for EWTN, to attack the Health Bill due to its apparent funding for abortion.

Then, after lobbying a congressman to influence ongoing legislation, Arroyo praises right-wing extremist Colorado archbishop Chaput; for explicitly attacking former Pres. Kennedy, when he attempted to follow the concept of the separation of Church and State, and assert his own independence even as a Catholic, from the commands of the Pope in matters of public interest. This same, widely-accepted principle – separation of Church and State – is part of the legal foundation of the IRS tax rules in fact:  the idea is that any non-profit organization or even religion, might even be allowed exemption from some taxes; but only so long as they do not interfere with matters of state government and legislation.  Here EWTN and Arroyo ,are not only violating the anti-politicking rule in actual practice therefore; but are even, explicitly attacking the concept.  See similar examples here, in Karl Keating’s fight against the IRS.  And EWTN’s support for Rep. Stupak, the congressman most prominently opposing the Health Bill for being against Catholic Church ideas on abortion.  And the attack on Dem. Rep. Kennedy, by Bishop Tobin.

Will this very, very political Catholic campaign to effect legislation work?  Against this illegal movement, see say, US Congressperson Rep. Lynn Woolsey, in Nov. 9, 2009; suggesting on the web site, Politico, that the USCCB’s Bishops’ explicit attacks on the ongoing Health Care bill, could indeed cause the elimination of the Church’s tax-exempt status in America; as reported also by CNSNews.com, Nov. 12, 2009.

# 74 Increased involvement by elements of the Catholic Church in political activity, involves possible violations of international, American, Italian, and other laws.  When the Church becomes involved in politics, arguably, the Church begins now to violate a number of foundational treaties and laws.  And not just the tax laws of the US, but also the laws of Italy and other countries.  Indeed, it may begin to violate its own treaties; like the Lateran Treaty of 1929.   There, the Church itself had previously agreed with Italy, to the separation of church and state; agreeing not to politicize, or interfere with government activities, of at least the nation Italy; in exchange for Italy not simply, overrunning the Vatican, as earlier Italian nationalists had threatened.  This Lateran Treaty moreover, is extremely important; it is the first treaty which set up the Vatican as an independent state. It was among the first treaties that protected the Vatican then – and  today – as an independent state, independent of Italy; with the rights, some say, according to any nation.

What is the background of the Lateran Treaty?  In ancient times, Rome, the Church, was its own nation or state; one of the Papal States; with an army, and the rights and abilities of a nation.  But it was often overrun by other nations, other emperors like Napoleon.  While eventually, there were many Italians who wanted to form an independent nation of Italy also.  Indeed, by around 1850-70, Rome had for some years (since the 1800’s?) been surrounded by Italian nationalists, trying to found the new nation of Italy, over and against the Catholic Church.  By c. 1850-70, these nationalists had taken over most of Italy … except Rome.  (See the “Roman Question” in the history books).  Many of the new Italian nationalists were thinking of finally, invading Rome, the headquarters of the Church itself.  And simply overrunning, militarily defeating the Church, with its claims to temporal power and statehood, in a final push to end the Church as a state, a temporal power; and form over and above it, the new nation of Italy.  But – partially due to religious pressures – Rome and the Church were for a time, spared; Rome was surrounded but not overrun by Italy.   Though eventually, the Church signed a treaty – the Lateran Treaty – with the new nation of Italy.  In this extremely important treaty, the state of Ital agreed it would not destroy the Catholic Church, but would allow it to exist in a few acres in Rome; in “the Vatican.”  Allowing those few acres the status more or less, of an independent, autonomous nation. And, in exchange for the new state of Italy, not simply wiping out the Vatican, or going to war with the Church and whatever residual Papal State remained, going to war with the Holy See, the Church in turn, agreed that the Church would not interfere with (Italian?) politics.

That is, in Italy in 1929 or so, the Catholic Church agreed in part, not to interfere with (Italian) politics … in exchange for not being overrun; for acquiring part of Rome acknowledged in effect, as the Church’s own sovereign state; the Vatican.   A few acres that by this treaty, were made in effect an independent state within Rome and Italy; one protected from being overrun by Italy, etc..

This Lateran Treaty, has been extremely important:  indeed, it is one of the few things that really, legally protects the headquarters of the Church, the Vatican and Holy See, from attacks by Italy, or other states.  But note this:  it may be that this very document, that today protects the independence of the Vatican, from Italy, to this day, is valid for only for so long as the Catholic Church does not interfere with politics.  The whole agreement between the new nation of Italy and the Church, was intended to let Italy exist, apart from control by, interference by, the Church.  In exchange for the new nation of Italy not simply overrunning the Vatican and the Church.  In particular, Italy was concerned that the Church would not try to interfere with Italian national affairs, and try to take over Rome or Italy again; and this treaty was set up to prevent that.  And yet however, to the extent that the Church today obviously backs anti-abortion political organizations, and influences American elections, then it is clear that the Catholic Church, the Vatican, are currently … engaging in politics. And are attempting to interfere with the affairs of a state:  in this case, America.  This renewed activity by the Church, in the political sphere, may violate certainly the spirit – and possibly the letter – of say, the Lateran Treaty.

How important is this treaty, and the principles behind it?  To be sure, the Lateran Treaty was a) apparently signed with the nation of specifically, Italy (though interested readers should double check this).  In any case though, b) Italy represented the interests of Italy … but also the world.   This treaty reflected, continued, was a major instrument of particularly, the separation of Church and State.  Which became very firm, in America, with the American Revolution and Constitution, c. 1776.  And c) this principle – of separating nations from control of the churches (and churches from control of nations) – was picked up by many new nations, worldwide. While indeed, d) this sort of treaty and principle, on the one hand, limits the Church’s temporal power; but on the other hand, it gives the Church some of the rights of a nation; and prevents its few acres in Rome, from being destroyed by, say, the potentially rival state of Italy.  Yet certainly, e) if the Church is going to engage in politics, it would appear to some to be attempting to take political and temporal power again, and become a nation or state again.  In competition with or against, the nation of Italy, for example; and or in fact all other “nations.”  In this case, whether the “letter” of the 1929 Lateran treaty has been violated, certainly the “spirit” of the Lateran treaty, of the separation of church and state, has been violated.  As the Vatican begins to allow Catholics to interfere with politics in the nation, say, of Italy.  Or f) even more seriously, as the Church now becomes increasingly politically active, in the domestic, political, and governmental affairs, of the United States of America.  Through increasingly political Catholic organizations like EWTN/RN or “Global Catholic Radio”; “Catholic Answers”; “Priests for Life.” Who clearly intend to manipulate, influence, the vote in America for example.  So that here, the Church once again attempts to take over a state or nation; in this case, the United States of America.

Today, a politically-charged religious message, is increasingly proclaimed from the airways, in the name of the Catholic Church; a new sense of religion is emerging, which does not acknowledge the treaties that set up the separation of church and state, but which deliberately attempts to influence votes, elections, and thus, take over the state.  In this case, the Church now appears to be attempting to try to impose anti-abortionism for example, on the United States of America.  While greater control over America by the Church, cannot be far behind, many would say.  So that the Church attempts to reconstruct the Papal State, taking over America.

g) In the past, those Catholics who supported elements of this, were not officially tied to the Church itself.  So that the Church itself could not be accused of direct action within – and even against – the United States of America.  But that is changing now; when one Bishop after another, enters politics, and begins urging everyone to vote for the Churches “issues”?  All that changes.  In this new case, the Church has violated the spirit of the Lateran Treaty; and the separation of Church and State; and has re-entered politics, in the attempt to influence or take over, a temporal state.  In this case, the United States of America.  In this case, the US government and other agencies – including say the Protestant churches – are occasionally objecting to, the attempt of religious extremists, to take over America in the name of just one church; and to thus end religious freedom in America.  As a prelude to the Church re-assuming temporal power, taking over functioning states, in Italy, and worldwide.

In this case, various nations might well begin to monitor activity of Catholic activists, as being potentially dangerous to fundamental national and American principles.  The advent of Catholic and other Christian anti-abortion terrorists within the US,  the assassination of abortion Dr. Tiller in 2009,  would suggest that the CIA and the State Department, should review its past acknowledgements of the nation of the Vatican.  And revise the status of Catholic priests; as possibly, unregistered agents of a foreign government.  A foreign state increasingly seeking to destabalize and control domestic affairs in America.  And thus the Vatican becomes a state, violating US laws against unregistered foreign agents, and “foreign interference,” and so forth.  (See related literature, on Pat Robertson’s attempts to re-found America, not as a democracy, but as a theocracy).

# 75 Violations of US constitutional principles, of the “establishment clause,” are involved here.  At the core of many treaties that protect the Vatican and the Church, is an indeed by-now well-established international principle:  the promise by the Church, not to interfere with the affairs of other states.  In America, this is know in part, as the principle of “separation of church and state.”   The U.S. Constitution and the (first?) clause of the Bill of Rights – the “establishment clause” –  most say, asserts that the United States of America, will never have any particular religion or Church, as its official church; that the government and religion will always be separate.  Specifically therefore, one of the first rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, mandated that “Congress shall pass no laws respecting an establishment of religion.” This is the famous “separation of church and state,” as Jefferson called it.  (Jefferson clarifying the Constitution and the “establishment clause” regarding religion, when he referred, in a letter to Baptists, to an “iron wall of separation between church and state.”) A key amendment to the Constitution, formalizes that principle.

The intention of the separation of Church and State, was to make sure that no religion would take over the state … and end “freedom of religion,” by making only one church, legal.  (Which had often happened in Europe; causing many wars, as one religion competed with another, to take over this or that nation; especially in 16th and 17th century Europe).  But today, organizations like EWTN, following other “conservative” and Protestant/Evangelical talk show hosts and televangelists like Pat Robertson and James Dobson, etc., explicitly argue against the very idea of a separation of church and state.  While also insisting that religious people, should vote their religious beliefs into the law of the land, of the government. Thus in effect, turning control over America, over to a religion; and ending religious freedom in America.

 

Here we have an explicit attempt by “conservatives,” to thereby end democracy in America, and re-establish America as a theocracy.   To be sure this attempt to date, has not (so far) prevailed in the courts.  Though it has in point of fact, prevailed in one election after another, in America, c. 1980-2007.  Electing one Christian conservative Republican candidate after another, to office.

Yet to be sure, this new attempt by churches to end the separation of church and state, and take over the state, either directly or through the vote, probably violates many core treaties and constitutional principles.  And for that matter, it may even be rather against the Bible itself.  Against a Bible that often found many conflicts and incompatibilities after all, between temporal states and religion: between kings and prophets; between God’s chosen people, and “nations”; between words from “the traditions of men,” and words from God.  So that the Bible often separated the two; telling us to “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” and give to God whatever is God’s.  While acknowledging the two it seems, as separate spheres.

The principles of separating religion from temporal power, effective statehood, therefore, has long been at the core of one treaty after another, worldwide; and at the core of the US Constitution.  Today though, the Catholic bishops’ increasing embrace of the political Catholicism of EWTN and “Relevant Radio,” of an antiabortionism that explicitly attempts to influence votes, and their often explicit attack on the separation of church and state, begins to end any number of treaties and constitutional principles.  Indeed, an increasingly politicized Catholicsm, that makes itself “relevant” to daily life and voting, violates at least two of the core principles of constitutional law in America:   attacking a) the separation of church and state; and b) freedom of religion.  Principles which moreover, have gained increasing international acceptance, expanding from the American revolution, to set a precedent for international law, in the world community.  Influencing the spirit of the Lateran Treaty, etc.. And insuring that the principle has been instituted worldwide, as the law of many nations.  Laws that the bishops of the Catholic Church, now appear to be beginning to violate.

In commonsense terms, the attempt to impose “Catholic” ideas on American law, telling Catholics to vote their religious ideas into laws that will rule all America, restricts freedom of religion of non-Catholics.   Such violations by the Church, might therefore be pursued under various laws protecting the freedom of religion in America.  While then too, increasing public outrage against control of nations by any given religion, has historically, often simply resulted in even, devastating civil wars, between competing religious factions.  (As Europe saw, c. 1515 to 1776 ff.; especially the attempted invasion of Protestant England, by the Catholic Spanish Armada; and the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648, when differences between Protestants and Catholics escalated to a fighting war).  Conservatives today allude darkly to current documents like the “Manhattan Doctrine”; which flirt with active disobedience of American law, in the name of alleged religious principles.  (See especially Drew Mariani and Sheila Liuagminas of Relevant Radio, late Dec. 2009, early Jan. 2010).  Such statements flirt with the resumption of religious wars in the West; as they attempt to impose their own sense of religion, on the rest of the country; by if necessary “civil disobedience.”  Or even, it seems, Catholic terrorism.   (Cf. Catholic terrorism in the Philippines.  And the assassination of Abortion doctor, Dr. Tiller, in 2009?).

# 76 Then too, the Supreme Court of the US, determined as a matter of US law, in the Roe vs. Wade decision, etc., that abortion is legal.  And that the decision of a woman to abort or not, should be left to the individual.  So that as the Church backs an attack on abortion,  the Church backs an attack on American law.  The Church here again, entering the sphere of political activity, and endangering its tax-exempt religious status.

To be sure, anti-abortionists next tell everyone, to pack the Supreme Court with anti-abortionists.  But this is not fair or honest. Or Democratic.

# 77 The appearance presented by Catholic activists, of an increasing interference by the Church, in national political affairs, the vote,  through agencies like EWRN, its seems, begins to increasingly, violate one treaty and legal principle after another.  Aside from violating the major principles of law noted above, and violating major specific laws, like tax laws and the Lateran Treaty, there may be other specific laws violated as well.  (Including tax laws against the Church selectively backing the Republican Party, and its issues; over and against the Democratic Party.)

It may be that there are laws in the US, for example, against agents of a foreign government – like the Vatican -  manipulating the US vote and government, for example.  Or if the Vatican is a state, then Catholic priests are in effect, foreign agents of a foreign state; operating within America, as “foreign agents” without registering as such.  Now that the Vatican is more fully considered a nation in the US, and given fuller diplomatic recognition, (having been accorded that status, by Bush II?), the Vatican and the Church, may well be subject to various laws pertaining to nations.  Including a relatively recent law, that anyone operating in the interest of another country, within the US, register as a “foreign agent.”

# 78 Then too, as a practical if not legal matter:  continued Catholic support for Republican Party conservatives, will increasingly earn the enmity of, increasingly open war between the Church and Democrats.  (A political partisanship that the Pope’s 2004 memo no doubt, attempted to avoid; by equivocating equally, between excommunicating Democratic pro-abortion candidates, but then allowing that voting for them “can be permitted”).

# 79 Not only is “Catholic” activists’ interference with national integrity and law illegal, a violation of many laws and treaties;  it can also have bad practical consequences; it can cause wars.  Indeed, from c. 1525 to 1900 or so, Protestants and Catholics literally went to war in Europe and around the world – around precisely such issues.  As Protestants contested with Catholics,  to take over this or that state, in the name of freedom to have their own religion triumphant, Protestants and Catholics engaged in dozens of actual, immensely costly wars. At times Catholics took over a state; then at other times Protestants.  In the wars in England; and then in the Thirty Years War for example, 1618-1648.  Any present attempt of the Church to once again, take over states, countries, governments, might well start up in some form, these religious, Catholic/Protestant wars again.

This might seem like a stretch.  But this very history, of Protestants and Catholics and others competing to take over nations, was the history immediately preceding the American Revolution.  And this was precisely what the authors of the American Constitution, wanted to avoid, with the “establishment” clause.  This is precisely, what motivated the founders of America,  to attempt to firmly separate Church from State:  to avoid costly and endless wars, as one religion contested with another, over control of the state. But with different religions now once again making at least a symbolic gesture, at trying to take over the state. The possibility of religious wars looms again.   (See recent controversies on celebrating Christmas, displays of Christian symbols on state offices).  Indeed, Protestant and Catholic wars, had barely ceased in Northern Ireland, even in 1990.  While new Catholic “conservative” activists, seem to want to start these wars up again.

.  .  .

In sum, aside from countless biblical and theological and scientific sins, there are also many legal and political and practical evils, that are increasingly caused, if the Catholic Church resumes political/governmental activism.  Many bad things will begin to happen, as the Church increasingly allows various politically-active organizations to represent themselves as “Catholic.”  And as it allows them particularly, to participate in partisan social “issues,” that turn into obviously political activities, and explicit attempts to influence the vote.  And to change the laws in America, to match the religious ideals of a particular religion:  Catholicism.

As the bishops in America, increasingly (inadvertently?) allows such obviously political/governmental activities, in its name, more and more problems and conflicts will result.  In particular, the Church might well be accused, of the violation of the letter and spirit of countless major treaties, and of major principles of US, Italian, and international law.  But the violation of major laws, is not even the major problem; those principles and laws after all, were in turn formulated long ago, to prevent what had already proved historically to be actual, literal, very destructive wars between different religions, and states.  Those laws were enacted, to prevent huge evils from taking place:  especially, the massive number of deaths that can come from allowing religions to try to take over nations, states.

What might be wrong with “Catholic” activism?  In the past note, when Catholics tried to take over states, Protestants objected; and massive Protestant/Catholic wars resulted.  Wars that cost countless lives.  And could cost many more, if resumed.

In light of what History teachers therefore, it would seem best for the Church to simply remember its History; remember what massive troubles the involvement of religion in politics, has caused in the past.  And indeed, it would seem wise for the Church to begin taking very firm steps; to insure that such things never happen again.  This to be sure, involves much closer monitoring of – and even severe steps against – “Catholic” “activists,” and “Conservatives.”  And their radio and TV networks; like EWTN/RN, and Relevant Radio.

In the past though, to be sure, the Church has attempted to control Catholic activism; to no effect. (See Mahony).  At least one cardinal has personally rebuked EWTN founder Mother Angelica; to no effect however.  While the Cardinal who headed the USCCB, Cardinal McCarrick, criticized its “one issue” Catholicism; all to no effect. Then too, the Cardinal who headed the Vatican office or in charge of doctrinal matters, noted problems with anti-abortion doctrine – but also, to no effect.  Even when this cardinal became Pope Benedict XVI>

Many, many casual and even rather energetic attempts have been by the Church hierarchy, to rein in “Catholic” activists.  And yet, anyone who listens to radio networks like EWRN and Relevant Radio, will quickly find that the heretical and destructive message of rabid anti-abortionism, continued unabated, in Catholic land.  So that our final conclusion will be that, all milder pastoral measures having failed, the Church should in fact  begin undertaking very, very severe, punitive measures, against EWTN/RN and related agencies and individuals.  Against all those conservatives who insist on crossing the dividing line, between religion and politics.  (Names itemized here, in the end of our book).

Continuous violations of, the possible collapse of, the countless treaties between religions and states, of laws designed to maintain international and domestic peace, are serious enough.  But those laws after all, were put into place to protect us, the people, from the kind of religious conflicts that History assures us, are possible.   While the violation of those laws, will begin to result in renewed conflicts.  As we see in the resumption of Catholic/religious terrorism in America, with the assassination of Dr. Tiller in 2009.

The fact is, a whole series of major evils re-emerge, when conservative Catholic political Catholic organizations, are allowed to flourish.  If the possibility of the resumption of actual Protestant/Catholic wars seems remote, consider however, some bad results from what has already been done.  As even our Cardinals noted before, a narrow “one-issue” Catholic interference, in previous elections, the support of anti-abortion Catholics, just for Republican candidates, might not only be illegal; as a practical matter, it can elect bad presidents and politicians.  As Cardinal McCarrick noted, in particular, “one issue” organizations like EWTN, can elect politicians that are “good” on one religious or Catholic “issue,” but bad on others.

The focus on the one issue of abortion and the embryo, for example, was a major force in American elections, from 1980 to 2007.  No doubt, the conservative anti-abortion vote (in this era, typically about 19% of the vote),  helped elect as Present, George Bush Jr., 2000-2008.  But while George was, to be sure, against abortion and stem-cell research, we was, on the other hand, an ardent patriot, and nationalist; and a pro-military, pro-war advocateWho soon involved the US in a “War Against Terrorism.”  And a literal war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Conservative Catholics, anti-abortionists, elect Republicans; who are patriotic and pro military.  But if these Republicans are “good” on the issue of abortion, some would say, these conservative Republicans might also violate some even more basic and far more important, religious principles.  War in general, for example, seems rather against the meek and mild Jesus; who told us to “love your enemies”; and “turn the other cheek” when others strike you on one cheek.   To vote for pro-war Republicans, seems against the Jesus who, for example, rebuked Peter for using a sword; even when soldiers came to arrest Jesus.  To support the military, our “troops” too much, seems to go against Jesus. The Jesus who went to his death, rather than fight the state of Pontius Pilate.

Conservative Catholics today, seek to reunite religion to politics and national policy and law.  But after all, politicians are far less gentle and pacifistic people, than most priests. And when the Church thus engages in politics, and begins to enter the world of affairs of nations and states, it often sets into motion, violent emotions, and a physical violence it did not anticipate. And to launch the Church on a path that leads straight to one religious war after another. As even now, America enters what might be variously accounted as its 9th – or even 18th – year of military conflict, in Iraq and the Middle East. As many troops complete their third tour of duty, in Iraq.  And as now we increasingly see, ardent nationalist superpatriots and conservative activists like Drew Mariani, and liberal priests like Fr. Frank Pavone, hovering on (and at times, in spite of disavowals, even over)  the edge of encouraging anti-abortion terrorism, by Catholics, in America.

The increasing abandonment of the meekness and mildness of Jesus, by Catholics, in favor of war and death and terrorism and torture, is yet another reason for the Church to withhold any and all support, for conservative and anti-abortion organizations like EWTN/RN.  And indeed, it is a good reason to officially censure them.  And to firmly attempt to end their existence as viable organizations.

More, Deadly Problems

Caused by Anti-Abortionist

Politics:

Electing Pro-War Republicanism

# 80 There are often grave theological errors, sins against the Bible and God, when the Church has allowed a political agency to speak for it.  As we will see in an entire section on, for example, Eternal Word Radio Network, this network is not consistent with the Bible itself.  Or with the saints.  Or even really, with the Church.  And so, when the Church now allows a political “Catholic” voice to speak for it, there are many problems.  Indeed, there is a huge potential for disaster here.

There have already been many disastrous effects, in allowing EWTN etc., to speak in the name of the Church.   But before getting into detail on the nature of the sins of EWRN, we might outline the basic sin here:  allowing private organizations like EWRN to appear to speak for the Church, has handed much of the Church’s power over to largely, political organizations.  Organizations that, we will see, typically, confuse, intermingle, solid Catholic doctrine … with heretical political/social speculations, that are not consistent with sound Catholic doctrine; that are indeed even heresies.  Among the many other problems with encouraging the new hybrid lay/religious organizations like EWTN, the Church has allowed what was called in the Bible, an intermingling, confusion of religion, with the “traditions of men”  (Col. 2.8  ). 

 

Protestants have always said this, of the Church itself; Protestants claiming that all along the Church did not really follow the Bible, but instead, followed its own human opinions, and the opinions of the all-too-human Pope.  Here Protestants have always said, the Catholic Church therefore committed the sin that the Bible warned about:  it abandoned the Bible and God, for the “traditions” of men. (Col. 2.8, etc.).   What Protestants claim may or may not be very true of the Church itself normally; but as the Church now allows obviously un-Biblical and very political, “conservative” organizations, to operate under the name of “Catholic,” and in flagrant violation of the Bible itself, this traditional Protestant charge against Catholicism, becomes more and more sustained.  It was said that particularly, in the End especially, people would turn to the traditions of men, or doing “whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”  While that is what we see here, in Catholic anti-abortionism.  Which obviously does not really follow Ps. 139, or Numb. 5.  Nor the commands of cardinals, or the Pope either. But which clearly is following a political philosophy:  “conservatism.”  Even, Republican Party positions.

# 81 Among many other extremely undesirable things, coming out of  “conservative” “Catholic” activism, Pro Life anti-abortionism, the Church should consider also the effect of its allowing Catholic involvement, on politics, and elections.  And in particular, the Church should reconsider the types of political candidates it has elected in America.  In the past, Catholic anti-abortionism in effect, created a million votes or more, for one Republican candidate after another, c. 1980-2008.   But – just as Cardinal McCarrick and others warned – the narrow focus of voters, just on the “one issue” of abortion, elected Republican candidates that were indifferently supportive of that single issue of the embryo  – but who were not so good, on other extremely important issues, that the Church might have preferred to support.  Especially, anti-abortion politics, threw a decisive number of votes, into the Republican Party’s hat.

In effect, the Catholic Church, the Catholic Pro Life vote, elected one Republican after another, from 1980-2007.  But although the Republican Party is the most anti-abortion party, that party was not so Christian or Catholic, on many other issues.  Especially,  the Church should now belatedly reconsider the pro-American patriotism or nationalism of the Republican Party.  The allegiance of George Bush II, was to American patriotism, and pro-military action.  Though this jingoistic militarism and nationalism,  might have gone down well in America itself among conservatives there,  any radically pro-American party, is also essentially opposed to an essentially international Catholic Church.  Excessive focus just on the interests of the US, goes against a Church that is international that is currently headed by a German, who lives in Italy.  A Church that currently presides over people of hundreds of countries worldwide; of whom only 6% or so are Americans.  A Church which is not nationalistic or patriotically American at all; but who supports the name of a Jesus who comes to unite “all nations” (Isa. 66.17).

# 82 Ironically, too, when Catholic support for anti-abortionism, ended up electing Republicans, it was also supporting not just a provincially patriotically “American” party; the Republican Party is also the pro-“troops,” militarist, pro-war party.  In its patriotic folk nationalism, the Republican Party was already party that stood up for America … did not get along well with the rest of the world.  And that attitude, we suggest,  often started wars.  As his very first statement from the White House itself, Bush II announced support for Israel, over Palestinians and others.  And perhaps this, after the more equal-handedness of Bill Clinton,  so enraged Muslims, that they soon attacked and destroyed the World Trade Center, not too long thereafter.  So that very soon, the Bush administration had totally alienated the rest of the world – especially Arabs – and it was soon to become wholly occupied with making and “winning” wars.  From a renewal of the war with Iraq; and Afghanistan.  To a new “war on terrorism.”   Where our own inflated rhetoric inflamed exaggerated antagonism on the other side, endlessly snowballing, in a vicious circle, or howling feedback loop, of where both sides egg each other on to greater and greater atrocities.  So that when the Church threw millions of votes, decade after decade, to the Republican Party, they ironically ended up merely assisting a jingoistic, bloodthirsty pro-military nationalism.  One that is fundamentally opposed to the peace of Christ.  One that, in its inability to get along with anyone who wasn’t an “American,” probably helped start one unnecessary war after another.

