The Conservative

And

Pro-Life Heresies –

Or

God Never Said, “Vote Republican”:

One Hundred Heresies

In Anti-Abortion and Conservative Theology

By

Dr. William J. E. Dempsey

March 28, 2010

A dozen times a day we hear on “Catholic” radio networks like EWTN/RN, that God or the Catholic Church, say 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).  The 2) Catholic Church to be sure, says abortion is bad; but how bad is it?  The Church’s major saints and theologians – Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas – said the young embryo does not have a soul, and is not a human person. Then too, 3) two current Cardinals spoke against such dis-“proportionate” emphasis, on any “one issue,” like abortion.  Then 4) the Pope himself said that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (Card. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, “Worthiness” 2004).

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

Worse?  Declaring the mindless, soul-less embryo, to be fully human, denigrates, attacks, the core value of humanity and religion:  denying, attacking the mind, the spirit, the soul itself.

BLURB/

INTRODUCTORY SUMMARY

 

Over the past few decades, a radical “Pro Life” or anti-abortion message, has come to dominate many churches – and to determine countless elections – all over America.  The Pro-Life message is this:  1) abortion is bad.  In fact it is claimed that 2) abortion is so bad, that Christians are not allowed to vote for pro-abortion candidates in elections.  3) And since in America, the Republican Party is the most anti-abortion party, the message that is constantly implied by anti-abortionists, is that  God is ordering Americans to vote Republican, not Democratic.  In almost every single election.

“God said, ‘ vote anti-abortion, vote Republican,'” is the hidden text in the Pro-Life message that has dominated America for 28 years.  4) This implicit message has been spread nationwide for 30 years; since about 1980.  Especially this radical and heretical message was spread by several self-appointed “Catholic” media networks and organizations; most notably, by  EWTN“Eternal Word Television Network.”  And especially, EWTN’s radio subsidiary, EWRN:  Eternal Word Radio Network.  These lay “Catholic” organizations broadcast the antiabortionist message to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.  And they were  immensely effective; largely thanks to religious networks like EWTN/RN,  anti-abortionism has effectively leveraged the vote for 30 years; and controlled countless elections in America; electing one Republican candidate after another, c 1980-2008.  Including Ronald Reagan, 1980-88; Bush I 1988-92; and Bush II 2000-2008.  And when it controlled the American congress and presidency, it in effect, controlled the world.   With, unfortunately, a false theology; a false idea of God and Christ.

How did the Pro Life position come to control and the world?  First, anti-abortionism successfully 5) dominated Catholic talk radio.  And 6) “Catholic” TV.  From that power base, 7) the antiabortion message began to subtly, disproportionately dominate all of Catholicism.  Since it insists that God himself opposes abortion, an extreme, “Pro Life,” one –issue anti-abortionism, has easily taken over the  Catholic Church.  And once it took over the Church,  it leveraged the vote; and effectively took over America.  And then, the world.

Because the Church has long been somewhat against abortion, the Church itself was particularly vulnerable to the appeal of radical anti-abortionism:  to the assertion that Pro Life anti-abortionism is the major issue in Christianity; and that we should therefore, always vote for the most anti-abortion candidate, in every election. And indeed, having taken over much of the Church, 8) it began to affect the vote too.  For some time, Christian anti-abortionism, the “Pro Life” position, has been a small but determining vote in American elections.  Since it has insisted that God himself commands us to vote for Republican, its appeal was hard for many voters to resist. And so eventually a small but significant anti-abortion vote was created, that has been able to control countless elections in America, for 28 years (c. 1980-2008).

Ironically, the Pro Life vote,  has never been strong enough to achieve its main objective:  it was never strong enough to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.  But it has thrown enough votes to the Republican Party, to elect one Republican after another, c. 1980-2006.  The anti-abortion vote helped to elect at least two or three Republican presidents; from Ronald Reagan in 1980; to George Bush I 1988-92; and then George Bush II, 2000-2008.  And of course, as the anti-abortion vote determined political events in America, eventually it played a major role in world events. 

 

The 9) control of the Church, then America, and then the world,  was part of the goal all along, of course.  Religious and secular “conservatives,” had long worked together, achieve a “Christian” or later “Conservative Coalition,” that could control America, and then the world.  While the Pro-Life, anti-abortion “conservative” vote, was a major contribution to achieving precisely that.  But after all, 11) even Church leaders began to note that there were problems with the Church and American voters, concentrating just one this “one issue” of abortion:  if Republicans were “good” on the one issue of abortion, they were not so good in avoiding unnecessary wars; or helping the environment.  Or taking care of the health of the poor and sick.  George Bush II’s inflammatory rhetoric inspired Muslims to attack the World Trade Center; then Bush was soon in a perhaps unnecessary war in Iraq and Afghanistan;  then Bush lost part of New Orleans to a flood; then Bush nearly collapsed the economy; while Republicans currently oppose health care for the poor and sick..  If Republicans were “good” on “one issue” like abortion, they were not so good on many other issues.

In light of such problems with the too-narrow focus of the Pro Life movement, 11) eventually Catholic Church leadership has come to renounce the policy of supporting only anti-abortion candidates. Eventually two or three Catholic cardinals – including the future Pope himself – began to object to the narrow, dis – “proportionate,” too narrow focus of the Pro Life vote.  Cardinal Ratzinger of the Vatican, in a 2004 memo, allowed that there could be “proportionate”ly more important issues in life, than abortion. Finally Cardinal Ratzinger – who was to become our current Pope, Benedict XVI – said that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (“Worthiness to Receive,” 2004 memo from Cardinal Ratzinger).

Amazingly therefore, the Pope allows Catholics to vote for pro-abortion candidates.

The Pope’s decision here, furthermore, was expanded by 12) Cardinal McCarrick, head of the USCCB.  Cardinal McCarrick said there was a problem with anti-abortionism:  it is the narrowness of its “one issue” focus; which ignored many other sins, and allowed them to flourish.  In particular, though the Republicans Pro Lifers were “good” on protecting the rights of the embryo, they were not so good in other issues; like helping  poor and sick children and adults; and avoiding unnecessary wars, that killed many grown children and adults.   Pro Lifers voted for Republican administrations – that however, also pumped up American “conservative” pro-American, pro-military sentiments.  That soon took America into several wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Republicans also voted against helping the sick with Health Care, in 2009/10. While Democrats, liberals, also suggested that the narrow focus of conservatism, neglected not only the poor and sick, welfare and health, but environmental issues too.  Like floods and plagues and famines, that have already historically destroyed millions of lives, said even the Bible itself. And that will kill many more, if we don’t look at them again.

Anti-abortionists are far too narrow.  They are “good” on the “one issue” of abortion.  But they allowed many other worse evils to flourish.  Must we therefore always vote for anti-abortionists?  The Pro Life position claims that the Catholic Church and God himself, order us to vote anti-abortion in every election.  But the fact is, there are countless solid Christian, Biblical, and practical objections to conservative, and specifically Pro Life politics and theology.  In our present book here, we  will outline more than 100 Bible-based, ethical and practical objections, to the Pro Life position.

More than 100 objections to the Pro Life position, are outlined in our book.  But among the many objections, is this 13) objection to anti-abortion and other “conservatives”:  the Pro Life anti-abortionism, is not really conservative, or traditional, at all.

Among other things,  addressing all Christians, we  will show that 14) the Pro Life position is not supported, for example,  by the Bible itself. The fact is, a) the Bible itself never mentioned abortion by name; not even once.  And furthermore, the Bible itself b) essentially opposed the concept of absolute aversion to abortion, too; or to focus on it as the most important issue in elections.  The fact is, the Bible itself never mentioned abortion … unless c) it was to order a priest to perform it, in Num. 5.16-29.  While the Bible also suggests that d) the embryo was not yet a full human being; because it was not fully “form”ed in the womb (Ps. 139.16).

Following the Bible, we will next note that 15) many major saints, canonically-mandated theologians like St. Augustine and especially St. Thomas Aquinas, told us that the fetus or “child” in the womb, was not formed enough to have a human mind or “soul.”  So that the “child” in the womb is not really a full human being; and aborting it was not as serious a crime as other issues, like murder. Not as serious as say, even accidentally causing civilian, non combatant deaths in wars.  Certainly the “one issue” of abortion is “proportionately,”  not as serious as ruining the environment, and destroying the earth; and destroying the future of humanity, and billions of lives.  As we will show.

There are dozens of even Biblical, conservative, Catholic arguments, against “conservative,” “Catholic” anti-abortionism.  In fact, we  will conclude that 16) though the Catholic Church, say, has often opposed abortion somewhat, the strong, anti-abortionism of talk radio and the Internet – and many priests – goes far, far beyond what the Church traditionally allows.

Ultimately in fact, the Pro Life movement, as defined by many “Catholic media organizations and individuals like EWTN, is not really following the Catholic Church .  Specifically, those “Catholic” networks like EWTN/RN and Relevant Radio, and their on-air guests like Sheila Liaugminas. (Pronounced Sheila “Log-mean-as”),  Fr. Frank Pavone, and Karl Keating, who imply that the Church and God orders us to vote Republican, in every election, are false religious leaders.  They do not really represent the Bible, the saints and the Church, or God.

Today there are many new, self-proclaimed “Catholic” anti-abortionist individuals and organizations – like EWTN/EWRN, and Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life,” and Sheila Liaugminas (“Log-mean-as”) –  that have constantly asserted that they are the voice of God and the Church.  And these new Catholic media say that the Church and God, now command us to vote for the most anti-abortion candidate in every election; they tell us that in effect, the Pope and God order us to vote Republican.  But here we will outline 100 ethical & Christian and Catholic arguments against anti-abortionism.  Among 100 objections to Pro Life anti-abortionism, is the fact that the theology that underpins the Pro-Life position, was actually opposed by aa) the Bible; by bb) the saints; by cc) the cardinals; by dd) canon law; and dd) by the current Pope, Benedict XVI.  So that when “Catholic” media like EWTN backed a strong anti-abortionism, they are actually, going against the Church.

The people need to know that real authority in Christianity and the Church, is not “Catholic” media.  It is the Bible; or for Catholics, the key saints, the current Cardinals, and “Our Holy Father” Pope Benedict XVI.  All these we show, opposed Pro Life’s extreme focus just on the single political, theological “one issue,” of abortion.   Unfortunately, many allegedly “Catholic” media and priests, have actually ignored or disobeyed the Bible, the saints, Catholic Tradition, the Cardinals, and the Pope.  The new “Catholic” media networks like EWTN have taught a false theology; one that unfortunately, dominated the Church, America, and the world, c. 1980-2008.  But their narrow focus on especially, the single issue of abortion, is clearly the very “one-issue,” dis- “proportionate” theology, that Cardinals and Pope Benedict XVI have condemned.

In sum, the “Catholic” Pro Life position, that has played a deciding role in American elections for thirty years, was simply false.  The “Christian,” “Catholic” Pro Life movement, is actually opposed by the Bible, for example. And 17)  therefore, the Pro Life movement is opposed by God.  Anti-abortionism is a mere political opinion, a “tradition of men,” not the word of God that it pretends to be.

Finally in fact, since the “Christian” Pro Life movement contradicts not only the Bible, but also the real Tradition and real authorities of the Roman Catholic Church, the Pro Life movement is simply, a “false doctrine” of “false” priests.

Indeed, 18) we  will show here, in more than one hundred Bible- and Catholic-based arguments, against Pro Life antiabortionism, that the pro-life antiabortion position that has until dominated many churches, was all along, simply, a heresy. 

 

A false theology, a false vision of Christ and God, has dominated the whole earth.  But now, we can begin to expose that.

TEXTUAL/PUBLICATION NOTES:

This particular edition, will probably be offered to the public, FREE of charge, on the Internet.

Regarding the present edition:  this is the first, reasonably complete edition of this book; it has been completely edited by its author, March 4, 2010.  READERS THOUGH SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THIS DOCUMENT, MAY BE UP-DATED OCCASIONALLY, BY THE AUTHOR,

TO MEET THE LATEST, ONGOING OBJECTIONS FROM EWTN & KARL KEATING, etc..  Readers are therefore encouraged to check the Internet periodically, for a reliable undated version of this document; and to compare them to this first edition.

 

 

 LONG TABLE OF CONTENTS

For

The Conservative and Pro-Life Heresies:

100 Sins in

Pro-Life, Or Anti-Abortion Theology

Chapter 1

Introduction

Chapter 2

The Pro-Life,

Anti-Abortion

Position

Pro Life, As Defined by EWTN/RN, Karl Keating, Frank Pavone, Etc.

The main ideas of Pro-Life, Anti-Abortion politics (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:

a)      Abortion is bad;

b)      The Bible and God say it is bad;

c)      Specific churches, like the Catholic Church, say it is bad. But how bad is it?

d)     The embryo is a human being; a “child”;

e)      Human from “conception”;

f)       So killing an embryo, kills a human being;

g)      This is an “intrinsic” evil;

h)      It is killing an innocent deliberately;

i)        Abortion is therefore, murder;

j)        A sin worse than other murders, because of great numbers of abortions, etc..

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

l)        Even in cases of rape;

m)    Incest;

n)      So in all of ethics, only “one issue” is really important:  Abortion

  • o)      So, vote against pro-abortion candidates

p)      We must vote only for Anti-abortion candidates in elections;

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

r)       Anti-abortionists say implicitly, therefore, vote Republican, the anti-abortion party;

s)       Some say this explicitly;  voting Republican,

t)       Most of this is said to be ordered by the Church;

u)      As “the Truth;

v)      As the word of the Bible;

w)    As the voice of God;

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

Extreme anti-abortionism ends by implicitly telling us this:  God commands us to vote Republican.

Pro Life anti-abortionism,  was rightly lampooned in the popular press.  But anti-abortionism has always been the core, distinctive message of “Catholic” media like EWTN/RN – and even many churches. It was EWTN’s view though, that has mostly controlled many churches, and many elections.  So that now we need to address it all now, strongly.  As we show that anti-abortionism is not supported by the Bible, the Church, or by God.

Chapter 3

The Bible Itself

Does Not Support

Pro-Life,

Or Anti-Abortionism

1)             The Bible never mentions Abortion by name.  So God never firmly, directly pronounced on this subject.  Other subjects like Sickness, Poverty and War, are regarded as far more important.  Nor does the Bible even imply that abortion is so important.

2)             Many things in the Bible contradict the idea that abortion should be the main issue in elections, etc.. Traditional religious sources like the Bible, do not make it clear an embryo or fetus is a full human person (Ecc. 11.5).  Jewish culture some say, made a male a human person, only at circumcision, eight days after birth.

3)             Causing a miscarriage is minor in the Old Testament (Ex. 21:22-4).

4)             Especially important:  in Numbers 5.11-30, God orders priests to administer a dust that induces sterilization; and which, if performed on a pregnant woman, would induce an abortion.

5)             Embryos are only human at “quickening” many say, or six months; 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.

6)             Even if abortion is bad, therefore, it is not so bad.  It is not murder; it does not kill a “full”y formed human being or human person.  And finally, to focus too much on this single sin, is to 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” (Ecc.).  (As affirmed later by the Cardinals’ and the Pope’s attack on dis-“proportionate,” “one issue,” im-“prudent” Christianity.)

(See also other biblical references below:  since anti-abortionism is not in the Bible, it is a mere political opinion; one of the “traditions of men”; and should not be spoken of as coming from God.  Also protecting “life,” means in part protecting spiritual life, the life of the environment, lives of adults in health care; not just the embryo).

Chapter 4

Science:

Real Science,

Does Not Support Strong Anti-Abortionism 

 

 

7)             Some anti-abortionist priests assert that Science, embryology, confirm that an embryo is fully a human being, “from conception”; but one early proto-scientific philosopher, Aristotle (and after him, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas), said an embryo is not “form”ed enough to have a rational or human mind (from Ps. 139).  And is therefore, not a full human being;

8)             Most of the “Science” that priests quote against abortion, is bad, false, junk science; priests, anti-abortionists, are usually not trained scientists, embryologists;

9)             Real Science often says it cannot (to date) observe, confirm, a soul;

10)         While indeed, the physical structure, brain of an embryo, is not “formed” enough to accept, generate, a full mind, science confirms;

11)         Embryologists are scientists – and overall, embryologists do not confirm that the embryo is human with a soul; indeed, embryologists regularly dissect embryos and do research with them; something real anti-abortionists often feel is immoral;

12)         The human DNA in an embryo, does not make a full human being.  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.  That an embryo is “intended to be human,” it is therefore a human being. But that is wrong:  an acorn is not an oak tree;

14)         An embryo’s grasping hand, is not proof it is a human being, since even salamanders grasp things;

15)         We need a reasonably full human intelligence, most suggest, to be a human; 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)         If Biology says an embryo is “human,” or a human “organism” (source?), semantically, that does not mean a full human “being” (e.g. “human hair” is human, but not a human being);

17)         Real “organisms” in any case, live outside the womb, independent; embryos do not;

18)         There are many sciences.  Whatever the science of Biology says, the Social Sciences suggest that embryos become human only after birth, socialization;

19)         Medical community law, often said even babies are human only at one year of age;

20)         Many doctors abort, suggesting they don’t think of the embryo as human;

21)         Science refers to an “embryo,” a “fetus,” not a “child”; not giving it a human name;

22)         Natural sense, suggests an embryo is part of its mother, until viability;

23)         Healthy viability, at eight months, is a common, “natural” demarcation, for the beginning of a human being;

24)         Birth especially would seem one natural moment, to declare babies human; a natural law demarcation; (ultrasound pictures are unnatural);

25)         If priests cite some science in their favor?  Whatever science says, in any case, changes;

26)         Firmly anti-abortion “science” therefore, is just bad, false;

Most religious anti-abortionists who quote “science,” are not trained, good scientists; not honest “witness”es.  They are not trained to be objective. But to “believe” whatever they think the Church says, ignoring all contrary evidence “faith”fully.

27)         In emphasizing the importance of the human physical genes, 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 mind.

28)         Anti-abortionists in effect, are crudely physicalistic.  And attack the very core of science and humanity:  intelligence.  Or in religion, they attack the soul.

 

 

 

Chapter 5

What Do Other Christian Churches

Aside From the Roman Catholic Church

– Protestants –

Say About Abortion?

Most Churches Allow Abortion;

Or Do Not Support Strong Anti-Abortionism

29)         Even most Bible-thumping Protestant churches allow abortion. Suggesting that a) Christianity overall has not been consistent on this matter; and that b) the Bible itself probably allows abortion.   

 

 

 

Chapter 6

Ethics?

Beyond Anti-Abortionism;

The More Important Ethical and Practical Issues:

Catholic and other Ethics,

The Current Pope, Benedict XVI’s, “Proportion”ately

More Important Issues in “Life” and “Environment,”

More Broadly Understood at Last

30)         The major problem with anti-abortionism, is its narrowness.  When you focus just on one evil, you 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)         Beyond the single issue of abortion – which is supported disproportionately on talk radio – as a first consideration of the broader picture, note that a 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 abortion;

32)         Many say 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.”  But this is admitted that the status of embryo, is not certain; and there is a sin in very firmly telling people not to act on something, when you are not certain. (It is also:  “reasoning from consequences” q.v.); then too we will show, to “err on the side of over-caution” is to err, after all.

33)         Ethics should follow not just attend to logic (see “intrinsic” evils), but empiricism, a pragmatic attitude. Which suggest that in daily life, there are far more important things than embryos.  (Pragmatics in religious language:  “prudence”).

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, 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.

35)         Is killing an embryo “intrinsically” evil?  The whole idea of “intrinsic evils” being more important than anything, is wrong; it does not allow practical, prudent priorities;

36)         Some argue that an abortion is an “intentional” killing of an “innocent,” and is therefore certainly bad.  But games are played with “intention”s; and is not biblical. Also:  those abortionists who do not think an embryo is human, do not intentionally kill a human. 

37)         Anti-abortionism is not so much Reason, as sentiment; from some sentimental women;

38)         “Conservatives” would follow the law (follow Roe v. Wade) that allows abortion;

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

40)         Uncertainty is found in many anti-abortionist arguments.  Therefore, we should not follow then with total, religious obedience.

Environment, Broadly Defined,

Is More Important Than Abortion:

Biblical Plagues, Floods, Famines

41)         Many claimed above,  that we might not know if an embryo is fully human; but if we don’t know, we should refrain from killing them, just in case; because the consequences would be awful.  But there are problems with “reasoning from consequences.”  Or, if “reasoning from consequences” is allowed, then consider the awful consequences of one-issue anti-abortionism.  Which is too narrow. Ignoring especially huge environmental disasters from anti-abortion’s neglect of the environment “issue”;

42)         Beyond Global Warming, consider the “Climate Change” idea the Church allows;

43)         Consider the importance of avoiding Plagues, Disease;

44)         Floods;

45)         Industrial poisonings and pollution and accidents;

46)         Science experiments gone wrong;

47)         Each of these environment-related disasters, has already caused huge disasters, hundreds of millions of deaths, historically;

48)         Neglect of such environmental issues could, even, all but exterminate humanity;

49)         One-issue anti-abortionism, imprudently denies, neglects these vital, other issues; even though neglect of these things, can kill billions of human beings.

50)         Past environmental disasters like these are confirmed by the Bible; like The Flood;

51)         Future environmental disasters were also predicted (of the End Time) by the Bible, some say;

52)         Therefore, considering all that, 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.  In which the lives of not millions, but billions – indeed, the entire life of all of mankind – is at stake.

Chapter 7

The Catholic Church

And Abortion

55)         Admittedly, the Catholic Church says abortion is bad.  But how bad is it?  Gregory XIV allows abortion as a minor sin, before quickening?;

56)         The Church said abortion not as bad as other things; many other sins could be worse, “proportionate”ly.  As suggested by the current Pope (see Card. Ratzinger, 2004 memo “Worthiness”; and Card. McCarrick against “one issue” Catholicism);

57)         A child, embryo, was traditionally not fully human, or saved, until Baptism?;

58)         The embryo, unborn, was in indeterminate “Limbo” before birth, and/or baptism;

59)         There has been no absolutely definitive, ex-Cathedra decision on the status of the embryo. (Or none consistent with Church Tradition);

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

62)         Anti-abortionist Catholics therefore, only pretend to obey the Church; actually they disobey the saints and many other elements of Catholic Tradition; Pro-Lifers are therefore hypocrites,

63)         Pro Life antiabortionists are the very “Cafeteria Catholics” they accuse others of being;

64)         They reject Theology;

65)         Anti-abortionists secretly attack and disobey canon law:  1918 revision of 1917 Code, 589:1, 1366:2; current 1983 Code of Canon Law, 252:3;

66)         They reject the saints;

67)         They reject core religious Tradition;

68)         They reject doctrine, dogmas, rules

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

70)         Pro Lifers in short, secretly disobey the Church.

71)         In giving up on en-“soul”ment, stressing the physical body of DNA etc., Pro Life anti-abortionists are even giving up on, attacking, the soul.

72)         Are we full human beings, “From Conception” as in the current Catechism?   Against the current catechism, is most of Catholic Tradition. (And the Bible; and Science, above).

Legal & Political Problems For the Church

From Allowing “Catholic” Anti-Abortionism

73)         The Church interfering in American politics, elections, causes problems with the IRS; can cause removal of Church’s religious, tax-exempt status.

74)         Catholic Church involvement in any politics, violates the spirit of the Lateran Treaty;

75)         Violates the US Constitution; separation of church & State; Freedom of Religion

76)         Violates Roe v. Wade; US Supreme Court;

77)         Priests are “unregistered Foreign Agents”?;

78)         Church siding with Republicans, conservatives, attacks, earns opposition from, Democratic Party.