The illegality of essentially all Catholic political action therefore, is not even the main reason that the Church itself should now severely reign in self-appointed Catholic activists; most of all, everyone should now consider the perhaps poor fruits, of all this.  The Vatican, the Pope, should consider first of all, the poor fruits of “one-issue” Catholicism and politics.  As it indeed (just as McCarrick warned) elected narrow or bad government leaders. Leaders who are “good” on one issue, but not so good on others.  In particular, the Church should reconsider the bad results that came from ignoring, attacking the separation of Church & State, c. 1980-2004.  (Cf. the Bible tell us to obey our good “governors” and so forth).   It seems plausible to say that lack of truly effective Church censure of Catholic “conservative” and anti-abortion organizations, in 2000-2004 resulted in the election of the Republican anti-abortion candidate, George Bush II.  But if George was “good” as far as opposing abortion –he was rather clearly bad, in his inability to get along with the world community.  And bad, in his support for wars.   No doubt perhaps, there are some wars that seem “just.”  But we should elect candidates, who do not start wars, through their provincial Americanisms.  And who are better at making the peace, that avoids wars, in the first place.  Many wars may even be “just”; but we here are noting that there are wars that are just, but still, unnecessary wars.  In a world full of conflicting persons, you can always find a “just” fight; but though many such fights are just, they may not be necessary. It is always better, to try to get along with others, diplomatically.  To work out differences; to get bad people to see the error of their ways.  This is better than going into a war that might seem justified, but that could have been avoided altogether.

And so we are note here, a specially important but formerly neglected category of wars.  Where peaceful people can be particularly useful:  in avoiding the “just” but unnecessary war.  These are the wars that even the Pope’s 2004 memo fatally neglected; and are the wars that Republican administrations could not resist starting, over and over.

Has the Vatican been pleased with the warlike Republican administrations that it (and Archbishops Burke?) elected?  There have been rumors, even some evidence in public statements, that the Vatican itself was not fond of the Republican Party, or George Bush.   Even though the Church itself, had (though neglect of oversight?) elected him.  It seems from various semi-official statements out of the Vatican, and rumors about the private opinions or informal public statements of some Cardinals, and of Pope John Paul II and then Benedict XVI, that the hierarchy did not really like the candidate that it (perhaps unknowingly) elected.  Probably because of the very reasons we have begun to outline here.  As well as other reasons, the “issues,” warned about by Cardinals McCarrick and others.  Bush might have been “good” some would say, on the one issue of anti-abortionism; but Bush was bad on all too many other issues. Bush and Republicanism were not so good, on issues like, say, avoiding perhaps unnecessary wars.  Or for that matter, as we see today, they are not so good at issues like helping the poor and the sick; passing Universal Health Care, and getting health insurance for all.  Issues better handled, in fact, by the other major American political party:  the Democrats.  The party whose issues however, the Church neglected, and even opposed.  Still, Pope John Paul II – who reigned until 2005 – and his administration, his cardinals, often mentioned “capitalism” for example – a major positive value for the Republican Party – in partially critical language.  While at times it seems to some, the Pope even criticized the Iraq war.  While then too again, we will have already begun to show here, that the Cardinals – like McCarrick and Ratzinger, and eventually Pope Benedict XVI – issued statements condemning “one issue” anti-abortionism. Indicating the need to follow other issues; like, cardinals and Pope Benedict began to suggest, the “environment.”  And of course again, the issues that occupied Jesus himself so centrally, again and again:  helping the poor and the sick.  To be sure, anti-abortion priests like Fr. Frank Pavone, top spun all this continually; insisting that only the embryo was the poorest and weakest citizen. And that therefore, only embryos deserved votes and protection. But clearly of course, this was a kind of willful, criminal, culpable, dishonest narrowness.  It is a gross perversion of the Bible, a sin of sophistry and deception, to neglect the main issue of Jesus, mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, and to twist that in favor of a specific issue never mentioned by name in the Bible at all, not even once.

Yet in spite of some key voices in the Catholic hierarchy voicing criticism about supporting just one party or political philosophy – or especially just “one issue” in elections – increasingly however, due to the constant propogandization of the Catholic public by organizations like EWRN,  one issue has held the day.  Indeed, today the Church is now more and more dominated – even the Vatican? – by “conservative” – or read, Republican – Catholic officials.  Especially, the Church is every day more and more dominated by one-issue anti-abortion Republicans.  Every day, more and more priests and bishops appear on EWRN for example. And these priests and bishops are in effect seduced by media exposure; while being trained, by the staff there, to learn and support EWRN’s heretical Pro Life arguments.  And then, after having been propagandized by EWTN, these EWTN-trained priests and Bishops, have returned to the Church … to carry its heretical monomania, into the Church itself.

Today, we will see, EWRN protégés, are even now taking key positions in the Church.  Bishop Burke especially, was constantly quoted by EWRN for seemed to oppose abortion, and for standing up for excommunicating pro-abortion politicians. Probably thanks to his media savvy, Bishop Burke was, around 2008, promoted to head a major Vatican court; and is now an Archbishop in the Vatican itself.  While even Mother Angelica – who had publicly rebuked a Cardinal, Cardinal Mahony – was given an award, in 2008.  While other one-issue priests, one trick-ponies like Frank Pavone, are not only shut down or rebuked, but are flourishing.  While EWTN itself, is not only continuing, but flourishing; and has inspired a copycat network, called Relevant Radio (based out of NE  Chicago, or Wisconsin?).   Which do not hesitate to “bridge the gap between faith an everyday life.”  By assuring us that God indeed, tells us how to vote:  that God tells us to vote Republican in every election.  Even though it is hard to find that in the Bible, say.  Though you might find that somewhere in the EWRN pronouncements of say, Archbishop Burke.

So that, in spite of opposition from many Cardinals, the fatally narrow, deadly heresy of one-issue anti-abortionism, is even now poised to become the law of the Church; in the years of the ascendency of EWRN protégé Archbishop Burke in particular.  In Oct. or Nov. 2009, US congressman Rep. Patrick Kennedy (Dem. RI), revealed that in 2007 apparently, his bishop – Bishop Tobin of Providence R.I. – had spoken or written to this pro-abortion Democratic congressman; to  spoke privately to pro-abortion Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Dem. R.I., to inform him that he should probably not present himself for Communion.   Thus in effect, the Republican side of the Catholic Church, and its “issue,” had succeeded in dominating the Church; and was leading to direct intervention in the American political process … on the side of the Republican party and its issues; in flat opposition to the Democratic party.  The party that had so often supported the sick and the poor, and minority rights, in establishing Social Security, emergency room care, and Civil rights.  The party that today is supporting the issue of Universal Health Care; supporting the poor and sick.  Just as Jesus asked.  So that ironically, the Church itself, is now supporting an issue never mentioned in the Bible at all, even once, as the very core or its life on earth; as the thing we must all vote for.  While the Church is rejecting, attacking, the party that constantly backs and supports the favorite issues of Jesus himself. Helping the sick and the poor.  And developing the mind or spirit.

But finally, of course, we hereby, now petition the Church to reconsider its extremely rash actions, of the recent past.  Among  the one hundred and more arguments offered here against any such narrow and destructive and un-Christian Catholic anti-abortionism, the Church should now began to consider, particularly, this argument:  the increasingly narrow focus, on just the single issue of abortion, has ignored, neglected, the Bible itself; the Tradition of the Church; and the needs of the people.  This odd obsession of a heretical nun and her renegade media network, has elected countless political candidates that claimed to protect the embryo – but for that matter, never succeeded in passing much legislation there.  So that Roe V. Wade remains in effect.  Worse, not only did conservative Republican not really protect embryos; they were even far worse than Democrats, in other issues. The Republican party in America, is the pro-military, narrowly patriotic/nationalistic party.  Republican presidents were nationalistic, and warlike.  So if the Vatican after all, really didn’t like electing a pro-war president like George Bush; if the Vatican really prefers peace to wars; if the Vatican really wants to help the poor and the sick?  Then it seems clear that then after all, the Church should not have allowed agencies like EWTN/RN to continue;  to go on to support such political candidates.  If the Church now feels it must enter politics, and re-establish a Papal State? Then, instead of backing the Republicans, the Church should have backed the Democratic party.  And its issues.  But perhaps after all, the Church should never had re-entered politics at all, through the back door of EWRN and Relevant Radio.

History itself suggests that continued support by high levels of church authority, of EWRN and antiabortionism, support of increasing intervention by the Church, in the internal affairs of nations and states, the manipulation of American elections, has already borne poor fruits.  And will eventually result in increasingly severe conflicts between religions like Catholicism, and nation states, internationally.  The appointment of intractable and politically active, one-issue EWTN protégé Archbishop Burke, to the Vatican court, c. 2008, bodes ominously.  Especially when – apparently acting on the command of the Vatican and perhaps under the influence of the very visible Burke – Bishop Tobin of Providence Rhode Island, told a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives – Irish American Patrick Kennedy – that it might not be a good idea to present himself any more, for communion. (See the fallout on this on a Chris Matthew show? Nov./Dec. 2009?).   When the Church began taking an active role against major political figures, and a particular political party in America, c. 2007,  this was an extremely rash and unjustifiable intervention into domestic American politics, by a foreign power (the Vatican state), and a violation of the separation of church and state.  This increasingly active involvement in American politics – especially in the interest of just one political party; the Republican party, and it extremely narrow and doubtful “issues” –  will no doubt greatly offend many.  And will likely precipitate the re-appearance, after many centuries, of massive historical religious wars; between Catholics and Muslims.  And then in more modern times, between Catholics and Protestants; the background of the American attempt to separate church and state.  As the Church – or its adjuncts – now today increasingly attacks that separation, and allows especially Republican to try to establish a conservative Catholicism as the official state religion of America,  severe conflicts are inevitable.

Today, the right wing of the Church, would do well, to remember that actual warfare, between Catholics and Protestants, over precisely this issue – religions attempting to inflict their will on the state – lead to nearly continuous warfare in Europe. From just after 1515, to nearly 1900 or so.  While indeed, armed conflict and Catholic terrorism, continued in Northern Ireland, till about 1990 AD.  As Archbishop Burke and others seek to impose their will on the electorate, and especially impose it selectively, in favor of Republican – and not Democratic – “issues,” the Church itself will become increasingly, alienated from – and increasingly opposed by – major political parties in America.  While it may even be subject to legal censure and penalties.  Especially in an era where we see the rise of anti-abortion/Catholic terrorism.

# 83 In fact, remember this:  the strenuous rhetoric of Catholic anti-abortionists like Fr. Frank Pavone, their insistence that abortion is “murder” especially, has recently enflamed and sensationalized this already sensitive issue.  So that recently this language, issued by EWRN in the name of the Church and of God, has most recently increasingly inspired, anti-abortionist terrorism.  Right after Fr. Frank Pavone and others on EWRN and Relevant Radio, began repeatedly calling abortion “murder,”  an anti-abortion terrorist, murdered abortion doctor Dr. Tiller, in 2009.  (While there had already been many bombings of clinics, before that.)

The emergence of Catholic/anti-abortionist terrorism within the United States, the attempt to the impose religious “values” of one religion or a false, narrow theology, on an entire nation, and the increasingly sensationalistic rhetoric of priests like Fr. Frank Pavone, could lead, after years of ecumenism, to even armed conflict – or more likely, mutual terrorist acts – between Catholics and Protestants again.  Nearly a century after serious Protestant/Catholic conflicts largely ceased.

What should be done about this?   The increasing seriousness of  Catholic/anti-abortionist, terrorist acts – the escalation from bombing abortion centers, to in 2009, assassinating abortion doctors (see also Catholic terrorism in the Philippines?) – has apparently lead the present, Democratic, Obama administration, to send out directives urging monitoring of such groups.  And if Catholic anti-abortionist terrorism increases in the US?  We will eventually see increased pressure to legally prosecute the Church. Based in part on Rico laws, anti-organized crime laws; as we saw during the period when the US was prosecuting child-molesting priests.  Or based on new, anti-terrorist, Homeland Security laws.

Therefore, our conclusion is that the Church should now begin to immediately and dramatically correct, not just the a) probable international and domestic illegality and b) immorality, bad ethics, of its own one-issue anti-abortionism. And that it should begin to consider not just c) the hundred or so other biblical and d) doctrinal errors in anti-abortionism, as outlined here.  But it should also begin e) considering the practical damage already done to the rest of world, by its election of narrowly nationalistic, pro-war political candidates.

The Church should now begin to access f) and correct the damage done to date. Along with g) considering the worse damage likely to occur, if the present trend is allowed to continue; the damage done by allowing a one-issue Catholicism to dominate the US through the “new evangelical,” self-appointed Catholic media.

In a more positive note, h) many Cardinals, like McCarrick, have already spoken against “one-issue,” Catholic politic.  While Cardinal Ratzinger Pope Benedict confirmed this view, with remarks against dis-“proportion”ate Catholic politics, relating to abortion.  While Cardinal Mahony apparently confronted, specifically, EWTN founder and head, Mother Angelica.  As we will see here.  So that already, some significant restraints have been put on this infinitely retrograde movement.

We will also note that i) since about 2007, the Church also began to issue one or two statements far more concerned, with other issues, like the “environment”; and “climate change.”  While speaking more broadly of other “issues” besides abortion.  Indeed, Pope Benedict is sometimes known as the “Green Pope.”

There is no need for the Church to further any more wars; much less resuming the especially, fantastically destructive Protestant/Catholic wars.  One major point in this section, is that no doubt, elements even of the Vatican hierarchy do not favor American militarism in general:  the present pope is not American, but is a German national living in Italy.  And this leadership, is responsible for a following one billion strong; of whom only 60 million are Americans.  So that the Church must be aware, naturally, that the simplistic identification of Catholicism, with narrowly American national interests, or Republican wars, is simply, not correct.  Indeed, indeed Jesus said he had come for “all nations”; Jesus himself never even mentioning America by name, at all.  For that matter, Jesus himself never mentioned abortion either; not even once. Though Jesus constantly supported many Democratic issues:  like helping the poor and the sick, through universal health care.

Therefore, the continued involvement of Catholics in “conservative” – read; superpatriotic/nationalist – politics, should be rigorously discouraged.  Especially, of course, the Catholic rhetoric of Fr. Frank Pavone, that leads to anti-abortionist terrorism, should be promptly ended.  Not only because of its adverse practical effects, as just noted in this chapter.  But also because, after all, as we are finding here, one issue anti-abortionist is simply, against the real authority and Tradition of the Church.

Indeed we will show next, anti-abortionism was strongly opposed, by our current Holy Father, Benedict XVI.  Who in fact allowed us to vote for pro-abortion candidates; which “can be permitted.” As the Pope said in a 2004 memo (Card. Joe Ratzinger, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” 2004).

Chapter 7

Voting for Pro-Abortion Politicians

“Can be Permitted,”

Says the Pope’s 2004 Memo,

“Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion”;

When You Support the Candidate for “Proportionate”ly More Important Issues;

Like the Environment, Etc.,

“Conservatism,” anti-abortionism, has lead many people – even Catholic priests and Bishops –  far away from original doctrines of the Bible, and the doctrines of the Church.  It has even lead many Catholics to oppose their most revered, canonical saints and theologians; it has even lead some into a very un-Christlike, antiabortion terrorism.   So how can we bring antiabortionist Catholics back to the Church, or back to God?

# 84  Catholics normally claim to follow their Cardinals; and especially their “Holy Father,” their Pope.  So suppose we finally quote what the current Pope really said about abortion.  As it turns out, the current Pope clearly speaks of abortion, as being less important, than many other issues. To be sure, the 2004 momo from the Pope, rather clearly says that abortion is very bad.  And yet however, how bad is it?  As it turns out, even this rather anti-abortion pronoucement, makes some allowances; the pope tells us that voting for candidates who happen to be for abortion, “can be permitted.” If you are supporting them, for their stand on “proportionate”ly more important issues:

 

 

“When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour

of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons,

it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the

presence of proportionate reasons.]”

 

 

After, to be sure, making some very, very anti-abortion remarks, finally our present Pope stopped short of the even more extreme position of EWTN/RN and Priests for Life:  the pope does not say that we cannot vote for pro-abortion political candidates.

What the Pope sometimes said about abortion to be sure, is sometimes very negative.  But it is finally significantly less extreme, than what many alleged “Catholic” voices of the Church, have been saying.  Especially around 2000 – 2006, many “conservative” Catholics on EWTN and other self-proclaimed “Catholic” networks,  asserted firmly, over and over, that the Church was absolutely against abortion.  They even insisted the Church was telling Americans, that they could not vote for a political candidate that supported abortion.  And, since most Democrats supported abortion and most Republicans did not, we are assured by anti-abortionists this meant that “Catholic” conservatives, were telling us all in effect, over and over, that the Catholic Church was ordering Americans to vote for Republicans.  In every single election.

But did the Church itself  really say that?  That we must always vote for the most anti-abortion candidate out there?  Does the Church really require us to vote for the most anti-abortion candidate – does the Church tell us to vote Republican – in most elections?  At times, certain extremely political conservative bishops, like Burke and Chaput, have verged – in one reading – on that kind of remark.  And?  Certainly, many (sometimes self-appointed) Catholic spokesmen, ministers of the Church, have claimed as much.  Particularly, the many various self-appointed “Catholic” media organizations, like Eternal Word Radio Network, and then Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life,” have continually said or implied that Americans must vote for the most anti-abortion candidate, almost every time.  Indeed, these organizations and individuals have constantly repeated, a dozen times a day or more, on the air, the anti-abortionists litany of propositions that we will have outlined here several times.  Indeed, the claim is that the Catholic Church very firmly says, the following.  Roughtly, in abbreviated form:  that a) the fetus is a full human being.  That b) abortion therefore is very bad.  Even c) abortion is murder.  And d) indeed, since many abortions have been committed, abortion has become mass murder.  So that e) therefore, we all should vote in every election, only for the most anti-abortion candidates.  While f) since the Republican Party is the party that most opposes abortion, then g) the constantly implied message, is that the Church, the Pope, God , are ordering us to vote Republican, in every election. While h) some have even suggested that people are justified even in violent actions, to protect the fetus.

So indeed, many Catholics have assured us that the Church and the Pope, were ordering us to vote Republican.  But as it turns out here, so far, the real leadership of the Church – the Cardinals and the Pope – have not really said much of the above, at all.  In fact, the current Pope explicitly said that voting for Pro Choice, pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted.”  As we see above.

So who actually, has been ordering us all to vote Republican, vote anti-abortion, in every election?  Who has taken anti-abortionism to that extreme?  Who says all these false things?  Who has been speaking falsely in the name of the Church, and speaking falsely for  God?  Who has been continually, deliberately, egregiously, scandalously, misrepresenting God and the Church, to all the world?  Today, it is all in large part the fruit of a) our new self-appointed “Catholic” media Popes:  like Karl Keating; and Sheila Liaugminas; and Fr. Frank Pavone.  And b) a few “conservative” bishops, like especially, Burke and Chaput.  Who are more political than religious; who call themselves “conservative” it seems, and who attack “liberals.”  Even though the Bible itself told us nearly a dozen times, to “be liberal” in helping  the poor, and so forth.  These figures are clearly political, teaching the “traditions” and “doctrines of men,” and not of God.  Indeed, if the Pope himself, along with Burke at the Vatican, support anti-abortionism, we will have begun to show here that they have diverged into the heretical branches of the Church; and have illegitmately deviated from the mainsteam of more advanced, cogent Catholic thought; in say Aquinas and Augustine.  Indeed, it is said that the Pope himself, cited the heretical pope Tertullian, on 27 Nov. 2010; in a “Celebration of First Vespers of the First Sundary of  Advent for Unborn Life.”  Though this was almost certainly not a case of the Pope speaking definitively and infallibly Ex Cathedra; indeed, the Pope rashly quoted Tertullian, a figure who abandoned Catholicism for another religion, and who was therefore officially declared to be a heretic earlier, by the Church.  No doubt, even a heretic can say some things that are true; and yet to be sure, his having left the Church for a radically different, even non-Christian religion, proved that Tertullian was not entirely reliable.  And if he erred once, he certain could have erred again … when he for example, took a stand against abortion.

Indeed, to be sure, finally it seems the Pope himself has uncritically presented an anti-abortion case … based on countless heretical arguments, and heretics like Tertullian.

In any case, we need to however, present the whole document. And so we present it here, now.  The current Pope, Card. Joe Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion”:

WORTHINESS TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION:

“Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion — General Principles

by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision,

based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to

the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full

communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a

penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy

Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice

of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a

consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf.

Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” nos. 81, 83).

2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical

Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that

authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and

clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of

an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it

is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign

in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave

obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if

permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the

moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This

cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of

others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it”

(no. 74).

3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.

For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the

application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not

for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy

Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war,

and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may

still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse

to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among

Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with

regard to abortion and euthanasia.

4. Apart from an individual’s judgment about his worthiness to present himself

to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself

in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone,

such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an

obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal

cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician,

as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and

euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the

Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy

Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning

him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they

were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence,

still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy

Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative

Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics”

[2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a

penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s

subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to

receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

[N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy

to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a

candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion

and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour

of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons,

it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the

presence of proportionate reasons.]”

(Reported in L’Espresso, July 3 2004?  Found online, in Catholic Culture:  “Catholic Culture”; “culture” “library”; “Pope Benedict XVI”; “June 2004”; “Worthiness ….”  See also in other sources).

Comments on Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s 2004 AD Memo …

1) Allowing Catholics to Vote for Pro-Abortion Political Candidates,

And 2) Stressing “Proportionate”ly More Important Issues Than Abortion

The extremely important memo above, is from a former Vatican cardinal, Cardinal Joe Ratzinger – who is now “Our Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI.  Many have said that this document unequivocally condemns abortion. And indeed, there are many passages in it that are strongly anti-abortionistic.  And yet?  As is typical of religion, theology, the memo is written in very complex and equivocal language.  And specifically, it contains statements that support both conservative and liberal opinions.  Or in this case, the memo contains sections that are at first seemingly conservative, and absolutely and extremely against abortion.  And yet however?  Supposed we look at it again, for a moment, very closely.

Conservative Catholic media to be sure, typically read just one side or one reading of the memo; the side or part that seems to uphold a very simple-minded, rule-oriented Catholicism.  As conservatives usually read this memo,  they insist that here, the future Pope firmly told us that we cannot vote for pro-abortion political candidates.  And our conclusion here will agree that 1) this document to be sure, has a strain or theme in it, to mollify or acknowledge conservatives; that seems to have the Church firmly opposing abortion.  Indeed, this document seems to authorize excommunicating politicians that support abortion.  So that indeed, if that was all this document said, then we would have to find here that first of all, this document did strongly oppose abortion … and so, it violates many core principles of ethics, and even the sayings of saints; the fuller tradition of the Church.  But to be sure, probably in cognizance of this problem, next  2) secondly, more moderately, this memo from the Pope,  also contains many qualifying remarks.  And finally, it includes a more liberal conclusive footnote.  Specifically,  the very end of this statement, the future Pope explicitly allows us to vote for pro-abortion candidates.  Voting for pro-abortion candidates, the Pope says, “can be permitted.”

Qualifiers in the Text

Conservative Catholic and fundamentalists typically do not know how to read complex theological or religious statements; typically they just look in holy books for a few apparent, simple rules to follow.  Uneducated, conservative, literal-minded Christians therefore, read a memo like this one, and see in it only a simple command:  Abortion is bad; and politicians who support it, can be kicked out of the Church, refused communion.  But now it is time for our religious fundamentalists to learn to read things more completely, fully, and honestly.  Read more closely, this memo from the current Pope, actually, for example, concludes that voting for a candidate that even publicly supports abortion, is a rather minor sin, of “remote material cooperation”; and that voting for a pro-abortion candidate like Sen. Kerry, “can be permitted.”  Catholics can vote for pro-abortion candidates.  Specifically, moreover, the memo concludes, by endorsing the idea that there are “proportionately” more important issues than abortion, that we should vote for.

Conservative spin doctors, Pro Life anti-abortionists, ignore especially the end, the final conclusion of this memo.  And they take only the misrepresentative fragments or parts of the memo that seem to favor their conservative theology; quoting only the parts that seem to support their own limited view of things.  Typically, talk show hosts take a few unrepresentative fragments, and spin or “twist” them around; until this or that document, seems to say what they want it to say.  But finally this document – like the Bible itself, like most religious documents – is written in very complex, equivocal language.  Language that, typically, supports both conservative and liberal opinions.  In this particular memo, the future Pope himself, “Our Holy Father,” Benedict XVI, to be sure, allows that politicians who publicly support abortion, might (or might not) think twice about presenting themselves for communion; they “may” even be refused communion (as are women say, who have had abortions too, or who are divorced).  But often  right alongside rather stern, conservative pronouncements that tell us to obey simple rules or laws, many theological documents – like this one – express a more generous, “grace”ful, liberal side of the Church.  So that, right after suggesting that politicians who support abortion might be refused communion ….next however the current Pope tells us that however, say, a) voting for a pro-abortion candidate, is only a minor sin at most; a “remote material cooperation”; b) so that Catholics can vote for pro-abortion candidates.  It “can be permitted,” the future Pope Benedict says, above.  It can be permitted because …there are often things in life – as other Bishops and Cardinals were to confirm, other “issues” – c) that are “proportionate”ly more important than abortion.

And then?  In fact the memo is rather anti-abortionist.  But it is constantly hedged, with countless qualifications and conditions.  That d) might allow individual bishops, to not punish those who get abortions, after all.

So we will need to address that, for a moment.

The text is beginning to hint that there are “other issues,” “proportionate”ly worse sins to keep in mind, when voting.  So that amazingly, finally the current Pope himself, actually explicitly said, that voting for pro-abortion political candidates, “can be permitted” (Card. Ratzinger/ Benedict XVI, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” 2004 memo to the USCCB).  Catholics can vote for pro-abortion candidates; if you are voting for the candidate, not because of this pro abortion stand, but to support his stand on proportionately more important “issues.”  (As Cardinal McCarrick was later to make clear, c. 2007 etc.).

Are there also other amendments, qualifications, in the rest of this seeming very anti-abortion document?  Significantly, in light of constant complaints about various self-appointed “Catholic” Voting Guides,” like Karl Keating’s presumably, and a sense of urgency, before the 2004 election, finally in 2004, Cardinal Ratzinger and the Vatican took up the matter; the matter of voting becoming urgent once again, around the 2004 presidential election; and so finally, probably at the request of many American Catholics, the Vatican issued a (initially) confidential memo, to the American bishops, on the issue of abortion. In that memo, as we have it today, Cardinal Ratzinger, to be sure, suggested that abortion is bad; and even that communion might be denied, to politicians who prominently supported abortion.  But however?  Even in this apparently very strick document, there are hints of openness to another opinion:  communion might not be denied; depending it seems, on the individual local Bishop, who “may” or may not find such a thing necessary.

Even in the apparently most monomaniacally anti-abortion pronoucements of antiabortionism, we find … some welcome, sensible escape hatches; signs of flexibility.

 

To be sure, e) the memo does say some bad things about abortion.  But then finally, it relents somewhat.  First  to be sure, the Pope allows that abortion is somewhat bad. And the Pope even says that a law supporting abortion, might even be an “intrinsically” bad law.  But as it turns out?  The fact that something is “intrisically” bad, does not mean it outweighs things that are not.  (As we found earlier, # 35?).

So that probably a Catholic who engages in or publicly supports abortion, might not be allowed to receive communion.  Especially in the case of a political candidate who openly supports abortion.  (A major issue, in 2004, just before the presidential election).  And to be sure, f) this memo says that not all moral issues have the same weight or status as abortion; even supporting war might be all right for example – since there are just wars.  And yet however, we will now note … that  none of these statements are quite as absolute, as many think.  First, note that none of these statements, really firmly say that no issue can be important than abortion.  If for example, some wars are just … then others might be unjust, and be worse than abortion.

Then too?  Though the Pope in his 2004 memo opposed abortion, g) the Pope did not quite say the fetus was a fully human person; nor h) did he that abortion is murder.  In fact, amazingly, in the end, the Pope declared that while it is wrong to vote for a Pro-Choice candidate specifically because he supports abortion, still, we can vote for a pro-abortion candidate.  Providing we are voting for him, not to specifically back his stand on abortion; but if we are voting for him for his stance on other issues.  And futhermore, issues which seem “proportion”ately more important than abortion.

 

Here most Pro Lifers argue that nothing could be proportionately more important than abortion.  And yet?  We will have begun to show that first, many issues would be more important, if the embryo was not a human being.  While we will begin to show next that indeed, even if embryos were full living persons, there are many other issues, intrinsic and extrisically worse, killing more people, than abortions:  like disease, famines, and unjust wars; as well as just but unnecessary wars.

So that amazingly, as we look more closely at the fuller memo?  We find that it was in fact, far less inflexible than many thought; we will be finding here in fact, that the memo left the door open to the possiblity that many other issues were indeed, “proportionately” more important than abortion.  As we will be seeing here, soon.

This 2204 memo was furthermore, i) at the time of its presentation, an extremely important (if rushed) document from the Church; since it is from the very Vatican office whose job it was to tell us, whether a given doctrine is approved by the Church or not.  And because the signatory to this document, was to become our current “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI.  Important as this memo is therefore, we will reproduce the entire 2004 memo from the Pope, as it was initially made available in 2004.  In the main to be sure, the document is rather negative on abortion.  But specifically, the future Pope is here concerned primarily with a question that was extremely important in 2004/5:   what should the Church do, about Catholic, Democratic politicians like Sen. Kerry, who publicly supported abortion?  The 2000 AD catechism had suggested that such persons,  those Catholic politicians who support abortion, should be excommunicated, or refused communion, for causing a public “scandal” (Cat. Sec. 2284-2287, p. 551).  While many might have concluded furthermore, that the Church was ordering voters not to vote for such persons.  In light of such accusations, there was a call for clarification from the Vatican, itself.  Which issued in fact, this 2004 memo, in part as a hasty response to an immediate political emergency. But if it is rushed, perhaps after all it is not as definitive.

But in any case, to the extent that the future pope’s memo is authoritative, note that this document, more closely examined, is slightly less unequivocally anti-abortionist, as many have claimed.  Here and there, can be found subtle language, that would allow flexibility.  Even here, the memo from the future Pope j) probably does not order excommunications with absolute firmness; a Catholic should “ask himself” whether he is worthy to receive communion.  While again, a minister “may” find himself in a position of refusing communion to someone.

Like the memo, the Catechism today also at times seems very inflexibly severe on abortions too at first. While indeed, k) excommunication for abortions, the larger, universal Catechism says, though seemingly automatic some would say, incurred by the “very commission of the offense,” is actually done in accordance with canon laws, sec. 2272; footnote 79, ref. to  CIC, canons 1323-1323, 1314, 1398; which may in fact find extenuating circumstances, and not excommunicate after all.  While?  The l) Cathechism suggests applying laws in a way that “does not restrict the scope of mercy.” Then too, the Catechism speaks of m) excommunication “latae sententia,” or only on the pronouncement of sentence some say; while in many cases such a sentence might not be pronounced?

Throughout history, many of the more cogent theologians and explicators of the Bible, in the Church, have found that the language of the Bible and of Religion, is far, far more complex than many people  – and even some popes? – know.  And it seems, when someone with some training in language, looks more carefully at various vatican documents – like the 2004 memo; like the Catechism – he or she will often see, that such documents do not say with absolute firmness, what various interested parties insist it must say.  In this case?  Though the 2004 memo at first sight, seems like an irresistably anti-abortion document, when examined more closely, we will be finding that it actually offered countless qualifications, regarding the nature of abortion.  In particular, it suggested that there could be things that are “proportionately” far more important than abortion.  So that, finally, it firmly allows that specifically, we can vote for a pro-abortion candidate.   If we meet some simple qualifications:   we do not mean to support his pro-abortion stance, specifically, but want to vote for him because of his stand on other issues;  proportionately more important issues.  While in fact we will be showing here soon, that there are many other far more important issues, even Life Issues, than abortion.

On talk radio to be sure, and apparently by conservative bishops like Burke, it is still asserted, that nothing could be proportionately more important than abortion. Regarding this matter,  the text indeed, suggests that abortion is a sin; and that “not all moral issues” are as strong as abortion. And it suggests specifically that “just wars” are not worse than abortion.  But?  We here will note that the text does not exclude the possibility that there are un-just  wars, that are a greater evil than abortion after all.  And then too, we will find that the text does not even explicitly say that things that are “intrinsically” bad, are always worse that are only contingently, or not intrinsically bad.  As we will see on our section on the “intrinsic” fallacy.

To be sure, c. 2004, many Catholic priests argued that the Iraq war was a just war, and was a wonderful war; and therefore, we still had to vote against Sen. Kerry.  But after all, that was a mere assertion.  While in any case we note here that many wars might be “just,” but still, perhaps, unnecessary.  So that people who participate in such wars, can be held partially responsible, for the deaths that come from them.  Even though they are “just.”

Unjust – or even merely unnecessary wars, we suggest here – and the deaths they cause, is one “issue,” as it came to be called, that can be worse than abortion, therefore.  Then too the Pope notes, n) if even some capital punishments might be sometimes justified, the Pope does not tell us however, that all cases of capital punishment are good.  What about, indeed, executing people who were really innocent?

Finally,  the 2004 memo suggests that some wars might be bad, but others might be good; while some evils though are just inherently, basically, “intrinsic”ally evil; always.  And the Pope even suggests that Abortion specifically, is intrinsically bad.  But to be sure, finally, is it a major, or a minor, intrinsically bad thing?  Our position here, is that the Church’s position overall, has been that abortion is to be sure, rather bad.  But that it is not as bad as say, murder. Because the embryo is not quite a full human being, with a spirit or soul.  Just as Aquinas said.  Many things might be “inherent”ly or intrinsically bad, but  still, not very bad at all.  Stealing a stick of gum for no reason, for example, or stealing in general, might be intrinsically or inherently bad; but after all, it is a sin so small, as to be barely a misdemeanor, in the courts.  And clearly such a minor intrinsic sin, would not outweigh, as we will be seeing, a sin that is huge, if not intrinsic.  As we will see later.

Finally o) though, regarding the Pope’s memo:  could the Pope himself, the Church itself, be simply wrong?  No doubt they often are simply wrong; the Bible said “all have sinned.”  We will note later here, that the Church itself officially adopted the idea of Papal Infallibility, rather late; and now it says that the Pope is only infallible, speaking “ex Cathedra,” or in formal pronouncements, “from the throne.”  While for that matter, the Church at times admits that it is itself not entirely perfect today; that only the Church in heaven is perfect, while the church on earth is not.  Not until the second coming. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed., sec. 670, 769, 825):

The Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect” (Cat. Sec. 670; 825)

“Christ’s reign is … yet to be fulfilled… Until everything is subject to him, ‘until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail and yet and await the revelation of the son of God’” (671).

“’The Church will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,’ at the time of Christ’s glorious return.… The Church …will not be perfected in glory without great trials” (769).

The fact is, God is perfect  … but you are not.  God is perfect, but the Church is not.  Even the Church, even the Pope, can be wrong at times.  Therefore, could the Church itself have made a mistake … when it said that anti-abortion politicians might be excommunicated?  When the decision was made by a few bishops, to begin to stress abortion, in the 1960’s or so, many bishops suggested that making any move to protect the embryo, assuming that it was full human being, was uncertain; was to be sure, “erring on the side of over-caution.”  It was admitted by some that it was at best uncertain whether the embryo was fully human; but they thought that after all, if there was a chance it was human, we should say that it is, to give the embryo the benefit of the doubt.  But to “err on the side of over-caution,” we now suggest here, is to after all, err.  And if this might protect the embryo, it focuses far too much attention on an entity barely mentioned in the Bible; and because of that is infinitely divisive in everyday life.  Indeed, it ends up creating an obsessive cult; that ignores – and therefore encourages – dozens of other, far worse evils.

The Better Tradition of the Church –

Beyond Paul VI, JP II, and Benedict?

And in fact, p) if the memo does oppose abortion that strongly?  It is time that if so, then there are simply many points, at which the memo … simply goes against the rest of the church.

To be sure, there are many isolated statements in elements of Catholic tradition, that opposed abortion (q.v. Priests for Life website).  And yet however?  Our more recent popes should not have resorted to heretical sources like Tertullian.  But should have thought more deeply, about the more reputable and deeper sources.  Including Augustine and Aquinas … and for that matter, the Bible itself.    As we noted earlier, in our section on the Bible.

There have in fact, been a few statements against abortion in the past from, especially, the Roman Catholic Church.  The question though is, exactly how wrong is abortion said to be?  Overall, the “full”er Tradition of the Church, we assert here,  must first, be consistent with the Bible. While the Bible itself, we noted, did not mention abortion by name at all.  While the Bible allowed that causing an accidental miscarriage was not important, and does no “harm” (Ex. 21?)  Indeed, q) the Bible itself even suggested that the embryo in the womb was not completely “form”ed yet; that it was merely an “unformed substance” in the process of “being” formed, “knit” (Psalm 139).   While r) he Bible itself even shows God himself, ordering a priest to perform an act that, if performed on a pregnant woman, would cause an abortion.  God c) ordering a priest to administer a “dust” or powder, that is in effect an abortifacient (Numbers, Ch. 5.15-29).

How bad is abortion then, really?  According to God himself?  The fact is, the Bible and God, seem to allow it. In fact, God even commanded it at times (Num. 5.15-29).

This testimony by the Bible, would in itself seem absolutely conclusive; especially since the Catechism tells us that even Catholics must obey the Bible.  But beyond the Bible and its God, e) what does the fuller Tradition of the Church in itself say?  Outside the Bible, in the Catholic Tradition proper, at least two major saints, s) Augustine and t) Aquinas, confirmed what the Bible said; they said that the young embryo is not “formed” enough to have a complete human being, with a spirit or soul.   And what is more, these two saints, were not “just” saints; they were also u) two of the most important theologians in Church history.  Including no less a saint and theologian, than St. Augustine. Along with especially, St. Thomas Aquinas.  Both of whom, it is said (though we ourselves can only presently confirm this of Aquinas), suggested that the young embryo, was not quite a full human being.  Since they said, the young embryo was not yet “form”ed enough – as they said, quoting from the Bible itself apparently; (Ps. 139.16).  Specifically, these two key saints of the Roman Catholic Church, suggested that an embryo is simply not “formed” enough, (today we would say more specifically, its brain was not big enough), to have a “soul” or human intelligence or Reason.  Implying that therefore, a fetus or “child” in the womb is not really exactly a full child or a human being.  They say in effect that a young embryo, is not a human being or human person, because  it does not have a mind or spirit.  And so therefore, killing a young fetus, in an abortion, is not killing a full human being.  So that therefore,  abortion is not a sin as serious a sin, as murder.  Therefore.  [And v) if the Bible on "Formed" is said to have been a mistranslation in the Septuagint from earlier sources? Then the popes are now saying that part of the Bible they gave us, is wrong.  Which does not seem a safe or pious move, at all.] 

 

In fact, the whole effort of the Church after Vatican II to begin pontificating on sexual matters, is characterized by one questionable theological move after another; even literally referring time and time again, to heretics.

 

And so the 2004 memo just in itself, is rather more ambiguous than many might think; indeed, w) in actual practice, many bishops do not tell their parishioners that those who got abortions, were excommunicated; and these bishops cite some of the passages above to allow that, in point of fact.

So in fact?  The 2004 memo is in itself, rather more permissive than conservatives see.  While, to the extent that it is genuinely conservative?  Then to that extent … the memo actually contradicts key parts of Catholic Tradition.  Especially, anti-abortionism contradicts Augusine, and Aquinas.

Conservatives for years, have x) accused liberals, of just reading and following parts of Catholicism; the parts they agree with.  They accused liberals of acting like they were at a “cafeteria,” picking and choosing which parts to ingest. But here we find that conservatives were themselves, ignoring (or failing to understand?), countless subtle qualifiers, in Church and biblical material.

The fact is we will see, y) those many priests who condemned and judged others, abortionists, who even excommunicated some, are here and now found to have here committed the same kind of sins and errors they judged other to have had (just as St. Paul warned).  For example?  They themselves were the very “Cafeteria Catholics,” they called others; they themselves read parts of the Bible, but not all of it.  They reads the Pope – but not enough of him.  Then too?  They accused everyone else of attacking the soul … while deep down, their own efforts validate a mere physical body, finally denigrated the soul of the grown child and adult.

Even the 2004 memo therefore, which first seems very adamantly anti-abortionist, on closer reading turns out to contain more permissive elements, than many thought.  Especially, z) the 2004 memo finally does not take the last extreme steps that EWTN/RN, Priests-for-Life antiabortionism took:  the memo does not insist that we must vote for the most anti-abortionist candidate in an election.  While of course, it also stopped short of the even more extreme conclusion:  that abortion is “murder.”  And saying that therefore, Catholics are justified in killing abortion doctors, to prevent that.

Indeed, the memo is far more gracious, flexible, and “merci”ful – or liberal; forgiving – than that.

The Other Major Sin of Anti-Abortionism:

Dis”proportion”ality

If at times, even the Church itself occasionally over-stressed the sacredness of the embryo – especially to the point of excommunicating politicians who do not follow – when it erred on the side of over-caution, then it chose after all, to err.  It was an error, a mistake, an overstatement, by the Church.  As we will have been finding here,  it was indeed an error; and one that will have done much damage, in spite of the best intentions.  Because, as it turns out, when anyone exaggerates the importance of any one thing, you neglect the importance of others.  In this case, when Pro Life made the embryo sacred, and our new God, Catholics began to neglect the God of the Bible.  And to neglect more important issues, like the environment.  A series of massive mistakes … which can have massively disastrous, even Apocalyptic, consequences.  Especially we will see, one-issue antiabortionism, fails to take care of environmental things, like the four horsemen; like disease, plagues, famines.

To be sure, there are a few rather anti-abortion statements by the Church to be found.  But clearly the Church itself overall, has not supported a strong anti-abortion stance.  Indeed, it has criticized that stance over and over.  The current main criticism of anti-abortionism by the Church, is to note the criminal narrowness of its focus.  Which is indeed, extremely dangerous.  The problem with narrowness, is that when any individual focuses just on one minor sin, considering it supreme, he tends to ignore all other sin; but ignoring all other sins, allows other sins to flourish.  From neglect; from lack of oversight.

What is needed therefore, to fix this?  In part, “Prudence,” some common sense, is required here.  When you focus too much, just on one sin, and make it your major concern, you fail to address the full scope, of all the other sins in life.  And unattended, unmonitored sins, soon grow.  Worse, we will have begun to see here, many of the other sins that have been allowed to flourish, are often literally fatal.  For example: ignoring or neglecting the importance of the environment, and failing to avoid unnecessary wars, can potentially kill billions of human beings.   In particular, we focus here, on noting that ignoring, failing to vote against such problems as environmental disasters, could potentially, destroy billions of lives, through environment-related disasters, like floods, droughts, famines, plagues.  In fact they could destroy all human life on this planet.  Something that anti-abortionists seem not to have noticed.

Can the very narrowness of anti-abortionism, its neglect of environmental issues, actually cause this kind of  disaster and death?  In fact, that is possible.  Anti-abortionists ignore all too many important things; and when you neglect major problems, disasters can happen.  In fact, during anti-abortionist George Bush II’s administration, though he had his eye on the ball for abortion, he wasn’t watching terrorists closely enough … and we lost the World Trade towers in New York in 2/11/01.  While Bush was not watching the environment too closely either – and we lost part of New Orleans to a flood.

Can just the simple narrowness of anti-abortionism cause disasters? It seems possible.  But might note that the sin of anti-abortionism, is not just narrowness; it is also more specifically, narrowly reading and understanding and following, only parts of the Bible; while ignoring and disobeying whole chunks of the Bible itself.  Anti-abortionists are Cafeteria Catholics; they remember and follow only parts of the Bible; the parts that seem to refer to a “child” in the womb, say.  While they ignore or narrowly fail to remember, that the Bible itself suggested that the embryo was “formless” and incomplete. Then they, ignoring this, become obsessed with the embryo; and therefore for example, inconsolable in miscarriages.  Or worse, they come to feel that any number of soulless, mindless bodies can be fully human. As they come to indeed, all but worship the soulless body.

So what should we now say about the Pro Life position?  About anti-abortionism?  We must simply conclude that this narrow, cultlike fixation, among a few dangerously narrow people, just on abortion, is perversely un-biblical; and against the fullness of the truth of the Church.  And worse, because of its narrowness, it is also physically dangerous.  Putting many millions of lives at risk.

So that what finally should be done about this? In part, we might begin simply informing the Church and Catholics, more fully, of the huge sins and errors, in the anti-abortion heresy. As we have begun to show everyone, here and now.  In our present book.

Ultimately, the Church disapproves of anti-abortionism.  And to fix this problem, we will show that it should therefore also heartily, publicly, repeatedly disapprove of, and shut down, organizations like EWTN/RN, we will show.  (“The opportunities opened to us by … social communications,” says the Pope, “are indeed marvelous”; but that is all it says. Relevant Radio, on “Go Ask Your Father,” 12:36, Jan. 8, 2010, does not really fully quote the Popes when they also warn that however, that there are potential problems with the media too.)

What can be done to fix this continuous, one-sided misrepresentation of God, the Church, and the Truth?  We might hope that our present arguments might help clarify this issue, and motivate reform.  But to be sure, we and others have long tried to correct EWTN/RN; indeed the Church itself has already tried to correct EWTN/RN, with the pronouncements of at least three cardinals and a pope, directed against its anti-abortionism, and against its leadership, Mother Angelica.  And yet, in spite of the indirect and direct chastisement of EWTN by three Cardinals and the Pope, EWTN and related associates continue with their heretical message.  So that finally, it would seem clear, nothing at all will stop this movement, unless the public and/or the Church, begin to take far, far more direct and dramatic actions, against anti-abortionism.  And specifically and by name, against the heart of his false doctrine:  EWTN/RN.

For that matter?  As we will see later, ultimately, the penalty of excommunication, is far, far better deserved by anti-abortionists, than pro-abortionists.  Since?  They have ignored the mainstream tradition of Catholicism, of the major saints like Augustine and Aquinas; in favor of one marginal/heretical figure after another; like Tertullian, no less.  And since furthermore, as will be seen, their rabid, “abolut”ist inflexibility (CCC 2270), not only follows, strictly, only heretics like Tertullian, and heretical statements; this is a heresy that ultimately, though well-intended, will have horrible, even apocalyptic practical results.  As its attack on/neglect of core matters like the mind and the soul, preserving lives from Disease and War, lead finally to the premature deaths of billions of indisputably human beings.

Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more pernicious doctrine than the current anti-abortion stance of all too many Catholic leaders.  One which appears at first and to itself, as the very essence of humane compassion; but in the end, turns out to have been from the devil himself.  As we will begin to see, next.

It was perhaps in partial, belated recognition of some of the sins of anti-abortionism, that finally even Joe Ratzinger’s rather anti-abortionist memo, contained many qualifying remarks.  Including finally one that stopped just short, of one of the more extreme conclusions or formulations, that we are especially attacking in our book here:  when Joe Ratzinger noted that we are still allowed to vote for pro-abortion political candidates:  that voting for pro abortion candidates “can be permitted.”   Since there after all, can be other live issues, that are “proportionate”ly more important.

As we will see, particularly, next.

  Chapter 8

“Proportionate”ly

More Important Issues than Abortion –

Like Environment, Disease, and War;

Issues That Killed Billions of Human Beings

Anti-abortionists constantly speak as if the Church and God, firmly say that only the life of embryos, is really important.  While in contrast?  The lives of the millions, the billions of people, who die from lack of health care, the historical deaths of millions of those who died in floods and so forth, are insignificant, to the anti-abortionists; who  worship only embryos.  Who assert that only the deaths of embryos in abortions, is an important issue in our time.  In the end, anti-abortionists often say or constantly intimate (intimate, in order to try to avoid conflicts with IRA non-profit rules), that embryos are so important, that therefore, our duty to God, is to always vote for the most anti-abortion candidates in every election.   Which means that in effect, we are constantly being told in effect, (if not explicitly), that we must vote Republican in every election.  A message that suits “conservative” religious networks, and Republican nationalist conservatives, just fine.

But is this extreme new theology, has never actually been the view of the Church itself, or its holiest Tradition.  Strong anti-abortionism, has always been supported by references primarily to some of the most questionable authorities; including the inflexible Tertullian.  Who was known for his polemical, extreme statements (like “The blood of martyrs is the  seed of the Church”; “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem”; and “It is certain because it is impossible.”  And then finally?  For his equally adamant stance against abortion. And he was famous for leaving the Church; for apostasy; for being a heretic.  It is truly shocking, and just one more proof of the heretical nature of anti-abortionism, that Tertullian is cited the current Catechism as authority (CCC 2271, footnote 75, Tertullian, Apol. 9: PL 1, 319-320).  It is shocking that this Tertullian, was quoted in the Catechism; since Tertullian left the Church before 213 AD, and was widely reviled in early Christian literature.

So what then, is the better Tradition in the Church?  Far more respected, infinitely more canonical than Tertullian, have been St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, say.  While the fact is, St. Aquinas told us that the very young embryo was not “formed” enough to have a soul; and therefore, implicitly, the embryo was not really a human being or human person.

So in fact, it is time for Catholic anti-abortionists, to see the often literally apostate and heretical nature of their key sources; there sources in heresy, of their extreme and inflexible doctrine.  And in fact, though the current pope has been known to quote Tertullian it seems at times, and though he himself at times issued rather strongly anti-abortionist remarks, finally, even our German pope, finally begins to introduce a few grace notes, into an otherwise adamantly inflexible document.  So that finally, in our own time, Benedict 16th himself told us that voting for political candidates that happen to be pro-abortion, “can be permitted” (Card. Joe Ratzinger, “Worthiness to Receive,” 2004 memo).  While the head of the USCCB, Card. McCarrick, confirmed in 2007 or so, that “one issue” Catholicism – like, we would say, ant-abortionism – was not good.  So that the cardinal added that the Church was “not telling Catholics how to vote.”

Yet incredibly, shockingly, these messages from a) the canonical Saints, from b) the cardinals, and c) from the Pope, were simply, incredibly, shockingly ignored, by Catholic “conservatives.”  Who incredibly, think of themselves “conservatives” – even when they actually follow heretics and apostates, like Tertullian.  And futhermore, the real saints, the core theologians of the Church, Augustine and Aquinas – and indeed, the “soul” and mind itself –  were constantly attacked by self-appointed “Catholic” media networks like EWTN and Relevant Radio.  Who constantly asserted that the “ensoulment issue” did not matter at all; that all that was necessary to be a full human being or human person, was a lump of physical DNA; while not only the saints, but also the mind or soul was simply dispensed with.  In favor of?  A grossly reductionistic view of humanity, without a mind or spirit.  Offered by Pro Lifers, not in the name of not the highest saints; but supported by one literally heretical and/or apostate quote, after another. Attacking the saints, attacking intelligence, attacking the soul itself.  And then?  Attacking the concern for health, and war.

Self-styled “Conservatives” continued to speak against abortion; speaking of it so violently, as such an important issue, that finally, it should clearly, according to them, outweighs all other issues in politics and in Life itself.  Specifically, when a bill came up for health care for the poor, c. 2009/10, many anti-abortionist Catholics opposed the bill that would give health care for the poor; essentially because it contained a provision to fund abortions.  So that finally, anti-abortionists were willing to reject helping the poor and the sick.  Claiming it was a less-important issue than their single-minded obsession:  abortion.  Indeed, many of them essentially follow Karl Keating and others on EWTN/RN; who have often spoke as if abortion is the most important or only issue in “life issues” and life; and who constantly implied – and at times even explicitly said – that therefore we must always vote for only the most anti-abortion politician, in every election.  Which means in effect, we are being told to vote Republican in every election.  Conservative stations deny this; but this is their constant implicit message.  And though they attempted not to say it openly, at times this message was even finally, explicitly stated.

This is what Conservatives told us on EWTN/RN.  And they were enormously influential.  EWTN/RN is in effect the largest self-styled “Catholic” media outlet in the world; especially in America.  And since it presented its apostate views, as the word of the Church and of God?  Its heretical message was magnified immensely, in the ears of its pious listeners.  So that?  Finally, in spite of constant warnings from many bishops, cardinals, finally the anti-abortionist vote became very important; and was enough to elect one pro-“troops,” pro-war, nationalistic Republican candidate after another, in America.  From Ronald Reagan in 1980-88; to George Bush I 1988-1992; then George Bush II 2000-2008. Who soon embarked on one war after another; from Grenada, to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Who stood up for a lump of DNA; but who opposed health care.