79)         Church interfering with the state, will resume wars of religion; historical wars between Protestants and Catholics

More Theological & Practical Problems

80)         Anti-abortionism is not from the Bible; it is a “tradition of men”;

81)         Patriotic/ “Conservative”/Nationalist “American” Republican anti-abortionism, opposes an international church;

82)         It yields poor fruits;

83)         It encourages anti-abortion terrorism:  the 2009 murder of abortion doctor, Dr. Tiller.

Chapter 8

“Our Holy Father’s” Good Answer:

Cardinal Joe Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI’s

“Proportional”ity;

And Cardinal McCarrick’s Opposition to One “Issue” Catholicism

84)         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.

Chapter 9

Other Issues:

Especially Consider

New Environmental And Other Disasters,

Proportionately More

Important than Abortion; Including Plagues, Famines

85)         What things are proportionately more important than abortion?  Even if the embryo was fully human, the massive number of deaths caused by neglect of environment – plagues and diseases, famines, floods – far outweigh abortion, proportionately, in number of fully human lives at stake. (As noted partially above, regarding “prudence,” etc.). The Bible itself constantly warned of environmental problems, broadly understood: plagues, famines, floods, etc.. The Bible, many think, foretold more such environmental disasters. The Bible also supports environment:  we should be “good shepherds,” “good stewards” of the earth; not “destroyers of the Earth.”  As noted above, in our section on Ethics.

86)         Also proportionately more important than abortion:  not just, but un-just wars. (And especially, “just” but unnecessary wars?).

87)         Unintentional, collateral deaths (see our notes on “intrinsic” & “intentional”)

88)         Unjust capital punishment

89)         Helping the poor, is far more central to the Bible and Jesus, than abortion, the embryo.

90)         Health Care; help the sick. (See also diseases, plagues, above).

91)         “One Issue” Catholicism – meaning focus just on the single issue of abortion – is too narrow, says Cardinal McCarrick etc..

92)         Embryos aren’t human, is no analogue with slavery; minorities are human, embryos are not.

93)         Anti-abortionists are, in 2009/10 AD, blocking Health Care for the poor & sick (US Congressional legislation).

94)         Protecting “Life,” in broader definition, means protecting adult lives & environment.

Chapter 10

The Heart of the New Heresies:

UNRELIABLE “CATHOLIC” RADIO,

INTERNET;

THE NEW FALSE PRIESTS:

“CATHOLIC” PRO LIFE MEDIA AND ORGANIZATIONS

LIKE EWTN, EWRN, Relevant Radio

The Root of the Problem:

Apologists, Lawyers, Media Talk Show Hosts,

Not Cardinals and Popes,

Now Speak for the Church, & God

A “Catholic” Media Network, EWTN/RN, Mother Angelica,

Rebel Against the Church, Against the Cardinals

95)         Mother Angelica, EWTN founder & head,  rebels against Cardinal Mahony

96)         Cardinal Mahony demands apology

97)         Apology equivocal;

98)         Apostasy (/Heresy) 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)     Scandal caused by Catholic medium, EWTN

105)     Same heresies continue today on EWTN/RN, Relevant Radio

106)     This problem not addressed by Church

107)     Conservative, Tridentine rebellion, vs. Vatican II, Novos Ordum?

108)     Conservatism, EWTN attacks on “liberals,” are from Rush Limbaugh; not from Church; political “conservatives” are not Catholic

109)     EWTN’s stand is itself partially liberal

110)     Women speaking on EWTN, in the Church, anti-abortionists, is a heresy;

111)     Many liberal priests

112)     Ferrara book says EWTN is not too conservative, but too liberal

113)     Deceitful, scandalous, false, rigged call-in “debate” in talk radio, masks sins of talk radio, conservatives, EWRN etc.

The Catholic Church Itself

Opposes Karl Keating,

EWNT’s Anti-Abortionist

“Voter’s Guide for Concerned Catholics”

114)     Karl Keating asserted the Church insists we vote only for anti-abortion candidates. But the Catholic Church itself, never officially endorsed Keating’s voting guide

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

116)     Catholic Lawyers bring injunction against the guide;

117)     Press lampooned the guide

118)     “One-issue” Catholicism condemned by Card. McCarrick; targets Guide?

119)     Criticized by USCCB

120)     Therefore all bishops condemn it

121)     USCCB Issues Rival Guide, “Faithful Citizenship”?

122)     Cardinal Ratzinger criticizes anti-abortionism indirectly, as dis “proportionate”

123)     So the Vatican criticizes it

124)     EWTN & Keating are therefore in rebellion against Vatican

125)     Rebelling against Pope Benedict XVI

126)     Bishop Steib reiterated “one issue” problems

127)     Bishop Listekii also (SP?)

It is Politics, not Religion

128)     Keating’s IRS problems, for political favoritism in a religious/nonprofit org.

129)     Caused a “scandal”

130)     The “traditions of men”; politics, not God, backs anti-abortionism

131)     EWTN’s “Catholic” religion, changes to match Republican candidates

132)     EWTN did not use word “Catholic” in its name – to avoid being responsible to the Church.  Deliberate deceit.

133)     Bishops seduced by EWTN:  Bishop Tobin enters politics; attacks Democrat Rep. Kennedy, 2007 (announced Oct. 2009); for healing the sick, helping the poor, neglecting abortion.

More

134)     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 from the Church; they are private organizations, pretending, presuming, to speak for the Church and God. These are the new “false priests.” 

135)     “Conservative” misleadingly implies authoritative. 

136)     Religious “Conservatives” on EWTN etc., are not conservative; Catholicism being formed around the Republican Party platform, not God

137)     Such new, social/political ideas in Catholicism, like EWTN’s, are experimental; & have caused sins, errors.

Bottom Line?

138)     Conservative talk-show hosts and their political opinions, have partially taken over the Church, by capturing Catholic and religious media;

139)     In Catholic media, we hear the voice of Karl Keating, not God; he and other …

140)     Lay staff;

141)     Lawyers, not priests, are increasingly dominant voice in religious radio; but “Woe to thee, lawyers” said Jesus;

142)     Christian apologists especially, are the problem; they are similar to lawyers; they are trained at dishonest argument, “sophistry”; see rigged “debates”

“Catholic” Networks, like EWTN/ EWRN:

Eternal Word Television Network, Eternal Word Radio Network

143)     EWTN – Eternal Word Television Network – pretends to be the voice of the Church;

144)     EWRN – the radio branch – also;

145)     “Evangelism,” Evangelicalism,” stresses widespread speaking, preaching, but not truth

146)     Televangelism is worse.

The Heresy Grows, and

Is Today Taking Over the Church Itself

147)     The Pro Life, anti-abortionist heresy is spread by EWRN staff:  Jimmy Akin

148)     Heresy spread by Johnnette Benkovic

149)     By Barb. McGuigan

150)     Sheila Liaugminas

151)     All efforts to control the EWTN heresy have failed

152)     Heresy of antiabortionism now spread worldwide

153)     The heresy now infects the Church itself, priests:  like Ed Sylvia

154)     Heresy infects Fr. Frank Pavone, priest, & “Priests for Life”

155)     Father John Corapi

156)     Heresy infects Archbishop Burke of the Vatican court

157)     Archbishop Chaput

158)     Bishop Tobin, 2007-Oct. 2009, attacks, excommunicates, US Rep. Patrick Kennedy, (Dem. of Rhode Island)

159)     The anti-abortion heresy continues today on EWTN & Relevant Radio

160)     Encyclicals like Humanae Vitae or Evangelicum, support anti-abortionism? Against the rest of Catholic Tradition, and the Bible

161)     Rebellious Archbishop Burke, now heads Vatican court

162)     Democratic Party, again under attack, by the Republican right wing (and extreme liberal wing) of the Church

163)     EWTN founder, apostate nun Mother Angelica, gets Church award 2009 AD

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

165)     The heresy of anti-abortionism is therefore stronger than ever, today

166)     Priests on EWTN are destructive to the Church

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 an Apostate Church of the Embryo, of Fetus

171)     Misleading all with a false idea of Christ; a False Christ

172)     Misleading the whole world.  As foretold

Chapter 11

How to Fix This?

Previous Remedies

By the Church

Have Failed

To Control “One Issue” Anti-Abortionism,

EWTN/RN

173)     EWTN is a hardened opponent, with a “seared conscience”

174)     The Vatican’s warning about religious media:  1963, “Inter Mirificia”

175)     Monitoring media might have helped, but has not to date

176)     Engineering careful change in the Church

177)     Priests speaking privately to EWTN has not worked

178)     Repeat Mahony’s warnings?  Warnings failed

179)     Tighter controls on name “Catholic”; past efforts failed

180)     Disclaimers on all “Catholic” shows have failed

181)     Honest debate needed in talk radio; no real debate

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

183)     Priests on Network didn’t help

184)     Catholics, Church, should confess their sins; but that wasn’t enough

185)     We should very, very dramatically ask for change

186)     Call-in listeners could not fix the heresy

187)     Making up doctrine, needs a better theology

188)     Warning priests about “Catholic” media did not help

POINTED PUBLIC ACTION AGAINST ANTIABORTIONISM NOW NEEDED

189)     Publicly denounce one-issue Catholicism, anti-abortionism

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

191)     Denounce by name, EWTN, EWRN

192)     Denounce offenders by name

193)     Denounce offending clergy by name

194)     Quote this book

THE CHURCH

195)     Command priests

196)     Note problems in “new evangelization”

Chapter 12

A FORMAL CHARGE OF HERESY

AGAINST EWTN/RN ET ALIA:

STRONGER MEASURES ARE NOW NEEDED

Against Anti-Abortionism

FROM THE CHURCH

Countless Previous Efforts to Fix EWTN Have Failed;

The Massive Sins of EWTN, Anti-abortionism, Continue

197)     EWTN, EWRN, have defied the Pope

198)     Defied Cardinal McCarrick

199)     Defied Cardinal Mahony

200)     Opposed the saints, like St. Thomas Aquinas

201)     Opposing therefore, canon law

202)     Defied the Bible

203)     Disobeyed God

204)     Ferrara rightly notes that earlier attempts to control EWTN/RN have failed

205)     The IRS failed to control it

Strong Measures, a Charge of Heresy, Now Needed

From the Catholic Church

Against the Heresy of Anti-Abortionism

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)     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)     Chastise EWTN by name

213)     Chastise EWRN

214)     Chastise Pavone; and chastise …

215)     “Priests for Life”

216)     Karl Keating

217)     Benkovic

218)     Liaugmines

219)     Relevant Radio

220)     Drew Mariani

221)     Direct EWTN to cease using word “Catholic”

Recommended Charges of

Heresy, Excommunications of Antiabortionists

222)     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

230)     Suing EWTN

231)     Assisting the IRS

232)     Bringing a formal charge of heresy against dissenting Bishops

233)     Formal charge of heresy against Karl Keating

234)     Against Fr. Pavone

235)     Fr. Sylvia

236)     Johnnette Benkovic

237)     Barb McGuigan

238)     Drew Mariani

239)     Sheila Liaugminas

240)     Legally, all are public figures, actively “seeking the limelight,” in the field of freedom of religion; all therefore, all can be criticized, honestly, according to the law.

Chapter 13

A PETITION

TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

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

242)     In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

243)     Finally, we present an option to the reader, for his or her own signature, to this petition to the Church

END

APPENDIX 1

“Worthiness to Receive,”

The 2004 Memo on Abortion,

From Then-Cardinal Joe Ratzinger –

Who is Now Pope Benedict XVI; Full Text to Date, With Comments

APPENDIX 2

Author’s Later Additions,

More Arguments

Look here for periodic updates of this 2009 document, by the author; with further defenses against EWTN counter-responses.  Against EWTN/RN, Karl Keating, Frank Pavone, Ed Sylvia, and others; and their later counter-attacks against our charges.

APPENDIX 3

Abstract

APPENDIX 5

Letter of Petition

END OF

TABLE OF CONTENTS

(MAIN TEXT)

THE CONSERVATIVE,

PRO-LIFE, ANTI-ABORTION

 HERESY:

100 Sins and Errors

In

Anti-Abortion Arguments

And Theology

 By

Dr. William Dempsey, Ph. D.

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

Dated Dec. 25, 2009;

Addressed to

Pope Benedict XVI, and To the Public:

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

A Forbidden, Dis-“Proportionate,” “One Issue” Theology?

For many years, many people have been saying that it is the will of God that we must oppose abortion.   We must oppose abortion, many say – to the point that we must all vote for the most anti-abortionist political candidates, in every election.  And since by and large, it is the Republican candidates who are most anti-abortion, many Christian authorities have been saying in effect – or strongly implying – for years, that God orders us to vote Republican. In almost every election.

God orders us to vote Republican.”  This is the implied bottom line, in “Pro Life,” anti-abortion theology.  As taught especially, by various self-appointed Catholic media outlets and organizations; like EWTN/R; like Karl Keating’s various organizations; like Fr. Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life.” And this theology, has come to dominate many Catholic churches – and the Catholic vote.  Indeed, this Pro Choice theology,  has elected countless Republicans, in countless elections, c. 1980-2008. But unfortunately,  as popular and as massively influential as it is, anti-abortion theology, we will show, is false.  In effect, the whole world has come to be dominated, by a heresy.  By a false idea of God and of Christ.

A Few of the Main Christian,

Bible-Based Arguments

Against Anti-Abortionists

Opposing Pro-Life or anti-abortionism is not easy.  Today, there are dozens of major information networks, that oppose abortion almost full time.  EWTN – Eternal Word Television Network – and other major organizations, employ dozens of “apologists” and other professional speakers; speakers who spend countless hours generating 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.

To be sure, today a vast anti-abortion machine exists worldwide; one that generates constant anti-abortion verbiage, at a moment’s notice.  So that there are today, literally hundreds of anti-abortion arguments.  And any response we make to them, will be countered by dozens of anti-abortionist media staffs, instantly.  Still, in our present introduction, it might be useful to summarize here, just four or five major counter-arguments to anti-abortionists.

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

  1. First, note that the Bible never mentions abortion by name; not even once.  To be sure, this is not a strong argument against anti-abortionism.  But it tentatively suggests that abortion 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.
  1. More importantly, 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).

That it itself, 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 is more.

  1. In addition, 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 (Ps. 139.13, RSV etc.).

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 will be here on Bible-based responses to anti-abortion arguments.  But to some extent, since Catholics in particular have 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.

  1. Amazingly, this is what key Catholic saints, theologians, said.  First Saint Augustine followed not only Aristotle, but also parts of the Bible (Ps. 139.13 above), to suggest an embryo is only being “formed,” but is not completely formed, finished, as the Bible said, in the womb.  So it is not quite a full human being in effect.  Specifically, many similarly thought the embryo was not fully formed enough to have a human mind or soul.  It was not “ensouled” as many say today.  Not until at least 40 to 90 days after conception, at the earliest, was an embryo big enough, complicated enough, have a mind or soul.  Therefore, we add, since the embryo has no mind or soul, the embryo, the “child” in the womb, is not yet a complete human being.  Therefore, the implication is, aborting an embryo, a “child” in the womb, is not the same as killing a human being; is not as serious as murder.
  1. 5.       The heart of this position – that the very young embryo does not have a soul – was also held by another major saint, St. Thomas Aquinas.  A saint who was also the major theologian of the Church; Aquinas was considered so important to the Church, that he was called “the Angelic Doctor.”  Thomas’ work, in fact, was made central to Catholicism, was made the central teaching in Catholic seminaries, by the 1917 canon.  As revised in 1918:  canons 589:1 & 1366:2.  These laws of the Church required that all Catholic priests be taught in seminaries, according to the methods and ideas of, specifically, Aquinas.  Though many things have changed since 1918, still, Thomas Aquinas’ work is extremely well respected.  

This means that two major Catholic saints therefore, two major philosopher /theologians – Augustine and Aquinas – suggested that the embryo is not fully human.  And that suggests in turn, that abortion therefore, is a relatively minor sin. Since it does not kill a human being.

This alone and in itself, is startling, and just in itself would seem to permanently prohibit all “Catholic” anti-abortion arguments.  Here, the two major theologians of all time – who are also by the way, saints – protested against regarding the young (40 to 90 day old) embryo as a fully en-“soul”ed human.  And this is extremely important.  If the embryo does not have a soul, then it is not fully human; and therefore, killing it is not killing a full human being. So that even if abortion is bad, it is not really such a bad sin, after all.

Traditionally therefore, the Church has many doctrines that would suggest that abortion was not such a serious sin.  And in fact, though at times one Catholic authority or another, might make a rather strong statement against abortion, deeper down, the Church made many statements that implicitly indicate that a more moderate attitude toward abortion, is really the true, deeper opinion of historical Christianity; including the opinion of the Bible, and the Catholic Church.  And indeed, if the Church now says anything different today therefore – if the Church now says that a fully human life, begins at “conception” – then the Church today turns its back on too many elements of its own tradition.  Among other things, it turns its back on two of its own key saints.  Including a saint – Aquinas – who was once officially, by 1917 canon law, made the central theologian of the church.

 

So what should we now say about today’s firmly anti-abortion Catholics?  Or those who today suggest that the abortion is fully human “from conception”?  These modern Catholics, have gone against the main, traditional authorities of the Church.  Including say,  a) two of its own central saints. And b) if the Church in this way, now turns its back on its major saints, then the Church turns its back on its own Tradition. Those c) Catholics who have gone against Aquinas for example too, have gone against the canon law that supported Thomas Aquinas, particularly.  As well as against d) many parts of the Bible, and e) we will see, against many current Cardinals, and f) the Pope himself.  So that g) in effect, those elements of the Church that go strongly against abortion, are in effect, committing a heresy.

Noting what two major Catholic saints and theologians said about the embryo, noting just this single argument in itself, should be enough to silence all “Catholic” anti-abortionist arguments.  To prove that current Pro Life anti-abortionism is not really following the Church itself. But many modern Catholics ignore their own tradition, and saints.  (Even as, ironically, they still proclaim themselves, their tradition, infallible, unchanged, from the beginning).  So that amazingly, even though it would seem that just our first few arguments against any “Christian” or “Catholic” anti-abortionism would be absolutely conclusive, finally though, antiabortionists are very emotionally attached to their views; and will not listen to Reason much.  Therefore, we will need many more anti-abortion arguments.  Since apparently even the testimony of the Bible, and two of its most prominent saints, is not enough to convince much of the Church today.

What should we – and finally the Church itself – say to Catholic anti-abortionists?  First, from what was already noted above, 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.

  1. 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 Cardinal:  Cardinal Joe Ratzinger, of the Vatican itself. 

 

  

  1. 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 significantly, 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:

 

“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).

 

  1. 8.      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.

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.  That deserve our attention in life, and in the voting booth.

There have been many elements of Christian texts and doctrines, that would de-emphasize the importance of abortion therefore.  Including the testimony of parts of the Bible, and of the saints.  While here, finally, there would seem to be a definitive word from the Pope himself.  It sees 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.

So that the Bible, the saints, and now the central authorities of the Catholic Church, oppose concentrating too much on abortion as an issue in elections, particularly.  Clearly therefore, no matter what you have heard from anti-abortionists, 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.  Or as the Pope told us in effect, dis “proportionate.”   While finally the Pope himself is telling us, explicitly, that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (Card. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive”).

The main problem the Cardinals and the Pope are noting, is 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 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, we will show here.  And finally, we are allowed by the cardinals, the Pope, to vote even for a political candidate that backs abortion; if there are other, more pressing issues, more important problems to address.  

 

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 obsessiveness, 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.

Politics and Media

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.

9)  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.” A sentiment that was ultimately a) not consistent with the Bible, b) or Church Tradition, or c) science, or d) ethics.  So that finally, any Church authorizations of excommunication in such cases, should be dropped.  Or the conditions under which such things might be allowed, in canon law, should be clarified in an expansive way.

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 critical tenets of Christianity 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 more than one hundred 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,” 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 then too, especially, the two major Church theologians and e) saints – f) St. Augustine and g) St. Thomas Aquinas – both offered arguments that the young embryo or “child” in the womb, is not fully human, with a “soul.”  Arguments 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.

10)  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 of man” (Col 2.8?).  Where “everyone does what is right in his own eyes” (q.v. Bible), following politics,  rather than following God.

 

11)  Finally in fact, insofar as it 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 not 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 anti-abortion movement is simply, a heresy.

The Evil Practical Effects of Anti-Abortionism

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:

12)  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. 

 

13)  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.

 

14)  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.

15)  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.

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.  While finally too 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 issues.

Origins

The narrow focus of Catholic, anti-abortionist Republicanism therefore, may have caused a wide number of problems, already.  Given all these problems with anti-abortionism, people might well wonder therefore:  how did such a heretical and often even violent  sect as “Catholic” anti-abortionists, ever come into being?  Especially when real Church authority – Cardinal McCarrick and the USCCB; Cardinal Ratzinger and the Vatican; Pope Benedict XVI – all opposed its disproportionate, one–issue focus.   (And when for that matter, Cardinal Mahony finally had the founder of EWTN, Mother Angelica, removed).

How did this happen?  In large part, it was due to the rise of “conservative” politics.  But especially, much of this was due to the new conservative TV televangelists; like Pat Robertson.  And then “conservative” talk radio.  Which began to catch on, especially with Rush Limbaugh, around 1983.  Especially though, much of this was due to the beginning of “Catholic” talk radio.  Beginning with a “conservative” nun, Mother Angelica, founding her own Catholic radio station, c. 1981.  A single radio station that eventually became Eternal Word Television Network; an entire, self-appointed “Catholic” radio and TV network, broadcast from hundreds of radio and TV stations; and then offered as part of the standard cable and satellite package to hundreds of millions of people.

Mother Angelica in particular, began to speak at first sentimentally, against abortion, many, many times a day, on her radio station.  Though her listenership was never huge, it was dedicated.  So that soon, this nun was speaking on her radio and TV network, EWTN.  Thus, a radical anti-abortionism, began to grow.  And soon, conservative Republicans realized that anti-abortionism, fit into the emerging neo-“conservative,” “neo-con” movement.  So that soon enough, perhaps from the very start,  media anti-abortionism was co-opted, merged with,  the growing “conservative” talk radio and TV traditions.  So that this new “Catholic” anti-abortionism, largely from Mother Angelica, came to take more and more, the strident tone of conservative radio talk show hosts, like Rush Limbaugh.  Spreading a message which presented itself as religious, Catholic; but which however, was increasingly adulterated with political, “conservative”/Republican ideas; and with talk-show rhetoric. Spreading an increasingly radical “conservatism,” and an anti-abortionism, that became, soon enough, we will show here, a heresy; a doctrine not in line with the Church at all.

How and why did the Church allow a nun, to found an increasingly heretical radio and TV network?  In part it has been due ironically, to Liberal elements in the Church.  The same liberality that did not much bother to monitor gay priests (and child molesters), also did not bother to adequately notice, the new “conservative” Catholic media.  Or the increasingly heretical messages that were being delivered by this new “conservative” nun, and her media network, in the name of the Church. The hidebound Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, neglected to adequately monitor Mother Angelica and EWTN/RN. And to fully see the dangerous side, the increasing, unmonitored influence and power, of even “Catholic” Radio, Film, TV, and Internet.  Since 1963, the post Vatican II Church was allowing many new experiments.  And after allowing many “liberal” voices, it apparently thought nothing of liberally allowing some “conservative” voices too.  But we will see here that both these two different experiments – “liberal” and “conservative” – lead to problems.  Here, we are noting first of all, problems with “conservative” Catholicism.  Noting ultimately, huge doctrinal errors, and even open defiance of real Catholic authority, even in “conservative” and self-proclaimed “Catholic” anti-abortionism.