But now at last it is time to show Catholics, that they have been seriously mislead by Catholic “conservatives.”  In fact, their “conservative” view was always a radical new apostate and heretical idea.  Or, it it had traditional roots, those roots were usually literally, in well known heretics, like Tertullian. Conservatives chose the wrong voices to listen to in the Catholic magisterium; the voices of the apostates, the heretics.   What we have heard on private, non-profit “Catholic” media networks, was just a tiny, mispreresentative part of the larger and better Tradition of the Church; conservatives quoted the meanest-spirited heretics.  While they ignored and attacked, what the greater Church itself was really saying.   The fact is, we just found here, even the most respected figures in Catholicism, like Augustine and Aquinas, often made mistakes.  And yet however, finally, they are probably normally preferable, to out-and-out heretics.  While certainly, as far as the genuinely pious and conservative believers are concerned, they have far more official, canonical status.  So finally, if you are really, actually conservative?  You should not listen to heretics like Tertullian; or marginal documents like the Didache. Instead, if you must follow any authorities blindly, then  the better authorities would be St. Augustine, and St. Aquinas.  These are not “just” saints; but also “doctors of the Church.”  And famous theologians.  And the truly conservative, pious believer, should give them due audience.  When furthermore, not just one but both of them, told us that the young embryo does not have a rational soul.  Clearly assuming therefore that the very young embryo, is not fully human; Aquinas apparently even explicitly concluding that therefore, the abortion of a very young embryo is not murder; since the embryo is in effect, not a human person, with a rational soul (see Aquinas on this).

To be sure, since the advent of Modernism, and Vatican II, at times even Popes have been tempted by new, literal – especially sexy – ideas.  And so the last three or four popes – including Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI – have attempted to be modern, or to address modern issues of Humanism, and reproduction and sexuality; in papal encylicals like Humanae Vitae, 1968.  And yet to be sure, we are finding here and elsewhere, that even the efforts of popes, are not always infallible. And in partial recognition of this, some of the more careful popes, are careful to try to “balance constituencies,” as one writer put it; or strike a balance between many competing theologies, liberal and conservative ,and otherwise.  So that?   While the current Pope, Joe Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, seems to have followed the bent of recent popes, to condemn abortion, he also in another voice, including many qualifications on that.  While the current pope finally backed away from the most radical and extremist formulations of anti-abortion sentiment or antiabortionism:  Benedict XVI finally telling us that there are “proportionate”ly more important issues, than abortion.  So that voting for candidates that support abortion, “can be permitted.”

And so now, following the Pope at last, it is time to discover exactly what issues, might be proportionately more important.  Clearly concentrating too much – as EWTN and Relevant Radio do – just on the “one issue” of abortion,  is not only against the Bible, and the Church; but it also has disastrous practical effects.   The fact is, there are far more important things to look at in life, than abortions.  In fact, countless more lives than those lost in abortion, have already been lost, historically, proportionately, from neglecting other factors, including a) health care.  And b) a few classes of environmental disasters that anti-abortionists did not notice.  Anti-abortionists simply ignoring the fact that the Bible never mentioned abortion – while countless parts of the Bible warned constantly about other, enviornmental-related life issues.  Like  floods, plagues, droughts, famines etc..  Beyond the to-some problematic environmental theories of “Global Warming,” there are dozens of other proven environment-related disasters, that we know really happen in real life:  like plagues, famines, floods.  The Bible itself warned about these.  While History confirms that such environmental disasters, have already have already cost hundreds of millions of lives. (Even billions, even trillions some say, cumulatively, over the millennia). And furthermore?  Unless anti-abortionists can turn away from their narrow obsession or fixation, and address these issues, their neglect of these other dangers, will cost millions, even billions more human lives.

We see signs of this already:  George Bush II was against abortion.  But he failed to really see the danger in environemental issues:  he neglected the flood-control levies in Louisiana, and lost part of New Orleans, to a flood.  And, if we continue to pay too much attention to abortion, and not enough care to health issues, and the environment?  The return of massive worldwide plagues, disease epidemics, is always a very real possiblity.  Indeed, God’s punishment for anti-abortionists’ narrowness, could be billions of deaths.  As foretold in various End Times scenarios.

So that, what is the first great other “issue” that we should look at, aside from Abortion?  First of all, we need to consider environmental issues.

# 85 Two cardinals and the Pope at least, have told us to pay more attention to many other issues, that are proportionately more important than abortion.  But what things might be proportionately more important than abortion?  Since tens of millions of lives were lost to abortion?  First of all, if embryos are not human persons, then in fact, no fully human lives were lost at all, to abortion.  While even if young human embryos were human persons – which they are not – still, a quick look at History and the Bible, shows that there have been many disasters in the past, that have caused countless deaths.  The current Pope to be sure, seemed to suggest in his 2004 memo, that lives lost in just wars, are not important.  Even capital punishment has its morbid fans.  But what about say, the huge disasters caused by neglecting the environment?   Many say that nothing could be more important than abortion.  But we will note here that even if embryos were human beings, and those numbers were significant, still, that number would still be proportionately far, far less, than the hundreds of millions, billions of indisputably human lives, that have already been killed.  In various natural and unnatural, environment-related disasters.  Like floods; plagues, and so forth.

Most conservatives today, think far too narrowly about everything; including “environmental” problems.  They think that the only “environment”al disaster that is at issue:  “global warming”; and they insist, this single issue is an unproven hypothesis.  But that is a too-narrow understanding of “environment.”  The fact is, we need to broaden our understanding of environment – to include droughts, floods, famines, and plagues.  All of which are related to the environment; too much or too little rain; population density in relation to land mass, and so forth.  All these things are also ultimately environmental. And neglect of them has is a) not just a hypothetical evil, the evil of stupidity or obsession; b) History has already proven that inability to control environmental issues, or neglecting them, has already caused one proven disaster after another. Indeed, inability to control environmental problems, has already typically, prematurely killed as much as 30% of the population of the earth, from generation to generation.  From especially disease, exposure; but also droughts, earthquakes, floods, and related famines, etc..

Today we need to broaden our understanding of “environment”al problems; to include floods, famines, plagues, and so forth.  When we do that, we suddenly see the unexpected immensity of this issue. As soon as we see this, the importance of taking care of the environment, to prevent millions of deaths, from massive environmental disasters, is not a theory; it is a proven historical and scientific fact.  History already attests that hundreds of millions of people, have already been killed by various environment-related disasters, like plagues, droughts, and floods.  While many more deaths can come, if we neglect these things.   (As when George Bush for example, neglected the dikes in New Orleans … and lost much of the city, to a sea surge).

The cardinals, the Pope, told us that many things can be proportionately more important than abortion; so what are they?  First of all, the current Pope often speaks of being “prudent” in thinking about the environment.  Here we note that a) even if embryos really were human beings or human persons (which they are not), then, still, even the millions of embryos killed to date in abortions, would be b) far less serious, “proportionate”ly, than the hundreds of millions of people already lost, through “natural” disasters, related to the environment.   While c) of course, embryos pale in comparison, proportionately, to the billions of fully grown humans and children, that would be killed, in  many conceivable, future disasters of this kind.  Especially, plagues.

There are proportionately many far more important things than embryos, in point of fact.  Furthermore, speaking in this way, urgently of the extreme danger to human “life,” of neglecting the environment we might add, is not just a “secular” or “liberal” idea; the Bible itself warned constantly, in effect, about the immense danger from environmental disasters.  As noted earlier (in regard to Ethics, prudence), anyone who really reads and follows the Bible, should be far, far, far more concerned with plagues and floods and so forth – which the Bible mentions countless times – than abortion; which the Bible never mentions by name even once.  The Bible itself, warned constantly of one environmental disaster after another; like floods, plagues, famines.  Like the Flood of Noah.  And it warned that we need to behave ourselves, to avoid further disasters.

So once again, our anti-abortionists, appear to be far too narrow-minded, and obsessive.  They have concentrated on just one part of life, one issue. And ignored, neglected – even voted to neglect – far more important issues.  Curiously, our anti-abortionists devote their lives and votes to an issue that the Bible itself never mentions by name at all; while they neglect many other, clearly proven evils, that the Bible warned about constantly.  So in what sense, we might even ask, are anti-abortionists  really “Christians”?  Since they do not follow the Bible at all?  Since their whole lives are devoted to an issue the Bible never mentions?  Finally we conclude that they in fact, are not actually Christians at all; but belong to a new cult.  One that believes it is Christian; but that is not that at all.

The Cardinals and the Pope told us to look at other issues.  And indeed, our quick review reveals here there are many far more important things. So that indeed, it is time for the Church to look at “other issues” than abortion; to look at problems caused by neglect of the environment especially, among other things.  For real Christians, there is a very, very strong Biblical argument for giving the environment, and environmental disasters, very, very great importance.  God himself  constantly described environment-related disasters in the past.  Like “The Flood” of Noah and other floods. And various plagues, famines, and so forth. And thereby, the Bible itself told us that such problems, are a very, very real possibility. Indeed, the Bible itself apparently believes firmly this is a very real danger; indeed, one of the worst dangers on earth. While the Bible itself, told us constantly to take care of such things.  Indeed, just as Noah built a boat to survive one flood, was can begin devoting public taxes, to public works:  damns and farming programs and research and so forth.  To help us survive such disasters too.

The Pope therefore, told us to be mindful of “proportionate”ly more important things than abortion.  But what things might that include?  As it turns out, there are many, many issues besides abortion that are more important.   In part, the environment is ultimately, far, far more important, than abortion.   Environmental disasters are not just abstract, uncertain theory, like the theory of global warming.  They are proven fact:  History, even the newspapers, were full of accounts of such proven disasters, in the past.

While for that matter, many more such disasters were predicted by the Bible itself, c. 2,000 BC – 382 AD.

Anti-abortionists therefore, should listen less to talk radio, and read their Bibles more:  there are countless warnings in it, about future plagues and famines.  Especially, some say, in a future “day” of the Lord; an End of Time, in the book of Revelation.  A day that includes various disasters; like “four horsemen” and angels, with “vials” of plagues. Bringing also poison, etc..

The Bible, History, both tell us therefore about various dangers, issues, that could and should occupy us far more, than abortions; that have already caused proportionately, infinitely far more deaths than abortion will ever, proportionately.  And that will cause far more of them too; if we don’t devote ourselves always, in part, to this kind of issue.

Our own attention and work moreover, is required; to prevent unnecessarily disastrous outcomes to already-disastrous problems.  One way of avoiding droughts and so forth, is to take care of the earth.  To avoid dustbowls.  The Bible itself supports this; they say it  called us to a) work the soil, in responsible ways, from the days of Adam.  Or, in biblical language:  b) the Bible they say, called us to be  “good steward”s of the earth.  While the Bible definitely warned about the others, who do not take care of the many issues in life.  They c) join the evil people and animals.  Who are no doubt, the foretold “beasts,” and “destroyers of the earth.”  (To address them in the simple language they understand.)

Bad Wars;

“Just” … But Unnecessary Wars;

And Unjust Wars

“While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war,

and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may

still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse

to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among

Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

There are countless, very, very serious objections to one-issue politics, one-issue theologies.  And therefore, there are very, very serious objections to religious and secular anti-abortionism.  First, as we have found here above, a) much of Catholic Tradition suggests that the very young embryo is not even a full human being, with a “soul” or full human intelligence.  So that b) aborting an embryo does not kill a full human being or human person, at all.   Thus c) the whole idea that abortion is intentional murder of a human being, is wrong.  Likewise, the related idea that d) as such,  it is “intrinsically evil,” and that it therefore is more evil than other evils, is also an invalid or unsound argument; a fallacy.  As we have shown here.  But especially, e) one of the main objections of even the Catholic leadership itself, to a strong focus just on abortion, is the evilness of  all dis-“proportionate,” or “one issue” theology and politics.  When you become too narrow and fixed on just a tiny part of life, then you can ignore and neglect – and in effect, encourage – many other evils to grow.  Through lack of oversight, responsible monitoring of the bigger picture, the wider range of responsibilities.

The current Pope, in fact noted problems with “proportional”ity, in one-issue anti-abortionism; in his 2004 memo; Joe Ratzinger/Benedict XVI assuming that there are many, many things in life, that are normally “proportionate”ly more important than abortion.  Here, we concur with the Pope, and confirm that indeed, there are many, many more important things than abortion, to consider when voting for example.  In particular, we are showing here, the evils of environmental neglect, and consequent disasters, deserves particular, item-by-item attention. The environment is so important that in fact,  rather than subsuming all “environmental problems” under just one category (as they were sketched briefly above), we looked at several of the various individual types of environmental disasters, separately, one-by-one. But next in addition, let’s look at another major issue that historically, has already proven to be hundreds of times more important than abortion:  avoiding unnecessary wars. 

 

At times, many anti-abortionists try to say that only abortion kills a hundred million innocent human beings; whereas, if wars kill even more, then after all, some wars are good; and the victims are not innocent.  But suppose we look a second time, at the anti-abortionists’ love of war.  Let’s look at the massive number of deaths caused by “just” and unjust wars for example.  While we find here that ultimately most war deaths “count”; few wars are “just”; and today nearly all belong in a new category we will outline here:  nearly all are “unnecessary.”  So that nearly all the deaths in nearly all wars, “count”; these are very real deaths, murders in effect. So that, even if we count embryo deaths as the deaths of human beings (which we should not), even then, the massive number of bad deaths in wars, far outweigh the deaths caused by abortion.  So that the issue of war, is “proportionately,” massively more important than abortion.  When viewed simply by the number of people unnecessarily killed.

 

 

# 86 There are many, many evils that narrow anti-abortionists neglect, or even actively support. Among are many evils that anti-abortionists in effect, encourage.  Among them, let us consider war.  (Around 1991-2008, Catholic anti-abortionists were arguing for instance, that specifically, the Iraq war was a just or “good” war; and therefore avoiding the deaths in that or similar wars, should not be an issue, in deciding whether to vote for pro-war Republicans, or anti-war Democrats, c. 2000-2008. But?).

 

First consider simply, the hundreds of millions of deaths, already historically known, to have been caused by wars.  This is a frightful number that deserves extremely close consideration.  Just in itself.

Then next, even more, consider that billions of lives that could be lost, in future wars.

 

Indeed, prudence and proportionality, should slow our enthusiasm for war a bit here.  They should require us all to always keep in mind, first and foremost, the immense destruction caused by many wars.  First of course, wars in general, are extremely important, and massively destructive, and deadly.   They have already killed hundreds of millions of people historically. While potentially, a nuclear war and “nuclear winter,” could kill most of mankind; current six billion human beings.   So that the attempt to avoid all wars altogether, seems like a very wise, compassionate, and necessary movement.  Even “just” wars we will see.

Indeed, even a “just” war that killed most of mankind, would have to be declared evil, we will suggest.  We will have allowed earlier, that practical numbers, consequences, are important vs. “intrinsic” logical analysis, according to the simple but effective Catholic virtue of Prudence (see our discussion of considering “consequences,” vs. “intrinsic” evils).   Simply speaking, even a massive “just” war might be stupid and bad and evil, when viewed from other angles, we will see.  Especially when we see consequences.  See our earlier notes on an empirical, not just logical, ethics.  It would be a silly kind of justice, to have a good war that destroyed all of mankind.  Think about it.

And perhaps even wars thought to be just and wonderful, are not so good for reasons besides consequences.  For example, it may often seem that this or that war is “unavoidable”; but we can always learn negotiation, peacemaking skills and so forth, to avoid even these.  So that wars that seem “just,” might still be avoidable or unnecessary.  Therefore, the millions, the billions of deaths our war-loving priests and ethicists might cause, can be laid at their door. Since they did not take their peace-making duties seriously enough; and allowed a just but unnecessary war, that  killed billions.

In Christianity, priests traditionally follow the model of the prevailing, peace-making side of Jesus:  who tells us to “love your enemies”; and “turn the other cheek” if your enemy strikes you on one cheek; to “forgive” your brother seven times seven; to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus himself, when soldiers came to arrest and execute him, did not resist; and even healed the ear of one of the soldiers.  No doubt, Jesus himself is said to have a more military side; but the New Testament pictures him, mostly, as a peacemaker.  Jesus at times turned down even  “just” wars.

 

Conservatives today though, ignore this spiritual, “love”-oriented side of Jesus.  Instead, they embrace physical solutions; especially, war.  As in the Old Testament.  In the Rush-Limbaugh era, worship simple, physical power; they like football, and physical solutions.  (Rush Limbaugh at various times, tried football commentary; and tried to buy a football team in 2009, before being condemned, stopped, for earlier racist remarks).  They like football, and simply pushing enemies over physically; and this affection for the body, not the mind, physical force, ends up supporting wars too.  Physical force, not negotiation; the body, not the mind, is the solution, they believe.  Typically, Republicans support the Military, the “troops,” strongly.  And they believe more  in war, over negotiation or “tolerance,” as a solution to all our problems.  They like the “Theology of the body,” and give little or no importance, to the intelligence, or the “soul.”  As we saw in their arguments regarding the fetus; which they regard as fully human, whether or not it has intelligence, or a soul.  They worship in effect, crude physical force.  And Republican presidents, in spite of a brief bow to “diplomacy,” were rather quick to jump into actual wars in Grenada, Afghanistan, and Iraq.  If conservatives revere the physical lives of soulless entities like embryos and brain-dead bodies, they don’t have as much reverence or mindfulness, for the lives of children and adults; even innocent civilians; who in war, are just accidental or “collateral damage.”

But this seems say, excessively unspiritual.

But after all, the Catechism suggests things that lead to our own assertion:  that those who go too quickly into a war, that pronounce it “just” and a good war, often move too quickly, and create the evil of even a “just” but unnecessary war.   It’s rather like confronting a bully, who hits you; you might be justified in some way in hitting him back; but some systems of morality suggest that you might still try to resolve this by talking.  Indeed consider Jesus; who said turn the other cheek here.  So consider indeed, a new category of bad wars:   the possibility that some wars might be just but … unnecessary:  (In Cat. 2308:  “All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.”  And the Catechism allows that even “accidental” deaths caused by willful or irresponsible neglect, are serious ; Catechism # 2269, p. 547.  Indeed we will show, most “just” wars are actually, evil; and the deaths caused in them, both deliberate and accidental, and culpable; those who caused such wars, or even often, merely failed to stop them, are responsible for however many millions or billions of deaths were caused.  Deaths we will show that should be accounted as unnecessary, and not “innocent” either.)

The pope’s memo on abortion, above, to be sure, offers a few positive lines for those conservative people who are quick to go to war:

“While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war,

and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may

still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse

to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among  Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

The memo suggests that after all, not all wars are intrinsically evil; there is such a thing as a “just war,” it seems.  But giving this inch, many soon take a mile; the problem with allowing there are just wars, is that soon everyone is quick to justify their own war, as a good and just one; without the extremely extensive inspection that should proceed such a determination.  Taking this line as their justification, many nationalistic /conservative, pro-war anti-abortionists, often say that wars are just not an issue.  They love their own patirotic/American/nationalist wars. Therefore they say, trying to avoid killing and war, are just not worth our attention or vote.  Because they say, wars are often wonderful.   While in fact the current Pope and many others, have allowed that some wars are “just,” and can be good.  But?  Perhaps the great sin of anti-abortionists is their narrowness:   they should have looked a little more deeply into their Catechisms.  And discovered, say, Cat. 2308:

“All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war” (CCC 2308  ).

The nationalistic/conservative argument that many wars are wonderful, “just,” was taken up in particular, by conservative Catholics in America, c. 1980-1991 to the present.  IT was quickly taken up by then, to assert that, say, the American war in Iraq and Afghanistan, specifically, was unavoidable; and was a just war.  So that no Catholic votes were required, to avoid or end this war.  Or for that matter, to avoid creating more wars.  Catholic radio argued constantly, c. 1991-2009, that lives lost in wars, like Iraq, or in unnecessary conflicts with other peoples, lack of tolerance, should not be an issue.  Not in elections after 1991 AD.

But finally, let’s look more prudently, at the consequences of this logic:  suddenly, war was much more acceptable; even wonderful.  And?  The hundreds of thousands, millions of lives lost in these wars, were not important; the lives of adults lost here were of no significance.  The billions of lives that were lost in past wars, the billions more than could be killed in future wars, were suddenly … not important.  Just things were now arguably good and “just.”  So that?  Finally, only the life of the embryo, deserved our vote or concern.  As we were constantly told.  And many women especially, believed this.  Especially when Catholic radio – and even some priests – told us this; on the air.  And even in some churches.

To be sure, most religious documents, try to give almost equal time to the two sides of every question. In this case, to say,  Republican and Democratic ideas.  Or say, both physical/violent ideas, (like the Old Testament), and a more intellectual, spiritual understanding (like Jesus in the Gospels).  And indeed, our current Pope, Joe Ratzinger himself, the German government and other reliable sources say (including his own admission?), joined Hitler Youth in his childhood; and served in a Nazi Panzer division, in the end of WW II (at the age of 16-17, to be sure).  And parts of Joe Ratzinger’s memo, did mention “just” wars.  So that whenever someone called in to conservative media like EWRN to object, that there were other important lives, other than embryos, that lives lost in wars like Iraq might be important, those arguments were quickly rejected by the hosts.  By quoting especially the part of the memo, where it seemed to say that after all, some wars might be “just”; whereas killing an innocent person was always, “intrinsically” evil.

But to be sure, theology, God, is a bit more complicated and equivocal, than many football fans think.  And we can show that this statement by Ratzinger, justifying some wars, was taken too narrowly; taken out of context by Catholic talk show hosts and apologists.  They took it to be, for example, asserting that the Iraq war specifically, was a just war.  Or it could not be determined that it was unjust.  But in fact the Pope’s  statement did not make that determination.

It was not being determined, in the Pope’s memo, that the Iraq war specifically, was just.   Therefore, technically at least, Catholics should not have used this discussion on the possible priority of abortion, to reject the possibility that deaths caused even n specifically Iraq  might be bad.

Especially of course no one should take this, to say that all future wars are OK; even, by future anti-terrorist wars – might be bad deaths after all. We need to examine them one by one at least, to see if they really are just.

While finally we suggest here that even an allegedly “just” war that was massively destructive, “prudence” would suggest, was bad after all.  According to our view of “consequences,” next.

 

Here note, after all, that the Pope only minimized “just” wars.  But consider unjust ones.  If you cause an un-justified war, then the deaths you cause are your fault; you have killed many innocents.

Here, we might recall and then discuss in more detail, the false notion that things that are “intrinsically” evil, always outweigh things that are not.  From our discussion on “intrinsic” vs. “consequences.”

The idea that some wars and deaths might be OK, because they are “just,” stems from a confusion about “intrinsic” evils.  Like say, the theory that allows capital punishment.  There is it said that after all, a murderer often kills innocent people; which is always “intrinsically” bad, they claim.  So that specific killing is bad; and we condemn the murderer.  Then next, since the murderer is bad, and not innocent, therefore it is said, we are justified in killing him in turn; executing him according to the law.  Since that is killing not an “innocent,” but a bad person; which is not intrinsically evil, but is even allowed.

 

The theory of “just” wars, is similar; depending in part on “intrinsic” theory.  There, it is said that some wars are unjust, and caused by bad people acting unjustly; and the deaths they cause are therefore not of guilty people, but is killing innocents.  Which it is claimed, is “intrinsically” bad.  Whereas however, if we must go to war with such a bad nation in turn, then the people are not innocent; and when we kill them, that is a just killing, not of innocents.  Therefore, since we are not killing innocent human beings, that is justified. It is not intrinsically evil.

 

Similarly, remember, it was hinted in the Pope’s memo, that abortion killed innocent human beings; and was always, “intrinsically” evil. (See however our remarks on “intrinsic” evils here).   And next here we see the flip side of that:  since some wars kill guilty people, then all wars were not intrinsically evil; some might be “just wars.”

And therefore, the memo was (mis)interpreted to hint that after all, the deaths of embryos was more evil, than deaths caused by at least some wars.  So that at least some wars were  not a proportionately more important issue than abortion.  That is because some wars are “just.”

But to be sure, note that while some wars might be OK, this never said that all of them are.   Only the deaths caused in just wars might be of less consequence than abortion deaths; whereas however, if you cause an unjust war, that kills many millions, then you will have been culpable; causing the deaths of millions who were essentially innocent.

 

Or indeed finally, we have an earlier argument against the whole idea of “intrinsic” things outweighing things that are not (see our earlier discussion of “consequences” vs. “intrinsic).  The fact is, things that are “intrinsically evil, often do not outweigh things that are not.

Consider too the practical temptations here; when we tell the people that some wars are OK.  Unfortunately, for example, the memo was commonly interpreted  in 2004, as the Pope telling us that the Iraq war was a good, just war.  And therefore, we were not allowed to consider the issue, specifically, of the Iraq war, or vote for candidates that opposed it; since being a just war,  the deaths caused there were not of innocents (even civilians and children?).  Therefore indeed, it was constantly implied that, in calculating the number of deaths caused by the issue of the Iraq war vs. the issue of deaths caused in abortion, the Pope and the Church were telling us the Iraq war did not rate; and its deaths were not to be considered as important, relative to abortion deaths.  Therefore the Pope in his 2004 memo – just before the 2004 election in November – was taken to be telling us to vote for pro-war, anti-abortion Republicans.  Since it was said, war, physical force, is a good or “just” way to solve our problems. And/or at least, there were no unjust wars, anywhere on the horizon, c. 1991-2009.

But to be sure, remember, a) the memo by the Pope, did not minimize the importance of all wars; only just ones. So that after all, an un-just war might well be far worse than abortions.  For that matter, an un-just war, is also intrinsically evil: it kills innocents.  Then too, b) the Pope did not say specifically here, that Iraq specifically, was just.

Or for that matter, c) we might note here that in some cases, it might even have been better, to think about the war-like tendencies of George Bush, and vote against him, not just for Iraq alone (which might have been just, or not).  But in order to prevent Bush from starting up other, probably unjust wars.  Or even just more unnecessary wars. Arguably, the Iraq was unnecessary; or avoidable. (If Bush Sr. and his ambassador to Iraq had not expressed indifference to Iraq’s “border disputes,” with Kuwait, Saddam Hussein might not have attacked in the first place; so that the whole Iraq war was avoidable.  And to some extent even imputable to Bush Senior’s excessive indifference to wars, “border disputes.”  And their pro-military stance; which made it likely they would get into wars too quickly).

Once we begin offering arguments that justify wars on the air, many will use them as excuses in situations where they don’t apply.

Or indeed, many will decide that such ethical niceties are all so complicated, that we simply can’t really determine which wars are good …. So we can just justify all wars.  On overwhelmingly “conservative” talk radio and media – which was far more influential than many have thought, in the Rush Limbaugh age – it was constantly asserted that, at best, we cannot know if most of our current wars are just, or unjust.  Therefore, a war like Iraq say, being not obviously or irrefutably good or bad, should not be a concern, they often claimed, in the voting booth.  Issues like the Iraq war, told show hosts on EWTN claimed, can be safely ignored.  Because their status was not certain; they might even be just or good wars.  (It being the primary trait of conservatives, that they essentially, favor the Old Testament God of war and death; vs. the New Testament god of “love” and “Grace”).  And wars therefore, no longer being an “issue,” therefore, we can devote all our attention to ignoring deaths caused in battles, or in the growing war on terrorism; and devote all our attention, to defeating Democrats in the voting booth, to protect the lives not of adults, but of embryosBut after all, aa) perhaps eventually we can know – and will find that many wars thought “just” were not so just after all.  Perhaps Bush set up the Iraq war for example.  But in any case, we will note, even if Iraq was just, then bb) still, it might have been unnecessary.  While then too, cc) we might have voted anti- antiabortion, just on the theory that Bush, liking wars, was likely to start another, different, unjust war finally.

Many right-wing Catholics, are pro-military; and just don’t mind wars much, in the first place.  And so they used the statement by the Pope, justifying “just” wars, as enough of an excuse, to suggest that in 2000 –2004, we should vote for an anti-abortion Republican that had already started a war with Iraq.  Even if he was pro-military, had started one war, and might likely start another war.

Conservatives often even assumed or asserted that the Pope was talking primarily about the Iraq war – or even other potential war, say, with all of Islam. And that was “just.”  But after all, was war in general, always going to be a lesser issue, than abortion? What about un-just wars?  Hundreds of millions of lives have been lost, in wars like WW I & II.  While it is thought that the German, Nazi side, was unjust.

Though for that matter, the Germans thought their beginning WW II, was just.

Talk radio often addressed itself largely to, or was believed by, often, uneducated working people. People who were tired of the ambiguities of theology; and who wanted, needed, simple answers.  Simple commands to follow.  Indeed, an entire radio network, “Relevant Radio,” has been named, to center around the working class complaint that theology, seminary professors, Churches, priests, don’t give us simple, operationalizable answers, “relevant” to the problems of “everyday life.”  So that we need some radio talk show hosts, to make it all simple.  Like a football play or war strategy.  To “bridge the gap between religion and everyday life” (its slogan); with “relevant” guidance on specific issues (as “Relevant Radio” says). And politics.  Never mind that God and life are complicated; and often there are no simple answers.  Particularly alarming, is the common masses’ working, physical man’s disdain for effete intellectualizations and spirituality;  the Right wing finds that the “F.I.S.T.,” of “Rocky Balboa,” football, war, law and order, the body, is the answer. This class of people has always been prone to look not for an intellectual or spiritual or negotiated solution; but to punch it out physically.  Such people have been all too ready, to hear the new Catholic Right’s justifications of war.  And to use them to bolster their already-too-extreme tendencies to violent action.

But in fact, the Pope’s 2004 memo, spoke at most, equivocally, of the two possibilities;   regarding war, or abortion, as causing the most deaths. He alluded to the possibility that some wars are just, and the deaths they caused, justified?  But he did not after all, tell us that all wars are just; he left open the conclusion after all that a given war might be unjust … ad the deaths caused in it, the deaths of innocents, too.  So that those deaths might outweigh abortions.  Particularly when their numbers are greater.

Indeed, if Americans were innocent, and only defended America in a war that was for them just, in WW II, then consider:  that after all, many innocents died on our own side in that war.  Whereas if we had avoided that war, the death of our own innocents might have been avoided.

So while it is true that there are arguments, that would justify wars, killing – and that would suggest that many of those killed, were not innocent, and deserved killing – still finally, these arguments … are all too tempting.  And should be advanced very, very cautiously, with many warnings.  Our own position for now, is that while the Iraq war was perhaps just, it was probably not necessary.  To be sure, many of the deaths there were not entirely innocent; on the other hand though, some undoubtedly were.  While both sides might have avoided that war. So that there are some somewhat guilty parties there.

In any case, regarding starting wars, and responsibility for deaths caused?  We here do not suggest the American entry into specifically the Iraq war was unjust; but we suggest that however, extreme caution must always be taken when thinking of justifying any war at all.  No one should go into a war too quickly. While for that matter, even those who semi-accidentally” cause a massive war and many deaths, we will suggest, may be held partially to blame.

But especially:  wars in our era can be so fantastically destructive – they could even destroy all of mankind – that therefore, the “issue” of even avoiding a potential war, can easily, even normally, take priority over deaths caused by abortions.  Indeed, in 2000-2008, it seemed quite possible, that even in an era of peace, electing a merely pro-military patriot, would increase the possibility of at least a minor – and possible a major – war.  So that a vote for Bush, former military jet pilot, seemed to flirt, somewhat, with electing someone whose rhetoric would soon get us into an otherwise-avoidable war.  Arguably in fact, the subsequent war with Iraq – and the worse worldwide “war on terror” – might have been avoided.  If we had elected a candidate whose mind-set was not so militarized; a more intellectual person capable of  … talking out his differences, with different religions, other nations.

Here indeed, possibly a more spiritual/intellectual person should have been supported by the priests of the Catholic Church.  Like Sen. Al Gore or John Kerry. Only time will tell, how big a price there is to pay, for allowing the Church to for a moment, support wars and death.  Justifying some of them, as “just.” No doubt, it was the conservative faction of the Church, that caused this to happen.  Only time will tell, whether it was the right decision.  While in any case, after such a long war in Iraq, it seems to be a better time today, to try for peace, after all.  Even if necessary, electing a pro-abortion candidate to get that.

When we begin to present the idea that some wars might be good or just therefore, and use that to suggest that they deaths they cause are not important – not as important as the deaths caused in abortions – we open a complicated bucked of worms.  One that to be sure is worth looking into. But it is a problematic realm … that to be sure, will tempt many to enter wars that they otherwise might have tried harder to avoid.   In any case, we find that the whole notion of justifying any wars at all, is tricky.  While here we suggest that even if a war is just, it might still be unnecessary.  So that there can be just wars, whose deaths however, might to some extent be credited to other responsible parties; as unnecessary.  Many lives are saved, when we learn to negotiate, diplomatically, rather than fight.  While wars are fantastically inefficient, and destructive; destroying up to half the immediate resources of a country.

We therefore suggest here, that avoiding wars in general, “just” or “unjust,” will always be a higher priority than abortion.

Note that all wars represent a failure to really follow Christ; to “love your enemy” and “turn the other cheek”; a failure to learn how to get along with others.  Nearly all wars represent a failure; a failure to talk out, negotiate, your differences.  While indeed, the goal of an ideal “kingdom,” biblically, was always “peace.” The ideal is a kingdom where there are no more wars at all; no more suffering and death.

In any case though, whatever the status of Iraq, there is one looming, possible war, that is always worth avoiding, and that always takes precedence over all other issues, like abortion:  an all-out, nuclear or biological etc. war, between major world powers.  Which would likely result in billions of casualties.  A disaster far, far exceeding abortion.  And a disaster that … is never so far away, that it does not take many, many people, working all the time, to avoid it.  So that we must always be electing many peace-loving people.  While to be sure, keeping a few warriors, “swords” around us, too.

Those many gay priests, who over-emphasize spiritual things and do not see the material practicalities of life, who let the perfect be the enemy of the good, who blithely risk WWIII to save a few embryos, are truly, an abomination.

# 87 Many other issues than abortion, are seen at last, to be infinitely more important; particularly when we begin to see that the humanity of the embryo, is not likely.  If an embryo is not fully human, then after all, abortion is not even a “life issue.”  Killing an embryo is not deliberately killing a human being; because the embryo is not a human being.  Indeed therefore, killing an embryo is not as important as even, say, accidentally causing the death of a human being.

Given the low status of the embryo, as not quite fully human, and given too problems with determining whether someone sincerely “meant” or “intended” to do something, we might well begin to consider as superior to the problem of abortion, even issues like the many “collateral,” “un-intention”ally caused deaths, in wars.  In prudently weighing and balancing the relative importance of different issues, Catholics once hypnotized by the embryo and a few bad priests, should now look beyond the embryo; at a much wider range of issues, besides abortion.  Including even the allegedly “accidental” or semi-accidental “collateral” deaths of civilians, caused even by just wars, as noted above.  Since the embryo is not a human being, then its death is not as important as even, unintentional deaths of humans, in wars; “accidental” killings of civilians and children in wars for example.  Or indeed, the deliberate killing of an embryo, is not as bad any accidental killing of a real human being.   Much less, the “accidental” killing of millions, billions of human beings, by neglecting to plan for environmental disasters and neglecting to studiously, rigorously avoid wars.  Indeed, we should consider as far more important than embryos, even the “accidental” killings of civilians, even in just wars.  Even such “accidental” killings are wrong.  Since after all, it is not even really entirely an “accident,” when you are throwing so many bullets and bombs around cities.  And then, when these “accidents” can add up to billions of lives?  When those accidents could even destroy all of humanity?  Then for sure, these lives, of innocent war victims, are proportionately far, far, far more important than embryos.  To that point that any priest or any person, who gives more importance to embryos, than to avoiding major wars, is an immoral abomination.  Like for example, Fr. Frank Pavone.

Other Issues;

Capital Punishment,

Poverty, Health

# 88 Abortion is not as important many, many other issues that involve even far more loss of true, human life.  For example, let us even reconsider executing humans in capital punishment.  To be sure, even Cardinal Ratzinger’s memo, above, suggested that some examples of capital punishment, might be all right, or just.  But Ratzinger did not really mention unjust capital punishment.  Note that Ratzinger’s memo told us to ignore deaths, examples of capital punishment; so it seemed to many that capital punishment is approved of by the Holy Father.  But that leaves open the possibility that some deaths, some examples of capital punishment, are after all, un-just.  And therefore, deserve our attention.  After all, it now seems that now and then, innocent people were wrongly convicted, and then executed.  And if so?  Then the number of deaths caused there, would be important.

# 89 Abortion is normally not as important as, especially, the issue of poverty.  Which is a) mentioned or alluded to, hundreds, even thousands of times, in the Bible.  Which b) is also a “life issue,” in that great poverty often causes death through starvation. (See also “famines,” above). Indeed, c) throughout History, the lives of many millions have already been lost, through poverty, and starvation.  While mass poverty/starvation, always threatens mankind, to a degree. (Due to droughts, and other environmental disasters that destroy our crops, etc.).   In particular, d) many of the poor today lose their lives early, because of lack of good health care.  So that poverty is a more serious consideration than abortion; in that poverty often destroys, ends, kills, many real human lives.

So that indeed, merely helping the poor, even when they are not starving, especially helping them with health care, can also now be considered at least as important as abortion.  Indeed, that is probably the reason Jesus and God mentioned helping the poor hundreds, even thousands of times.  While Jesus never mentioned abortion by name, not even once.

Again, the fact that the Bible stressed helping the poor so much, but seems to have never stressed helping the embryo, or stopping abortions (Num. 5), suggests that a “Christianity” that bases itself around the issue of abortion, is a strange perversion of Christianity. Indeed, basing itself so centrally, on something never mentioned by Jesus, while ignoring things God warned about thousands of times, is so far from the Bible, that finally, we would have to say that anti-abortionism is not really following Christ; is not even Christianity.  It is at best, an evil cult.  Mother Angelica of EWTN was never a good Christian; she was the founder of an obsessive, heretical cult.

(As a mild, random example, among thousands, of  the perversity of its obsession, of how the whole church of Mother Angelica is tied to the single issue of abortion?  EWTN mentions abortion at least a dozen, often a hundred times a day – and ties every single aspect of the church, even helping the poor, to this issue.  With the incredible perversity of the single-minded obsessive, the embryo and abortion is often made the very center of the mass; even out-trumping all the poor, all the suffering people of the world.  Even out-trumping Jesus himself.  As a random example among thousands:  on Feb. 24, 2010, a priest, at 11: 33 AM, in the EWTN Mass refers to:  “the poorest of the poor, the un born children in danger of abortion.”  EWTN had attempted to establish in previous masses, that we must particularly help the very poorest and weakest elements of society …. Which it informs us is the embryo.  Such phrases therefore make embryos the most important entity on earth; in effect, the suffering of poor embryos, is now higher than, or equal to, the suffering of Jesus.   The rest of the mass at EWTN today for example, Feb. 24, is in Latin, by the way; the only part that is in English, understandable to the uneducated people of Irondale Alabama, is this priestly advertisement for … the absolutely supreme status of EWTN’s holy fetus.  No doubt one or two mentions of abortion a year, are not really acceptable.  But at EWTN, nearly every single day, abortion is mentioned or alluded to, in the mass itself.  Clearly here, we are not even in a Catholic Church, a church of Jesus and God and Mary; just from the number of times it is mentioned – as well as the prominence it is given – clearly, we are dealing with a schismatic cult, a new heretical church.  One centered, even in its Mass, around a single figure that out-weighs them all:  Holy Fetus).

 

# 90 Health care especially, is far, far more important than abortion, in the number of human lives saved.  Health care of course, a) is obviously constantly trying to have hundreds of millions of human lives.  While unfortunately, b) many millions, billions of children and adults, have already died, historically, from lack of adequate health care.  While c) many millions more human beings will probably die prematurely, from lack of adequate Health Care.  A recent 2009 Harvard Study, suggested conservatively that 47,000 a year die from lack of universal health care.  While indeed, d) future plagues and so forth, could increase that exponentially.  And indeed, in a sense, most of us will die from health problems; in our last years, in old age.   And so health is extremely important; and in the end kills most of us, sooner or later.  It is for this reason that  e) helping the sick, is a core principle of Jesus, and Christianity:  Jesus devoted much of his life to healing the poor and sick.  And he told his disciples to likewise help the poor … and heal the sick.  (Also see “disease” and “plagues,” above).  Indeed, Jesus healing the sick, is one of the major topics of the New Testament.

 

[Furthermore, if intentional deaths are more important than accidental ones?  Then note that the death of these millions might, like many ostensibly “accidental” things, not be entirely accidental at all.  Indeed, many people play games with the accidental/intentional distinction; they pretend that they “accidentally” “forgot” to give health care to the poor for example; thus they think, escaping culpability for … the millions of deaths caused by not giving them medical care.  Deep down, many people do many “accidental” things, rather intentionally.  They are using the appearance of “accident,” to try to qualify for forgiveness by the church, on a technicality.]

One more major notion here, will be discussed here at length later, but deserves some mention at this time too:  the issue of supporting “life.”  Nearly all pro-“life” apologists today on EWTN and so forth,  interpret calls by Bishops for us to support “life issues,” as just a defense of the “life” of the embryo only.  But apologists are far, far, far too narrow-minded.  Such Catholics are focused far, far too obsessively, narrowly, dis “proportionate”ly, im-“prudent”ly, on just “one issue,” and the life of the embryo only.  The fact is, Anti-abortionists fail to look at other, proportionately important issues, and for that matter, the larger scope of “life.”  The fact is, anti-abortionists fail to obey constant injunctions from the Bible and other authorities like Jesus, to take care of all of “life.”  Unfortunately, criminally, anti-abortionism sees only “part” of life (from St. Paul?); it sees and honors only the allegedly holy embryo.  While leaving the rest of life to perish.  Leaving especially, adults and children to die.  To die from starvation, plagues, lack of health care, and wars.  And for that matter, ironically, our anti-abortion priests end up neglecting and even attacking the life of the “spirit” and the soul too.  By declaring a largely soulless and mindless physical embryo, as the heart of Catholicism, priests like Fr. Frank Pavone destroy Christianity; through narrowness

It is time therefore, for the Church and the world, to move away from the abomination of anti-abortionism. To learn to see and value, the larger life, outside the womb.

“Other Issues”

Besides the “One Issue” of Abortion,

Are More Important

# 91 Finally it is time to very directly note, the bishops’ and cardinals’ and Popes’ major objection to anti-abortionism:  the finding that anti-abortionism, focuses far too much, on just “one issue” in life.   The absolutely central concept, at the very heart of the Church’s recent criticism of anti-abortionism, at the root of dozens of its objections to the strong Pro Life position of EWRN, Fr. Frank Pavone, has been that concentrating just on the “one issue” of abortion, causes people to neglect all “other issues,” other sins.   This idea we will see, was probably best expressed by several bishops and cardinals, like Cardinal McCarrick especially.   But the same concept, is also found expressed in different language, in the Pope’s 2004 concern, with “proportional”-ity.

The main idea behind the criticism of “one issue” or dis “proportionate” religion, is that life is complex, and full of many evils and goods.  And therefore, we should not just look too long or too exclusively, at one thing in life, one evil, and ignore the rest.  Because the practical result of which can often be awful; far worse than abortions.  For example:  if you are on a boat in the middle of the sea, and are focused say, just on the engine of your boat, you might overlook or neglect, say, the sounds of water trickling into through a hole in the hull.  Or an example from farming:  if you concentrate just on your tomato crop, you might forget to water your corn.  The fact is, as Ecclesiastes said, there are many things in life; and for everything there is a season.  Though to be sure, we live in an “age of specialization,” and we all need to learn to do one particular kind of job well, on the other hand … we should never entirely forget the larger picture either.  Finally, this means that if you constantly obsess just on embryos, and vote just on the basis of the single issue of abortion, then you might neglect to take care of other important, pressing, life issues; like trying to avoid enormously destructive wars.  Or failing to help poor sick people.  It is for this reason, we will see more fully now, the leaders of the Church – like Cardinal McCarrick, and Bishop Steib – we will now show, spoke rather firmly against “one issue” Catholicism, or anti-abortionism.

 

In fact, it is amazing that Fr. Frank Pavone and others can continue to exist, and have not yet been excommunicated and publicly denounced by the Church and the bishops; it is clear that their one-issue anti-abortionism (the issue which they overwhelmingly cover, 99% of the time on radio, etc.), has been firmly condemned by not only the Pope, but also many Bishops and Cardinals; who have over and over again,  attacked “one issue” Catholicism.   No doubt, the only reason Fr. Frank Pavone and “Priests for Life” have not yet been disbanded, excommunicated by the Church, is that most Catholics who get much of their Catholicism from talk radio and Internet, don’t even know, what the phrase “one issue” Catholicism, refers to.  Most Catholics don’t know that it is a criticism, by the bishops and cardinals, of  especially, Catholics being too firmly concentrated on the “one issue” of, specifically,… Abortion.  (Even though that is clear enough in the Pope’s 2004 memo; which was explicitly devoted especially to, the topic of abortion).

We have mentioned the “one issue” criticism here many times before.  Remember from the above, that especially the Pope used the concept, in his idea of “proportional”ity.  But also we now add, the phrased itself was used in part by Cardinal McCarrick.  While by the way, like Cardinal Ratzinger, was not even “just” an ordinary Cardinal; but was the onetime head of the USCCB  – the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the organization that oversees all American Bishops.

There are many, countless bishops, Cardinals, that have joined with the Pope, to oppose the one issue anti-abortionism of Fr. Frank Pavone, Sheila Liaugminas, and EWTN/RN and Relevant Radio; the organizations that speak of abortion a dozen times a day, and that tell us or imply, that we must determine our party affiliation, and even vote in elections, just on the basis of that single, one issue. But especially, let’s consider what Cardinal McCarrick said.  Since he was the Cardinal who once oversaw all American cardinals and bishops, as head of the USCCB; since he was in effect, the highest ranking Catholic official or priest, in America.

What did Cardinal McCarrick say? Consider this:  Cardinal McCarrick said that the Church was …

Not telling people how to vote”;

“One issue may be primary, but there are many issues that need to be considered”;

When voting, Americans need to be aware that there are “many issues” that should be considered when voting.  Therefore, the Cardinal began to say, we might not necessarily be committed to voting for the most anti-abortion candidate at all.  Since …

People who are with us on one issue” may be “against us on many other issues” (Card. McCarrick; Cath. News Service, April. 27, 2004; reaffirmed by McCarrick after retirement, as antagonistically noted by Catholic Insight, Dec. 07 issue).

This directive, from the highest Catholic authority in America, told Catholics not concentrate too much on just “one issue.”  While it was clear in context, from reading the Pope’s earlier 2004 memo, that the main example of the one-issue Catholicism that was being condemned, was the focus of so many Catholics, on the issue of … Abortion.

Cardinal McCarrick therefore, spoke firmly against “one issue” Catholicism, or anti-abortionism.  And the problem of one-issue voting was there too:   importantly note, the cardinal’s topic was also the issue of voting, in the 2000-2004 elections; he was telling us that the “Church was not telling you how to vote.”  Which went specifically against say, Karl Keating, and his attempts to insist that the Pope was commanding all Americans to vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election, on EWTN/RN, and in various editions of his “Voter’s Guide.”  But EWTN could not really comprehend this; and soon disobeyed it; continuing with its own rabid anti-abortion message.  EWTN here disobeying now not just the Pope, but now also the ranking American cardinal too. As it does, to this very day.

Here, the highest ranking Catholic authority in America, was furthermore, reaffirming what the Pope was saying too, in the Pope’s 2004 memo.  The main subject – as addressed in a memo by the future Pope, Cardinal Joe Ratzinger, in his 2004 memo – was explicitly, abortion.   The future Pope for his part, was concerned largely with the problem of denying communion to publicly pro-abortion politicians; but Ratzinger also his 2004 memo, affirmed that voting for Pro Choice politicians, “can be permitted.”  Given “proportionate reasons.”

Cardinal McCarrick here therefore, was speaking with double authority; in warning about “one issue” Catholicism, McCarrick affirmed the future Pope; affirming that there are many issues in life; and that Catholics need to consider the proportionate, bigger picture.  The Cardinal affirmed that there are always many different things in life that we need to take care of – and particularly, specifically, many issues we need to consider, when voting for a political candidate. So that Catholic voters should not focus just on the “one issue” of abortion, in elections.   (A crucial issue, just a few months before the Nov. 2004 presidential election; which pitted anti-abortionist Republican George Bush II, against pro-abortion Democrat, Sen. John Kerry).

 

Life and God are big, and complex, as biblical wisdom literature suggests (Ecc.; Job).  And therefore, evaluating a political candidates was difficult; we need to consider many things, and not just one issue like abortion.  Abortion is not so important, that it clearly trumps all other issues.  And though some equivocal statements were issued later on by various parties, that seemingly left open the possibility that abortion in effect, was very important, those statements were usually very equivocal; while our own survey here, finds that ultimately, neither the Bible, nor Church Tradition, nor Science, support the fixation or obsession on the embryo in personal life, or in voting.  So that whatever statements are made by contemporary authority, should be read in the light of this information; which finally resolves any ambiguities or equivocation, firmly in against one issue anti-abortion fixations.

The Pope himself had simply assumed that any too exclusive or strong concentration on abortion, would be in effect, dis “proportionate.”  While above, this was being expanded on and reaffirmed, by the highest-ranking cardinal in the US:  Cardinal McCarrick.  When McCarrick affirmed, that when voting, awe should always consider the many different important things in life, the many different important issues.  And then decide for yourself.  McCarrick furthermore, noting a major problem with one- issue voting, that we mention here many times:  that even the candidate who is even with the Church on any one issue, may be “against us on many other issues.”  Which was true in fact of both parties.  Including the Republicans.  Who were rather opposed to the Church in many ways; George Bush being a Protestant, who was very pro-military, pro “troops,” and inclined to start wars after all.

 

 

Looking Ahead … at EWTN/RN

It is utterly amazing therefore, that Catholic anti-abortionist networks and individuals should have continued, after 2004.  First the Pope himself, and then a major American Cardinal, definitively, firmly, explicitly, told all Catholics that “one issue” anti-abortionism, strict Pro Choice voting, was wrong.  And yet however, amazingly, allegedly pious “Catholic” organizations like EWTN/RN, and individuals like Karl Keating, and even priests like Frank Pavone, simply ignored the Pope, and the Cardinal.  And/or their minds simply, desperately, began to play games with them; “twist”ing the words around until they heard only what they wanted to hear.  So that the Catholic anti-abortionist network simply continued with its radical – and now obviously heretical – anti-abortion fixation.  In a rebellion which – it was clear to others – was absolutely now, not only going against the Bible, saint Aquinas, and Science, but was also now going against a) the Pope, and b) Cardinal McCarrick, the highest-ranking Catholic official in America.  So that antiabortionist networks and individuals like especially EWTN/RN and Karl  Keating, were now disobeying, rebelling against,  the highest authorities in the Church; were clearly disobeying, going against, the USCCB; and the Vatican; and (as of 2005), the Pope.

Anti-abortionist networks and individuals like EWTN/RN therefore, are clearly in rebellion against, the Cardinals, and the Pope.  And most of these rebellious Catholics, continue to do this, to this very day.  To this very day, they continue concentrate just on the single issue of abortion.  And to in effect, implicitly tell millions of Catholics, over and over, that the Church was commanding us all to vote anti-abortion; which means, they are telling us most of the time, to vote Republican.
How did anti-abortion extremists, how did EWTN/RN and Karl Keating and Frank Pavone, get away with this?  How did they get away with calling themselves pious and obedient “Catholic”s, even as they have been in  direct and flagrant opposition to the highest Catholic authorities?  To Cardinal McCarrick, head of the USCCB?  To Cardinal Ratzinger, of the Vatican?  When ultimately, EWTN and Frank Pavone are in direct and public and scandalous disobedience of, opposition to, the PopeWhy hasn’t this become a major issue, resulting in the immediate excommunication of EWTN and associates?   Probably the reason is, that EWTN/RN really believed in its own anti-abortionism; and could not face the possibility that it was itself, a huge sinner and deceiver.  And desperate as it was to maintain the illusion of its own goodness and perfect, it has raised such an awful protest, (and such a volume of sophistical spin-doctoring rationalizations and apologetics) that the Church itself, has backed off prosecuting it.  Though the Church should not back off this at all, any longer.  Since this false theology, the false teaching of anti-abortionism, may soon do great damage to the whole world.

How indeed, has EWT/RN escaped being shut down by the Church itself?  When it was opposed by a) Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Vatican office on doctrine? And then by b) Cardinal McCarrick; who was not an ordinary Cardinal, he was sometimes head of the USCCB; the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the coordinating agency for all U.S. Bishops?  Furthermore c) Cardinal Mahony had specifically had problems with EWTN/RN and Mother Angelica.  While finally d) Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 memo was to become even more definitive … when Ratzinger become Pope, in 2005. So that ultimately, EWTN has gone against three Cardinals, the Vatican, and is currently disobeying “Our Holy Father” the Pope, Benedict XVI

How do EWTN/RN and other Catholic anti-abortionists, continue?  How do they continue with their radical Pro Choice message … when the major Catholic authority in America, and then the major authority in the Vatican itself, had just told them, that they were wrong?  We will need an entire chapter on this subject.  But in part, we will see, it was because a) EWTN pretends to follow the Church; or its idea of the Church.  And b) employs dozens of “apologists”/sophists, to try to invent ingenious sophistries, to assert that it is following the Church.  And indeed, the lawyers on EWTN/RN are clever enough to convince even may priests, and bishops. To draw them into its own heresy.  As we will see.