One would think that a “conservative” Catholicism would not violate basic tenets of the Church.  And yet we will find, conservative anti-abortionism did that.  And furthermore, once it did, as we will also show here, the Church was totally unprepared to combat this; not even at the level of argumentation, persuasion.

The failure of the Church to really meet and best the rhetoric of talk radio shows in some ways, is surprising.  In the past, major religious organizations, like the Church, have been the supreme masters, at controlling public discourse.  The Church in effect, was a massive message-delivery and control system.  Even before the telegraph and mass-communications media, a) it first of all, had hundreds, thousands of individual priests and churches, that personally delivered its own message, to the whole world, in homilies, every Sunday and more. The Church, 2,000 years ago, had a massive media organization in effect; lecturing hundreds of millions, every week; it established a church in every major village, and often required everyone to show up once a week – Sundays – to hear whatever message the Church chose to proclaim. So the church was haranguing, addressing hundreds of millions of people a week; well before the invention of mass communications, it was address the masses, in the “Mass.”

The Church, furthermore, not only had a massive message distribution network, b) in its thousands of churches and weekly assemblies worldwide; it also monitored and regulated the defense and consistency of that message.  It had many monasteries, seminaries and other schools; all to make reasonably sure the message delivered was consistent, standardized, doctrinally correct.

The Church therefore, had been the first, supreme master of getting out a standardized message worldwide, and maintaining its consistency.  It was able to monitor its message, and weed out deviations – which it termed heresies – for two thousand years.  But amazingly, c) as overwhelmingly successful as the Church has been in regulating and maintaining its message for nearly two thousand years, the Church did not notice, or failed to effectively deal with,  the new, rival mass media.  First, just the advent of print media, after Gutenberg in the 15th century, the distribution of Bibles in vernacular languages, partially caused the partial collapse or split of the Church, in the Protestant Reformation.  As people began to get their sense of God more from a book, as much as regulated verbal church services; and began to develop different, more individual understandings of the Bible and God.   But d) our main, newer subject here:  in particular, just in the last decade or two, it did not adequately see, the new rhetorical, argumentative power, of full-time radio talk shows, and interest groups.

As it turns out, though the Church often spoke of the new media early on, it did not really look enough at the new media, from 1980-2008; it particularly did not look closely enough at talk radio and “Catholic” TV; or at what was being said in its own name.  So that the Church did not really adequately notice, that the major Catholic voice in America – EWTN/RN – was saying things that were not quite in line with Church teaching.

Here we will be showing that EWTN/RN’s core, endlessly-repeated radical anti-abortion message, was in fact, not consistent with what fuller Church tradition had said.  But the Church never noticed that; indeed, many priests and bishops were simply taken in by the argumentation skills of EWTN.  This new type of media organization, we will show, were not only effective, in that they were large, reaching eventually hundreds of millions, billions of people; they were also extremely effective, in convincing millions… because they were staffed with a new breed of professional rhetoricians, talkers:  talk show hosts and guests.  Who were far, far more persuasive than anyone would have thought.  Persuasive enough, that EWTN apologists and rhetoricians like Karl Keating, attny., were able to convince many priests – and ultimately the Church itself – that EWTN’s own position on abortion, especially, was correct.   So that in the end, far from correcting the new media, in the end, the Church itself began to simply follow it; to follow the new “talking idol” especially:  televangelist TV.  Specifically, the Church began to believe and follow, Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcast Network, and the new “Catholic” Eternal Word Television Network.  Rather than following the Bible. Or following God. As we will show. Even after a cardinal – Cardinal Mahony – got into a semi-public shouting match, over the air, with EWTN founder Mother Angelica, and even after the Cardinal apparently complained to the Vatican about her and/or EWTN,  still, the Church did not really wake up.

How did the false doctrine of antiabortionism come to dominate America; and through America, the world?  The major reason for the development and spread of the Pro Life heresy, has been the Church’s neglect of full oversight of especially, the new “Catholic” media, like EWTN/RN.  A Church which had historically appointed whole committees, convened dozens of international “councils” like the Council of Nicaea, etc) to examine every single dot and tittle of what priests are allowed to say in the liturgy … now suddenly allows, almost without any supervision at all, any untitled media talk show host or ordinary nun, to spout his or her political opinions.  As the word of the Church; as the word of God.  All without any effective restraint or oversight, by the Church itself.  That was how any number of massive heresies, were allowed to spread.

Perhaps the Church has thought that it is exercising some control over self-proclaimed Catholic outlets like EWTN.  But in point of fact, we will show, EWTN is not an official part of the Church; it is a private, probably nonprofit organization run by “lay” persons … who simply deliver their own ideas of what the Church says, or what it thinks the Church should say. It is not the official voice of the Church at all.  While it is almost impossible for the Church to control such lay Catholic organizations, anywhere near as closely as the Church controls priests, and the liturgy.  Lay organizations are just not as closely tied to Church laws and rules, as are priests. Nor, in spite of their own protestations, is most of their staff really as fully dedicated, trained, and as obedient, as priests.  Even those priests who appear on and off, on EWTN/RN, are often not as closely regulated as other priests (cf. Fr. Corapi).   And in any case, most priests that appear on the network, have eventually seduced by the power and prestige of the media.  So that they eventually begin to follow the new messages created by the network.  To adopt the heretical messages, of the media network hosts. Taking the network as authoritative.

In particular, we will show, EWTN network was able to convince many lay persons, and even priests and bishops, thanks to the new type of talk show, talk machine:  a huge extended staff or resource list, of a hundred guest speakers, and the related resources of the “conservative” (formerly, “Christian”) “coalition.”  All coordinated by the rhetorical/sophistical skill, of its “apologists” and talk show hosts, and their deceptive, false “debate” format.  Which form, in effect, a new type of message-delivery machine.  One that we will show, was able to overwhelming, outclass, everything in its path; including the outdated message delivery system of the Church itself.  Which was able to go around the Church, the way Hitler’s new fascist mechanized army, was able to simply go around the massive medieval fortifications of France’s Maginot Line, in 1940. 

There had been rising for some time, a sort of new, energetic conservatism, in anti-modernist, anti-communist, nationalistic, pro-religious Fascism.  After Vatican II, c. 1963, any number of new voices were allowed into the Church; not just liberal voices, but also even what came to be called a new conservatism.  Since about 1983, there has been a new type of full-time rhetoric machine out there; fronted by neo-conservative talk show hosts, like Rush Limbaugh; based in part around the interlocking semi-intellectual resources of various “conservative” think-tanks and advocacy organizations.  (Which Hillary Clinton was to call the “right wing conspiracy”; that Pat Robertson called the “Christian” and later “Conservative” “Coalition”).  And in effect, early on, in the era of Italian fascism, the new conservatism was able to effect many changes in the Italian Church itself. While later, the new mechanized sophistry-generating machine of the neo-cons, was able to overwhelm the Church itself, c. 1980-2008. And to begin forcing its own political ideas, into the Church; eventually changing Church doctrine itself, we will show. Particularly, on the subject of abortion.

The Church therefore, c. 1932-2008, has been confronting a new type of political philosophy – neo-conservatism.  And a new type of media, argumentation/propaganda machine.  And against particularly, the neo-conservative media machine, it has not been very effective, in stopping even its heresies.  Specifically we will show, in spite of the mild, indirect criticism of particularly, conservative, Pro Life anti-abortionism, in spite of criticisms of that neo conservative position by saints, by cardinals, and by the Pope, the heresy of one-issue anti-abortionism, has grown.  And indeed, there is considerable evidence that this heresy is backwashing from the lay organizations that invented it, to take over most priests, and even many bishops. And then through them, this neo-conservative movement is taking over the Church itself.

Is it possible?  Can even the Church itself be simply outflanked, and then overrun? For many years, priests and finally even some Bishops, began to appear on EWTN for example. There they were educated and egged on, to adopt EWTN’s radical conservative agenda.  So that many began to adopt the network’s views.  Including especially, Bishop Burke.  Who was often quoted by the network, and who appeared on it a few times. And though Burke was never that influential in the Church,  recently however, around 2008, EWTN protégé Bishop Burke, was appointed as Archbishop, to head a major Vatican court. Once Burke was appointed to the Vatican, and promoted, suddenly anti-abortionism began to gain momentum.  Around Oct. 5, 2009, the rebellious anti-abortionist nun, Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN, who had previously been chastised by Cardinal Mahoney … was actually given an award, by the Church.  While in Oct./Nov.  2009, it was reported that a local bishop (Tobin) had earlier (c. 2007) criticized US Rep. Patrick Kennedy (Dem. R.I), for daring to suggest that Democratic issues – like eventually passing a Health Care act to help the poor and the sick – was more important than supporting anti-abortionism.   So that elements of the Church were beginning to take a firm stand against the liberal, Democratic Party in America; in support of the conservative/Republican party, and its one issue, of abortion.  Even over and above, Democratic issues, the “social gospel”:  like helping the poor (Social Security etc.), the sick (Medicare, ), the oppressed (1964 Civil Rights legislation), and saving the environment.  Even though Cardinals McCarrick and Ratzinger – the Pope – had opposed the dis “proportionate” side of one “issue” anti-abortionism.

In 2009, it was safe to say that not only had the Roman Church failed to stop the new conservatism of Roman/Italian fascism, and later to stop EWTN and its one-issue conservative heresy; but in fact, increasingly, the “conservative” heresies of EWTN/RN have been simply … backwashing into, flooding, the Church itself.  Today, there is strong evidence that the Catholic Church is simply giving in to the new rhetoric machines of conservative/right wing politics.  Backing the conservative, Republican Party in America.  And indeed, unless very firm action is taken on this matter, a destructive “conservative” heresy soon will be taking over, the Church itself.  Already the anti-abortion heresy has taken over EWTN, and many individual churches.  Which are so centered on anti-abortionism, on the fetus, that they might be called a new schismatic branch of the Church, a new cult; forming a new, if heretical entity.  Forming what some might call the “Apostate Church of the Embryo.”  Since the new Church now worships in effect, a new entity:  Fetus, the Embryo.  Even over and above the Trinity, we will show. (“There are many things to talk about – but let’s start by tying in Lent with Pro Life” issues, says Teresa Tomio, in introduction, during Lent, to Fr. Frank Pavone, anti-abortion sect leader, 8:37 AM, 2/17/10 EWTN.  In Fr. Frank Pavone’s new heretical sect of Antiabortionism, everything is linked to, and subordinate to, the new holy entity, the Fetus.  There are many issues to talk about in the church, but before God and the Holy Spirit, in the new church of anti-abortionism, drowning out Lent itself, comes Fr. Frank Pavone, and his holy fetus.  Priestsforlife.org).

What has this inordinate focus on the embryo, the single issue of abortion, done to the Church?  A random example of the new Church’s pronouncements – and its new god:  during the Christmas season in 2009, an ad on Relevant Radio, assured us that this time of year, we reflect on God’s graces; while “at Majilla society [an anti-abortion organization] the greatest grace is the thousands of lives saved from abortions.” In this new Church, the “greatest grace” of God, is not, say, saving the lives of a billions adults, from sin.  Instead, in the new church, saving embryos is the “greatest grace” of God.  That and not say, the coming of Jesus Christ. (Majella Society ad, aired on the Drew Mariani Show, Relevant Radio network, AM radio 970 KHz., 3:37 PM Central Time, Dec. 14, 2009).

In the new embryo cult, the new religion of Holy Fetus, it is the embryo that is our new god; and his Grace and nature, is very, very significantly different from the old God and Jesus.  Here, Jesus comes not to save all of mankind; rather, his “greatest grace,” his greatest accomplishment, is to save the embryo. This is a very, very, very different Jesus than the one mentioned in the Bible.  The Jesus in the Bible, talked mostly about things, other than embryos. While indeed, God himself orders a priest to perform an act that would be in effect, an abortion and even sterilization, in Num. 5..   But that God is not found in this brave new Church. .  As we will see here, in many occasional examples from say, Relevant Radio, there the embryo, the fetus, is the very center of God’s concerns.  The embryo is mentioned dozens of times a day; often for a half hour at a time, on networks like Relevant Radio, and EWTN.  The embryo is mentioned far more often than the Trinity, per se.  While God’s grace is centered not on all of mankind, but on the embryo.  To the extent that in effect, finally, we really don’t have the biblical or traditional Catholic Church at all any more:  in Relevant Radio and EWTN, we have in effect, the new Apostate Church of Fetus.  And/or the Church of the Holy Anti-Liberal Republican God.  Following Pat Robertson; Protestant televangelist – and 1988 Republican Party presidential candidate.

Today EWRN itself has already – long since, from the days of Mother Angelica – become a splinter sect or cult.  From the start perhaps, it was the cult of …. the embryo.  It has long been in effect, a new lay church; one that is very, very different from the Catholic Church of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary.  In this strangely narrow, obsessive world, anti-abortionism, and the holiness of the Embryo, is the main, distinctive message. In the new “Catholic” networks like EWTN and Relevant Radio, abortion and the embryo, are now mentioned at least a dozen times a day; and often discussed for an hour or more.  Indeed, in place of the old liturgy and homily, there are dozens of regular speakers on the network, whose main message, is anti-abortionism.  Today, anti-abortion speakers like Karl Keating and Sheila Liuagminas, Johnnette Benkovic, and others, replace our old-fashioned priests.  While they mention their new God, the embryo, far, far more often – a hundred times more often – than say, “the Trinity.”  So that in effect, a new heretical, schismatic church has been formed, at EWTN/RN and Relevant Radio:  the Apostate Church of the Holy Embryo, we call it here.  In which the embryo, not God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it the main subject.

But if it originated as a minor cult within Catholicism, the cult of antiabortionism elected countless Republican candidates, c. 1980-2008.  In that era, it dominated America.  And through America, it has long since dominated/leveraged, the entire world.  With its false doctrines; its talking idols; its new apologists/false priests, false prophets.

So how can we today prevent the neo-con, anti-abortion heresy, the Republican worship of the supreme fetus, from any longer infecting and dominating the Catholic Church, and the world?  In part, we can do this by paying closer attention, to the Bible itself; and to the real Catholic Tradition.  To the Bible.  And even the saints.  Like Augustine and Aquinas.

But also, we can begin to fix all this … by taking a much closer, more critical look, at “conservative” talk radio and TV.  Specifically, it is time to direct the Church to take a far, far more critical look, at Eternal Word Television Network; and particularly its radio branch, Eternal Word Radio Network.   Indeed, it is time for the Church to take a very, very close look at EWTN/RN and its associates.  And then to take very, very, very firm corrective measures against them.

Bad New Media Institutions – and

Poor Institutional Oversight by

The Roman Catholic Church

There is a new breed of false priests out there.  Conservative Catholic talk-show hosts and guests like Drew Mariani and Karl Keating, Fr. Frank Pavone, and Sheila Liaugminas, on EWTN and Relevant Radio, have assured us constantly, daily, implicitly, that they speak for the Church itself.  And how do the give this impression?  They do it, by constantly quoting from parts of the Church, and parts of Catholic doctrine.  To back their statements on air.  And millions of listeners follow these Catholic talk show hosts, as if they were the authentic, official voice of the Church, the Pope.  But most listeners don’t know this about EWTN:  most talk show hosts on Catholic radio, like Karl Keating or Drew Mariani, are not currently, priests.  And in fact, these talk show hosts have no official status in the Church at all; they are only private, “lay” persons.  Who are merely offering their own personal opinion on what the Church says … or what they think it should say.  They quote constantly from the Church, to give the impression that they speak for the Church; but as we will see, that impression is highly misleading; most talk show hosts and guests in religious media, are really pushing, backing, a political party or personal philosophy; and only quote the misleading parts of Church doctrine that support them.  While they do not quote the other parts; the parts that do not support them.

Religious talk show hosts on EWTN/RN, typically deliver the occasional quote from the Bible, or from a bishop, that supports their anti-abortionism.  But our radio hosts lie; by only telling a misleading part of the story.  The fact is, the Bible, theology, doctrine, are difficult subjects; typically the lord speaks in phrases that can have more than one meaning. While conservatives read and follow, only the simpler meaning.  And fail to hear the other side of, the other voices in, the text.  Even conservative hosts, are typically people without much education or knowledge about theology (as Cardinal Mahony hinted), and/or techniques of reading.  And therefore the typical hosts, do not read their Bibles or church doctrines well enough.

Conservative talk show hosts therefore, ultimately give listeners a vastly oversimplified, one-sided version of what the Church more fully says.  In cases where conservative hosts are fairly educated people – when they are lawyers,  say – they either a) simply ignore the other voices in the Bible and in church doctrines.  Or they b) simply bend – or in Biblical language, “twist” – what the Church says, to what they themselves or their listeners, want to believe.  While, c) since the microphone and the media network is in their control, there is no one that can counter them effectively; any caller who calls in to object, is fairly quickly cut off the air.  While the host and his guest, have all the air time they want; a thousand times more air time, to sell their version of the Church, of “The Truth.”  With no one to contradict them, or rein them in.

For some time, then, we have heard only one side of the issues; only one side of the story of abortion for example, on the air; on networks like EWTN.  But now it is time to ask:  what does the “fuller” picture of the Church reveal?  To be sure, ancient authority, in the Catholic Church, often seemed to say that abortion is rather wrong.  But the Church seems to have stopped short of saying that the embryo was a full human being.  Both St.  Augustine and St. Aquinas – who are not only two saints, but also the two classic theologians of the Church (especially Aquinas) –  said that the very young embryo does not have a human spirit or a soul.  While more recently, the Church has confirmed this impression in yet another way; suggesting that no “one issue” like abortion, should be all that important to us.  The Cardinals telling in pronouncements like the 2004 memo from the Pope, Joe Ratzinger, that we should never vote just on the basis of just “one issue,” like abortion.

The fact is that the “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI, as well as many other church officials, have long spoken against narrow Catholicism, and specifically a too-narrow focus on abortion.  But the statements of the Pope and others, are almost never mentioned by EWTN/RN on the air; so listeners are unaware of them.  Or those remarks are “twist”ed, by EWTN/RN, Relevant Radio, and associated hosts and guests.  (See our example of Liaugminas, reading only parts of the 2004 memo).

But here and now, at last, in our present book, we intend to reveal the other side of the argument, the other side of what the Bible and Church really, more fully said.  Specifically, we intend to reveal the strong opposition to the Pro Life position, to anti-abortionism.  In 1) the Bible; and 2) by the real authority of the Church – Popes and 4) Cardinals; and 4) by the Saints, like Augustine and 6) Aquinas.  And to that we will add 7) the practical, prudent contemporary observation, that  just a look at the practical consequences, of anti-abortionism, show that as a practical matter, this narrow focus on just one issue in life, has physically disastrous consequences.  As it turns out, there are real, physically fatal conclusions, to the narrow focus of this new heretical theology; as millions die from neglect of other issues, like unnecessary wars, lack of health care, environmental disasters, and so forth.

As it turns out, there are many sins and disasters, in the narrow, “conservative” Christianity taught in religious media.  Still, until today, those disasters have not been adequately noticed; talk radio has not allowed a true debate on those issues.  So that a radical anti-abortionism had continued to utterly dominate a certain segment of the population.  To the point that it has been able to elect “conservative” candidates in America almost at will.  Particularly, the small but decisive anti-abortion vote, was the very backbone of the “conservative” movement; and it was largely responsible for the election of countless “conservative”/patriotic (jingoistic?) Republicans, like Ronald Reagan in 1980-88, George Bush I 1988-92; a Republican Congress c. 1980-1992-2000; electing and George Bush II 2000-2008.  The conservative vote, which occupied about 19% of the population – went to the Republican Party overwhelmingly; and elected countless Republicans to office.  Even when America had a Democratic president – Bill Clinton, 1992-2000 – the congress was mostly Republican.  And the problem was that  Republicans were very strongly pro-military, and did not want to  “tolerate” dissidents, or love our enemies. When elected, they immediately set a bellicose, war-like tone; Reagan threatening Iran, and so froth.  While Republicans were “good” on the one issue of abortion some said, they were not so good on other issues.  Even core Christian issues.  Like avoiding unnecessary wars.  Or eventually, helping the poor and the sick, with universal health care (2009-10).

Recently to be sure, the officially anti-abortion party, the Republican Party, lost the presidential election of 2008.  To a Democrat, Barack Obama,. Who in 2009 promised an attempt at finally taking care of other issues … like Health Care.  Still, one-issue anti-abortionism today, remains undiminished in some circles.  On religious talk radio, the impression remains with millions of listeners, voters, that the Church and God himself, firmly command us to vote for anti-abortion candidates in every election; that in effect, God is ordering us to vote Republican. In every election.

This hidden, heretical message – that the Church and God were ordering us to vote for the Republican candidate in every election – has long dominated America.  For nearly 30 years, the conservative anti-abortion vote has very effectively thrown the balance to the conservative Party, the Republican Party, in one election after another, from around  1980 to 2008.  Republican candidates constantly claimed to support its one-issue anti-abortionism.  And so they got many votesBut it is time to note that, from a Christian point of view, these conservative, alleged Christians, were extremely weak on – or even opposed to – other important issues.  Like “loving your enemy,” and avoiding wars.  Or like helping the poor and the sick.  Issues that were, to be sure, supported by Democrats.  But Democrats and their social justice issues, were ignored; indeed, the whole side of the Bible that talked about helping the sick and the poor, were dropped; all in favor of the single, one issue, of abortion.  That cared little for these other issues, at all.  Due to the efforts of religious conservative shows, voters thought that God himself was telling them, that abortion was all He cared about.  (As we find especially in our sections on Karl Keating; one of the main authors of that point of view).  Even though several saints, cardinals, and the Pope, eventually spoke against that.

Finally though, we are about to reveal here the side of the story – and indeed, the side of the Bible, the Church, and of God – that “conservative” religious networks left out.  The fact is, many millions of people have been “deceived,” by conservative networks like EWTN/RN.  By its false, narrow idea of the Church, and of God.

But how did it happen?  if the Bible itself, and the real authority of the Church, did not support anti-abortionism, you would think that someone would have realized this, and stopped it long ago. So how was it that so many people were deceived?  How was it that Catholicism and America and the world, came to be dominated by what can be shown to be a narrow, false theology?  The problem was not “mainstream media”; the main problem was conservative, religious media.  The problem, we will see, was that the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy exercised inadequate oversight, of the new “Catholic” and other religious media networks.   Specifically, the Church failed to adequately monitor and control, especially, various self-appointed “Catholic” organizations – like EWTN; Eternal Word Television Network.  And related guests and associates:  like especially, Karl Keating, and his regular show, “Catholic Answers Live.” Along with Fr. Frank Pavone, and his narrow, even mono-maniacal, fixated organization, “Priests for Life.”  In particular, it is amazing that the Church to this day allows, ignores, Fr. Frank Pavone; whose organization Priests for Life, is centered on precisely the one-issue theology that so many cardinals have condemned.  Whose organization is dedicated overwhelmingly, to anti-abortionism; to one issue.

How and why did the Church ignore all this?  And what was the root of their problem?  Basically, the problem was that especially these new organizations like EWTN and Priests for Life, intermingled, indistinguishably, priests, a bits of religious doctrine, with non priests; with “lay,” conservative talk show hosts and guests.  It was that potentially unholy, at-first confused mixture, that caused a massive corruption of true Catholic doctrines and message.

But who was at fault?  The unholy mixture of religion, with politics, would never have happened – if the Church had been more diligent. If the Church had taken far more care with monitoring, overseeing the new, self-appointed “Catholic” radio and TV network that had begun to appeared, with Mother Angelica, in 1981.  The Church failed to notice that this was a new type of religious organization; one that a) was run not by a priest or bishop, but by a mere nun.  And b) that increasingly allowed more and more secular, political persons, to mix in their own political philosophies, with Catholic doctrine.

 

That we will see, has been the root of the error. The Church did not manage the new Catholic network adequately; and particularly, it failed to notice the problems that would come, when rebellious priests – and worse, religiously simplistic talk show hosts – presumed to speak for the Church.  When the Church allowed that, the disaster began.  That was largely what allowed persons with political opinions, to intermix their message with the Church.  Which in this case, resulted in their false, political, “conservative,” one-issue Catholicism, to be disseminated worldwide, in the name of the Church and of God.  (How rebellious are even priests, like Fr. John Corapi?  Listen to John Corapi’s recorded episodes. Like the one where this priest says “Far be it for me to criticize the bishops.  But that being said, let me go on to criticize them” 10:45 PM; in the end of this episode, Corapi goes on to oppose a bishop apparently; a Bishop who opposed Pro Life, anti-abortion Catholicism (11:55 PM). (John Corapi, “The Blood That Saves,” from his series “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ”; played 11:00 – 12:00 on the network Relevant Radio, AM 970, Jan 4, 2010.)

The Church, somewhere between its own “conservative” dogmatic slumbers, or in the midst of “liberal” reforms, did not bother to adequately notice or monitor, the new media forms, the new networks. The Church did not bother to adequately monitor their message. So that the Church that had once, historically, convened dozens of councils, the Church that had fought whole, actual wars over a word or two of the liturgy … now suddenly allowed whole unmonitored volumes, millions of words, to be spoken over the airways, in its name, as sacred.  All without supervision, or censure.

Possibly the Church thought the presence of nuns and priests, on the network, would control and monitor the message, the theology presented there.  And yet we will see, as Cardinal Mahony was to hint, the priests and nuns on EWTN, were not adequately trained in the media, or in the new issues. So that whatever priests and nuns there were on the network, were soon simply … taken over, overrun, by the secular talk show hosts and guests, and their radical political opinions.  In particular, the new talk show hosts were especially effective, because they were able to present just enough fragments of what the Bible said, and the Church said, to convince themselves and others – to convince even priests – that the Church was backing the new “conservative” theology.

.  .  .

The problems is, there has been a hugely popular radio/TV network, broadcasting its own false theology, its own biased opinions of the Church, as doctrine, dogma, absolute truth.  And it managed to make this claim stick, due to the presence of nuns and priests on some shows.  But the fact is, that the network was never fully in the control or priests; and its message has never been adequately monitored or controlled, by higher and wiser authority in the Church.

And believers were taken in by the new network.  Believers were long used to the Church carefully overseeing whatever words are issued in the Church’s name.  In the normal Church service, any words that are issued in the name of the Church and God, are extremely closely monitored and regulated, by Catholic authority.  Especially, the words we hear in the liturgy for, example, have been gone over by one council after another, for thousands of years of critical scrutiny.  So that listeners have come to trust and believe, any words issued by “Catholic” authority.  But what happened, c. 1980, was the rise of new media outlets, like cable TV and later, Internet.  And the explosion of conservative talk radio.  These new media outlets allowed many self-proclaimed “Catholic” individuals and organizations, to appear.  But the problem was, that there was no real, direct Church control over these “Catholic” outfits.  They were able to start offering their mixed religious/secular opinions, their causal thoughts, as the word of the Church and of God.  All without the Church really monitoring or ending their message.

Until recently, historically, all words broadly issued as the word of the Church and of God, were very, very carefully controlled.  What the Church believed, was a) carefully defined, refined, by countess councils, over thousands of years.  And b) was disseminated directly from Church authorities; in Catholicism, from Rome and the Pope.  Then it was delivered to us c) usually from very, very carefully defined liturgies; the words said in Church very day having been gone over word for word by generations of priests and authorities, before approval.  Thus there were at least two major controlling agencies, between the Church and us; controlling the message we heard.  It was only after these two agencies, that finally d) these combed-over words were delivered to the people, in turn … but only by well-trained priests.  Priests who had been to seminary, to be highly trained in theology; and who had been trained to follow the liturgical and other messages of the Church, very, very, very closely.  Priests who were d) extremely devoted to the Church, usually as their first career choice; and who were willing to take vows of “poverty, chastity, and obedience,” to the Church.  Priests who were moreover, e) most often under direct supervision of Bishops, etc., in their individual churches.  So that until about 1980, there had been a careful system in the Church, to control, regulate, any message put out in its name.  But what caused the problem was that, from about 1982 or so, with the newer media, this normal, massive, careful system of controls, was simply short-circuited. Or simply, was run around.  Formerly, our main source of information on the Church and God was whatever was uttered, usually in a very controlled liturgy, in a physical church, by a priest.  While in church, every word was extremely carefully monitored and controlled.  But then suddenly, from  about 1982 on, the public began learning what the Church said, not from priests any more. But from a relatively untutored nun; and then from her talk show hosts. Talk show speakers who were not priests, often.  Who many might feel were bound by personal loyalty, to obey and follow the Church; but who were not quite as fully tied to, loyal to the Church, as priests had been.  And who were not under any really effective corrective or controlling mechanism.  Mother Angelica was technically under a bishop somewhere; but no doubt that Bishop did not bother to monitor her message well enough, if he was even aware of her and her work.  So that in effect, a female nun began delivering sermons in the name of a Church that had often said earlier, that it was “unseemly” or even an “abomination” for a woman to speak prominently in a church.  A simple nun began broadcasting her own anti-abortion theology, to millions – and no one was really watching the kitchen.  In this new situation, the new medium, there has been nothing like the old kind of extremely careful monitoring, as to what is presented as the word of God.  There was indeed, all too little oversight of the new “Catholic” media; and soon talk show hosts were generating any number of false, heretical statements, in the name of God.  Which they do every day, today, in fact.  

The new media network, EWTN, billed itself as “conservative”; but in many respects it was actually revolutionary.  Until this network, any message that was attributed to the Church, and to God, had been extremely carefully controlled and monitored, by a very careful system, as sketched out above.  And those messages were easy to monitor, when they were delivered in physical church buildings, no doubt.  But with the coming of televangelism, there have come to be a huge number of religious media outlets that were not so well controlled or monitored.  And in this situation, we have gotten many merely self-proclaimed, self-appointed Christians – in this case, Catholics – presenting themselves as the voice of the Church and of God.  But who don’t have enough training or knowledge.  And who mix up genuine bits of religious lore, with their own opinions.  This is done accidentally, but also at times deliberately;  as they use the media to present their own twist on, what the Church says.

And amazingly, the public accepts these new media figures, as authoritative and definitive. Probably because their staffs are so clever; filled with apologists, lawyers like Karl Keating, who are skilled with words, argumentation; and who were able to ague persuasively – if sophistically – that their own opinions about the Church were true.

This situation has gone on far, far too long already. The Church simply overlooked these new people, who have come to offer their own – often heretical – Christianity, as the word of God.  Without any effective opposition or oversight, these new, relatively unsupervised organizations, like EWTN/RN; like Karl Keating’s “Catholic Answers Live,”  were able to present themselves as if they were the voice of the Church and of God.  Even as they presented a message that, being explicitly focused around the single issue of abortion,  is clearly, precisely, the kind of  “one issue” organization that the Cardinals and Pope condemned.  As they did even this, Catholic never noticed; partially because they got their idea of the Church primarily from the network … that never reported any problems with its own message, after all.  While the individual churches simply ignored the network, or were in turn influenced by it.  So that there was effectively no opposition.  Indeed, because of this lack of monitoring, a new kind of message, took over America and the world.  And has been creeping into the Church itself.  Through the back door; through the new “Catholic” radio and TV and Internet.

Why didn’t the Church pay more attention?  Ironically, in part, it was liberalism that allowed this “conservative” new voice.  Liberalism had begun, during Vatican II, to doubt the rightness of traditional liturgies; and it began in general to allow “new” ideas to creep into Catholicism. At first, it was various liberal social reforms that were admitted;  including a more tolerant attitude toward homosexuality for example.  These reforms came to be more and more widely accepted; so that by 1980, the Church was ceasing to monitor and control its religious messages as closely as it had in the past.

In some ways, a new liberalism was good; a new fresh liberal spirit or gift or “charism” came into the Church, they said. But by 1980, finally, “conservative” elements were sufficiently educated, to perceive, and even take over, this aging liberal prerogative. And conservatives began using the new, liberal openness to new things, to insert now, its own new messages.  Into, if not the liturgy itself, then at least, into the mouths of nuns and some priests, in the new talk radio format.  But in fact, there were already problems with liberalism and its new messages. The Church would soon regret some aspects of its new tolerance for liberalism, for homosexual priests, when it became aware of priests sexually molesting children.   But if some thought that the new conservatism – the “neo cons” as they came to be called – would correct that, we are here to say today that as it now turns out, there were also problems with the new conservatism too.

In many ways, when the new conservatism began to create religious networks, this caught the public unaware; in spite of the warnings of a few critics, the public – and the Church – were in 1980, all too complacent and trusting, when a number of private “Catholic” organizations began to appear.  The a) public especially, was still rather used to very well monitored church services; used hearing only highly trustworthy, vetted, well monitored and controlled messages being offered as the word of the Church.  And b) after Pat Robertson, Protestants for example, were increasingly accepting of almost any voice on the radio, as the voice of God.  And c) after 1980,  many were inclined to accept even the voice of women as authority, even in the church.  So that when in 1981, the public heard the voice of a nun on radio and later TV, presenting herself as the voice of the Church … a surprisingly high percentage of Catholics simply accepted that.  The public had not previously encountered anyone presenting any very false view as “Catholic,” in a large public format. Normally in such cases, the Church itself would intervene.  And so, hearing and seeing no real, official Church opposition to Mother Angelica and her obsessive anti-abortionism, the public simply, blindly, “faith”fully followed Mother Angelica and her new network.  Indeed, the public had long been trained to be fully trusting, “faith”ful, to religious leaders; and so it has until now, followed Mother Angelica and her network, EWTN, with all but total blind faith.  The public never realizing that Mother Angelica’s new anti-abortion messages, were not as fully authoritative, as the old liturgy and homilies, that had been delivered by priests, in the highly controlled, tightly structured environment of the church.

Since they were delivered in the name of the Church, a largely unsuspecting public, simply accepted all these problematic new “conservative” messages, as the new word of God.  And today, these apostate, heretical “Catholic” media, are as influential as ever.   Indeed, more influential.  As Ferrara began to note in his book, “EWTN:  A Network Gone Bad,” there are many people who listen to these various self-appointed Catholic lay spokesmen on TV and radio – and who accept them as the definitive voice of the Church itself.   And there is no prominent voice to contradict that.  Today there are even probably millions of Catholics who don’t even go to Church, to listen to priests in a physical church where the priest is more constrained in what he says; instead millions now merely listen to religious radio and TV and internet talk shows.  Millions of the faithful, are not even hearing priests, but are listening even primarily, to lay persons, on EWTN; to speakers like Karl Keating, attny., and Sheila Liaugminas.  Neither of whom is a priest.  And yet, much of the public now unreflectively regards these figures, as a true voice of the Church.  As Chris Ferrara warned.

Therefore, ultimately, it has been the new conservative media and advocacy organizations, that are where most the problems have come from.  And the people have been unaware of the problem. Millions of people were alerted to problems in secular “media”; they had heard that often secular media, major secular TV networks get religion wrong.  But then they have come to trust far too much, to any medium that presents itself as authentically religious. When a given network like EWTN puts down “mainstream media,” and presents itself as the more religious, pious and loyal representative of God, no one really questioned that.  No one realized that even “religious” shows, people, err.  Even they can be highly unreliable. No one realizing that even the best “religious” networks to date, present radically simplified, and substantially false, theologies.  Even heresies.

To be sure, there had been some early warnings. By the time of the first Protestant radio evangelists, some ministers at least, were already warning about false religious doctrines, in TV religion.  And so there has been some – albeit ineffective – tradition of caution, regarding at least, Protestant televangelism.  Particularly, when Pat Robertson came along, and began obviously blending his Christianity, with Republican presidential ambitions.  However, even Pat Robertson has remained fabulously successful, even to this day.  And his “Conservative” blending of religion and Republicanisms, was widely accepted by the time Mother Angelica founded EWTN.

To be sure, one would have thought there would still be some considerable resistance however, to a private, Catholic TV network.  Such things were sometimes (marginally) regarded as acceptable in Protestant churches.  Which had always allowed the individual, some personal discretion or freedom, in interpreting the Bible.  But in the past, historically, the Roman Catholic Church was rather against such independent operations. Traditionally, historically, the Roman Catholic Church has always stressed a central hierarchy; with very strong central control, from a Pope.  Indeed, Catholicism often adamantly rejected, “evangelization,” and the Protestant idea that almost any man, priest or not, could be a spokesman for God.  This position moreover, was adamantly defended by the Church, historically:   one of the main disagreements between Protestants and Catholics, was that Protestants insisted that any ordinary human being, could read the Bible himself, and learn about God; while the Catholic Church insisted that only the Roman Church itself, really knew what God was thinking and saying; and within the Church, everyone should obey especially, the Pope.

The Catholic Church had historically, adamantly attacked the idea that any private individual could speak for God; “outside the Church there is no salvation,” it was said.  without relying on the Roman Catholic Church. And it defended this idea as part of its war with Protestants.  Protestants had insisting that the Bible itself authorized many people, not just Catholic Popes, to speak for God.  When Jesus told his disciples to go and preach to all nations, Protestants claimed, that “Great Commission” authorized almost anyone at all, to go out and “evangelize”; authorized almost any public citizen some said, to go out and preach about God.  Whether they were trained priests or not; or Catholic or not.  This argument in fact, was the backbone of the Protestant rebellion against Catholicism; the argument they used to justify having their own ministers, and not following the Pope.  But of course, the Church had historically resisted this argument; the Church vociferously stressing obedience to central Catholic authority; especially to the Pope.  Who they said, was the only legitimate successors of the Apostles (by “Apostolic Succession”).

Catholics therefore, had until recently, been far more cautious than Protestants, about allowing non priests, or lay talk show hosts, or unattached, unmonitored priests, to speak or “evangelize” for God.  The Church had simply murdered many such persons, as heretics.  And it fought major wars against anyone – like especially Protestants – who claimed that they themselves had the right to evangelize, and tell us what the Bible means.  And so, though Protestants accepted radio shows delivering religious messages independently of any give church – and even messages that began to intermix private politics with religion – it was far, far more rare, to hear a Catholic radio show.  To be sure, there was an occasional odd appearances on radio and Vatican radio, by a Bishop Sheen, or a Pope.  But these appearances were extremely well regulated (except for Sheen, who had notorious problems with Cardinal Spellman in fact).  And they were clearly produced under very direct monitoring.  It was a major change therefore, when the Church became liberalized  in 1981, to the point that a major, rather independent “Catholic” network could appear.  But after the example of Pat Robertson, most Catholics were complacently unaware of the dangers of such an unsupervised format.  Especially, indeed, when the Church itself appeared to endorse something like this; when it began to endorse “the new evangelization.”  Few in the Church quite fully realizing, when they uttered and followed this new phrase, that they were embracing the very evangelization … that they had fought so bitterly, in two hundred years of wars with Protestants.  No one realizing that this phrase in fact, capitulated not only to Protestantism, but to some of the worst tendencies in it.  The “new evangelization” giving in far too much, to allowing simple, private, individual, uneducated voices, on TV and elsewhere, to declare their own private opinions, as the word of God.

The Catholic Church had long resisted allowing priests and others to speak casually for the Church.  And it came therefore to religious talk radio and TV, rather late, or not to the same degree as Protestants and Pat Robertson.  So that when a Catholic evangelistic network appeared, such a thing basically caught Catholics by surprise.  Catholicism had not really had much recent experience, with deliberately allowing relatively independent agencies to speak for it. And indeed, it has never seen the wide number of major media and advocacy organizations, that we have today.  Organizations that represent themselves in effect, as the voice of the Catholic Church.  Organizations that were for the first time, allowed to operate somewhat independently of central Church control.

Catholics were not used to such organizations.  And in the liberal 1970’s and after, many simple accepted this new innovation.  So that millions of Catholics just simply, blindly, faithfully followed these new networks.  Which are today in fact increasingly accepted … as if they spoke simply, directly, for the Pope.  They were simply accepted as the voice of the Church … Especially because they occasionally have priests on their shows.  Especially since these new organizations quote (albeit selected, edited) snippets of Church doctrine.  So that these new secular networks and organizations, have been increasingly taken, by the people, to be either a) an authorized adjunct of the Church. Or even simply b) the official voice of the Church; even as the voice of the Pope (Ferrara:  “EWTN:  A Network Gone Bad”).  Indeed, many priests seem to accept EWTN as definitive.

The problem is though, that these new “Catholic” networks are all too independent. And that problem was unfortunately, allowed to grow; when the Church itself, began to allow such things.  When it even spoke in favor of a “new evangelization.”  And it was all exacerbated, by occasional Vatican infatuation with “lay” expertise.  It is time to note however, that such infatuation has clearly caused trouble in the recent past.  Obedience to liberal psychology for example, allowed “gay rights theory to take over much of the Church.  Which not long ago (around 1970-2007), resulted in the relaxing of Church standards … that is credited with helping to create the scandal of priests, sexually molesting children, c. 1970-2007.

Relaxing traditional Church controls, is probably a good thing in many ways.  But any such relaxation will inevitably run into some problems; and should be closely monitored. And just as the relaxation of Church doctrines in a liberal direction caused problems, surprisingly, there are problems with even a new “conservatism” too.  As we are seeing here.

Many forces have been at work to relax Church controls. And to allow these new private networks.  Among other contributing trends in the Church, there has been the growing acceptance of “lay” people in church functions.  Of Catholics who were reverent, but who were not priests.  In part, the growing acceptance of lay persons acting for the Church, has been accepted lately, because it seemed necessary as a practical matter.  Since fewer and fewer people wanted to become nuns or priests, in modern times. So that the Church has begun to accept more and more non-priests, to fill out its depleted staffs.  But the problem is that when we admit lay persons, they bring their own agendas to the Church.  [A random example:  speaking of the “Feast of the Holy Innocents,” the deaths of the early saints, a lay speaker on Relevant Radio, assures us that the deaths of saints, are negligible compared to the number of deaths of aborted babies; 50 millions since 1973.  Says this lay guest, of lay spokesman Chuck Neff, standing in for layman Sean Herriott, on Relevant Radio, 7:20 AM, Dec. 28, 2009.  Thus the embryo is now more important than the saints; a pattern repeated when anti-abortionism ignores saint Aquinas for example, when he says that the young embryo is not yet human. Guest “John Lavriola”(SP?), author of “Onward Catholic Soldiers:  Spiritual Warfare …”; “Morning Air” show, Doug Thompson, prod.. Call 877 766 37777. Or 877 ROME 7777, as they tell us; once again emphasizing themselves as the voice of the Roman Catholic church. At 8:03, incidentally, the network quotes with approval, Fr. Frank Pavone, as the foremost Catholic voice against abortion.  Frank in turn commenting on the Senate passing a health bill with funding for abortion:  Frank – violating IRS non-profit rules? – commenting on this ongoing current legislation, now being submitted to reconciliation committees. Telling us that the Senate ignores the fact that the “voters” are 3 to 1 against abortion; Frank warning us that no doubt the senators will be punished in “November,” the month elections are held.  Frank here clearly working, on a nonprofit Relevant Radio, to influence legislation, in the interest specifically, of “vote”s.  Votes that will be Republican, we may assume.]

With more and more relatively unsophisticated lay people, now being admitted as church workers, or even presenting themselves in effect in the media, as our new priests, problems have emerged.  The main problem with lay workers should have been predictable enough:  they don’t really know the Church and its fuller doctrines well enough.   Especially we are saying here, the new media, lay pseudo-priests – Catholic talk show hosts – did not know much theology.  And they have been overwhelmingly inclined to mix up their own social political ideas, with their religion.  So that they end up presenting finally, absurd or limited theologies as authentic; odd mixes that would not normally be approved by any good priest with solid seminary training or “formation.”  Particularly, the more recent new lay staffers are prone to simply begin filling in gaps in their religious understanding, with their own ad-hoc political philosophies, or other popular ideas.  In the 1980’s, the new lay/false priests of talk radio, followed Rush Limbaugh particularly.  They have liked to intermix “conservative” or Republican ideas, with religion; mixing the two indistinguishably.  Finally presenting folk or even Republican ideas, as the word of God.

The increasing intrusion of lay persons, along with their uneducated or secular ideas, into the Church itself,  has been one major source of the problem we have today.  Today we have countless lay people – like Drew Mariani and Karl Keating – presenting themselves, without adequate training, as the voice of God  These new lay Catholics, typically do not graduate from good seminaries; and do not get religious training as good as priests once got.  Nor are they, later in their careers, monitored effectively by the Church.  And so they have been free, to follow and even broadcast, teach, their own deviant desires.  Particularly, they have long offered their ad hoc political philosophy, as if it was the word of God.

And their influence now penetrates into the Church itself; unfortunately, these unauthorized voices have eventually strongly influenced, in turn, the more independent priests and nuns.  Like Mother Angelica of EWTN, and Fr. Frank Pavone.  While ultimately, especially once priests and nuns were infected, millions of people have unfortunately, followed them.

The problem has been worse than it might have been otherwise, because the public has been unprepared, and un-warned; as standards of oversight were relaxed in the Church and elsewhere, one really quite really saw the problem anymore, or sounded the alarm. Until today.  Though surely earlier problems with relaxation of sexual mores in the churches, the massive and expensive scandal of uncovering sexually abusive priests, should have served as an early warning signal.  If the Church is to modernize and update itself (as it should), it will need a more reliable, scientific mechanism to do that.  Allowing just anyone to present their personal opinions as the word of God, is not the way to go, here.
“Conservative”?

How has it happened, that an extremist, even terrorist heresy, has all but totally taken over the Church, and America?  The problem in part, was noted above:  a) our rather traditional Catholic Church, was not adequately familiar with the relatively new media of radio, TV, and Internet.  So that the Church did not adequately monitor and control these outlets.  Then too, b) the Church’s enthusiasm for a “new evangelization,” and then c) “lay” organizations, allowed any number of half-trained, half-supervised lay agencies, like EWTN, to exercise considerable power and influence on the public, independently of effective, direct Church supervision.  Then too, d) a certain laxity in its oversight responsibilities, was encouraged by a false, post Vatican II liberalism.  Which e) ironically had the effect of allowing not only in themselves questionable “liberal” elements to express themselves within the Church, but also eventually allowed a new and radical, even heretical “conservatism,” to enter the Church.

In fact,  probably the heretical side of anti-abortion organizations slipped by Catholic supervision, in part because they represented themselves as “conservative.”  Billing the new voices as “conservative,” no doubt suggested to any intermittent Vatican review, that these new voices would be following the Church in a very pious and dutiful way; conservatively.  Yet to be sure, the presentation of this new home-spun and politicized Catholicism, was ultimately, not conservative at all. Or you might say that a) the “neo-con” movement in some ways, was so backward or conservative, as to be reactionary, medieval, pro-monarchy (Bush I, Bush II).  While b) other of its ideas were new, radical, and untried, experimental.  Anything but conservative in the sense of sticking only to tried and true ideas and institutions.  Indeed, one-issue anti-abortionism for example, is both.  It a) rediscovers any ancient folk attachment of mothers to their embryos; even as it b) accentuates that in a revolutionary and bad way; it exaggerates that, into the new central principle or focus of an heretical new religion.