So how do heretical anti-abortionists get away with this? With scandalously, publicly disobeying the Cardinals and the Popes?  In part they do it by sly rhetoric.  Or more often c) they own the Catholic airways in effect; and they simply rarely if ever mention what the Church is really, actually saying about them.  And since many Catholics get much of their information about the Church from EWTN, if EWTN never mentions some aspect of the Church, most Catholics never hear about it at all.  So if EWTN sins mightily against the Cardinals and the Pope?  Most Catholics never hear about it.

And indeed to, note that d) by this time, EWTN/RN and anti-abortionism, are big enough, predominant enough, to all but simply … ignore much of the Church.  By now – as Chris Ferrara confirms, for many Catholics, the EWTN embryo cult, is the Church.  And Catholics do not bother to go to any other source, to confirm or disconfirm what it says.  Or e) unfortunately, if they go to their local priest, they go to a man who after all, is not all that competent himself, in political matters.

Amazingly then, anti-abortionist networks like especially EWRN and Relevant Radio, and Fr. Frank Pavone’s “Priest for Life” still flourish.  And they today, in 2010, scandalously continue to broadcast a message  … that had in effect, been declared non-Catholic, even by the highest Catholic authority; Cardinals, and Popes.  They have been able to do this, because, by  c. 2000-2004, EWRN and Frank Pavone and Sheila Liuagminas and a hundred others, were powerful enough to simply ignore, or topspin, the Church, any way they wanted to.  Millions of Catholics have been listening to EWRN for decades; and they have been utterly propagandized, brainwashed, by it, into believing its radically, heretically anti-abortion, Pro Choice message.  Millions of Catholics for decades, had gotten their “conservative” “news” on “Catholic” thought, from EWTN/RN and Frank Pavone.  So that by c. 2000-2004, millions of Catholics were in effect, really following  EWTN/RN and Frank Pavone; and not the Vatican itself, any more.  Indeed, we will see, many priests – like Fr. Ed Sylvia and Fr. Frank Pavone, and even Archbishop Burke  – have been deceived by EWRN’s sophistries.

So when the very highest Catholic authority in Rome and then in America, told us in effect that EWTN was wrong?  EWTN just … a) barely and obscurely alluded to that, a few times, for a very few days; while b) its expert sophists like Keating, twisted it all around, until it seemed to say what anti-abortionists wanted it to say. And c) then EWTN simply stopped carrying, what the Church really said.  Instead, it continued to broadcast only whatever fragments, parts, excerpts, of what the Church said, that could be twisted to support its own position. (See our section on EWTN/RN).

And the anti-abortionist network, could easily get away with this.  By c. 2000-2004, the various links of Protestant “Conservative Coalition” were at their height, and offered all its rhetorical resources to this evil network.  While by 2004, as Chris Ferrara noted in his book and web site, EWTN was finally a massive power in itself:  millions of Catholics thought that EWTN/RN was the absolutely authoritative voice of the Roman Catholic Church.  (Ferrara:  “EWTN:  A Network Gone Wrong”).  And while you might have thought that priests would have objected, by this time EWTN/RN had its own reliable guest list, of cowed priests, who were taken in by media glamour and EWTN’ sophistries, enough to simply, obediently follow not the Pope, but EWTN.  Especially since priests were not used to addressing political issues directly, they were unprepared to resist EWTN’s hybrid religio/political opinions

So that by about the time of the 2004 presidential election, EWTN/RN and anti-abortionism were reaching a pinnacle of power.  By that time, millions of Catholics had been raised for more than 20 years, by EWTN/RN’s radical message; and so they continued to follow EWTN’s radical Pro Choice position.  Blissfully unaware that three Cardinals and the Pope himself, had warned them not to.

 

Indeed, today, millions of Catholic continue to listen to EWTN/RN and Relevant Radio, and to associates like Sheila Liaugminas and Fr. Frank Pavone.  Because their main source of information on the Church and politics – talk radio –  did not ever, adequately, tell them about the Church’s objections to EWTN and its radically narrow theology.  EWTN never adequately represented a fair, balanced opinion of what the Church was really, fully saying; it only featured the parts of the Bible and Church doctrine that seemed “conservative,” or anti-abortionist; while it mostly just did not present any contrary information.  While in any case, any such information was drowned out, by the endless, nauseating repetition, of its own notions, over and over.  In particular, EWTN could talk about abortion, for two hours a day; and mention it as much as a hundred times a day or more.  Indeed, EWRN mentioned its one issue, abortion, more often than say, the Trinity.  So that there is no doubt:  EWRN was – and is – an adamantly   “one issue” organization.  At most, as defined by its talk show hosts (if not all its guests), it is a “conservative” organization,  following Rush Limbaugh; as opposed to the many aspects of the Church it perceives as “liberal.”  EWTN mentioned the Cardinals and the Pope a few times … but then soon drowned out the words of mere Cardinals and Popes, with its own presumptuous and bone-headed, anti-abortionist monomania.

Thus, major “Catholic” media like EWTN/RN, and anti-abortion activists like Karl Keating and Sheila Liaugminas (pronounced “Log-mean-as”),  have been evil pied pipers; misrepresenting the Church and God, and leading hundreds of millions of Catholics and others, seriously astray.  But here and now, in our present book at last, we are telling the story you never adequately heard on EWTN/RN.  We are explaining what our bishops, cardinals, themselves, are really talking about.  Today to be sure, the anti-abortion networks have influences even priests, and even bishops.  But above the Bishops, are the Cardinals.  And the Pope.  And we are making it clear here and now, what the meaning of the Cardinals’ and Pope’s complaints about  dis “proportionate,” “one issue” Catholicism meant.

A few Catholics to be sure, have vaguely heard a bishop or two complain about “one issue” anti-abortionism.  But explosive and emotional as this topic is, and as powerful and violent as the anti-abortion network is (witness the assassination of Dr. Tiller in 2009), few bishops have had the courage to clearly note what they are talking about; few if any Catholics never knew that criticisms of “one issue” Catholicism, were intended by the Cardinals, to criticize especially, those voters who concentrate just on the one issue, of Abortion.  But that was clear enough, from the context of the Pope/Cardinal Ratzinger’s remarks for example; in his 2004 memo the future Pope was clearly talking specifically about the matter of abortion, when he told us that there were “proportion”ately more important issues.   And it was clear enough too, what Cardinal McCarrick said, about “one issue” voiting in his own (subsequent?) remarks, as well.

The basic idea of the Cardinals and the Pope, is just that there are many, many things in life we have to pay attention to; therefore, we can’t just get hung up just on any one thing or one issue.  If we do that, many disasters can happen.  Life is complex, and though now and then we need to concentrate just on one thing, we can never do that too excessively; we always need to keep many different things in mind, somewhat.  For example:  if you worry just about vacuuming the rug, you might ignore the pot boiling over on the stove.

Life is complex – and so we need to consider many issues. And so, the Cardinals and the Pope have been trying to tell people, that when Catholics are concerned too much with just the lives of embryos, that is a dangerous thing.  Indeed, because of that too narrow focus, they often neglect other, very serious problems in life.  In politics, they neglect “other issues” that are even physically deadly, if neglected. In recent elections, for example, the Republican Party was against abortion; but then some would say it neglected issues – like helping the poor, and the sick; and like avoiding unnecessary wars.  Specifically as it turns out, anti-abortionism neglected the Democrats and their issues, their social gospel:  Democrats were also rather Christian, and backed, founded many issues that were in the Bible, like helping the poor and the old and the sick.  Democrats had originally proposed and passed, Social Security, Medicare, Emergency Room service, and the Civil Rights voting act of 1964.  While in 2004-2010, they were backing extending better health care, insurance to the poor as well.  Then too, Democrats wanted out of Vietnam first; and were best at avoiding wars.

Thus as it turns out, there was another political party, and another, different set of extremely important Christian values, another set of Christian issues … that were being ignored, denied, by narrow anti-abortionists.  The narrow focus of anti-abortionism, saw only the virtue of the Republican party, somehow. While ignoring the many other issues that had been mentioned over and over in the Bible itself; but that were backed by Democrats.

Curiously, anti-abortionists supported overwhelmingly “conservative” politics; and in effect, the Republican party.  Even though a) the Democrats actually supported more major and traditional Christian issues; like health care for the poor.  And b) even though, the Republicans did many things that seemed to cross the Bible, or New Testament Jesus, violently.  For example:   the Republican Party was very pro- “American” and patriotic” and “supported the troops.”  But those are not things in the Bible.  And it also meant that it liked the military, and taking military action to solve international problems; it was far more inclined to go to war, than Democrats.   And though this seemed theologically true to the Old Testament, it neglected and even worked against, the peacemakers.  In fact, it neglected and worked against the Jesus, who told us to “love your enemies”;  to “turn the other cheek.”  It went against the Jesus who was so pacifistic, that when soldiers came to arrest him, he just gave himself up, to be killed. Conservative militant patriotic Republicanism, gave up the mild Jesus in fact, that normally (most) priests and ministers would follow.  (If not say, Fr. John Corapi of EWTN).

The fact is, Life is complex.  And as Ecclesiastes began to tell us, to get through it, we cannot narrow our attention just to one tiny aspect of it, forever.  Just when we think we can take care of “life,” by concentrating just on one thing, one single issue in life – like abortion – we thereby, lose sight of the larger picture.   We focus just on one small sin … and then seven other, worse sins, flourish.  (As the New Testament said, just when we expel one devil, seven other, worse devils arrive to take its place?).

The fact is, the Bible itself tells us not to get too hung up, for too long, on any one thing:  “For everything there is a season” as Ecclesiastes said (Ecc. 3.1 KJE or RSV?); “avoid extremes” we were told in the Bible itself (Ecc. 7.18 NIV).  Life is complex – and we need always need to be ready to turn our attention, to whatever new problems appear in our lives.  We need to always keep in mind the “full” spectrum of things that we need to watch out for, in life.  But in the case of anti-abortionism, millions of people were encouraged by a bad, heretical nun and others, to concentrate just on the “one issue” of abortion, and the embryo, especially.  And because of that, millions were mislead, into taking their eye off dozens of often, much worse problems and sins.  Millions were mislead, into considering only the embryo when they voted; while ignoring the lives of hundreds of millions already lost by neglect of environmental issues like floods and diseases; or the hundreds of millions of live already lost by unnecessary wars.  Millions were lead to ignore issues that could destroy the entire future of all of mankind.  By obsessive, neurotic fixation just on, one thing in life.

To try to warn the public, something like this point, was repeated over and over, by a) dozens of bishops.  And b) more importantly, by several Cardinals.  Including primarily, Cardinal McCarrick of the USCCB.  And c) this was all reaffirmed, by the current Pope himself, Pope Benedict XVI.  All of whom told us basically, that there were many things that were more important,  than the “one issue” of abortion.  So that we should take care of things, in “proportion” to their importance, relative to other things; to the many varied, different concerns in life.

The fact is, countless bishops and Cardinals – including Cardinal McCarrick  – warned Catholics not to focus excessively, specifically on “one issue,” like abortion.   One high authority after another in the Church, told Catholics over and over, to take the broader overview of things.  To see not just part of “life,” but all of it.  And furthermore, this fits the Bible; which told us not to fix just on any one thing, but to know that for “everything there is a season.”  A Bible that told us therefore, to “avoid extremes.”  While furthermore, this message – from the superiors of the Bishops, the Cardinals, from the Pope – fits traditional Catholic ethics, morality, too.  In that such concerns are only, after all, “prudent.”

Countless Bishops and Cardinals, and finally the Pope himself,  have been warning about “one issue” anti-abortionism, for years.  But unfortunately, millions of Catholics, never really heard about it.  Because they get most of their news and information about such things, from unreliable radio; “Catholic” media, like EWTN/RN, and “Relevant Radio” network.  Millions of Catholics went to Church, but listened to homilies that spoke only of general spiritual topics; that never mentioned politics.  So that the only source on politics, that presented itself as conservatively “Catholic,” was EWTN/RN.  Thus the religious/political opinion of millions of Catholics, was formed overwhelmingly, by the false, narrow teachings, of an untutored nun, on EWTN/RN.

Who knows finally, how many unnecessary wars might have been started, how many unnecessary deaths there have been – and will be – because of the obsessive focus on the embryo. And the neglect of grown children and adults; the failure to protect them from disease, and unnecessary war.

An Early Summary

Of “One Issue” Problems

Following the Cardinals and the Pope here, we will have begun to consider the ethical problems, in particularly, the narrowness, of Pro Life politics; its “One Issue” problem.  Particularly, we have been looking at the possibly deadly consequences of electing Pro Life candidates who might, for example, protect the lives of embryos, but not protect children and adults from sickness and war.  Pro Life candidates might advocate or cause insufficiently-provoked wars, with innocent countries, to take their natural resources.  Or they might initiate anti-environmental programs, that can destroy the whole world.  Or these candidates are merely, not peaceful and Christlike. While we know that the anti-abortionist Republican party is currently (2009/10), opposing health care for the poor.

Looking at just one side of life, at just one side of a political candidate, at just “one issue” in life, is not good.  Because, as Cardinal McCarrick and Bishop Steib said, a candidate that is “good” on “one issue” like abortion, might not be with the Church on other, equally or even more important issues.  An anti-abortion candidate, might for example, be very warlike; and inclined to start unnecessary wars.  He or she might also neglect the environment, in a way that could lead to floods, famines, disasters.  Then too, an anti-abortion candidate might also neglect to take care of the sick, with universal Health Care.  So that electing an anti-abortion candidate, could lead to the world into disaster.   Therefore, we should not have to vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election, as so many antiabortionists imply.  Indeed, two or three cardinals and the Pope have confirmed this.

This seems obvious enough now.  Yet fanatic, one-issue anti-abortionists, have long dominated religious media, like Eternal Word Radio Network, “Global Catholic Radio.”  Antiabortionist individuals and networks, have long dishonestly given the impression, that the Church itself supported them, in their fatally narrow doctrines.  But Pro Life anti-abortionists, have misrepresented the truer, fuller word of the Church.  They looked at, they quoted, only whatever remarks the Church made, that seemed to be against abortion; and using those remarks, they insisted that we must vote for the anti-abortion candidate, every time.  Even if a given candidate is incredibly bad, even evil, with regard to other important issues.  Over time, therefore, anti-abortionists have become fixated, obsessive on just misrepresentative parts of Church doctrine.  While anti-abortionist Catholics in particular,  have failed to meet their larger responsibilities; even their religious responsibilities.  Catholics have not even really listened, fully, to the Bible; to their own saints; to their own cardinals; they have not even listened to their own Holy Father, the Pope, we have seen here.  Instead, the conservative “Catholic” media, and audience, listened to their new radio gods:  Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fr. Frank Pavone, Karl Keating, and Shelia Liuagminas.

Pro Life anti-abortionists and their networks, have therefore, mislead the whole world; and have influenced countless elections, for the worse.  But here and now finally, at last, we are beginning to describe the major problem with anti-abortionism.  A problem that amounts to, basically, the problem of an imprudent narrowness.  The problem is that if you just look at one small issue in life, you become so narrow, that you neglect to take care of the many different sides of life.  And if we neglect to monitor all of life to some extent, disaster can happen.  If you concentrate just on your household vacuuming, and forget to take care of the pot on the top of the stove, a disaster can happen.  In the same way, to focus just on the embryo, caused too many voters to neglect other important issues, like the environment, and avoiding unnecessary wars.

So that finally, at least two or three cardinals, and the Pope, ultimately began to condemn the narrow, dis-“proportionate,” “one-issue” aspect of anti-abortionism, c. 2004-7.  The major problem, they began to note,  is the troubling, dangerous narrowness of anti-abortionism; its fatal, obsessive focus on just one issue.  That is why Card. Joe Ratzinger – who became Pope in 2005 – began to tell us that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (Joe Ratzinger, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” 2004 memo).  This is why the then-head of the USCCB, Cardinal McCarrick, among many others, began to repeatedly condemn one “issue” anti-abortionism.  As confirmed by many bishops since (like Bishop Steib).

The problem that the cardinals and the Pope have been noting, is that anti-abortion candidates might be good on some things, on one “issue” … but bad on other, extremely important issues.  So that voting only for whichever candidate opposes abortion the most, can result in very, very great evils indeed.  Can result in a narrow interference with the American political process, and domestic affairs.

This problem moreover, we might now add, is not an just hypothetical or theoretical:  it now seems likely that the very Pro Life anti-abortionism, that the Church negligently allowed to speak as the voice of the church c. 1979 until today, is actually responsible for electing one pro-military Republican party candidate after another into office.  Including George Bush junior, c. 2000 AD, and 2004.  In the first election, Gore v. Bush, the more anti-abortion candidate, Bush junior, won by a very, very small margin; winning the state of Florida, by just a few hundred “hanging chad” votes.   And since it did not take many votes for George Bush to win this election, no doubt the Catholic Pro Choice vote, had been enough to determine the election.  But the problem was, that George Bush II was limited in his intellectual perspectives:   George found it hard to get along with Muslims for example; and as his very first statement to the media from the White House itself, Bush voiced unequivocal support for Israel (over Palestine?).  While a short time later, angered Muslims responded by destroying the World Trade Center.  So that Bush quickly drew America into war in the Middle East; with Iraq, and Afghanistan.  Bush quickly drew us into several wars, including eventually a global “war on terrorism.”  Bush also neglected environmental issues – and soon lost part of the city of New Orleans to a flood.

As a candidate, George Bush II was rather against abortion.  But the problem was, George was weak on other issues:   like tolerance of other religions, and avoiding wars.  And taking care of environmental problems –  like floods.  In the pro-military administrations of both Bush I and Bush II, we were quickly drawn into war with Iraq, and Afghanistan, and then the world; in the “war on terrorism.”  While New Orleans succumbed to a flood.  At the same time too, the Republican party resisted helping the poor and the sick; it resisted collecting more taxes for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; it resisted further helping the poor; helping the sick, by supporting Universal Health Care.  To this day, 2009/10,  the Republican members of congress, the Senate, are still voting against government Health Care, charity; voting against helping the poor and the sick, almost to a man.  While continuing the vicious circle of aggressive rhetoric, that guarantees war with other countries.  So that today, American continues to be involved in an expensive war in the Middle East.  A war that, today in 2010, has gone on 9 years after Bush II went to Iraq in 2001; and 19 years after his father Bush I began the first war with Iraq, in 1991.  (Bush also contributing to creating that war, with the pro-military rhetoric of his ambassador to Iraq; who had signaled earlier to Saddam Hussein, that “border disputes” with Iraq’s neighbors were no “concern” of America; which Hussein undoubtedly took as a green light for invading Kuwait).  So that two former military pilots – George Bush I and II both – had, through their acceptance of military action, inadvertently encouraged the military actions of others, against themselves, and America. Thus the Bush’s military orientation, soon precipitated an endless war in the Middle East.  While meanwhile, a recent (2009) Harvard study, says that at least 47,000 people die every year, from lack of government health care. (A number that might be moreover, much too low:  since ultimately, most people die earlier than they might otherwise, from lack of care).

Just as the Cardinal said, those who are “good” on one issue, like protecting embryos, might “not be with us” or not so good, on other issues; like avoiding wars and sickness.  The disasters that in part can be credited to the anti-abortion vote – the wars and floods, and the unnecessary deaths of many from lack of good health insurance – so far to be sure, have so far, fortunately, not been as large as they might have become.  At the same time though, while so far “only” a few million deaths have probably been caused, these examples can serve as an early warning, of what too much concentration on just “one issue” in life, in voting, can cause.  Many, many lives have already been lost – because as one editorial cartoon once said, anti-abortionists apparently “brake only for embryos.” Anti-abortionists are very good at attending to the protection of embryos; but their narrow focus has also neglected the lives of children and adults.  The lives of many children and adults, have been lost, in wars and because of bad health care; lives that might have been saved, by attention to other issues. besides abortion.  Issues like using negotiation to avoid wars; like taking care of health care.

A significant number of lives have already been lost, therefore, because of narrow, obsessive, one-issue voting patterns in America.  Furthermore, a continued conservative – bellicose, warlike – attitude, the obsessive fixation just on a few simple issues, being insensitive to the broader scope of life, will likely cause far, far worse problems, in the future.

.  .  .

Already we have had a small foretaste of what massive problems can be caused by “Catholic” Pro Choice fanatics.  Arguably, anti-abortionism, by controlling even a relatively small Catholic vote – especially in heavily Hispanic and therefore significantly Catholic states like Florida, and parts of Ohio – has been enough to determine one election  in America after another.  In many elections, about 19% of the population identified itself as “conservative,” and/or as strongly against abortion.  And this hard core, was identified as being very, very determined, obdurate; not to be budged at all. Indeed, the hard core of anti-abortion voters, has been even more determined and influential than most hardcores; because it had been told by various “Catholic” media, that the Church and God  himself, supported these voters, in their adamant anti-abortionist.  Indeed, Karl Keating and others, had constantly told them, implicitly, that they had to vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election; so that in effect millions were told that the Church and God, had commanded them to vote Republican.  So that the largely ethnic Catholic vote – which normally would have gone more than 50/50 Democrat/Republican – did not vote for the Democrats as much as they normally would have.  (As they finally did in 2008?).

And furthermore, “conservative” and anti-abortion voters, were even more determined – and more widely influential on others – than their 19% of the vote would indicate.  Since they insisted they were literally the voice of God himself, many milder Christians were influenced by them.

So that ultimately, conservative anti-abortionists, were adamant enough, we suggest here, to determine nearly every single major election in America, from 1980 to 2008.  Republican, anti-abortion (but pro-military) presidents Reagan and Bush I ruled, solidly, from 1980-1992.  Though the electorate elected a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, 1992-2000, the Congress remain overwhelmingly “conservative” Republican.  And then (“compassionate”) “conservative” Bush II, ruled as President, 2000-2008.  So that ultimately the Pro Choice vote, though it was ironically never quite strong enough to overturn Roe v. Wade, had been enough to turn power over to conservative, pro-military Republicans, rather consistently, for a period of nearly three decades:  for 28 years.  Even though its position on abortion, as it turns out, was not really supported by the Bible itself.  Or even by the very Catholic Church many constantly quoted as a major authority.

For nearly three decades therefore, a bad theology, a false idea of God, ran America and the world.  And there is evidence that this false and rather fanatical theology, is even today, finally taking over the Church itself.

To some extent, in fact, it was all the fault of the Church.  A false “Catholic” anti-abortion, pro-war theology, had developed among “Catholic” media and individuals.  And the Church did not adequately oversee and correct that.  And so we will have written this very book, as an open letter to the Church; showing it how to correct its theological laxity.

But unfortunately, for some time, gradually, imperceptibly, the false theology of antiabortionism, the theology that protects embryos, but loves to start wars that kill adults, has begun to rule even, finally, the Church itself.  So that the Church might now be guilty of a few more sins than it has confessed in the past.  By allowing a false theology to grow, in the new conservative “Catholic” media, by allowing narrow untrained persons to speak in the name of the Church, a false theology has taken over not only “Catholic” media, but is now backwashing into the Church hierarchy itself.  Today we are seeing the narrow, false theology of Pro Lifism, taking over more and more priests, and bishops.  A theology that was not only wrong on its main issue – abortion – but also dangerous in its secondary impulses:  “conservatives” encouraged, even loved, the military; “the troops.”  And in effect, they have loved wars.  The two conservative Bushes – both of whom had been soldiers – in point of fact, soon lead America and the world, into war.  In Iraq and Afghanistan; and then a global “war on terrorism.”

To be sure, the more sagacious elements of the Church – the Cardinals, the Pope – largely opposed this development.  Major Church leaders, a) at least two prominent Cardinals (Ratzinger and McCarrick) issued several statements against one-issue, anti-abortion Catholicism.  And for that matter, the Vatican b) at times opposed, in general terms, nationalist war-making administrations.  Indeed, it is said that John Paul II himself, did not particularly like the politics, and militant war-making of George Bush I and II.  Yet whatever the leadership of the Church itself said now and then, they never adequately enforced their own, better opinions.

Particularly, we will see here, the real leadership of the Church never exercised enough control and oversight, over the newer “conservative” Catholic media, like archconservative “Global Catholic Radio” (the motto of EWRN, on its own web site).  Especially, the Church never looked deeply enough into the questionable origins and growing influence, of EWTN/RN, and Pro Choice anti-abortionism.  Or indeed, Catholic leadership deliberately looked away:  it had at times even explicitly, decided to “err”;err on the side of over-caution.”  At times, Catholic authorities would admit the case for the embryo was weak; but they said they were deciding to support the embryo anyway; just in case it was human.  Deciding that in rigorously protecting the embryo, they might be making an error to be sure; but saying that they would rather “err on the side of caution”; they would rather be a little overprotective here, just in case.  And this met not only the “conservative” agenda, but also the liberal agenda too:  protecting the “most defenseless” and powerless elements of society.  But we will have been finding here, that “erring on the side of caution” was, after all,  erring.  As it turns out, as the Church to begin to protect embryos, its attention was more and more devoted to “formless,” soulless embryos.  While the Catholic Church began ignoring the lives of grown children and adults; their physical health, and for that matter, their souls.  (Souls being of no significance to anti-abortionists, who ignore Thomas Aquinas, and declare a soulless entity like the embryo, to be fully human).  While the Church began to drift into the direction of even, supporting (and therefore causing), wars.

Given that, it is time for the Church to ask itself a few things.  The Church should now ask itself whether its persistent involvement in/interference with American politics and domestic affairs – or allowing groups like EWRN to speak in American, for the Church – has been getting the results that the Church really wants.  Here and now, we must note that the Roman Catholic Church was largely responsible for electing Ronald Reagan, and George Bush I and II – by allowing radically, narrowly anti-abortionist organizations like EWTN/RN and Fr. Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life” to speak as if they were the voice of the Church.  By allowing anti-abortionists to convince millions of people that the Church itself, God himself, was ordering us all to vote Republican in every election.  This was the (implicit if not explicit) message that the church allowed EWTN/RN, to constantly deliver.  By allowing this narrow, false theology, this demonic mix of pseudo-Christianity and political philosophy, to be spread in its name, for nearly thirty years, the Church has allowed a false theology, a false idea of Christ, to take over American elections, and through America, the world.