Normally, such messages would not have caught on; when such ideas were presented in the old, conservative institution of corner churches, there were mechanisms in place to criticize such ideas.  But the new forum for religion, is not in supervised churches, but in mass media.  Overseen by talk show hosts.  And by the way, the new medium was in itself, not traditional.  To begin defining the Church not in seminaries or councils, but from rigged debates in talk shows, is obviously not really conservative at all; it is a revolution in the Church.

The new movement was able however, to avoid causing alarm, in part by billing itself as “conservative.” Presenting themselves as “conservatives,” revolutionary right-wing Catholics sneaked into the Church, under the radar; under the “mantle” or “sheep’s clothing” of conservatism.  Using this label, they deluded themselves, and disarmed critics, by implying that they were absolutely obedient and pious and loyal to Catholic tradition.  But indeed, their ideas were only marginally “conservative” first of all, in a political sense.  To be sure, they backed the right or conservative, nationalistic wing of the Republican Party.  But they were not really, religiously conservative.  In particular, in their pro-military militarism, they did not conservatively respect Jesus, as a peacemaker.  Indeed, they all but gave up on the New Testament, in favor of the far more severe God of the Old Testament.  Which however, is not traditional theology today.  And then too, their anti-abortionism violates reams of religious tradition, we are showing here.

The new movements’ claim to be “conservative,” disarmed many persons who would otherwise have sounded the alarm.  But now it is time to note to everyone, that its political “conservatism,” is not theologically conservative at all.  Among other problems:  to wave the flag in church, and tout “American values” for example, was conservative in the political sphere in America. But it does not really fit an international Church.  The Church is not an “American,” but is an international organization.  It a) recently has been headed by a Polish and then a German Pope, living in Italy.  The patriotically “American” message of EWTN and Relevant Radio, adamantly does not fit a Catholic Church that resides over b) one billion Catholics who live in 300 or more different countries.  And c) of whom only 60 million, 6%, are American.  Nor does the American patriotism of EWTN (to about 2005), fit a Christianity, a Christ, that comes to speak to “all tongues,” “all peoples,” all nations (Isa. 65.17-66.18-23).

How was it therefore, that a radical new theology – anti-abortionism – was able to all but take over the Catholic Church?  No doubt priestly, clerical overseers were confused by the language, the arguments generated by media teams of lay lawyers and sophists like Karl Keating.  These staffers, “apologists,” talk show hosts, were working not so much for traditional religion, but for the new secular/lay anti-abortion organizations.  They were trained or naturally skilled rhetoricians; clever persons who were able to invent hundreds, even thousands of ostensibly religious-based arguments, to justify their own conservative position. Among many hundreds of clever arguments and words generated by this new cadre,  these new semi-secular friars, these new apologists and sophists were able to misuse terms like “conservative,” to mislead themselves and priests.  (See the French Revolution’s problems especially with friars and other clerics in secular state functions).

 

This misuse of language, this odd and unexpected mix of religion and secular ideas, a confusion of “conservatism”s, fooled many.  Many millions of people have heard and believed, that this radically new anti-abortion message, was actually from the traditional, “conservative” side of religion; from the heart of the Bible, and of the Roman Catholic Church. But today at last we are showing here that EWTN’s typically one-issue anti-abortionism, actually denied one Catholic tradition after another.  EWTN having convinced others (and even itself?) that its own beliefs were true, EWTN then simply, willfully disobeyed saints, cardinals, and the pope himself, all without a qualm; when they crossed its own view of what the “real” Church was like.

The fact is that in general, the new “conservative,” lay “Catholic” organizations like EWTN, have never really, actually, reflected the true heart of Christianity; or the overall emphasis of the Bible; or the real tradition of the Church.  Instead, the essential mistake of these “Christian” organizations, was that they intermixed and confused their own social political opinions, with the true message of the Bible and the Church. But more particularly, all this built on the to-be-sure all too common equation of “God and Country.”  In America, it is often thought that the Bible, God, and patriotic devotion to America, never conflicted.  America was God’s country; God favored America.  But we will see, this sentiment is not quite true to a Bible that never mentioned America by name, and that often in fact criticized “nation”s.  Nor does it fit an international church.  But the new conservatism ignored all that; often following the example of Protestant American televangelists like Pat Robertson, Catholic “conservative” movements became in effect, fronts for a radical new incursion of nationalistic politics, into religious life.  Their “conservatism” was actually a radical infusion into Christianity … of American superpatriotic nationalist, militarist sentiments. All centered around the Republican Party.

To be sure, the equation of God with country, is a common folk idea; but it was never adequately supported.  Many countries like Germany, have thought that their country was supported by God; Germany army belt buckles had “God with Us” stamped on them.  But this should be an illustration of the problem.

In some ways to be sure, it was all perhaps genuinely conservative.  For example, there is a sort of native feeling among women, that they should protect the life of their embryos.  And this is a good sentiment, if the woman is going to carry full term, to birth.  It seems possible that many religious women “conservatives” in particular, were rather sincere about their beliefs about the importance of their embryo.  But their rather natural impulses, have been partially misleading. Indeed, women should learn that the embryo is the foundation of a child, if carried to full term, to birth. But it is not quite a full child already.  Women who do not know this, often become inconsolable in the case of miscarriage.  Feeling they have lost a “child.”  But to be sure, the embryo was never quite, entirely, a child after all.  In part, their impulses, their “heart,” was “deceived.”  We need to value the mind; of the child, and our own minds too.  And those do not really appear, until later.  As saint Aquinas confirmed.

To some extent, these native conservatisms, were mislead deliberately.  The Republican Party fastened onto these native “conservatisms,” validating them all too quickly, without critical inspection.  Because it was  useful for its own purposes, to exaggerate the “human” status of the embryo, and then labeling this a “conservative” impulse.  All in order to direct more votes to the conservative, anti-abortionist, Republican Party. All this was useful, in order to elect Republican candidates, in U.S elections.  The native sentiment of women, has been exploited to elect, ironically, candidates who might a) pretend to honor the status of the embryo, but b) who did not really hesitate to attack and end the lives of adults, in perhaps unnecessary wars.  Or who c) did not hesitate to vote against Health Care.  Thus perhaps killing many grown children and adults, through unnecessary wars, and/or lack of good health care.

The manipulation and wooing of “conservative” sentiments proceeded almost unchecked, c. 1980-2009.  In spite of some critical remarks addressed to “neo-cons,” the new movement, the “Conservative Coalition,” proceeded with enormous speed.  Thanks in part, to the new “Catholic” media networks, like Eternal Word Television Network.  It was rather large; it was broadcast on hundreds of radio stations, and some TV stations; and was offered as part of nearly every major cable and satellite TV package in America.  So that it was available to perhaps two hundred million Americans.  And this platform was even more influential than its size would indicate – since it was offered not as just another media network, but as the word of God.  So that its message was retained far more than the average TV message.  And repeated by word of mouth, by Catholics.

Through massive and disproportionately influential organizations like EWTN, a radical, “conservative” anti-abortionism, was successfully preached to all of America.  All of this was offered, furthermore, without real, free, fair, and open debate.  Most listeners were used to institutional regulatory mechanisms, that would for example, insure fair, free, and open debate on publicly-owned airways.  But around 1982 or so, the “Fairness Doctrine,” that allowed “equal time” in debates on controversial topics, was dropped.  Media were no longer required by law to present both sides of a political debate. Lulled into complacency by such laws, the public did not notice that the new talk show format, was no longer a fair, free debate.  That it was one-sided.  The new conservative, call-in talk shows to be sure, presented themselves as if they were still fair debates:  the phone lines were open to listeners; who could call in and – apparently – “debate” the talk show host.  But few people noticed that these new conservative talk shows only mimicked, faked, debates; that the whole game was actually rigged.  Those who know what real debate is, could have told the public that this was never a real debate.  First, a) often only the network itself knew in advance, which topics would be debated.  Then too b) normally only the network had trained apologists and experts readily on hand, to represent its own views; while the public responders, were completely in the dark, and unprepared for each discussion on air.  Then too, c) callers were “screened”; they first had to talk with and pass a screener; who would often simply refuse to air anyone who seemed too well informed, who would pose a too-effective speaker.  So that if there were any potentially effective opponents that happened to call in, they were often simply eliminated, and never allowed on the air.  And d) if a qualified speaker managed to slip by the screener, and get on the air … to make some telling points?  When anyone called in, and managed get on the air?  To voice some cogent objections to EWTN’s radically anti-abortion views?  Then EWTN talk show hosts, and control room staff, simply, routinely silenced any such genuine, effective debate … with their “off” buttons.  They simply hung up on them.  Hung up on anyone who presented too strong a case for abortion.  e) Leaving the talk show host to voice his own opinion as conclusion, with no further challenges allowed.  So that there was almost never a true and honest, fair debate, on conservative talk radio.  Which pretended to honor free debate, the pillar of Democracy; but which took dozens of measures to make sure it never actually honored it.  (Cf. the 2008 discussion on the possible revival of the “Fairness Doctrine.”)

Ironically therefore, talk radio was never politically conservative.  In that it never really honored the deepest tradition of Democracy:  fair, free, and open debate. And of course again, the “Catholic” “conservatives” were extremely rebellious, revolutionary, in other ways too.  Most striking was their radically non-conservative rebellion against the saints, the cardinals, and “Our Holy Father,” the Pope.

The rebellion by “conservative” Catholic radio against core Church authorities – many (if not all) saints, cardinals, popes – is especially unexpected and shocking:  since one of the major features of Catholicism was an even excessive emphasis on following priests, cardinals, popes.  The Catholic Church was always a top-down, hierarchical organization, that hugely emphasized the authority of the Pope, over all other figures in Christendom. Indeed EWTN, in its assertion that the Catholic Church was better than the Protestant, constantly voiced the traditional Catholic argument that … the essential mistake and sin of Protestantism, was to fail to see, the authority of the bishops, the cardinals, the Pope.  So it was doubly surprising, when a) priests on EWTN told us (c. 2005/6?), that we didn’t need to follow a saint like St. Aquinas any more. And when b) they simply ignored the Pope’s 2004 memo, allowing us to vote for pro-abortion candidates.  And it was doubly surprising again, when c) the subtle rebellion of EWTN founder Mother Angelica, became so increasingly open, that around 1997 or so, Mother Angelica began to criticize, on air, an acting cardinal, Cardinal Mahony (q.v.).

Because they had presented itself as loyal, conservative, many of the new networks were able to avoid criticism, from many.  But when EWTN founder Mother Angelica though, finally began to openly criticize a cardinal, finally, belatedly, elements of the Church began to recognize … problems in these new “conservative” organizations.  There were occasionally attempts by prominent Christians in the Catholic hierarchy – like Cardinal Mahony – to deal with EWTN.   And then, c. 2003-7, there were those famous statements by Cardinals McCarrick, and Ratzinger, against dis “proportionate,” “one issue” Catholicism. But these random remarks were by no means strong enough; the average working-class Irish Catholic or Spanish woman, never really heard about the conflict between EWTN and the Catholic hierarchy – because EWTN seldom mentioned it.  Or if EWTN ever mentioned the problem, the concepts of dis “proportionate,” “one issue” problems, were too obscure.  Many uneducated listeners had no idea that when the Cardinals were condemning “one issue” Catholicism, they were condemning EWTN and its one-issue anti-abortionism.

Therefore, the Church’s sporadic and mild corrections of elements of the new conservatism, were ineffective.  By the time Cardinal Mahony began to rather directly confront Mother Angelica of EWTN, the network was already well established:  with a) hundreds of radio stations; b) an Internet presence; with c) a potential TV cable audience of hundreds of millions; and d) legions of anti-abortion lobbyists, lawyers on hand, to lobby for its own causes.  And it had e) a stable of converted priests.  With all that, by 2005 or so, EWTN had more than enough institutional power to prevail in arguments and power struggles.  It had enough power, to simply topspin, or even effectively ignore, the mild, ineffectual, indirect, pastoral attempts by the Church, to slow down or correct EWTN’s message.  The legions of spin-doctors at EWTN, were able to use their rhetorical skills, to convince even most Church opponents, that the Church itself supported EWTN.

So the new conservative media have persisted.  EWTN has persisted, and has even grown.  Broadcasting to hundreds of millions of Catholics, for 28 years, and spread by word of mouth, eventually in effect, its false anti-abortionism, has been presented to the whole world. While more recently, its false doctrine is even now continuing to backwash onto – and dominate – even the Church itself.  Thanks to its many dozens of arguments, increasingly, more and more Bishops apparently believe that EWTN’s “conservative” anti-abortionism, is the authentic voice of the Church, and of God.  (Or at least, more and more Bishops are prepared to believe that, for various reasons).  But here and now, we are finally beginning to outline the mistake of Catholic media like EWTN.  In part, the problem has been that EWTN and its many anti-abortion and “conservative” voices, we will show, confused political conservatism, with religious conservatism.  They confused a conservative, pro-American Republican superpatriotism for example, with religion.  They confused God, with Country.  They mixed up love of traditional America, with love of Catholicism.  In addition, the new religious conservatives … did not ever really acknowledge real devotion to leadership.  In that sense, it was never conservative at all.  It violated, denied, the central principle of Catholicism:  obedience to the cardinals and to the Pope.

The fact is, there are many, many revolutionary, radical, rebellious elements in this new “conservatism.”  The fact is for example, among many other things:  devotion to a single nation like America for example, was never quite what the Church is really about.  After all, the Christian church is an international church.  With no particular affiliation to any single country.  The Roman Catholic Church, the pope for example, preside over one billion Catholics, in more than 300 countries.  The Church includes one billion believers -of  whom only 6%, are American.  The attempt to intermix American patriotic, nationalist “conservatism,” with Catholic conservatism, therefore, was not quite right.  In point of fact, the folding of Catholicism, into conservative superpatriotic Americanism, was never true to the real nature of the Church.  Which was international.  (Even God’s devotion to the nation/kingdom Israel was often qualified).

Part of the problem has been especially, the new intermixture, confusion, of political ideas, of the traditions of men, with religious tradition.  The problem has been that most of the new “Catholic” media organizations and self-appointed Catholic spokesmen like Karl Keating – our new priests, our new self-appointed popes – confused their lay political ideas, with the word of God and of the Church.  So that they have presented to the people, an unholy mix of personal opinion, and biased political philosophy, with religion.  Presenting it all, as if it was holy.  While in point of fact, it is no such thing.

What can be done about this?  Amazingly, the Church has at times tried to end this problem.  As we will see, at least three Cardinals – McCarrick, Mahony, Ratzinger – have tried to rein in EWTN and Karl Keating,  and anti-abortionism.  But clearly, they have not been successful in stopping it.  Likewise, the intermittent presence of dozens of priests on the network, has not prevented this conservative heresy from growing.  Anyone who regularly listens to the network, will quickly discover that the radical and heretical, disproportionate, one-issue anti-abortionism of EWTN, Karl Keating, Fr. Frank Pavone, continues unchecked, even to this very day.  Though many subjects other than abortion are mentioned on the network, we are still regularly told that the single issue of abortion out-trumps, outweighs, all other issues at the voting booth.  While indeed finally, all that really resulted from the presence of priests on the network, was that the radical heresies of the network, backwashed onto the priests.  So that today, more and more priests simply accept EWTN as in effect, their pope.  And more and more priests accept its heretical message, as the authentic voice of the Church.  Indeed for millions of Christians, EWTN is the voice of God.  Or more simply, conservative organizations like EWTN are God.

Actually however, it is a new heresy; a new, schismatic branch of the Church.  A sect that, because of its narrow fixation on the embryo, might best be called … the Breakaway Church of the Holy Embryo.

To be sure, the conservative heresy is gaining more and more power, every day.  Today it is increasingly … infecting the Church itself.  Today, more and more priests and Catholics, are getting to know their Church, not just from approved seminaries, but through the new media.  Increasingly, priests learn from the media; so that the theology of guest speakers and talk show hosts, is now backwashing into the Church proper.  Archbishop Burke for example, corresponded with, flirted with EWTN; and was over the years, seduced by it and its arguments.

Today, conservative Catholic radio, is taking over one bishop after another.  As it now, takes over the Church itself.  Even though it not exactly “conservative”; indeed in fact, in many respects, in its present form, it is a radical heresy.

No doubt, a fruitful avenue of future research, will be more clearly rediscovering – and conserving – the natural roots of our human existence; but that process of discovery should be conducted by serious natural science … and not the raw assertions of polemicists.

 

Fixing This

Among several new “conservative” doctrines, has been a radically narrow, odd, deformed, one-issue, “Pro Life,” anti-abortionist view of life and God.  A view which was heavily publicized by a heretical nun by the name of Mother Angelica; and her own media network, called EWTN.  Using this media platform, to constantly publicize her obsessively narrow, one-issue view of life, Angelica has long since taken over many millions of Catholics.  Focusing obsessively, a dozen, a hundred times a day, on the embryo, Mother Angelica created in effect, a strange new, anti-abortion God; or God the Holy Embryo.  Who has long been the chief deity, around EWTN and Mother Angelica.  And thanks to Mother Angelica, and her media network, this strange new god is even now, taking over even many Bishops … and possibly, soon, the Church itself.

How was it that the Church allowed this heresy to grow?  It was in large part, the Church’s unfamiliarity with – or simple laxity about – the dangers of the new “Catholic” radio and TV and Internet media.  Especially, as directed by “lay” Catholics, or non-priests.  The problem was that not matter how well-informed and intelligent they may appear, lay believers, are never quite as well trained, or quite as devoted, as priests are, to the Church.  Consequently, they inevitably let their watered-down idea of God, mix with, get confused with, their political opinions, the “traditions of men” that they absorbed in secular or lay life.  And when the Church began admitting more and more of these people into more and more vital and administrative centers, it meant that the message of the Church has been increasingly, corrupted.  In fact, if the Church itself was not in the past guilty of “teaching the traditions of men,” as Protestants always accused, certainly it is now.  These new Catholic organizations, are guilty of all that; in spades.   Of indistinguishably intermixing religion and political/social “philosophies,” the traditions of men.  Like mixing religion and “conservatism”; a word never mentioned in the Bible at all. But found in the Republican Party platform, often.  Neo-conservatives claimed to be following religion diligently, conservatively.  But we will be showing here that their ideas were not really as pious and loyal, as they thought … or pretended. (Many conservatives after all were not so religious; but thought a “big tent” would be good; relaxing sincerity, to allow religion to join into politics, was politically expedient).

Unfortunately, this unholy mix, this disaster foretold in the Bible itself, is today, nearly as strong as ever.  Today it seems that more and more Bishops, especially, are increasingly influenced by this new, mixed tradition; by the assertion that rabid anti-abortionism, is indeed the word of God.  EWTN has carefully cultivated, “educated,” badgered, and egged on dozens of priests and bishops; and eventually it seems, they were able to convince Bishop Burke, to follow their views.  And when he did, then EWTN had begun to infect the Church itself, finally. Indeed, when EWTN protégé Archbishop Burke took over the Vatican court, around 2008, anti-abortionism has all but officially become, the new law of the Catholic Church itself.

But this is not a positive development; this means that a false, narrow, one-issue theology –  a false God, a false Christ – has increasingly dominated the Church.  And  through the Catholic vote, has dominated America.  And through America, the world.  Indeed, this false, antiabortionist embryo God, we will find, has long changed the course of world politics, for the worse. For exactly the reasons the Cardinals noted:  when you focus all your energies and attention on just “one issue” like abortion, you end of neglecting many other, worse evils, and allowing them to flourish.  Just like the Bible said somewhere (?):  just when you have expelled one demon, unless you are diligent, seven worse demons return in its place.

So how can we fix this?  Or is it too late? In large part, we have assumed here, that we can fix this in part, just clarifying what real religious authority actually, more fully, said.  In part, by showing what the Bible itself really said about abortion for example. Conservatives quote the Bible; but so does Satan himself (in the Temptation).  Anyone can quote the Bible … in a misleading way.  Conservatives have quoted the Bible … but until today, they have obscured the real message of the Bible and God, by quoting just misrepresentative parts of the book. The real, fuller message, has been obscured, “twist”ed, by media hosts and guests and “apologists.”  To be sure, many Catholics have resisted this message. [On Relevant Radio, Dec. 29, 2009, 10:44 AM, AM 970, Fr. John Corapi chastises Catholics for voting for a candidate – Barack Obama – who had just voted for partial birth abortions; as many did. But “in the end we win” says Corapi; meaning God supports the Republican Party, one assumes.  And that it will win. As for the others?  “Treat that as we would treat psychotic behavior” he says.  Though with “love.”  “The Catholic Church” series; The Church, “The Body of Christ” lecture.  But why do Catholics vote Democratic, and not anti-abortionism?  It is because after all, they know that anti-abortionism is not the authentic teaching of the Church; but only of Fr. John Corapi].  Indeed, not as many have voted for Democrats then would otherwise have voted for them.  Given the fact that in America many Catholics are from ethnic minorities; like Hispanics.  Who would otherwise vote disproportionately for the pro-ethnic party, the Democratic Party.

It is not easy to counter conservative polemics however.  No one should underestimate the a) grass-roots power of organizations like EWTN/RN, and related special interest organizations. Which appeal to the sentiments of women and so forth. But especially, no one should underestimate b) the spin-doctoring abilities of their staff of trained spokesmen, talk show hosts, and apologists.  Over the years,  the conservative coalition has been developing a vast network of interrelated conservative organizations;  a conservative conspiracy.  Or a “conservative coalition,” as it calls itself.  So that today there is a vast network of “conservative” organizations and individuals – including a huge number of anti-abortion lobbyists – ready to argue with anyone who tries to expose them. Today, there are dozens of anti-abortion organizations; staffed in total, by literally hundreds of professional speakers.  Merging with hundreds of existing “conservative” and Republican organizations.  After three decades, spent building a “conservative coalition,” today a vast web of similarly-minded, “conservative” parties currently exists.  Exchanging intelligence and “talking points” – and then delivering their own message on their own entire media networks.  Like EWTN; and CBN; and Fox.  And this “conservative coalition,” has become powerful enough, that it has long dominated about 19% of the voting population. Who vote “conservative,” or anti-abortion in every election.  And this number has been extremely significant; it has been enough to swing the balance, in the vast majority of elections in America, 1980-2007.  Dominating the Church, dominating the vote in America; and then, through American influence, dominating the who world.  With a false idea of Christ; presenting Christ as Jesus the antiabortionist, in effect; or Jesus in effect, as the Holy Embryo.

No one should underestimate the increasing power of the new interlacing conservative special-interest groups.  These increasingly define our society, and that today define even our religion.  Rapidly exchanging information and “talking points”/rhetorical tricks on the Internet, anti-abortion organizations like “Priests for Life,” Catholic Answers Live, EWTN/RN, CBN, and Fox, now form part of a new type of vast, interconnected web; full of trained rhetoricians, spin doctors, sophists.  This vast, well-trained group, armed with workbooks and websites and media networks and talking points and exchanged intelligence, constantly generates, among other things, anti-abortion arguments.  So today we have a worldwide group of people, systematically trading information back and forth …while never honestly, fully allowing dissenting voices on their shows or sites.  Never allowing full, fair, honest debate.

Because of this vast new web, anyone who wants to tell Christians what the Bible really says, or tell Catholics what the Church and Pope really say, now increasingly comes against a vast, systematic, coordinated army, of trained, well-armed debaters.  Armed with hundreds of –  albeit false – arguments.  So that today, anyone who wants to accurately picture what the Bible really, fully said, in effect has to go against an almost unstoppable media juggernaut; against a vast, 24/7, rhetoric machine.  Anyone who wants to examine the abortion issue objectively, must go against a) dozens of anti-abortion organizations; b) organizations staffed with well-rehearsed, trained professionals. Organizations that c) constantly develop talking points and responses to attacks. Organizations that d) now have their one-issue anti-abortion message distributed all over the United States and the world, by dozens of media networks.

Against the new media/rhetoric machines, a single, lone speaker of the truth, has almost no chance of survival. A single debater today, is like a single-shot rifle, advancing against an entire company of men armed with machine guns.  Today, there is a vast anti-abortion net out there; one which has already, in the recent past, had more than enough organizational power to all but destroy any opposition; to smother any attempt to accurately teach what the Bible really says.  Even to desecrate our own arguments, with dozens, hundreds of sly, false arguments.

It would seem all but impossible, for a single person, to successfully combat the vast, conservative machine – or especially one-issue anti-abortion machine within it – that has already dominated America, and has dominated the world.  But it a single person, and one argument or two, has no chance against the rhetoric machines, here and now, finally, our defensive strategy is to offer dozens, a hundred and more, possible counter-arguments, to combat this abuse.  Our method here, is a simple one in principle:  we simply, herein, summarize 100 or so anti-abortion arguments … and supply responses, counter-arguments, to each and every one of them.  To at last, give the Pro Choice camp sufficient ammunition (for the time being). No doubt to be sure, in today’s 24/7 rhetorical operations, our own arguments will soon enough, be countered by still more counter-counter sophistries.  But for the moment, at least a few of our arguments here, one or two should stand.  And that may be enough to even, at last, take the field.  For a moment.  Before still more arguments are required.

Today, to be sure, an extremely powerful one-issue, anti-abortion media machine is in existence.  Centered around EWTN.  And due to this powerful machine, a false, anti-abortion theology has played a small but significant role in the Catholic vote; in effect, anti-abortion sentiment was enough to tip the balance, in one election after another, c. 1980-2007.   Though anti-abortionism, the Heretical Church of the Holy Embryo, was never strong enough to utterly dominate religion – and ironically, was never strong enough to actually outlaw abortion itself – still, the anti-abortion movement was extremely virulent.  And when it threw its votes into the “Conservative Coalition,” though its 19% of the voting population was never enough to overthrow Roe v. Wade, it was enough to elect one pro-war “conservative” Republican after another, into office.  And its narrow focus, was more than enough, to stall all other important “issues”; like avoiding unnecessary wars, executions, environmental problems, and problems with Health Care.  Thus anti-abortionism was more than enough to utterly denying the Christ, who never mentioned abortion, but constantly told us to help the poor, and heal the sick.

Working clearly against Christ himself, a vast and perverse machine, a false Catholicism, has dominated America and the world, for years.  But finally, there is a way to counter this gross heresy that has been taking over the Church, and taking over American politics; finally at last, there is a way to counter the heresy, which was enough to decide one major election after another in America, c. 1980-2006.   And the way to counter that, is to simply begin here and now, to produce a massive number of counter-arguments to antiabortionism.  Especially, to reveal arguments that suggest that anti-abortionism is weakest, in its claim to have a Biblical, Christian, or Catholic foundation.

Here we offer more than one hundred arguments against Pro-Life anti-abortionism (and peripherally, “conservative” Catholicism).  Since Christians do not really listen to any other type of argument than a Bible-based one, here we will focus especially on religious arguments. Showing that first of all:   1) anti-abortionism has no real Biblical basis.  Then showing next, that its 2) ethical arguments are purely sophistical and invalid, unsound.  While showing that 3) if anti-abortionism ever seemed to get any historical support from the Catholic Church, ultimately, the movement was rejected even by the Church itself: it was rejected by aa) Church tradition, and bb) the current Church hierarchy.  As being too narrow:  focusing too much, as Cardinal McCarrick said, on “one issue.” While ignoring other, “proportionate”ly more important issues; as Cardinal Joe Ratzinger – our current “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI – said.

It is hard for a single person or two, to defeat a massive “conservative” media machine.  But it is possible.  By offering … a huge number of arguments; by supplying lots of ammunition to our friends.  To defeat the false vision of the Church and of God that has so long determined most elections in America, we offer  in the enclosed document, a summary of over one hundred and fifty religious, biblical, and practical ethical  arguments. Against the hundred or so most common, anti-abortion talking points.  And if one or two of these arguments are temporarily shot down?  Then after all, there are a hundred left.  While it only takes on valid argument, after all.

And so here it is:   we here and now offer to the public, our book on “The Pro Life Heresy:  100 Religious, Christian, Biblical, and Catholic Arguments Against Anti-Abortionism.”

You Can Help

Can even our hundred or more arguments alone, though, be successful?  Today unfortunately, a vast professional network of apologists and spin doctors exists, to try to refute all our points here.  And unfortunately, our single book cannot counter them all, due to limited space.  Even with a hundred or more arguments, still, anything we say here and now will be in turn, eventually attacked by a vast army of debaters, sophists. With arguments we cannot anticipate, or not have the opportunity ourselves to answer. And so all our points here, will eventually need follow-up support … from others.

For the moment, to be sure, our hundred and more arguments offered here, might be enough to win the day, for a day or two.  Indeed, the sheer number of our arguments, the sheer number of objections to anti-abortionism, should help; it will be hard for anti-abortionists to answer every single one of them.  (And by the way, our opponents need to answer every single one of them. Even if many of our arguments are defeated, still, it only takes one valid argument, to win our case.  This is to be sure, the shotgun, carpet bombing approach. But after all, it often only takes one bomb on target, that hits the mark, out of a hundred, to win the day). If anyone should hear a seemingly counter-argument, to one or two of our points or another?  Note that we here offer a hundred or more objections to anti-abortionism.  And if the anti-abortion spin doctors imagine they have “disproven” one or two?  Then note that only one, single valid objection is needed, to counter anti-abortionism.  Logically, if any single one of our objections to anti-abortionism is true, that is enough to defeat their cause.   If one gun doesn’t work, try another one.  It only takes one.  Anti-abortionists must defeat not one or two, but every single one of these hundreds.

Our hundreds of arguments here by the way, are probably mostly, very good.  But no doubt our critics will soon  find one or two points, among the thousands noted here, that seem weak to them.  And attacking that single weak point, they believe they have “disproven” our case. But note to them that “disproving” one or two of our arguments, is not enough. Logically, they need to disprove … every single one of them.  Since if only one of our hundreds of arguments is true, then that one is enough to stop anti-abortionism.  And surely among our hundred or more answers to anti-abortionism, there are at least one or two that are finally, good.

One hundred and more arguments are offered here therefore against a) conservatism in general; against b) EWTN; against c) specifically the Pro Life position; d) especially against the extreme, “one issue,” Pro Life stand.  This should give considerable ammunition, to those who care about the truth.  Still, to be sure, the anti-abortion lobby remains massive, and powerful. The anti-abortion vote has already determined many elections.  It is also well-staffed; there are several individuals and organizations devoted nearly full time, day after day, to generating counter-arguments, against abortion.  In the very new world of interconnected advocacy groups, media machines, talk radio, it is technically impossible to get in the last word.  In this now ongoing, continuous war of words and concepts.   For several reasons.  Indeed, in a sense, mere books, like this one, are insufficient in many ways.  The problem is that books – as Plato and others knew – suffer various limitations, compared to a live opponent.  A book is a relatively static, fixed, object.   It can pack in a great deal of meaning; but no mere book, can anticipate every possible argument against it.  (Even the Bible, the book of John, admits similar limitations in the end; John 21.25).  A mere book in fact, is insufficient in the new world of continuous argument.  A mere static book, written and then after all separated from its author, will not be flexible enough, will not be able to respond, when wave after wave of more countering sophistries are generated every day, to “counter” our own arguments here.  Live sophists will often have the last argument, vs. our static book.  So that finally, there is nothing to prevent even our ramparts of one hundred guns, being overrun; by a future resurgence of “conservatives.” Finally in fact, there is really nothing to defend our position … except in part, you, the reader.  And your own efforts.

A new era of the new rhetoric machines, sound bites and advocacy networks, is here.  Conservatives and anti-abortionists, presently already have a live, ongoing, flexible, continuous and current group of organizations.  And their new type of rhetorical machine, was recently enough to easily win the day, against the now obsolete mechanisms of slow, published, reasoned arguments, and the slow corrective and monitoring mechanisms of the traditional Church.  It seems clear therefore, to counter this new kind of argument machine, we ourselves also will need an ongoing presence and organization too.  We need that, to counter the small but very effective, “conservative,” one-issue theology network that so long dominated American events and politics.  And that may one day again, soon, control America … and the world.  Those who care about America, and God, and the world,  therefore must convince themselves – as you must ask yourself, a live, walking talking reader – to help.  And so we ask you yourself, to take up the argument, in whatever state it exists in your own time and situation.  We ask first of all, 1) your personal assistance in presenting these existing arguments, this petition, to various authorities.  And then 2) we ask that you take up our positions and defend them against the inevitable counter-attacks, from the sophists and talk show hosts.  And we ask you to 3) add your own new and better defenses, if any, at the end of this document.

Where should the present book, and its arguments, be sent?  First of all, this book could and should be submitted by you to, among other places, the Roman Catholic Church itself.  To:  a) your local minister or Catholic priest.  And to b) your local Catholic Bishop.  To:  c) an appropriate office of USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops).  To d) the Vatican offices concerned with media (Office/Congregation of Social Communication, etc.?); and to the office concerned with maintaining doctrinal correctness in the Church (the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith?); and to the Vatican offices that oversee priests, clergy/religious orders.  This letter and book in fact, should be sent also to e) the Pope.  And to various other parties; including say f) Cardinal Roger Mahony (ret.); or g) Cardinal McCarrick (ret.?).

This letter of complaint, and accompanying text, h) should especially be sent to the Bishops and Cardinals of dioceses overseeing prominent anti-abortionists.  Including aa) the Bishops and Cardinals presiding over Karl Keating’s diocese, in San Diego; bb) to the Bishop and Cardinal presiding over EWTN, in Birmingham Alabama.  To cc) the supervisors of Fr. Frank Pavone.  And dd) the Bishop of Sheila Liaugminas’ diocese.  Among others.   And to key persons and agencies, in the Vatican or Holy See; including say, the “Pontifical Counsel for the Laity” (address:  Pontificio Consiglio per i Laici, Pallazo San Calisto, 00120 Cittadel Vaticano, Rome, ITALY.   E-mail at pcpl@laity.Vatican. va.  Other relevant Vatican agencies might include the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith; and congregations or offices whose job it is to oversee the various monastic religious orders – like the Franciscan monks, from Steubenville Ohio, who often appear on EWTN/RN)

Our book, accompanied by your own letter of introduction, might also be i) sent to various Pro Choice organizations too:  a) like Catholics for Choice; b) NARAL, and so forth.  And to say, c) Rep. Patrick Kennedy; and others who have been attacked by anti-abortionists.  Including say, the d) family and attorney of Dr. Tiller, the anti-abortion doctor assassinated by anti-abortion terrorists, in 2009.  It might also be sent to the DNC – Democratic National Committee; specifically the branch dedicated to presenting the Democratic Party’s outreach to the Catholic Church.

Our Own Petition to the Roman Catholic Church

Presented Hereby

Our j) present book in any case, is presented here and now, not only as our own open letter, but also as our open but formal petition, to the Catholic Church; a petition requesting action by the Church, against the excesses of Pro Life anti-abortionism. We address our book to all priests, Bishops, Cardinals, and to the Pope.  Especially to those in dioceses overseeing strongly anti-abortionist activists.  To any and all such priests, bishops, we request hereby that they take immediate action against any and all Catholic anti-abortionists.  We request that the Church inform them, that their anti-abortion activities and theology, are not approved, by the leadership of the Church itself. Anti-abortionists also need to be told that their position is currently, a heresy. And that therefore, anti-abortionists, should not present themselves for communion in any Catholic church.

Dramatic action not only by the public, but also by priests, Bishops, Cardinals, and by the Pope, is now necessary. Not just to prevent heresy and injustice; recent events make it clear that dramatic action against anti-abortionists, is now even necessary in part, to prevent the rising wave of anti-abortion terrorism.  Recalling here, for example, the recent assassination of abortion doctor Tiller, in 2009.  And Fr. Frank Pavone’s actions in support of anti-abortion terrorism (Pavone repeating on the air, on Relevant Radio?, the addresses of other abortion doctors, not long after this crime).

This document should be sent to many different parties.  But this document itself however, by the way, k) should not be presented directly to say, EWTN, or other “Catholic” anti-abortion organizations. Past experience has shown that such organizations, do not listen to any corrections or pastoral criticisms.  Instead, they will merely examine the points carefully … to develop sophistical arguments against them. By now, EWTN/RN and similar operations, are beyond correction.  They are seasoned, well-hardened, professional fighters; with “seared consciences” (1 Tim. 4.2 RSV).  They have already been urged a hundred times,  in a brotherly, pastoral way, by call-in listeners and others, to amend their views … and have refused.  Indeed, EWTN has been advised by priests, bishops, cardinals, saints, and by the current pope, that its position is false. And yet, even when chastised, criticized by Cardinals and the Pope himself, EWTN still has not relented.

So that, given Pro Lifer’s proven “stiff-necked”ness in the past, their obdurate and scandalous resistance to the truth for twenty years and more of radio “debate” on this issue, given their often even open refusal to obey even three Cardinals, and the Pope, finally there is little hope of simply converting anti-abortion leaders like EWTN, to the truth.  Sending EWTN our book there, will probably achieve nothing but merely forewarning this well-staffed enemy, of our arguments and tactics.  Therefore, rather than simply sending our book here to anti-abortionists,  the best strategy is now simply … going around this well-entrenched enemy of the Truth and the Church, and of God.  By taking this argument directly to EWTN’s immediate (if in the past, ineffective) superiors:  to the Bishops; but even more to the Cardinals, and the Pope himself, especially.  With proofs offered here, that the Church’s past milder actions have clearly failed; and with our demand here that therefore, the Church now take far, far more forceful and dramatic action against anti-abortionists.  Especially, anti-abortionists should be told that their stance, typically violates the ban by two Cardinals and the Pope, on “one issue,” dis “proportionate” Catholicism.  That therefore their position is a heresy.  And that therefore they should be convicted of heresy, and banned from presenting themselves for communion.

This book is in fact addressed in large part, to the Roman Catholic Church as a request, petition, for its action.  But then too of course, we l) wish to hereby present this entire book, to the American people as a whole – and to the whole world.   We offer this as a petition … and as a resource book.  So that at last, ordinary people and scholars will be able to see both sides of the abortion debate.  To defend themselves, to balance, the one-sided, one-issue rhetoric of legions of anti-abortion sophists.  With at last, a more effective response.  With more than one hundred arguments that at last, tell the other side of the story, from what they heard on EWTN.

This we finally offer up though, not just to the public, or just to the bishops; but m) all this we offer to, and request, of God:  in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.   

[A first version of this chapter, and accompanying text, was sent originally as E-mail, as a petition, to Pope Benedict XVI; E-mail returned.  And as a paper to Catholics for Choice, etc., c. March 09, 2009.]

Chapter 2

The Common Pro-Life,

Anti-Abortion Position

Defined:

God Says “Vote Anti-Abortion, Vote Republican”?;

The Common, Extreme

“One Issue” Catholicism

Of Karl Keating, EWTN, etc..

“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.  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 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 conclusion:   that the Church and God, were ordering them to vote Republican.

The idea that God was commanding us to vote Republican, was constantly implied on EWTN.  For example c) the radio constantly – and in this case, explicitly –  around 1997-2006, supported “conservative” ideas.  And opposed “liberals.”  While it is well known that the Republican Party is the conservative Party; and the Democrats, are more liberal.  Then too, d) EWRN especially, constantly supported countless Republican candidates and politicians by name; while attacking Democratic candidates and officeholders, constantly.  All this and more, made EWTN’s general allegiance with the rest of Right Wing talk radio, and Rush Limbaugh – and the conservative or Republican Party – clear enough.  Clearly, listeners were being told that the Church and God, were conservative; and it was clear enough therefore, that anti-abortionists were constantly, implicitly, ordering us to vote for the conservative party; antiabortionists were telling us that God was commanding us to vote Republican.  Even if this opinion was seldom openly, explicitly expressed – announcers were fairly careful about that; they did not want to violate IRS/non profit rules – still, it was clearly, constantly, overwhelming implied.  Especially on the radio branch of the EWTN Network; which seemed highly influenced by, eager to simply line up with, Rush Limbaugh’s radio extremism.

This therefore, was the train of ideas, that lead to one of the most deeply offensive and influential, false new theologies, of the last 100 years.  Following roughly the train of thinking outlined above, the public has been constantly told in effect, by Karl Keating and EWTN/RN, that God and the Catholic Church order us to vote Republican. 

This was a theology that has been no doubt extremely convenient to (if it was not engineered by) the Republican Party.  It meant that for some time, we have had a major Christian media network, telling Christians that the Church – and God – demands that we vote Republican in every election.  (If only EWTN could convince listeners that God wants us to drink Coke instead of Pepsi too). But finally of course, we will be showing here, that this radical anti-abortionism is indeed, all too convenient to just one of our political parties.  So that all this leads many of us to suspect that behind all this, behind the anti-abortion movement, is not God, but … the “traditions of men.”  Especially, behind it all, are some political philosophies.  Or most specifically, the political philosophy, of the Republican Party.  Which was presenting itself on EWTN in effect,  as God.

To be sure, networks and organizations like EWTN – “Eternal Word Television Network; and especially its radio branch, EWTN; “Eternal Word Radio Network” – rarely made the alleged necessity of voting Republican, absolutely clear or explicit.  Because anti-abortionists are often found within religious or non-profit organizations.  So that, under IRS rules for non-profit organizations (501 c 3’s,” typically), they cannot engage in politics. Legally, according to tax laws, they cannot just simply, flatly tell us to vote Republican. They cannot explicitly, openly, back a particular political candidate.  (Or try to influence ongoing legislation?).  The can’t do this legally, without losing their religious or nonprofit exemption, from paying many taxes.  But we will show here that while anti-abortion organizations only seldom, explicitly back one political party or candidate, they frame their assumptions and issues in such a way, that the listener is lead to this inevitable conclusion:   that the only party that stands right with God, is the Republican Party.  As outlined above.

No religious or non-profit agency, that gets special tax breaks from the government, can openly advocate any particular political party.  The IRS allows non-profit organizations to say, advocate general social “issues,” as they call them.  But not to speak in favor of specific political candidates, or specific parties.  Yet, anti-abortion organizations have long since found sly ways around such rules.  Without simply, openly telling us that we should vote Republican, the message was still clear enough.  From c. 1997 to 2005, the radio branch of EWTN especially, was overwhelmingly, constantly,  aa) supportive of a “conservative” position.  While it was well known that the more conservative party in America, was the Republican one.  And then too, EWRN for example was explicitly bb) critical of “Democrats” and cc) “liberals.”  All of which means that, in America, that EWTN occupied the very same position, as the Republican Party.

Indeed, dd) the EWTN network – especially with Karl Keating at the helm – constantly supported by name, dozens of Republican candidates and officials, like George Bush I and II.  Supporting them ee) over “Democrats,” and specifically-named persons like Hillary Clinton.  Sometimes based on their stand on “issues” like abortionism; but often, not.

Ultimately, though EWRN for example, claimed to be centered solely around “issues” like abortion, and to be neutral as regards politics, and specific parties and candidates, finally this anti-abortionist radio network, its talk show hosts and lay guests, ended up conspicuously, continuously, supporting Republicans over Democrats.  Even explicitly. And overwhelmingly:   by a factor say, of at least thirty to one.  (As this writer knows personally, from having listened to hundreds of shows, c. 1998-2004-2008).  Though the network seldom if ever announced itself as an adjunct of the Republican Party, it would seem fairly easy for a good college professor, trained in media Content Analysis or some such, to prove statistically, that EWRN especially, c. 1995-2005, overwhelming supported all the descriptive details of the Republican Party, over the issues of the Democratic party; by a factor of easily, ten to one.  Probably, 100 to 1.  So that statistics should show, that the network effectively supported not just a social “issue,” but also, overwhelmingly, a political party.  And a political philosophy.  Whose political and philosophical – as opposed to religious – character, is confirmed here.  Not only as we begin to note that  EWTN’s anti-abortionism fits the Republican agenda; but also as we show that its position does not fit the Bible, or the real sayings of the Church itself.

But just tallying up favorable references to Republicans, on EWRN, vs. unfavorable references of Democrats, would be enough to show an overwhelming bias in favor of conservative Republicans.  And to demonstrate that the anti-abortion movement, as exemplified by EWRN, typically had a barely-disguised political affiliation and purpose.  Even though there are some liberal (and possibly even Democratic) priests that appear occasionally on a network like EWRN, the regular staffers, the talk show hosts, were essentially copying Protestant evangelical political predecessors, like Pat Robertson. And like Pat, the talk show hosts on EWTN were clearly affiliated with the Republican party, in their leanings.  Indeed, since they constantly presented themselves as “conservatives,” and attacked “liberals,” they essentially identified themselves with the right, “conservative,” patriotic, militaristic wing of the Republican party. “Conservative” and “liberal,” in this era (c. 1995-2007) were essentially code words for Republican, vs. Democrat.

s)       Statistics alone therefore, of Republican descriptors, are undoubtedly enough to show that most anti-abortionist networks like EWRN, in effect, backed one political party:   the Republican Party.  But as a matter of fact, though most of the time anti-abortion media have been aware of the IRS rules, now and then they, in moments of indiscretion, may even explicitly tell people they must simply, vote Republican. 

 

t)       Ultimately therefore the anti-abortion movement, as exemplified by EWRN and Karl Keating, constantly lead millions of Catholics, inevitably, to this fatally simplistic conclusion: that the Bible, and God, were ordering to vote Republican.  More specifically, it was claimed that all this was also absolutely ordered, dictated, by a careful examination of holy Catholic doctrines.  By an examination of Catholic teachings, which are variously called it “doctrines,” “dogma,” “Tradition,” its “canon” “law”; its “Magisterium”; the definitive “sayings” and commands, of Popes and Saints.   

Our main subject here in fact:  anti-abortionists typically tell us that God himself, the Church, the Bible, command us to oppose abortion.  But our main point here will be that this common claim, is simply, false.

Still, anti-abortion organizations like especially Eternal Word Radio Network – EWRN – were able to make their claim to religious foundation, seem plausible; partially since EWRN for example, employs or draws on the writings and work of dozens of professional religious sophists, “apologists.”  On dozens of people whose job it essentially was, to find and quote those parts of Catholic tradition that seemed to support the anti-abortion position.  And if there were any parts of Catholic tradition that did not support EWRN’s political opinions?  Then these anti-abortionist activists and polemicists, simply “twist”ed and massaged those parts around.  Until they finally seemed to support a strong Pro Life position.  

 

u)      All this was done, in an extremely coercive way.  Since all this was now said to have been declared by the Bible and by the Church, this pro-Republican anti-abortionism, was also constantly presented simply as “The Truth.” (A favorite phrase of EWRN regular Fr. John Corapi, for example).  Anti-abortionism, we were constantly told, was simply the absolute holy truth.