For thirty years, the Roman Catholic Church has allowed anti-abortion extremists  – even terrorists; after the 2009 assassination of abortion doctor, Dr. George Tiller – to tell us all, that the Church and God were demanding that voters in effect, vote Republican.  In part because it seems, some elements of the Church itself believed that this extreme, narrow theology, was indeed, the real theology of the Church.   But today at last, it is time to show many Catholics – and even elements of the hierarchy – that the theology it allowed, was adamantly, false.  That the radical stand against Abortion, was a) not really what the Bible itself supported.  And b) it was not what real Church tradition called for.  While now we add that c) not only is Pro Life-ism wrong, theologically; it can lead to disaster, in its practical effects. The results of  anti-abortionists’ misrepresentation of the Church and God, many would say, are alreadyrather bad; with America’s attention focused often obsessively on the issue of abortion, other more important issues were criminally neglected; like the desirability of avoiding serious wars.  Which can be seen in the course of actual events:  once the deaths only of embryos, but not of adults, were the only issue, George Bush I & II were able to quickly lead America, into a war.  While Bush’s neglect of environmental issues  like floods, resulted in the loss of part of New Orleans to a flood.

That the Catholic Church should end up electing pro-war, pro-military candidates, is doubly ironic and self-defeating.  First, d) the Bushes were very un-Christlike, in their predilection for war. Then too for that matter, ironically, e) neither of the Bushes was even Catholic; they were Protestants.  Bush I was probably raised Episcopalian; Bush II attended a Methodist church in Austin, Texas.  So that, ironically, in the name of God, the Catholic Church elected … two or three Protestant Presidents; who supported heretical issues; and who lead the world into a rather un-Christlike war.

And in spite of sporadic efforts by Cardinals and the Pope to fix this, the blame should be laid at the door, of the Vatican itself.  Which made the right sort of statements … but did not know or monitor, the new conservative media well enough, to really enforce its statements much, at all.

.  .  .

One hopes that History ultimately, will not confirm our thesis:  that lax Vatican oversight of  “Catholic” media like EWTN/RN, allowed an obsessive focus, just on a single issue in life; allowed a false, militaristic theology to dominate America and the world; and caused several unnecessary wars.  And we hope that History will tell us that all this did not in turn,  far worse, some day in the future, eventually cause a far more massive war.  Or the collapse of the ecological system.  And the beginning of the very plagues and famines – that the Bible foretold would come, when false religion, the “traditions of men,” take over even the Churches.  One hopes the result of this will not be apocalyptic;  cause the disaster that was foretold, when the world begins to fall away from true religious authority, and intermix the political traditions of men with real religion. One hopes that the Church’s laxity, the error in its decision to “err on the side of over-caution,” will not have caused all of that.  And yet however….

To some extent, the Church itself should bear much of the blame.  First, in failing to oversee “Catholic” media adequately.   Consistently, chronically, the Church has failed to recognize the power of the new media, not only to “transform” but also even, destroy, the Church.  The Church failed to really watch out for the rhetorical power of the new talk radio and conservative think-tank, talking-point machines.  Failed to see, just how massively influential an unreliable “Catholic” media network would be. The Church failed to see really, now dangerous even self-announced “Catholic” media would be; so that the Church failed to adequately monitor its doctrinal fidelity.  In spite of warnings from at least three Cardinals, including Cardinals Mahony, McCarrick, and Ratzinger.

The Church failing to enforce its own hierarchy, indeed, has been an at-times, s fatal error.  Because, as we are showing here, the Pro-Life movement, was essentially a heresy.  So that when the Church failed to reign it in, a heresy began to take over America. And through America, began to take over the world.

As we will conclude here, the Pro-Life movement, anti-abortionism, is clearly, simply, a heresy.  And worse, though it was born in “Catholic” media, in “lay” organizations, its infinitely destructive narrowness, its mono-mania, is even now, backwashing into … the Church itself.  Countless priests to be sure, appeared on EWTN/RN.  But rather than moderating the message the network, the countless priests that have appeared on EWTN were essentially just themselves, seduced by the network’s radical antiabortionism.  Priests are usually not as informed or capable, as bishops or Cardinals; and their ideas intermixed freely with secular radio ideas; so that, far from the presence of priests moderating the violent anti-abortionism of the radio, the influenced worked more in the opposite direction:  seduced by the glamour of media exposure, and the clever rhetoric of right-wing talk show hosts and other guests, priests were in effect indoctrinated, by EWTN/RN, propagandized, into believing the network, and adopting its theology.

Many priests appeared on – and were indoctrinated by – Eternal Word Television – or especially, Eternal Word Radio – Network.  And those indoctrinated priests, became influential in the Church itself.  Recently, the Vatican court, was taken over by EWTN protégé, Archbishop Burke.  Burke’s remarks had appeared on EWTN for several years quoted as a “conservative” Bishop; eventually Burke himself seems to have appeared live a few times.  And eventually, this bishop was egged on by EWTN, into  promoting “conservative” anti-abortionism.  Then thanks in part, to having acquired the approval of EWTN/RN, he had enough media clout, prominence, to be promoted to Archbishop.  And then Burke was assigned to be head of a major Vatican court (c. 2008/9?).

So that today, an EWTN-trained, antiabortion hard-liner, is in charge of a major Vatican court.  On his way to the court, Archbishop Burke had been quoted by the network over and over, as one of the “good” bishops; a  “conservative,” anti-abortionist hard-liner.  His most prominent stance, by the way, was that he apparently supported the  excommunication of pro-abortion Catholics (in various statements quoted on EWRN and Relevant Radio?).  No doubt, Burke was in fact a major voice, in America and then in the Vatican, behind attacks, for example, on pro-abortion U. S. Rep., Patrick Kennedy (Dem – RI).  Who was apparently urged by his bishop, in 2007, to reconsider whether he was “worthy” to receive communion (As Patrick made public, in Nov. 2009, during the Health Care debate).  Oddly, to be sure, one common prayer in the Mass, it is said, acknowledges that probably none of us are “worthy”:  “Lord, I am not worthy to receive ….”.  (Curiously acknowledging our unworthiness to receive the host … just before receiving it?  When the Church elsewhere stresses we should not receive it, without being worthy? An apparent contradiction and inconsistency?  Having your cake and eating it too?).

In a sense indeed, no one is worthy of receiving God; no doubt, even many Republicans.  And yet to be sure, Bishop Tobin of Providence R. I., chose to deny communion especially to Democratic congressman, Rep. Pat Kennedy.

Anti-abortionist Catholics, have long privately, and at times publicly, chastised Democratic politicians especially.  Especially on EWTN/RN.  A quick survey of EWRN’s content, c. 1994-2007 at least, will show that it favored Republican issues and candidates and politicians, over Democratic ones, by a factor of probably, 100 to 1.  And in this way, they greatly influenced the vote.  While today – especially after the appointment of anti-abortionist conservative Archbishop Burke to the head of a major Vatican court, c. 2008/9 – the ascension of what we might call the new, Heretical Republican Anti-Abortion Cult of the Holy Embryo, has become nearly complete; today in fact, the anti-abortion heresy is poised to fully, absolutely, take over, the Church itself.

But as a politically-motivated heresy is poised to take over the Church, to be sure, we will have had a brief moment here, in our present book, to insert a few final words of warning.  The fact is, as we will have begun to note here, first, there are many major biblical, traditional, theological sins and errors, in the anti-abortion cult, that even now, is taking over the Church itself.  In the cult that has long leveraged America, and the world.

We might briefly summarize in a paragraph, the many, many signs of sin and error, in antiabortionism.  First, a) the Bible itself, did not even mention abortion by name at all; not even once.  And if it ever seemed to indirectly mention it?  Then b) it seems that if the Bible ever even indirectly mentioned Abortion, it did so to advocate it.  Amazingly, in the book of Numbers, God order priests to administer abortifacients; or in other words, God orders priests to perform Abortions (Num. 5.16-27).  While c) the Bible spoke of the embryo it seems, as merely an “unformed substance” (Ps. 139).  Then too, note that d) two saints, the two saints that are also among the foremost theologians of the Church itself – possibly St. Augustine, and e) especially St. Thomas Aquinas – suggested the young embryo is not “formed” enough to have a “soul.”  So that the young embryo therefore, is not fully human.  This should have been especially significant for the Church – since f) St. Aquinas specifically, was made a major, definitive theologians of the Church; by the 1917 code of canon law (canon 589:1, & canon 1366:2; 1918 revision of 1917 code).  Then too, not only the Bible and the saints and theologians, but more g) recent Catholic authority, often spoke firmly against one-issue anti-abortionism.  First,  the foremost cardinal in America – Cardinal McCarrick, then-head of the USCCB – not long ago condemned such one “issue” Catholicism.  While h) the Vatican cardinal in charge of such doctrinal matters, Card. Ratzinger, confirmed that such dis “proportionate” Catholicism was not good.  And indeed, Ratzinger even i) told us explicitly, that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (Card. Joe Ratzinger, “Worthiness to Receive…”; 2004 memo).  Then too, j) this key 2004 memo by Ratzinger, was to become even more authoritative; when Ratzinger became our current “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI, in 2005.  So that in effect, the Pope himself tells us that voting for pro-abortion candidates is OK.  While k) in addition to countless major authorities in the Church, condemning anti-abortionism,  we ourselves will have here outlined these and a hundred other authoritative or persuasive arguments.  Very firm arguments, against making abortion a major issue.

Given all that, it is high time, for everyone to be told what the Bible and the Church really, fully said,  about abortion; the Bible itself allowed it.  But how can this message ever rise above the constant din of conservative “Catholic” talk radio, TV, Internet?  Today, the Church is increasingly dominated by self-appointed “Catholic” networks, that do not really speak for God, but confuse and intermix religion, with their own social/political opinions (as did liberals for that matter).  And these new half-Catholics and ministers are … delivering their false sense of God, to the whole world.  And yet even the criticism of this movement by three Cardinals and the Pope, have failed to stop this.

Three cardinals and the Pope denounced Pro Life anti-abortionism. But Pro-Life, anti-abortionist “Catholics” today, simply disobey  three cardinals, and the Pope.  So what can be done to fix this?  Finally, today is obvious that the movement is persistent and adamant in its heresy; and is not responsive to gentler correction by Church hierarchy. It has been told over and over that its theology is flawed and false; and yet it still persists obstinately in its sin.  While this is not only an abstract theological error; it is a very, very serious error, with very real, bad, fatal, physical results.

All previous, milder pastoral efforts to fix, this have clearly failed.  So what must now be done?  Clearly  is time for something very, very dramatic.  Indeed finally, the Church itself must soon make very, very firm, dramatic, public action to fix this:  by beginning formal condemnation of the anti-abortion position, as a heresy. While beginning public excommunications, of radical anti-abortionists.

Since anti-abortionists do not listen to arguments, since they defy the Bible, the saints, canon law, and three contemporary cardinals and the Pope himself, since this heretical movement is even now poised to take over the Church itself, finally there is no choice, but for the public and the Church, to take very, very strong and dramatic action against it.   It is time, in short, for the Church to very, very, very dramatically and publicly, condemn anti-abortionism as a heresy.  And for the Church itself to begin to publically condemn and excommunicate prominent anti-abortionists like EWTN/RN and associates, by name.  And to remind the world, that the Pope himself, told us that voting for pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted.” Because after all, there are “proportionate”ly many more important issues in life to consider, when voting.  Because the sin was itself massively public, spread on the airways to millions, the chastisement and condemnation must also be public; in order to reach the same very large public audience, that our “false teachers” taught.

Life, God, are big; and complex.  And therefore, to focus as strongly as many do, on just a single narrow issue or part of life, like abortion, as we will have shown here, following the Cardinals and the Pope, is the height of irresponsibility.  Indeed, limiting the attention and vote of the public to a single issue has been even, in effect, evil.  The fact is, biblically, theologically, Pro Life anti-abortionism is best termed simply, a heresy.  And worse than that, it has been a narrow heresy, that has been increasingly destructive in its real, practical effects.  Prudence demands that we all now take dramatic steps, to end the form of fatal narrowness and obsession; as it elects pro-war candidates, and politicians that do not help the sick and the poor; politicians who love the formless, soulless embryo, but who apparently do not love grown children, and adult human beings.

Antiabortionism is clearly an extremely narrow and destructive heresy or cult.  And worse, it is unfortunately growing larger every day.  Increasingly, more and more priests and even bishops are following it, as this narrow heresy began now begins backwashing from unreliable Catholic media; to take over the Church itself.

Unless we stop it.

Liberalism

Probably one of the top two or three main arguments allowing abortion, is the simple argument noted above, by several Cardinals and the Pope:  that too much concentration just on one aspect or part of life, neglects too many other things.  This is an extremely important argument; not only because it was advanced by two Cardinals, and the Pope himself.  And yet to be sure, here we are summarizing a hundred and more argument against anti-abortionism. So suppose we include a few more random arguments, here and now.

# 92 Amazingly, to be sure, some of the argument against abortion, are not from the “conservative” side of the political spectrum, but from the liberal side.  One increasingly common liberal argument against abortion:  it is said by people like Frank Pavone and Sheila Liuagminas, that denying the human status of the embryo, is the same argument used to justify slavery. It was said many years ago, that black people were not human; therefore, they did not have to be treated like human beings, and given freedom.  But then why does a black man like Barack Obama, support abortion (as even Sheila Liaugminas’ short ad asked,  on Sean Herriott’s “Morning Show,” EWTN  Dec. 10,  2009, about 9:39 AM). The reason is, that Ms. Liaugminas and others who use such liberal arguments to try to defend the embryo, are on a very slippery slope; and  using false logic and sophistry, as usual.  To demonstrate what is wrong with their specific argument here, suppose we carry this argument from analogy, a step further.  Suppose for example, we have a young girl, who says that her old, beat-up Barbie doll, is a real human baby; so we cannot throw the old doll away.  Logically, now Ms. Liuagminas would say here, that indeed we must treat Barbie dolls as human; because to say they are not, is the same strategy that was used to deny civil rights to minorities, centuries ago.  So that, by Ms. Liaugminas’ argument, we must now acknowledge even Barbie dolls, as human. 

Anti-abortionists like Ms. Liuagminas, obviously, are as bad at logic, as they are in theology and dogmatics.  But Ms. Liaugminas is not alone; this same example also illustrates problems with some other arguments commonly used by others as well; like the  “err on the side of caution” argument.  Where it was said that if there is some doubt that the embryo is really human, then even in the case of this slight uncertainty, we should not risk killing them.  But look now at the case, where the child believes the Barbie doll is human; or where say, there is some doubt in the child.  Here, does anyone really hold, that since there is some doubt – in the child say with the doll – that the doll is human, we must therefore “err on the side of caution”:  And treat Barbie dolls as human beings?  Obviously, there are problems with both the minority rights model, and the err-on-the-side-of-caution arguments.

All this is also related to arguing just from consequences. Here the argument would be that since the Barbie doll might be human some think, then we must not allow the Barbie doll to be thrown away or recycled; since we might be killing a human being, in consequence.  (Here therefore, we partially allow arguments from consequence … but only when accompanied by however, other, more compelling arguments, too).

The example of the Barbie doll, begins to confirm that here are many, many false arguments used by anti-abortionists; arguments that employ sophistical, or false logic, as we have noted earlier.  Like the arguments that Ms. Liaugminas triumphantly, gloatingly introduced above, as if they were conclusive evidence of her own superiority.   Basically, the problem here, is that many of these arguments, say, draw limited or  “false analogies.”

Or many put us on what is called in logic, a slippery slope.  The  fact is, at some point, we have to draw a line, and say that this or that quality makes us human … and this or that object does not have it.  While in this case, it was long ago determined that of course, people of different races, are all human.  But even before that was determined,  religion particularly suggested long ago, the most important quality that we need to be human; as religion and philosophy long ago began to suggest that the dividing line, between human and not, was whether something has a human spirit, or soul, or intelligence.

This in fact, is the other major argument justifying abortion:  the argument that the embryo is simply, not a human being.  And the reason that this came to be held, was that over the centuries, religion and philosophy and science, all began to clear see that the dividing line in what makes us human, that what makes us be significantly higher than the animals, is … our superior human intelligence.  The thing that makes a man more than a cat or a snake or a monkey, is that his intelligence is much greater than animals. That is what allows us to invent the technology that, properly used, saves us from so many diseases and from starvation; and that introduces us to the larger universe of knowledge.  Clearly, it has been determined, the major and “minority” races have that intelligence, as many have properly said.  But clearly, Barbie doll – and for that matter, the embryo – does not.

Indeed, this was the logic behind Aquinas suggesting the embryo did not have a soul.  He reasoned that the embryo was not completely “formed” – or as we would say today, its brain was not big enough – to accept or generate a spirit or soul, or intelligence.

If Ms. Liaugminas wants to continue to argue from false analogies, and consequences, what will she say, to the young girl who wants her Barbie doll declared human, and defended as such? To the young girl who says that we must defend the Barbie doll, because to say they are not human, is the same argument used against minorities? Mr. Liaugminas is committed by her own false logic argument, to defend Barbie dolls as human beings.

As usual, Ms. Liuagminas and other anti-abortionists, are not too strong on logic or reason.  They use at best, sensationalistic and emotional – and invalid, unsound – arguments, to defend the embryo.  Perhaps a few women today, in spite of years of Feminism and education, are still thinking far too sentimentally; thinking with their uteruses.  Perhaps they indeed, need more appreciation for reason, the mind, and logic.  Those women who do not learn this, are the very reason perhaps, that the Bible, as interpreted by Church tradition, once stipulated that women like Ms. Liaugminas, are not supposed to have a prominent voice in the Church (as Paul said).  That ordinary women are not to raise their voice above priests.  Or cardinals and Popes.

To be sure, we ourselves hope that one day, well-educated and experienced women, will be able to speak with more authority.  But we should be sure that after all, they are well-qualified.  And are not speaking out of mere sentiment; out of “hearts” that the Bible itself said, are often “deceived” and unreliable and “false.”

No doubt, a woman should feel some affection for the embryo in her womb; as the possible foundation for a future human being.  But to over-emphasize that embryo, is not healthy.  Since that makes too many women even suicidally-inconsolable, in cases of miscarriage for example.  While for that matter, the reasoned analysis of the embryo, by the mind, clearly shows that the embryo is in case, was not yet quite a fully human person.  With the thing that makes us truly fully human:  our mind or spirit.

The thing that makes us human, is our mind or spirit or intelligence. As so many philosophers and scientists, have said before.  So let us all now, men and women together, move beyond false logic and sophistries and sentiments; to a better, clearer view of the embryo, and the larger better life beyond it.

Here, by the way, we follow and cite Church authority.  The real Church authority:  Catholic Tradition, the saints, the Cardinals, and the current Pope.  Not the Catholic talk show hosts, and self appointed Catholic “leaders” that now present themselves as the new authority, as our new priests, our new Popes.  In contrast to “Catholic” Radio talk show hosts, and a few renegade bishops, the real leaders of the Church – the Cardinals, the Popes, the saints –  finally do not really support, the adamant anti-abortionism of talk media; of Karl Keating, Sheila Liaugminas, Johnnette Benkovic and Fr. Ed Sylvia; or Fr. Frank Pavone and “Priests for Life.  In fact, after having reviewed what the real authorities of the church really said, we have to conclude that talk-show anti-abortionists, like Karl Keating, Johnnette Benkovic, Sheila Liaugminas, Fr. Frank Pavone, and EWRN, are actually, simply, heretics.  They have pretended to follow the Church; but they have been secretly rebelling against, not only real ethics and science, but also against the Church itself:  its saints; its cardinals.  And its pope.

Among other problems with “conservative” anti-abortionists?  Ironically, the “conservative” stance of most radio talk show hosts and apologists, their social/political rebellion against much of “liberal”ism, leads them to be blind to, disobedient of, the very real, liberal side of Christianity.   It leads them every day, to ignore and rebel against, the Christ who tells us to “love your enemies,” and “turn the other cheek.”  To ignore Ecclesiastes, when it tells us that “for everything there is a season.”  To ignore the Bible itself, when it tells us that the embryo is “formless” and incomplete; and that priests can perform abortions.  Then ironically, “conservatism” lead followers of this political philosophy, to ignore fully half of the Church and its doctrines; the half that could be seen as liberal.  For example, conservatism lead them to fail to hear the pope at all, when he said that voting for Pro Choice politicians, “can be permitted” (2004 memo, Joe Ratzinger).   (See the new conservative Bible translation project; which explicitly takes out any part that can be seen as liberal).

Religious “conservatives,” you would think, would follow the Bible, the Church, religiously, conservatively.  But in fact, the social/political bias of anti-abortionists and conservatives secretly – or at best, unknowingly – ends up opposing much of what the real authorities of the Catholic Church have said.   Anti-abortionists constantly quote misleading parts of what the Church says; but as we will have been seeing here, they also ignore, disobey, huge other chunks of what the Vatican, Tradition, the Cardinals and Popes have said.   They never really note that two major Catholic saints said the embryo does not have a soul, and is not  human; they never quote the current pope, Benedict XV, when he says that voting for Pro Choice candidates, “can be permitted” (2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive”).

How many liberal aspects are there to real, core Christianity, that conservatives have decided not to follow?  And to what extent have such conservative efforts, seriously mislead the Church itself?

# 93 Currently, anti-abortionists are – 2009/2010 – trying to block passage of current government Health Care legislation, for the poor and sick.  Because it contains a passage that allows funding for abortions.  So that those who follow just the single issue of abortion, are, precisely as foretold of one-issue people… currently blocking efforts to help “other issues”; in this case, to help the poor and the sick.

Thus the narrowness of anti-abortionism is even now, doing damage; it’s narrow focus now ignores and blocks attempts to fix other sins.

Or in other words, many might say, it even now lets “the perfect be the enemy of the good.”  Because it does not like funding for abortion, it now blocks mostly good legislation, that is classic Christianity; that attempts to help the poor and the sick.

This is serious; action should be taken soon, around 2009/10.  This is urgent.  Or millions of poor people (especially the working poor, the partially unemployed) will be fated to die.  For lack of adequate health care.  (Send a copy of this, to Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Dem. Rhode Island, c/o US Congress.gov?)

 And One Solution;

Broadening the Definition of

“Life” Issues

To assist the Church and others, in fact, we here will have begun to present at least a hundred Christian-based arguments – and often Catholic-based arguments – against the new anti-abortionism.  But in our present section on “liberal” arguments for and against abortion, it might now be time to note yet another key answer to emerging anti-abortionism:  as part of conservative antiabortionists learning to follow their cardinals and Pope better, to see the larger, fuller picture, beyond just “one issue” in life, to be “prudent” and “proportionate,” Catholics need to see that calls to “protect” life, do not just refer to the lives of embryos, only.

Anti-abortionists, the Pro “Life” moment, often quote parts of Church doctrines that tell us to honor “life” and “life issues.”  But ironically, it turns out, the Pro Life movement, does not even honor the full meaning of “life.”  The fact is, the Pro Life movement is currently so focused on the issue of the life only of a) the embryo.  For this reason, it neglects the b) “life” of the soul or spirit; c) the “life” of human adults dying from lack of health care; the d) “life” of the environment.  The larger life, beyond the embryo, that e) supports all human life on this planet.

Anti-abortionists today, often focus on the Church’s support for “Life.”  Indeed, their whole movement is called the “Pro Life” movement.   But here we will show that the way they look at “life,” is a perfect example of their fatal narrowness, of their monomania:  these zealots see only part of the full scope of “life.”  They take the concern for “life,” to mean just that we must support, only the “life of the unborn.”

 

We of course support “life.”  But here and now, we need to begin to educate narrow Catholics and others, by helping them to see the broader meaning, the broader scope, of all of “life.” Which includes a) the spiritual life; and the b) life of poor children and adults dying prematurely from lack of Health care.  And c) the importance of many biological organisms, of the environment … on which, in turn, d) all human lives depend.  As we show, in our next argument.

# 94 The Church (and for that matter, the Bible) has issued many commands to all of us, to honor “life.”  But Catholic apologists incorrectly assume, that such references to “life” and “life issues,” refer only to the one, sole issue, of preserving the life of the embryo.  But we now need to note that “Life” is a very broad term in the Bible and elsewhere.  The fact is, there are many, many kinds of “life.”  Including the lives of grown men and women; who are at risk in an anti-abortionist regime that ignores the Health Care of adults and children; and which ignores the hazards of wars, and so forth.  So that we now need the Church to explicitly note the broader definition of “life,” and “life issues.”  Today, the Church should continuously note especially that a) the life of the “environment,” and b) the lives at risk by bad health care, and avoiding war, are important. Indeed, they are c) life issues.”  And d) indeed, they are even more pressing “life issues” than abortion.  Since they involve literally billions of human lives.

We might ask the Church to publically, explicitly extend the discussion, the theology of, “life.”  So that calls to consider “life” and “life issues,” are no longer understood any more, solely as support for just the life of only the embryo. Indeed,  let us all now begin to show that the meaning of “life issues” should be more broadly understood:  to include all things impinging on all human lives; including say, our spiritual “life.” And then too perhaps, the lives of adults, lost through lack of health care.  And then too, the life of the environment, that sustains all human beings.

Something like this, is already underway: the definition of “life issuesis already being used by some bishops in a broader way. A way that would  cover more ground, more elements of life.  But to be sure, any Bishops who note such things, are today regularly ignored or drowned out, by the massively anti-abortion media machine.   Which speaks of abortion, as if it was all of “life”; as if it was the only “life issue.” While anti-abortionism ignores the millions of deaths caused by disease and war.

Bishops and Cardinals – and even the Pope – have at times already used the definition of “life” and “life issues,” to include such things.  And yet to be sure, even this broadening, has also been ignored by anti-abortionists.  So that we will soon need other, new, very drastic remedies from the Church, against anti-abortionists.

To be sure, mild pastoral corrections, even by priests and bishops, Cardinals and Popes, have not really done much in the past.  So that we will need finally, to get a little more confrontational about all this.  And use rather direct language.  We might simply say this to start:   narrow-minded, one issue” anti-abortion extremists, should finally note that while the Bible, and God, and the Church, often support “life,” the word “life” has many, many meanings.  Anti-abortionists should learn to read their Bibles a lot better.  And to report what the Church has said, more fully, more honestly.  Or simply, not speak of these things at all, so they do not again mislead so many people.  (“Not many of you should be teachers,” said St. James).

To help the process, here we outline what support for “life,” really means, more “full”y.  Here we outline a few of the many meanings of “life” in religion; as the term clearly means many, many things, above and beyond supporting just the “life” of the embryo:

“Life” in religion, in the New Testament, most often in fact, refers especially, to our spiritual “life.” (Spiritual/intellectual).  So the Catholic command to honor “life,” includes in part, the command to honor our intellectual and spiritual side.