 

v)      And then the Bible was searched, for those few parts of the Bible, that could be used to support this position.  While any dissenting parts, any parts of the Bible that did not seem to support anti-abortionism, were simply left out, or twisted.  By infinitely clever, lawyerly apologists.  

 

w)    And so finally, the Pro Life position, anti-abortionism – and the alleged necessity of voting Republican in every election –  was presented to everyone, as the word of God;

 

x)      Against which there could be no appeal, no argument; it is “non negotiable.”

 

This finally, is the devastatingly authoritarian – and deeply offensive – conclusion of the anti-abortion movement.  Ultimately, anti-abortionists presume to speak for or even as, God.  They typically say that the Bible and the Church – God – commands us to vote Republican, in every election.  This conclusion was constantly said to be so firm, that finally, it was constantly implied, you cannot be considered a Catholic, or even a Christian, unless you vote Republican, in every election.

God says “vote Republican.”  This, we were constantly told in effect, implicitly, was absolutely certain.  Extreme anti-abortionism, voting entirely according to the “one issue” of abortion, was the command of God.  Voting for any political candidate that supported abortion – or for a candidate who merely supported related issues, like stem-cell research – was declared to be totally impermissible.  And against God himself.  Abortion was said to be “murder.”  On the air, we were constantly told by Karl Keating and God – apparently one and the same – that abortion was totally wrong.  And since it was so totally wrong, since it was the greatest evil there ever was, or the greatest evil that we see today, we were assured constantly that no compromise on this was possible.  As Karl Keating constantly said, voting against pro-abortion candidates, was a “non-negotiable.”  A phrase to be sure, that is not found in the Bible itself.  But a phrase trumpeted again and again, by various religious anti-abortion networks, like EWRN, as the word of God.

To be sure, all this is deeply offensive to many truly religious people.  Some might have wondered, who made Karl Keating, Attny., our pope.  Who officially gave Karl Keating and EWTN, the right to speak for the Church?  Or for that matter, who ever made Karl Keating and EWTN, the voice of  God?

Indeed, for many, nothing can match the religious presumptuousness, the cheek, the nerve, of one or two attorneys and a radio network, telling us that they were the voice of God. And that God ordered us to vote Republican in ever election.  But EWRN network made sure, that any listeners who called in to question all this, who criticized the network or its views, were quickly hung up on.  Only fans of EWRN and anti-abortionism, were really allowed on the air for any length of time.  Only supporters were allowed free rein, given the final word, on EWRN’s religious talk shows.  All other callers, were curtly hung up on.

[Elements of the radically anti-abortion position are continually reaffirmed by EWRN, on literally thousands of occasions.  In just one random, recent example among many, elements of this were once again summarized by EWTN’s “Assist. President of Theology,” Mr. Colin Donovan S.T.L, on his show, 3:12 PM ff. Central Time, March. 5, 2010.  There Colin once again affirmed among other things, the thesis that abortion involved the deaths of millions of human beings; and that therefore the issue of abortion outweighs all other issues.  That we do not in effect, need to follow Jesus, and take care of the Health Care of the poor and sick; that is an unimportant issue, compared to saving embryos.]

What the Bible,

And the Catholic Church.

Really Say

Pro Life anti-abortionists have claimed for some time that their personal philosophy, is the voice of the Church, and of God.  But we will be showing here, that any very strong or adamant Pro Life position, any antiabortionism that insists that we must vote Republican or anti-abortion in elections, was actually, clearly, condemned by the Church itself.   Here we will be showing that focusing so narrowly on the single issue of abortion, is exactly and precisely,  the “one issue” Catholicism, which has been condemned by many Bishops and Cardinals.  In fact, the excessive focus, fixation on abortion,  was condemned finally, by the Pope himself.  Though the Cardinal Joe Ratzinger – who is our current Pope, Benedict XVI – a) unfortunately seemed to offer remarks that allow for the excommunication of politicians who publicly support  (a serious mistake, as we will show here), he also said, very pointedly and explicitly, in his 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive,” that b) there can be “proportionate”ly more important things, issues than abortion to consider, when voting in elections for example; and that therefore c) voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted” (Appendix I).

Given the fact that the cardinals and the Pope, were against anti-abortionism, some might well have wondered, how a private individual, an attorney like Karl Keating, could have been allowed to present so many false things as the word of the Church and of God, without the Church itself finally stepping in.  It is hard to see how EWTN could have been allowed to say the things they do, before an audience of millions, year in and year out … without someone objecting.  Perhaps the problem has been that the Catholic Church itself for example, is not really sure of its own position. Indeed, there are indications for and against abortion, in the history of religion and ethics and science. But if so, then we here offer some guidance to the Church.  By showing that there is definitely not enough material in the Christian tradition especially, to support any very strong or adamant anti-abortion theology.  Here we will show, for example, that a) the Bible itself does not really support such a view.  As the Bible itself does not consider the embryo fully “form”ed in the womb (Ps. 139); and indeed the Bible even has God ordering a priest administering a “dust” or powder, that would often induce an abortion, and sterilization, in the biblical book of Numbers, Ch. 5.  Nor does b) ancient Catholic tradition really support anti-abortionism; since two major theologians – and saints; St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas – suggested, following Ps. 139,  that the very young embryo for example, was not sufficiently “form”ed, to have a human mind or “soul.”

Given contraindications in the Bible itself, and in much of Church tradition furthermore, finally, c) recently, the leadership Church did partially step in against EWTN’s and/or anti-abortionism, it seems.  When again, around 2004 for example, the future Pope or “Holy Father,” Cardinal Joe Ratzinger, said, in a memo to the USCCB (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), that focusing just on one issue like, specifically, abortion, was bad.  The Pope saying that the Pro Life position was bad, in that it ignored other, “proportionate”ly important issues.  So that the future Pope himself, Benedict XVI himself, finally told Catholics explicitly, that voting for pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted” (Card. Joe Ratzinger, 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive”).   So that EWTN & Karl Keating’s antiabortion beliefs, have often been directly against the Pope himself. And the saints.

Against the anti-abortionists, the current Pope himself, no less, told us that we did not have to vote for anti-abortion candidates.  Furthermore, d) all this was confirmed by other major leaders in the Church.  As when the head of the USCCB, Cardinal McCarrick, for example (c. 2007?), condemned such “one issue” Catholicism.  This particular cardinal also criticized the over-emphasis on abortion in elections; for assigning too much importance, to just one of many issues.  Cardinal McCarrick we will see, and/or others, also explicitly said that the Church was “not telling you how to vote.” Though indeed, Cardinal McCarrick and others like Bishop Steib, began to firmly censure any extreme fixation just on a single issue; like abortion. Because they said, concentrating just on a single evil or aspect of life, neglects many other important things.  As Cardinal McCarrick and others were to say, a given political candidate might be “with us” on one issue (like a mild stance against abortion?),  but then be “against us,” against the Church, on other important matters.

Christianity itself, the Bible itself, The Church itself therefore, do not firmly, unequivocally support the Pro Life position that so many have assured us is the holy word of God.  Indeed, in our present book here, in a sense we will essentially, simply, piously support the Bible and the Pope and the Cardinals said, against EWTN/RN and other anti-abortionist organizations and individuals.  All you have to do to oppose anti-abortionism, is to be loyal to the Bible and the Church.  Here we will show over and over, that whatever Karl Keating and EWRN claimed, the Bible and the Church themselves do not support any very adamant Pro Life position at all.  In fact, two or three cardinals – and then finally, our current “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI – constantly warned several times, about any such dis “proportionate” focus on just “one issue,” like abortion.  While regarding specifically, the major organ for anti-abortionism worldwide?  ETWN; Eternal Word Television Network?  The Cardinals even warned even about EWTN/RN specifically it seems. Note particularly, Cardinal Mahony’s rather public war with EWTN founder and head, Mother Angelica, c. 1997-2001. And Mahony’s statement to the effect that persons without adequate training in theology had been given access to media, and were spreading false theologies around.  Which was taken by some to be an attack on mainstream secular media; but which is just as well taken as an attack on the new presumptuous secular/”Catholic” media networks, like EWTN/RN and Relevant Radio.  So that  not only the anti-abortion “theology,” but also the major organization that promoted it – EWTN/RN – have apparently often criticized by the Church itself; condemned by at least one Cardinal or two.  And arguably, by the Pope himself.

Disproportionate, “one issue” anti-abortionism therefore, has been rather firmly condemned, we will show, by the Bible; by the saints and Church Tradition; and by many of our current Cardinals; and by “Our Holy Father,” Benedict XVI too.  That would seem to end the case, and put EWTN permanently out of business.  But EWTN and other allied organizations have managed to continue, due to various dishonest practices; like false on-air “debates” that pretend to represent both sides of the question, but that never really, fairly do that at all.  As we will see, the rhetoric on EWTN is extremely one-sides, and dishonest.

So how can we stop this?  Here we will have begun to note to Christians, that EWTN and the conservative anti-abortion position are not really backed by the Bible, or the Church.  But in addition to these other authoritative opponents of the movement, we will also note here, e) that there is one more testimony to the evils in pronouncing anti-abortionism holy:  the poisonous practical, physical results or “fruits” of it.  Specifically, remember, the reason that several cardinals and a pope, began to speak against the one-issue fixation, is that it ignores too many other, perhaps “proportionate”ly worse evils.  Anti-abortionists, by just looking at the embryo, ignore so many other important issues … and allow many other evils to grow.  And indeed, the results or dangerous outcome of narrow anti-abortionism today, begins to fully justify the cardinals’, the Pope’s warnings, against the movement.  The anti-abortion movement in effect, ended up electing countless conservative/ pro-military, nationalistic right wing Republicans in America, 1980-2007.  “Conservative” Republicans that to be sure, opposed the relatively minor sin or abortion … but neglected other, far more important issues.  Like aa) avoiding unnecessary wars.  (We would argue that Iraq and Afghanistan are “just,” but unnecessary).  And those who we “good” on abortion, also were bad on other issues; like bb) preventing environmental disasters like floods (in New Orleans and the tsunami in Indonesia).  And bad about cc) cc) helping the poor, with Welfare and so forth.  And bad about – one of Jesus’ most central causes –  dd) helping the sick.  In 2009/10, “conservative” Republicans, were “good” on protecting the embryo … but not so good at all, in protecting poor minorities and adults, from disease:  in 2009-10, Republicans voted, 98% or so, against extending health insurance, better health care coverage, to 30 millions uninsured Americans. Even though Jesus himself had constantly emphasized these issues; even though helping the poor and the sick, was part of the very core of Jesus’ message.   “Conservatives” some might say were “good” on protecting embryos and clumps of cells; but bad on avoiding the environmental disasters and lack of health care, that no doubt, killed tens of millions from lack of good health care.  And that might kill hundreds of millions more; if we don’t begin to pay attention to the bigger picture; to what Jesus really talked most about.  Not doubt, many millions have died from neglect of the many other important issues, besides abortion.  So that anti-abortionism is not only a heresy, from the religious point of view; it is also, in many respects, literally, physically fatal.  (Some argue that the embryo is human; so that abortion is also very fatal to millions; but we argue here that the embryo does not seem adequately human at all; because it does not have full human intelligence, or “spirit”).

One-issue theologies like Anti-abortionism can kill – and we will show, have already killed – many millions; even billions of human being.  And so, the bad practical, material effects of the Pro Life movement, were not so good.  (In part, we will add by the way, this came about because of the movement’s far too narrow definition of “life”; which saw and honored the physical life only of embryos, but not adults.  And not the Life of the whole ecological system.)

But to be sure, we will not stress here, just the physically fatal disasters that have already come, from neglect of other aspects of life.  A merely practical, prudent approach – being concerned with saving physical lives of millions of adults – often carries little weight among such religious fanatics and cultists. Such people typically, listen only to purely religious- or Bible-based arguments’; arguments based on religious texts.  And so therefore, to be sure, our present book will note in passing, as part of our argument, many awful practical disasters that have already been caused by neglect of other – say, Democratic – issues; like the environment, and so forth.  But our book will base itself, in even larger part, on ethical and religious arguments.  Arguments derived from … the core authorities of Christianity.  On especially, the Bible itself.  And then, for Catholic, Catholic “Tradition” with a capital “T”; Catholic doctrines, dogmas, canon laws, the sayings of saints; the doctrines; the Magisterium; the Cardinals and the current Pope.

The practical disasters caused by narrow on-issue theologies, are bad enough.  But for those who will not listen to Reason, we will cite religious arguments; we will cite religious tradition.  Here we will have begun to show for instance that Karl Keating, EWRN’s radically “conservative” views, for example, were not entirely consistent with the entire Bible.  And for that matter – ironically, devastatingly, for a “Catholic” radio network – EWTN’s view were eventually criticized by many (if not all) Bishops – and then by at least two or three Cardinals. EWTN’s radical anti-abortionism was ironically, criticized by one cardinal after another … including the cardinal that was soon to become the Pope; Benedict XVI.   So that finally, EWTN and the “Catholic” Pro Life position, do not have a leg to stand on.  Finally we will show, their position must simply, officially, be declared a heresy. And all those who continue to hold is, should be publicly criticized by the Church itself, and then refused communion:  anti-abortionists should be excommunicated, as they call this:  kicked out of the Church.  (Ironically, the same remedy they have already had applied to their opponents, like Rep. Pat Kennedy (Dem. RI).

The reasons for excommunicating anti-abortionists are clear.  Indeed, after a) EWTN founder Mother Angelica suggested on air, that Cardinal Mahony was wrong about theological matters (c. 1997?  See our remarks on Mahony here); after b) the Vatican, Cardinal Ratzinger of the CDF (Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith) said that voting for pro-abortion politicians “can be permitted”; you would think the many various anti-abortion organizations like EWTN and Fr. Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life,” would simply have been shut down; as indeed, they should have been.  By the time of the 2004 memo, it should have at last become obvious to everyone, that the Church did not back any very strong anti-abortion position.  And EWTN and Frank Pavone, should simply have ceased operation.  And/or the Church itself should have stepped in to shut them down.  But unfortunately, these corrective measures did not happen.  For several reasons we are exploring here.  In part because EWTR remained on the air; and convinced listeners to keep sending money, contributions.  Since EWTN dishonestly, does not adequately tell its listeners about EWTN’s rebellion against the Cardinals, and the Pope, listeners keep funding it.

Unfortunately, the institutional power of the new conservative coalition, is huge. And few Catholics really know that EWTN/RN and related organizations and even priests, are not really working with the Church and God, but against them. So that already, significant damage had been done.  And more is expected.  Already, these dishonest institutions have done immense damage to the truth of the Church and of God.  And for that matter, to the political process, and the national integrity and security of the United States of America and the world. While anti-abortionism protects embryos, it kills many grown children and adults, through neglect of other issues.  The narrow focus of anti-abortionism ignores so many other important issues, that it will undoubtedly have done significant damage, to the welfare of the poor and the sick, of America, and of the whole world.  The Pro Life movement elected many conservative Republicans that worshiped and revered and protected the embryo … but who were not so good in getting alone with our “enemies”; not so good at avoiding unnecessary wars, worldwide.  Conservative anti-abortionists protected – indeed worshipped – the embryo. But their continued obsessive, fixated, narrow focus just on the embryo finally neglects – and seriously endangers – the rest of the whole, living population of the earth; currently six billion human beings. Just as the Cardinals warned, anti-abortionists see and respect the embryo; but they criminally neglected dozens of others; (often Democratic) issues.  Like the care of the poor and sick.  The major issues of Jesus himself. Even though Jesus himself spoke continuously about helping the poor and the sick, even today, 2009/10, anti-abortionists like Sheila Liaugminas seem willing to block universal health care, helping the poor and sick, if such legislation backs abortion. Sheila letting the one issue of abortion, cancel out more help for the sick and poor; cancel out, the main issue of Jesus himself.  So that finally the new EWTN anti-abortion cult cannot even be said to be Christian; since it no longer really follows Jesus Christ.  Since it ignores, neglects things spoken of hundreds of times by Jesus; to follow an issue never mentioned specifically by name in the Bible itself; not even once.

The new embryo cult therefore, is not even really Christian; it violates one Christian principle and authority after another. While aside from its baselessness with regard to religious authority, finally, we will show that its practical consequences or “fruits” are even far worse.  Finally, it is the narrowness of the growing anti-abortion cult, that has already cost many lives; and that puts the entire future of mankind at risk.  Though the movement’s blinkered neglect, for example, of environmental disasters, like floods, plagues, famines.  All of which are neglected, by Mother Angelica’s allegedly “compassionate” but all-too- narrow focus, just on the single issue, of the embryo.  

Effects in the Political Sphere:

EWTN Encourages Religious Terrorism

Mother Angelica and Karl Keating’s narrow ideas, have influenced millions of people, votes, in America, and worldwide.  Because their views were broadcast worldwide, over an extensive media network (EWTN/RN; and related organizations), the Pro Life movement, was able to throw one election after another, into the conservative camp.

Karl Keating and his EWTN show, “Catholic Answers Live,” was especially responsible for this.  For more than a decade, even before the many versions of his Voting Guide began to appear, his distinctive, radical, mono-maniacal, single-issue emphasis on abortion, had already become the prevailing, distinctive message on Eternal Word Radio Network.  On this network,  the issue of abortion was (and still is?) constantly repeated; usually at least a dozen times a day; even a hundred times. Abortion was spoken of often, for a half hour or more, every other day.  Protecting the embryo was undoubtedly, the main, distinctive message of Mother Angelica, and EWTN network.  There is no doubt:  though EWTN/RN pretended to cover many aspects of Christian and Catholic life, its central and most distinctive message, was just this one issue.  Which was we find here, a heresy.

The anti-abortion movement was a heresy.  And worse, this heresy was broadcast to hundreds of millions of potential listeners.  Millions of often uneducated Catholic Hispanic and Irish Catholic women were told, dozens of times a day and even more, that God himself had firmly us that abortion was hugely evil:   according they claimed, to the Bible itself; according to the Catholic Church itself; and according to God himself. And therefore it was constantly said, this one, single issue – abortion – should be the one issue that that is supposed to dominate our lives.  Especially, it was the issue that was supposed to outweigh all other issues, and determine our vote, in every election.  As Karl Keating, attny., constantly assured us.  And this heresy has some very effective resources available to it:  the entire resources of the EWTN media network, made it a most  effective megaphone.  So that Mother Angelica and Karl Keating and Frank Pavone, eventually convinced millions that their extreme, narrow view of God and life, was the whole, the “full,” the complete, the real vision of the Church, and of God.  The Church was the “fullness of truth” they (incorrectly) claimed; and so their anti-abortionism was all we needed to know in the voting booth.  Or more specifically, we needed to know that the Republican Party was the most anti-abortion party.  So that God was telling us to vote Republican.  The continuous implicit – if not (due to IRS rules) often explicit – message.

God tells us to vote Republican:  this was the real, deeper message, repeated at least a dozen times a day, of the movement.  When we go to vote, we were constantly told that the only issue that we should really consider, is the candidate’s stand on abortion.  It did not matter what a candidate said or did about any other evils.  It did not matter how good candidates were in other spheres (like the subject of the war in Iraq and the killing of innocent civilians in that war).  We were firmly told over and over, obsessively, by Karl Keating and (Fr.? Dr.?) Colin Donovan especially, that no other issue could ever really be as important as their issue. Because, they claimed, no other issue was a “life issue”; no other issue involved the lives of human beings (an incorrect assertion we find here; given the many lives at risk in environmental disasters). It was said that abortion demanded our most concentrated attention … because only it involved human lives.  And because in fact it involved a sin as massive as “murder.”  In effect they claimed, since the embryo was a human being, killing it was murder.  And since millions of embryos were killed, that meant it was mass murder; the killing of tens of millions of human beings, human persons.  So that finally, because of the immensity of this sin, no political candidate could be supported or voted for finally, if he or she did not firmly, absolutely oppose, abortion.  It did not matter it seems, if the candidate started lots of wars that killed lots of people.  Or if a candidate withheld health care from millions, leading to their deaths from disease; all these things, we were constantly assured, paled into insignificance, compared to the One Supreme Issue:  Abortion. And the Holy Embryo.  Indeed, the issue was so important than some callers voiced to the conclusion on EWRN  (c. 2007/8; just before the assassination of Dr. Tiller), that people were justified in killing abortion doctors.  Though the movement technically denounced this view, by its own logic, such a conclusion was inevitable and almost irrefutable.  So that  soon enough, (a good EWRN listener?) soon actually murdered an abortion doctor, Dr. Tiller.  While not long after that, Fr. Frank Pavone was so helpful, as to repeat to other Relevant Radio listeners, the addresses of other major abortion doctors, in the US.

Finally, the very, very extreme message was reaching its inevitable, logical conclusion. If 1) embryos were full human beings, then 2) killing embryos, deliberately killed an innocent human being; therefore 3) abortionists were murders.  Indeed, 4) since many embryos were killed, abortion was mass murder.  And therefore 5) since it is considered ethical in some frameworks, to kill a murder, to save lives, then finally … EWTN and Frank Pavone, without every making their final conclusion explicit, lead the EWTN anti-abortion cult to its extreme but inevitable conclusion:  6) since abortion was mass murder, therefore, it was OK to murder abortion doctors.  (See Relevant Radio, the month of Dec. 2009,  backing the “Manhattan” Declaration; which insists that indeed, it is not licit to obey an unjust law; and implicitly that laws protecting abortion doctors from being murdered, for example, might well be ignored?).  Though this last conclusion was explicitly denounced on the network, many listeners rightly concluded that this murderous conclusion was inevitable; given the logic of all the earlier assertions by the network.  If you believe the major points of the movement, then there is no escaping this final, murderous conclusion.  Even the Church itself allows taking violent action to stop a murder, often.  As many call-in listeners pointed out.

The Recent Perversion of the Church

And American Values and National Integrity

EWTN and Frank Pavone’s extremist views, have lead inevitably, recently, to encouraging a new kind of religious terrorism:  to inspiring anti-abortionist murders, and assassination.  Including most recently, not just the bombing of many abortion clinics, but most recently the murder of Dr. Tiller, c. 2008/9, for example.   But even before these latest extreme, evil “fruits,” the movement had already, long since encouraged one sin after another.  First of all, not only was anti-abortionism 1) encouraging a heresy; it was 2) a heresy that was already becoming more and more influential.  So that its lies were becoming more and more widely believed.  Indeed, 3) by 1994 or so, the movement was in the process of taking over the Church itself.

Did this movement take over the Church itself?  We will have noted that after all, there have been many, many priests appearing on EWTN; many of whom it turns were seduced by it; by media glamour and fame, and the mantle of being  the prophet and crusading public figure. As it turns out, many priests were seduced, egged on by EWTN’s clever apologists and talk show hosts and staffers, to final put aside more equivocal theologizing; to simply, adamantly, crusade for a single issue.  To come up with a few simple, dramatic positions.  And to try to make Christianity “relevant” at last;  by demanding that we all act on these simple ideas, in “everyday life.” (To echo one of the main mottoes of “Relevant Radio”; a modest but significant network of a dozen or so radio stations.  “Bridging the gap between faith and everyday life.” The problem being, that this is a huge gap; and a deliberate one by the Church in part; since there are many details in life the Bible did not have room to address; so that the Bible did not tell us whether to drink Coca Cola or Pepsi.  But fools rush in where angels fear to tread; and Relevant Radio quickly crosses the sacred boundary between religion and everyday life).  By demanding for example, that we vote on the basis of these questionable theological theories.