“Life” in the Bible, most of the time, does not refer to the life of embryos, at all.

In fact, it might be argued that the narrow fixation on the “life” of the embryo only, is a fixated, maniacal/demonical fixation.   A fixation on the “life” of a rather horrible “formless” and soulless being, after all.  

Indeed, if the embryo has no soul – as Aquinas said – then the focus on the embryo only, to the exclusion of all other forms of life, is finally … a demonically clever, indirect attack on, an attempt to minimize, our spiritual life. By making a soulless body, the sole object of all our attention.  While telling us that the matter of “ensoulment” – or finally, the subject of the “soul” – is unimportant.  (A demoniac effect, made more obviously horrible,  when Pro Lifers also occasionally support brain-dead bodies, like Terri Schiavo). The fatally narrow focus of anti-abortionism, just on the “life” of the embryo only, ignores, denigrates, and attacks. the life of the mind or spirit.  It attacks, minimizes, the spirit, the soul itself.

Anti-abortionism, its fatally narrow definition of “life” and “life issues,” is extremely anti-spiritual, and even fatal to the spirit,  in many ways.  First, in that it attempts to define an entity, a life – an embryo – as life, and as human, based solely on a few physical characteristics:  human DNA and so forth.  In doing so, it neglects, denied, and weakened, our focus on the most important, defining characteristic of human beings:  their distinctive intelligence, mind, or spirit. 

 

The indirect (sometimes inadvertent?) attack by anti-abortionists, on the spirit, could first be seen faintly, when anti-abortion religion neglected, attacked Aquinas, and his stress on the importance of “ensoul”ment.  This was the first moment we began to see anti-abortionism attacking the spirit or soul:  when insists that the embryo is a full human being, based just on its vague physical, bodily characteristics; its mere (and at that flawed) physical similarity to babies, or adults.  But that indeed is one place where anti-abortionism, in spite of its good intentions, begins to go radically wrong:  when it focuses just on the body … and entirely neglects the importance of a mind.  It sees a lump of protoplasm, with human DNA, or a body that looks like a tiny emaciated monkey or vaguely human … and decides, solely on the basis solely of physical characteristics, that it is a human being.  When it does this, it utterly, completely neglects the fact – often supported by many theologians and scientists  – that what makes us human, the major distinctive feature that human beings have, that makes us more than the animals, is our human mind or intelligence or spirit .  While obviously, an embryo does not really have much of a mind, at all.

Neglecting and even attacking the importance of the human/divine spirit, the allegedly religious and pious anti-abortion movement, is actually opposed to one of the core concept of Christianity and all of religion; as it concentrates merely on the physical body, and minimizes, neglects – and finally weakens – the spirit, the soul itself.  Anti-abortionism therefore ends up missing a core insight of religion.  That human beings are better than animals, we are “saved,” because of our distinctively human feature:  our “spirit” or “soul.”

Ironically, the religious movement of anti-abortionism therefore, that believes itself to be attacking the essence of all that is good and human, and religious … actually ends up by (accidentally?) attacking the very core of Christianity, and humanity:  by minimizing the soul.  By insisting that something, a mere body of flesh, can be human, even without a mind, anti-abortionism attacks, minimizes the importance of the mind and the spirit.  And ultimately, it weakens our resolve to defend the mind, the spirit.  So that ironically, anti-abortionism, ends by … weakening the soul or spirit, the intelligence.  In favor of the “body” or the “flesh.” No doubt though, human beings are both body and soul; and to understand humanity – and indeed to be human – we need to see both of these.  While traditional theology said that of these two moreover, the spirit is more important.

Seeing, emphasizing only the “body” of a man, anti-abortionism attacks – and judging from the intellectual level of anti-abortion talk radio, has already seriously weakened – the mind and spirit.  All this furthermore, was further proven – and noticeably worsened – by conservative radio’s endless fascination, also, with John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”  Which perhaps, more properly understood, would subordinate the body to the spirit.  But which, as applied in actual practice on talk radio, continually achieves rather the reverse of that.   It returns to gross materialism.

Verifying a new, fatal fixing on the body, even in Catholicism, over and above the soul, consider another major preoccupation of Catholic radio:  the constant advocacy of the mindless, brain-dead body, of …Terri Schiavo [SP?].  This was the brain-dead woman, whose life and humanity, conservatives constantly defended. But here again, conservatives were making their classic and central and deforming mistake; they see only the physical body as defining what is human; they don’t see or value, precisely, the mind or spirit.  Conservatives are largely just the modern versions, of old, physicalistic, greedy, anti-intellectual/stupid materialists and physical bullies.  People who over-value material things; and can’t see intellectual or spiritual values at all.  And who are therefore, often, not inclined to follow morality itself; who are inclined to steal things, and kill people, just to get more material stuff here on earth.  Since they have no real belief in any transcendent “spiritual” reality on earth, or in heaven either.

“Conservatives” have often been, in our era, rather anti-intellectual. And here we see the roots and fruits of that:  conservatives value, talk up, the brainless, spiritless body.  In both the case of aa) the DNA of the embryo; and bb) also their attacks on intellectuals (and their support for football); and cc) in their support for the brain-dead body of Terri Schiavo, and others. Or in addition their dd) typically physicalistic literal understanding of the Bible, as offering only physical miracles, not spiritual things.

Aside from the almost humorous mindlessness and simplicity of this perpetual “Weekend at Bernie’s,” we might however note grave sins in the preoccupation of the simple, with mere physical possessions, the body, and the flesh.  Such people inevitably end up, for example, committing the arch anti-religious sin.  The sin that the Bible constantly warned against:  worshiping the “flesh,” worshiping the mere physical body, and physical possessions  While attaching no value at all to the human mind, spirit, and soul; attacking the very thing that most makes us human. That makes us more than an animal; and for that matter, more than an embryo.

Anti-abortionists look good at first; they seem to be protecting babies, and protecting human life. But because of their extremely narrow focus, their extremely narrow minds, they end up … being extremely dangerous to themselves and others.  By declaring a (relatively) mindless, soulless body, to be fully human, ironically, the very movement that believes itself to be protecting the human and the divine, ends up destroying both.   Anti-abortionism ends up, ironically, unintentionally perhaps, as a very, very deep attack, on the very core not only of humanity/the human person, and science, but also of religion and Christianity.  No doubt, to be sure, there is some need to note the importance of our physical bodies.  But just as clearly, the physicalism of the conservatism of EWRN say, commits the opposite extreme sin:  it advocates the “theology of the body,” the body, the physical side of life, to the point that it denies the mind, the spirit,  declare mindless, soulless bodies fully human (and partially divine too?).  As it glorifies the mindless physical body, it is simultaneously an attack on the very deepest value in Christianity:  the soul.  And related to that, it is a deadly attack on the core of the human person; our spirit.  While then too, it is even an attack on science:  on intelligence, and the mind itself.

How can we fix the theological and practical disaster of the Pro Life movement?  The incredible perversion of a mindlessness and soullessness, that poses as Christianity?   We might begin to note the importance not just of physical “life,” but also spiritual life.   We now need to note continually to anti-abortionists, that the command to protect “life,” directs us in part to protect not just embryos; but to protect our intellectual and spiritual lives.  We all need to educate ourselves; develop our minds.  And we need many people to tell us that we are more than a well-developed body, like Rocky Balboa/Sly Stallone. People need to be told again, that the mind, the soul, the spirit, counts for a lot in ‘Life.”  That we are not just clumps of DNA; that we do not become human, until we develop a significantly human, mind.  Learn to value and use your brain.

To be sure, the physical side of life is important. But if it is, then after all, we need to broaden the understanding of narrow anti-abortionists, so it sees the larger scope of even physical life.  As in the following

Protecting “Life” might also be explained as meaning, to be sure, protecting some physical aspects of life.  But even here, we need to broaden our perspective even on the physical side of  things.  Protecting life should also be a phrase intended to protect and value say, biological life.  Including the life of plants and animals, the living environment and the agriculture, the ecological system, that supports us.

Then too, “Life” of course also refers to our own physical human lives.  But not, normally, primarily embryos.  Here, protecting physical life, would include especially, supporting health care for grown children adults.  This is another crucial aspect of life that the focus just on the embryo, criminally neglects:  the physical lives of children and adults.

Noting the wider meaning of “life” therefore, is no doubt part of the solution to the narrow focus of anti-abortionism. Verifying this, some high Church officials (Cardinals?)  have already used the term “life issues,” in a way that could include the larger definition above.  A quick search of the Internet should reveal many religious leaders already using “life” in the larger sense; already pointing to the crucial life, beyond just the physical body of the DNA and body of the embryo.

The importance of the mind again, is supported by intellectuality, and science.  But can this simple intellectual insight – of the importance of the mind, the core not just of religion, but also intellectuality and science – really take care of the problem?  Now and then, the Church itself has already, fitfully, used the term “life” in the broader sense.  And of course the Church has always stressed the spirit (even excessively; the body having some value after all).  But from the prevalence of one-sidedly physicalistic anti-abortionism to this very day, obviously such corrections by the Church to date – like countless other attempted corrections of anti-abortionists, by Cardinals and the Pope – have made no real impact. Obdurate anti-abortionists – in part because of their obdurate emphasis on the physical world, and not on the mind or spirit – were never very responsive to intellectual or spiritual arguments after all.  Indeed, many uneducated working people, with physical jobs involved with working with their hands producing material goods and services, are generically, intrinsically, aa) philosophically, and even adamantly and deliberately, not just philosophically opposed to any and all arguments that stress intelligent/intellectual/spiritual things. Indeed, bb) intellect, intelligence, is not a valued commodity here.  Or indeed, cc) often intelligent things are not seen, or understood here, either.

In the world of many conservative literal physicalists, intellectual things are heartily not valued, or appreciated, in more than one way.  So that to be sure, none of our arguments here, will likely have much force, where they are most needed. Nor will the Church, with mere intellectual allusions to the larger scope of “life,” do more than fall on deaf ears, either.

Therefore, to reach anti-abortionists, we will need many, many very, very simple, very forceful, and direct statements, to address anti-abortionism.  The public might address a few strong, simple words of condemnation to such people. Some intellectual/spiritual; but some simply, crudely, stressing raw authority.  As we will see.  To those many, many persons who are even consciously, obdurately, opposed to any and all intellect, or mind, or spirit; or intellectual or philosophical argument, condemnations of their position be directed unambiguously,  in very simple, direct, easily understood language.  To the right people; naming names.  And proceeding very, very strongly, and very, very directly. As we will recommend in our final section, the Church should now eschew further arguments and persuasion:  and simply label anti-abortionists as heretics.  And publicly excommunicate them.

Some aa) intellectual arguments might be addressed to the semi-intellectual, populist elite of anti-abortionism:  to various anti-abortion organizations and individuals.  To Fr. Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life”; to Karl Keating; to EWTN/RN;  to Relevant Radio; and to Sheila Liaugminas. But bb) because ordinary anti-abortionists, those who see and appreciate only the body, but not the things of the mind, do not appreciate or follow intellectual arguments, therefore, we might try only a few very clear, unambiguous, censorious remarks, directed in a very direct and forceful and pointed way, to the core of the problem:  the conservative over-physical working class; ordinary people with material jobs.  Such cc) remarks we will note furthermore, need to be repeated endlessly on major media outlets; to counter the previous repetition and massive dissemination of the false theology of anti-abortionists, though their gigantic, media outlets on the internet, and especially on radio and cable TV, through EWTN/RN.  But finally, dd) those people who do not value the mind, who focus just on the body, will by virtue of that, not be persuaded by intellectual arguments after all. So that finally, the only solution here is for private individuals and the Church, to begin applying clear, simple censure, and severe penalties and punishment, to anti-abortionists.  Since nothing short of dramatic and simple, easily-understood condemnation, will help.

How can the people be lead to value not just crudely physical things, but also spiritual/intellectual things?  To some extent, that was always the main work of the Church, and the educational system both.  To fix this, no doubt some in the Church will try to extort the people with obscure phrases again; but that will not work today, any more than the pronouncements of the Bible, a saint, several cardinals, and the Pope, did anything much here.  Therefore we will see, the time for intellectual allusions is over.  The Church might merely begin making very simple, explicit, repeated pronouncements over a period of years:  that we should indeed honor life; but that  “life” includes many more important things than the life of the embryo. But such a program will be totally ineffective, against those who do not listen to mere words, arguments, at all; but who only understand very simple things.  Who will only understand in fact finally, being officially labeled heretics, and excommunicated.

For those Catholics who might however, come to appreciate the value of a mind or spirit?  What better theology could the Church now present?  What is better than that the Church begin to a “full”er sense of  “life.”  The words “full” and fullness, have special significance from the Bible, and for the Church; they refer in part to the moment when at last you begin to see not just “part”s of God, but at last a fuller and more complete sense of God.  While, as we read our Bibles more fully here, and look more fully at Church doctrine, many people may indeed at last come to see and appreciate particularly, the really important part of human and divine life that so many Catholics have to date, increasingly, ignored:  the value of the human/divine spirit, or mind.  The “mind of Christ,” and so forth.  The missing part that must now be seen, to more adequately understand man, and God; in their many “proportionate” “issues” and aspects.    To see not just the body and the “flesh,” but also, now, the spirit and the mind.

So that the examination of the embryo, is in fact a useful way, to begin to at last to see and dramatize, the most important core of humanity:  human(/divine) intelligence.   To re-found religion, Christianity, and its core emphasis on the spirit, in new language acceptable to humanists and scientists too.  Teaching everyone to value, “intelligence.” (To be sure, there are sometimes false things in the “mind”; the “vanities of the mind” and human tradition.  But finally there is the “mind of Christ”; which we can have, and that is not really just human, but is about the nature, the mind, the intelligence, that God gave us).

The Pro Life Heresy

Pt. II:

The Sins of

Eternal Word Television Network:

EWTN/EWRN Talk Show Hosts;

The New False Priests,

Of the Antiabortionist

Church of the Holy Embryo

The Pro Life Heresy Pt. 2 Priests For Life & EWTN Ch. 1 Tuesday, Nov 22 2011 

The Pro Life Heresy

Pt. II:

EWTN Talk Show Hosts:

The New False Priests;

ETERNAL WORD

TELEVISION (AND RADIO)

NETWORK:

Chapter 1

The New “Conservative” “Lay” Organizations like

EWTN/RN,  Follow

Partly Religion,

Partly – Party Politics

The Church Itself

Over the past few decades, we have seen the growth, the resurgence after two or three centuries, of a number of Catholic lay/non priest workers.  Seeing them in churches, and in self-proclaimed Catholic religious media organizations.  Like  EWTN/RN:  Eternal Word Television Network, and Eternal Word Radio Network.  But how effective, how good, have these new lay organizations been?  In the early days of democracy, it was particularly the secular/religious half breeds, the half-trained clerics, that ran many secular operations, that were particularly resented by Protestants, and then the growing Democracy movements.  In part because, often when lay persons dabble in religion, without adequate religious training or commitment?  They get religion … wrong.  They teach and apply Christianity, in … skewed ways.  We will have been finding here and elsewhere, that often, when lay persons take over too many religious roles – and vice-versa, when religious persons try to take over secular institutions – often they are ill trained, and ill suited for this kind of crossover.  And often, especially?  Our secular/religious workers, tend to intermix and confuse religion and secular ideas, in ideosyncratic, eccentric, and wrong-headed ways; combinging classic well-established religion, with … their own political ideas, in a horrible mish-mash.  (As Sinclair Lewis began to note, in his famous novel, Babbitt, in 1922).  And particularly notable, and egregious, in our own time?  Has been the whole new phenomenon of “Conservative” or Right-Wing Christianity.  Which follows only the portions of the Bible, and of the Church, that seem to match a politially “conservative” philosophy.  While opposing “liberals.”

It is easy to see, that many, many huge problems could result, when lay persons, who are poorly trained or “form”ed in religion, attempt to become major religious spokesmen.  Indeed, the major evil, coming from “conservative” Catholics, has been the increasing “conservative” politicization of religion, and Catholicism.  A politicization that is very selective, and narrow, about which bishops or cardinals it follows; which parts of which religious encycicals it reads; which parts of which saints, it follows.  Particularly destructive, as it turns out, has been the conservative obsession, with the single issue of Abortion.  Which ignores constant attempts, by dozens of bishops, cardinals, popes, to note that there are many “other issues” that are important in life, and in the Church; and that a well-balanced Catholic would always consider what Cardinal Bernardin called a “seamless” web of many social issues, in daily life.   While avoiding what the Pope himself called, a dis-“proportionate” focus on a single issue, like abortion.

There have been many, many  problems with the New Conservatives, or “Neo Cons” as they came to be known, in the 1980’s and 90’s.  And after many years, those evils are now rather fully empowered and institutionalized; the bad ideas of the Neo Cons, have now been around long enough, that political and social institutions have been built around them.  In particular, false anti-abortion ideas, by now have a certain institutional sponsors, and power.  Making the bad ideas of neo conservatism, harder than ever to root out.

But in fact, we can begin to note some of the major institutional bases of the problem, here and now.  To be sure, liberal organizations have caused problems here.  But here we will need to examine particularly, the a) “conservative” and b) “Catholic” institutions, that now back anti-abortionism.  Especially c) the new “conservative Catholic” media networks, like EWTN. The huge networks that are actually, largely responsible for spreading, particularly, the new conservative and anti-abortion heresies.

How Did it Start?

How was it, that suddenly half-trained, half-baked lay Catholics, were suddenly speaking as the voice of the Church, as the Voice of God himself, from major media megaphones … without the Church itself, objecting?  We will discuss that at length, later.  But briefly, the reason is in part, that fewer and fewer people want to become fully trained, dedicated priests or nuns today; so the Church felt compelled to accept more and more half-trained workers, into its midst.  And as it accepted lawyers?  The Church was vulnerable to … being manipulated by very clever arguments; arguments that however were not adequately rooted in real, core religious tradition.  Such persons were able, for instance – like Karl Keating, Attny. – to take minor elements of genuine Catholic tradition – and build them up, blow them up, into the centerpiece of a new semi-Catholic, but mostly lay, pseduo-religion; centered not around Jesus, but on the preservation of the embryo.  And on voting Republican in every election.  As we will have been seeing her and elsewhere.

So why doesn’t the Catholic Church itself do something?  In fact, the Church a) knows that it has to some extent opposed abortion in the past; and perhaps it b) thinks of this new and more adamant opposition, as a valid extension of the past.  Or perhaps the more cynical elements of the Church have thought of furthering this new extreme doctrine, as an c) interesting new trial balloon.  In an era in which more and more priests are not entirely sure that the word of the church and “God” is not just the word of men, many in the Church have wanted to simply, experimentally, start allowing new ideas thought up by priests, as Church doctrine; proclaimed as the voice of God.  But to be sure, this would be a very bold and heretical move; allowing the “Traditions of men” into the canon after all.  While d) we suggest here that probably no current, small set of human beings, really has the authority to do this well, or at all.  Confirming this, e) our current examination here suggests that whoever started this new theology, made many errors in Tradition and theology.  While these theological errors moreover, have had drastic practical effects, on real lives, too. So that this new anti-abortion theology, has not stood the test of time.  And should therefore be rejected for many very good reasons, as having  been the “word of God” at all.

Indeed, there are many reasons for rejecting EWTN/RN’s extremist, one issue theology.  Which presents an heretical Catholicism, centered not on God, or Jeusus; but on the embryo.  As follows.

 “One-Issue”

Anti-Abortionism

Defined

For some time, the “Pro-Life” or anti-abortion movement has in many ways dominated American Catholic churches.  And eventually, this movement has played a decisive role in politics, in elections, too.  Especially after arch Pro-Lifer Karl Keating, Attny., began distributing his “Voter’s Guide” for concerned Catholics.  Keating, the attorney, telling us – in effect – that the Pope, God, were commanding us to vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election.  Pro-Lifers telling us in effect, that God was commanding us to vote Republican. In every election.

The constantly-implied conclusion of the Pro Life movement, is that abortion is so bad, that it is the single issue that we must attend to, in every election.  That we have to vote, in every election, for the most anti-abortion candidate.  And since in America, the most anti-abortion party is the Republican Party, the constantly implied (and occasionally explicit) message of anti-abortionists like Karl Keating, on media networks like EWTN, was this:  God commands us to vote Republican in every election.  But we will show here that this, the prevailing Pro Life theology, is false.  This, the “one issue” anti-abortionism that dominates many people today, that dominates many churches, that has determined one election after another in America, is 1) not true to the Bible itself.  Nor its it 2) true to God, therefore.  Nor is it even 3) true to the Catholic Church.  Therefore, to believe and follow the common, one-issue Pro-Life or Anti-abortion position, is to commit a heresy.  It is to go against the Bible, against the Church, and against God.

What are the main features of the modern anti-abortion movement, and this new heresy?   As defined in part, by the apparently many different verious of Karl Keating’s “Voter’s Guide for Concerned Catholics,” anti-abortionism has gone through many significant revisions it seems, over the years.  (Keating’s own guide seems to have been revised many times since c. 1999, 2004, 2006.)  And therefore, we should not refer to any single guide as a fully reliable, definition of anti-abortionism.  But here and now we can outline a rough outline of anti-abortionism, as it was often held in effect, by Karl Keating.   And/or by the network on which he constantly appeared:  Eternal Word Television Network, including especially its radio branch, Eternal Word Radio.  Karl Keating in particular, appeared so often on EWTN, c. 1999-2005 etc.. (on “Catholic Answers Live,” which was for some time a regular feature on that network), and Keating’s views were so influential, that  in effect, Keating’s position, defines EWTN’s extremely influential, extremely popular position on this subject.   So that we will borrow from those guides – and from many things Karl Keating said on the air – to begin to get a rough idea of the Pro Life position.

In general, what do Pro Lifers, anti-abortionists, say?  Typically, religious anti-abortionists assert at least one or two – and in extreme cases, all – of the following:

a)      It is typically asserted that Abortion is bad.

 

b)     More often, it is claimed that abortion has been firmly, historically declared by God himself to be very badTo be against the Bible, especially.

 

c)       Then too, it is often suggested that abortion is against the specific traditions of many churches; like the Catholic Church.  Its “Tradition,” “doctrines,” “dogmas”; or its “Magisterium.”

 

And in fact, to be sure, we will allow here that many organizations like the Catholic Church do often say that Abortion is bad.  But the question will be:  HOW BAD DOES IT SAY IT IS?  That is the question.  Amazingly, we will find that often, the key authorities – saints and cardinals and popes – in the Church itself, said many things that would imply that a young embryo is not a full human being.  And therefore, killing one is not, say, murder.

Anti-abortionists, try to establish that abortion is evil.  As so evil, that abortion is declared to be the only issue we should consider in elections.  To do that though, this movement has to claim that the embryo is a full human being; not just a clump of cells, or an incompletely “form”ed body, without a human mind or spirit or soul.

But to be sure, to try to prove that an embryo is a full human being, anti-abortionists typically use a wide range of questionable assertions.  Here is a list of some of the major assertions of anti-abortionists, found at one time or another on say, EWRN:

d)     To establish abortion as really evil, anti-abortionists try to claim that an embryo is a fully, human “child,” for example.

 

e)      It is often insisted, particularly in the Church, that an embryo is a full human being, “from conception.”  (As indeed, one or two recent encyclicals seemed to suggest to many; like Humanae Vitae, or Evangelicum Vitae?).  Even when the embryo is just a few days old; an unconscious clump of cells the size of a pin-head.

f)       It is next claimed that furthermore, since the embryo is a human being,  therefore, killing it is not just killing a lump of cells or protoplasm, or some sort of proto-human; it is killing a real, full, human being.

g)       Moreover, they say, since abortion thus kills a human being, and furthermore, a human being that must be considered innocent, therefore, killing an embryo, some Catholic ethicists argue, is an “intrinsically evil” thing.  Since it is always, they claim, “intrinsically” wrong, to deliberately kill an innocent human being.

h)      Furthermore, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being, it is said, abortion is even worse than many accidental killings; killing millions of say, civilians, in wars.  Because it is not an accident; but is the intentional, conscious, “deliberate” killing of them.

 

i)        Continuing this line of thinking, many anti-abortionists have even finally said that, because it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being, abortion is finally, “murder.”  (See archbishop Chaput?  Calling abortions “little murders”?).

j)        Carrying all this still further, next it is claimed that not only is abortion evil, not only is it murder; it is an evil, a murder, that is even worse than normal murders – because of the great numbers of deaths involved.  Many millions of embryos are killed every year.  So that abortions today are said to amount to mass murder.

k)      Given all this, abortion is not to be allowed, it is often said.  Even when abortion appeared necessary to save the life of the mother (against Aquinas, below);

l)        Even in cases of pregnancy from rape.

 

m)   Or incest.

n)      In fact, serious as it therefore appears, this single, “one issue,” is constantly, unrelentingly declared to be more important than any other issue in life.  To be much worse than all other sins we see today.  So much worse, that it is claimed by religious media networks like EWTN/RN, that the single issue of abortion, trumps, outweighs, all other issues.  It is the one thing we need to think about in life. It is the most egregious sin around, today; the sin that most needed correcting.

 

  • o)      Finally therefore, following the above reasoning to its conclusion (its reducto ad absurdum?), the radical anti-abortionism of EWRN came to constantly say, that since abortion is the supreme evil, Christian voters were obligated, by God, to vote against any and all political candidates that supported abortion. 

p)     Or, as the corollary of this, it is said especially in Catholic media, by Karl Keating and others, that the Roman Catholic Church requires Catholics to vote only for the most anti-abortion candidates.

 

q)      Or – in a very slight amendment to this position – if there are no absolutely anti-abortion candidates in any given election, then we were instructed by Attorney Karl Keating and EWTN, that we must vote for the most anti-abortion candidate.  The lesser of two evils.

r)       And finally, if the political party in America that most opposed abortion, happened to be the Republican Party?  Then the stand of EWTN’s anti-abortionists for example, asserts implicitly, that the Pope, and God, are telling us that we have to vote for the Republican party, in every election.

 

 

Non-profit organizations like EWTN, to be sure, often a) cannot make this last point entirely openly or explicitly.  No non-profit network, can legally make its support for a particular political party, entirely explicit.  Not without losing its religious or non-profit, tax-exempt, status.  IRS laws insist that non-profit agencies, can only examine “issues.” And cannot enter politics, to support one political party, over another.

Yet b) even when it did not often explicitly say this, EWTN’s constant, systematic presentation of the train of  thought outlined above, constantly and inevitably lead EWTN’s listeners, to this