Anti-abortion, pro-life politics to be sure, most normal people correctly saw, lead to very extreme conclusion.  The views supported by Karl Keating and EWTN, we find now, were obviously far too narrow, extreme, and unbalanced.  And so it should come as no surprise to hear that when things came to a head around the time of the  2004 election or so (?), when it became clear that EWTN or even the Church itself, were attempting to manipulate the c. 2002-2004 elections in America, at last, all this came under a little more public scrutiny.  Karl Keating’s extreme voting guide in particular, was soon rightly, lampooned by, at least some of the press, (around the time particularly of the 2002 or 2004 election? His voting Guide was put up against an imaginary one for “unconcerned Catholics”, and so forth? Check the Internet for references).  Yet still, EWTN by that time, had been pushing Karl Keating’s views for many years. And it did not really back away from them, even under fire.  Even when the Pope himself told EWTN in effect, it was wrong:  that voting for pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted.”

The Pro Life antiabortion movement, has been huge; it is tied to many hundreds of allied organizations in the Conservative Coalition; and many anti-abortionist speakers and individuals.  So that for several decades, the movement has had enough institutional power, to effectively, control America itself.  Due to the efforts of Mother Angelica, Karl Keating, EWTN, Fr. Frank Pavone, and others, various degrees of religious anti-abortion sentiment, have convinced millions of Christians to cast their votes for Republican candidates. Thus determining the course of America; and of the world.

Anti-abortionism to be sure,  ironically, has until today, never been quite strong enough to achieve its major (alleged) objective:  it has never managed to make abortion illegal.  Still, the “conservative”/anti-abortion voting block (usually about 19% of the voting populace), historically has thrown enough votes into the conservative Republican hat, to determine the course of countless minor and major elections, in America.  In one election after another, from around 1980 to 2007, the “conservative” Pro Life or anti-abortion movement, helped elect one pro-war Republican after another, to office.  From Ronald Reagan in 1980-88; to Bush I in 1988-92; and most recently Bush II, who ruled America from 2000-2008.  In the brief interval in which the Republican Party did not control the presidency itself  – as it did not, in Dem. Bill Clinton’s presidency, 1992-2000 – still, anti-abortionism and Republicanism, still controlled Congress.  The anti-abortion vote contributing to a significant Republican majority in Congress, even during Bill Clinton’s presidency.  While anti-abortionism could never achieve its major aim – outlawing abortion again – it had however, helped build the Republican Party, and the Conservative Coalition.  And to back its “issues.”  Even though to be sure, those issues often did not seem very Christian, or Christlike.  (The Republican Party for example, refusing to “love your enemy”; preferring to go to war with them).

Claiming to speak for God, made the voice of  networks like EWTN, far, far more effective than anyone would have thought just from the ratings statistics of the various radio and TV stations (Arbitron ratings and so forth?).  The new Catholic radio stations presented themselves not as what they were – simple private individuals voicing their private opinions on the Church; and/or a few rebellious priests edging away from the Church – but as the definitive word of the Church, and of God.  And so many people gave these networks, far, far more attention than they deserved; attributed to them far, far more authority than they actually had.

The Pro Life movement has therefore been incredibly effective; though ironically, in achieving dozens of ultimately non- and even anti-Christian objectives.  Mother Angelica, Karl Keating, EWTN, and their one-issue theology of anti-abortionism, have determined one election after another in America, for nearly 30 years. Electing one “conservative” Republican after another into office.  And after the movement thus dominated America, America in turn finally dominated the whole world.  So that for some time,  the theology of conservative anti-abortionists  have controlled the world.  Even though – as we are showing here – anti-abortion theology is substantially false.  Even though it cannot be supported by the Bible itself.  Even though it is not even consistent with Catholic doctrine. And for that matter …

… Even though Karl Keating is a lawyer.  And Jesus himself once said, “woe to you, lawyers” (Luke 11.45-52).  And his complaint against them, and the Pharisees?  Was that precisely, they tended to focus on the “letter” of the “law”; while ignoring other, weightier measures (Mat. 23.23, 2 Corin. 3.6, etc.).

[Regarding Karl Keating, specifically?  It is said that Karl Keating, attny., the main voice behind one-issue anti-abortionism, has become a “deacon.”  But for many centuries, from the start, permanent deacons were not allowed in the Western church; the diaconate was conferred only as a temporary step, while waiting to become a priest.  This was tentatively changed by Pope Paul VI, June 27, 1967, in Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem.  However, there were objections and reservations to allowing permanent deacons.  And such a status it seems, is in any case to be granted, according to local Bishops and their own authority.  While a Deacon is to be under the authority of priests and bishops.  Here were suggest that if Karl Keating’s deaconate is with the Catholic Church, his deaconate should be reviewed. And that a bishop should firmly instruct him to discontinue his one-issue anti-abortionism.  While finally, in light of our experience with Karl Keating, though he began his Deaconate after his many errors, we request that the Catholic Church review the new, experimental, permanent Deaconate program. Though to be sure, perhaps Karl’s message has been moderated, since entering?]

The fatally narrow, unbalanced theology of (Pat Robertson and?) Mother Angelica, in fact, has dominated the Church, and America, and the whole world, for years.  While recently, though a Democrat – Obama – was finally elected President in 2008, this false theology shows signs of being about to take over the Catholic Church itself.

This extreme movement’s narrow ideas, long since began to backwash into the Church itself;  and is even now, partially taking over the hierarchy of the Church.  For decades, the anti-abortion networks like EWTN, constantly begged, egged on Bishops to support its position.  And with the network’s clever think tank of apologists and talk show hosts, constantly advancing sophistical arguments to sell their positions, eventually more and more Bishops were seduced. Eventually even bishops – like Bishop Chaput and Archbishop Burke for example – began to appear on EWTN.  To support major elements (even implicitly, all) of EWTN’s fatally narrow philosophy.

With more and more bishops recently endorsing the new heresy, it appears that this new heresy is poised to all-but-inevitably take over the Church itself.  Especially when EWTN darling and protégé Bishop Burke, was appointed to a major court in the Vatican itself, c. 2008.

And as the cult of the embryo takes over the Church, we begin to see more and more aggressive attempts by the new Republican Catholic Church, the cult of Fetus, to manipulate and control elections and politics, domestic affairs, in American and in the world.  By 1980 the issue of abortion was already controlling elections. By c. 1988, the Church itself was increasingly directly involved in attempting to determine the course of elections in America.  Particularly, it had been applied with regard to the candidacy of especially, Catholic politicians; like 1) Sen. Gary Hart around 1988, and then later in the presidential candidacy of 2) Sen. John Kerry around 2004In those races, we already heard voices claiming to represent the Church, that any Catholic politician who publicly stood up for abortion, could and should be refused communion.  And if these voices usually stopped short of flatly telling Catholics not to vote for these – Catholic but Democratic – candidates, that was already an apparent logical implication of the anti-abortionist argument.  So that no doubt, the Catholic and Fundamentalist anti-abortion vote, had a great deal to do with the defeat of – to cite two random examples – these two possible or actual Catholic but Democratic candidates for the American presidency, for example.

For many years, various voices from the Church itself apparently – urged onward, by the new half-religious, half-political “Catholic” radio networks – have been quite successful in manipulating the political process in America.  Even though it seems that the Church, by various treaties and laws, is not supposed to interfere with foreign governments, or elections, outside Vatican walls. (See our remarks on the Lateran Treaty,  IRS rules for non-profits, and various laws and rules governing nations like the Vatican itself). In particular, the Church has allowed a voice representing itself as the voice of the Church – and therefore, as the voice of God – to tell us that God was commanding us not to vote for Democrats, in effect.   Most recently,  3) the alleged right of the Church to excommunicate prominently pro-abortion political candidates, was to be sure in part, reaffirmed by Cardinal Joe Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI’s 2004 memo; indeed this memo was more fully entitles, “Worthiness to Receive Communion”; and asserted precisely, the alleged right of the Church, bishops, to refused to administer communion, to excommunicate, Democratic politicians that publicly supported abortion. This made sure that 2004 Democratic candidate John Kerry was defeated in 2004.  While the anti-Democratic effort continues today. As recently as around Oct. or Nov. 28, 2009, US congressman Rep. Patrick Kennedy (Dem. R.I.) announced that two years previously, in 2007, his own Bishop (Bishop Tobin, of Providence RI?) had sent him a letter, advising this prominent Democrat, to reconsider continuing to present himself at his Catholic Church for communion.  Effectively excommunicating him.  Kennedy rightly replied to be sure.  By reminding the Bishop that after all, Democrats backed other important “issues”; like universal health care, helping the poor and the sick.  (As no doubt Pat’s more famous relative, Sen. Ted Kennedy, tried to remind the Church; asking apparently unsuccessfully for forgiveness or other, before he died in 2009).  Yet to date the Catholic Church is increasingly dominated by the political philosophy of Republican conservatives.  And all such pleadings have been ignored, denied, turned down.

This new heresy, this new Tradition of Men therefore, this republican Catholicism, the heresy of one-issue anti-abortionism – or favoring only Republican “issues” – has not really disappeared.  When American EWTN protégé/darling/stooge, archbishop Burke went to the Vatican to head a major court in the Vatican itself, c. 2008/9, that marked the ascendancy, almost the apotheosis or deification, of the Pro Life heresy.  So that we can expect to see this same effort appear again and again in the future.  And to succeed in making sure Democrats do not get elected.  Just as in the past.  Unless or until, we and others can get the Church to begin to see the narrowness and political bias, in more and more Catholics, priest, and now even … archbishops.

To be sure, while the current Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2004 memo, mistakenly re-affirmed the possibility of excommunicating those who prominently back abortion, overall, Joe Ratzinger has also tried to balance out his views; allowing that after all, the bottom line is true too:  focusing too much just on one issue, ignores “proportionate”ly more important things; including after all we clarify here, Democratic issues.  So that voting for pro-abortion candidates, surprisingly, “can be permitted” (Card. Joe Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, “Worthiness to Receive Communion”; our Appendix I). The “Holy Father” finally taking into consideration of, after all, more important things than embryos.  The things Democrats look at.  Like health care; helping the poor.  Like avoiding the biblically-verified wars, and “plagues” and “famines” and other environmental disasters, that have already historically killed hundreds of millions of human persons. And that could potentially destroy the whole earth, and all of mankind.

Proportionately, there are therefore many far, far more important things than, than the embryo, and abortion. So that the continuing partisanship of much of the Catholic Church in America, its continued bias for the “conservative” or “Republican” Party, and only its “issues,” like abortion, is therefore, not indicated by the current Pope, Benedict XVI.  Who for that matter, is today sometimes known as the “Green Pope.”  For his advocacy of environmental issues, after all.

Chapter 3

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 previously outlined, informally, a dozen or so quick arguments allowing abortion. But now it is time to begin our more systematic, numbered, more comprehensive survey, of one 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)             First of all, the Bible never mentions abortion specifically by name. Which 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.

To be sure, 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 a Christianity based on the God of the Bible. And 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 topics – 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 … disproportionate.   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.  Or more simple:  they are heretics.

 

2)             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 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.

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; 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.”  To be sure though, there are many other portions of the Bible, we will show, that suggest that the fetus is not really, fully, a human being.  While the term “child” in the womb, is being used loosely.  As we can see particularly, in Psalm 139.

Psalm 139 ultimately supports the strongest argument allowing abortion:  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 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.

Specifically, what does the Bible say about the status of the embryo?  We found above, that perhaps it said nothing very directly about abortion at all.  Though it 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 seven seems that God allows – even orders – abortions; in Num. 5.

But 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 first a) others argue that if the Bible called an embryo a “child,” it was generally, only after obvious motion of the embryo – “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.

Especially important here, b) is another quote 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.  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 by God himself.

g) This sense of the quote from the Bible, Ps. 139,  was 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.

Aquinas and others, we will see, later made even more sense of this; of just exactly, specifically what it was, than an embryo did not have, that it would need to be a human being.  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.”

Psalm 139 therefore, is quite important.  Eventually, no less than saint and theologian and thinker than Thomas Aquinas, will confirm Ps. 139; and firmly say that a very young embryo or child has no soul.  Suggesting that the embryo is therefore of course, not fully “formed”; and not really, fully, human; not until 40 to 90 days at the earliest.  (Aquinas, Commentary on the Sentences III, Dist. 3, Question 5; Summa Contra Gentiles II, Ch. 89?). Furthermore, amazingly, this line of thinking, we will see, is later confirmed by science.  So that here we have an amazing agreement, convergence, of not only aa) the Bible, and bb) Catholic theology, but also cc) science; all agreeing in effect that the young embryo cannot be  full human being.

 

This in itself, would seem be as conclusive, as anything human beings know. This indeed is why abortion was legalized in America, with the Roe Vs. Wade Supreme Court decision; out of the rather firm suspicion that an embryo after all, could not be full, ensouled, intelligent, human being.

h) Finally, the sense that we are not yet in existence, we as a human being, do not yet exist in the embryo, may be confirmed in Ps. 139.16.  Where it seems to suggest that when we were being formed, “woven together,” that was before we ourselves, our days, came to be:

“When I was woven together….  All the days ordained for me were written in your books before one of them came to be” (Ps. 139.16 NIV).

i)        So that the embryo is not really, us. (And by the way therefore, it would be an anachronism, or another mistake, for a person to think that he or she might have been extinguished if his mother had decided to have an abortion; since if that was the case, there would presently be no self to imagine that.  Then too note, this does not necessarily say therefore that we ourselves were fully in existence before birth; since there is no “we” or “us” or “me” at all, until after birth.  Our “days” do not begin, till after birth, this seems to imply).

.  .  .

j) That almost concludes our main survey of the Bible itself on the subject of abortion and the embryo.  But there is more random evidence; some of it in the Bible itself.  We will see that other parts of the Bible suggest that a young embryo in the womb, is not quite a human being, until “quickening”; a moment traditionally thought to be, about five or six months into a pregnancy. (Though embryos can move somewhat some time before that, their bodies and movements are not well developed before that time).  Indeed, the infant John kicking in his mother’s womb on hearing the voice of Mary, is regarded as a somewhat significant moment (in Luke?).

k) 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.)

unfortunately, not only conservatives, but also liberals, mischaracterize the status of the embryo.  No doubt today, some liberal people – and many 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 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.

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 the readers of the Bible just “do not know” enough:

“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”).

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.  So we should always be prepared to turn from one thing, to another.  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. 

 

Parts of the Bible explicitly advocate “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 4

SCIENCE:

WHAT

RELIGIOUS SCIENCE SAYS

ON EMBRYOS, ABORTION

 

It is clear proof of the hypocrisy of Pro Life “Catholics,” that when we examined the Bible more fully, we saw quickly how many times these new Cafeteria Catholics, ignore so many parts of their Bibles.  Today, we clearly see the inconsistency and hypocrisy of allegedly devoted Catholics, when they a) tell us to read our Bibles … but then themselves, ignore parts of the Bible like Numb. 5.  We clearly see the hypocrisy of many Catholics, when b) 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 hypocrisy or silliness of anti-abortion Catholics, is clear enough, when they tell us over and over, to honor the Cardinals, the Pope – c)  but then they themselves ignore Cardinal McCarrick.   When he spoke against their “one issue” Catholicism.  And especially 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 we will see later, the hypocrisy 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 real, 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, 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 souls, 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 …

“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 science can confirm invisible things, like electricity and the spirit; 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 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. 

 

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 zygot; 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).

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.

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 5

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 6

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.

j)        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 CO2 emissions 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 unproven; 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 dykes 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 enviornmental 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 doccumented 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 7

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 Communioin,” 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 authoritiative, 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 theologial 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 defintive; 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)         Amazingly, it is said that no less an important personage – and Saint – than Saint Augustine, asserted that the very young embryo especially, does not have a “soul.”  So that in effect, the embryo is not really a full human being.  And so that therefore, killing an embryo 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.

61)         Especially though, crucially, a perhaps even more authoritative Catholic saint and theologian – St. 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 in fact, often even 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.

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 Now Simply, Openly, 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”).

Then, apparently against abortion, the current Catechism says this:

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” (Section # 2270; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition,  pub. By Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Imprimi Potest + Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger; Latin text 1994, 1997; Eng. trans. 1994, 1997;  ISBN 1-57455-110-8.  Termed a “totally reliable” “sure norm,” in John Paul II’s signed, 8/15/97 introduction to the “Latin typical edition,” found in the English translation, p. xv).

It also claims that “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.  This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable…. You shall not kill the embryo by abortion” (Cat. P. 548, Sect. 2271; quoting the however, merely anonymous Didache 2,2: SCh248, 148; and calling attention for comparison, Ep. Barnabae 19, 5:PG 2, 777; ad Diogentum 5, 6: PG 2, 1173; and the sometimes discredited Tertullian, Apol. 9: PL 1, 319-320; all noted on Catechism footnote, page 548).

“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized … every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death” (Cat. Sect. 2273, p. 548, citing CDF or Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Donum vitae II.).

 

“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” (Cat. 2274).

This version of the Catechism, says abortion is bad.  However, we might add, it is quite extreme, and out of keeping with much of the rest of what the Church once said.  And what science says.  For that reason, eventually no doubt, these sections will be dropped, or heavily modified.  In the meantime, we might note various extenuating circumstances:  if an abortionist a) does not believe that the embryo is an innocent person, then an abortionist has not deliberately killed an innocent “human being.”  Indeed, we will see later b) slightly later documents – like Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 memo, printed in its entirety here, later on – tell us eventually, that voting for pro-abortion politicians “can be permitted.” (Appendix A).

Extreme anti-abortionism, giving too much status to the embryo, saying it is human – an presumably with a soul – from conception, clearly runs against many absolutely central Catholic authorities:  Saints Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. And these 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).

At this point, 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” therefore, can still support strong anti-abortionism?  When that means disobeying the 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 any such thing.  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, 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.

To be sure, we might agree that, regarding some traditions from the past, it is time to update the Church; and follow newer directions.  But a) such changes should be very carefully advanced; not by just talk show hosts and uninformed nuns, and biased priests.   While b) furthermore, 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.

A Liberal Solution:

Admitting Sins, Inconsistencies, in the Church?

To be sure, it happens today, that now and then an occasional priest of Mother Angelica’s church of antiabortion,  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 speaking now, in a looser, less authoritative way.  While indeed it suggests that his Church does not have to be followed too closely; since it says many inconsistent things.

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, are 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 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.  Perhaps he thinks he can just “confess” this sin, and then go repeat it over and over?  But if he repeats it, then he was not sincere in his first apology, his confession; and absolution was invalid.  While in any case, he has contradicted himself, and the Tradition he claims to defend.

The fact is, a real conservative, a real Catholic, would follow Church tradition.  While tradition, eighty generations, two thousand years of Catholic authorities, 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 they are 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; and therefore, we don’t need to follow it very, very closely

So if we are to admit that our priests, our church, 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. But in the meantime though, we have a fatal situation:  priests issuing fallible ideas … and demanding that we follow them as if they were absolutely true.  And what finally is the price, for issuing bad commands, and telling others to follow them, absolutely?  (In a war, for example?)

To try to deal with the many aspects of Tradition that oppose them, many Catholic apologists and anti-abortionists today, try to simply suggest, that after all, we can simply … ignore past traditions.  But in that case, they are in a Liberal frame of mind; and Liberals do not present their ideas as infallible, any more.

No doubt to be sure, liberal priests have some good points.  But they should remember that if you accept this chain of reasoning, then after all, it all ends in suggesting that after all, no pronouncement at all, of the Church is all that certain. And therefore it is immoral to ask people to follow the Church exactly any more.  Since it will often lead us into error.

Especially, those who believe the Church often errs, should be careful about what opinions they issue; they may issue many casual and flawed opinions, but to people who take them very exactly.  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, should let listeners to the network know, that you might give up the saints … but then you also at the same time, should explicitly renounce the claim to be an 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, anti-abortionism.

Perhaps we might allow liberal priests.  But they should be careful who they are talking to, and how they are talking to them.  No such liberal priest should appear, with his modern – and fallible – opinions, on a network like EWTN; a network which implies often, that priests are absolute authorities.  Indeed, it is evil for any person to present fallible, possibly false ideas, as if they were perfect; because people can be hurt, even killed, if those ideas fail.  (What if for example, a priest tells people to absolutely trust canned food; and they eat it without reservations, faithfully … ignoring the taste of food poisoning in a few cans?).   What if there is something good about abortion; it might save the life of the mother for example; and yet the priest tells the mother not to have one … and the mother dies?

Viewing the apparent inconsistencies in the Church’s positions on abortion and the embryo, as well as many others, the fact is that perhaps indeed, it is time for the Church to “confess its sins.” And to admit that it was sometimes wrong, even in its core Traditions.  Even in  its saints.  But if so, as an absolutely necessary corollary of this, it should also at the same time, caution listeners that, to be sure, this also means that henceforth, they can take what the Church says, with a grain of salt.  The new Church does not have to be followed with the same slavish obedience, that we once followed the older pronouncements.   Because as the Church issues less and less certain pronouncements, they will after all not be so reliable; and following them in fact may well lead to death and disaster.  So therefore, the Church should … issue warnings about its opinions.

Should we begin to admit that the saints are partially bad?  Many would say that in fact, it is high time for the Church to publicly, prominently, admit that none of its sayings after all, are all that permanent, eternal, or absolutely true; that any and all of its doctrines after all, might one day need to be changed.  But if this is the case, then after all, even the new, modern, changed Catholic doctrines or sayings – like say, any new statement assuring us that embryos really are children, human –  should also be issued with a provision, with an explicit warning.  That after all,  nothing the Church ever says – including this new anti-abortionism – is ever, all that certain.  That indeed in fact, this new anti-abortionism for example, is probably not really the “word of God,” after all.  Certainly, it is not the word of the Bible.  But is most likely, merely the social-political opinion of some liberal, and conservative, priests.

The simple bottom line is that the Church should either drop anti-abortionism, and honor the saints like Aquinas again.  And/or publicly, repeatedly, daily and forevermore, renounce, denounce, its claim to be infallible, holy, or sacred. If it does not do that, many millions will be injured.

Legal Problems,

Violations of Law, by the Catholic Church:

The Politicization of the Church

Leads to Legal Issues,

And Conflicts With Governments

Anti-abortionism therefore has many evils within it.  Prompt action by the Church, is indicated in several ways.  Not only is an urgent need for action indicated by a closer look at a) the Bible, and at b) Church doctrines and c) saints; but also need for prompt action is indicated by our quick review above, of the d) potentially massive environmental and other disasters that result from anti-abortion monomania or fixation. From the dissemination of false etching, or bad advice.

But that’s not by any means a complete list of problems with anti-abortionism, and the doctrine that an embryo is human “from conception.”  In addition to the many contradictions with the Bible, and Catholic Tradition, caused by “Catholic” anti-abortionism, we should also note now, that unless the Church fixes this, we will likely see increasingly severe and crippling conflicts, between the Church – and secular, governmental law, and nations.   As outlined here, the new anti-abortionism, conflicts not only with the Bible and Catholic tradition, but also conflicts with the laws of many 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 8

The Pope Allows

Voting for Pro-Abortion Politicians:

“Our Holy Father,” the Pope, Joe Ratzinger/Benedict XVI,

Declares  That Voting for a Candidate That Supports Abortion,

“Can Be Permitted”;

When You Support the Candidate for “Proportionate”ly More Important Issues;

Like the Environment, Etc.,

A Church Solution From Cardinal Ratzinger/

Pope Benedict XVI:

“Proportionate”ly

More Important Issues Than Abortion:

Cardinal Joe Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI’s

2004 Memo, “Worthiness to Receive…”;

On “Proportionately” More Important Issues Than Abortion

“Conservatism,” anti-abortionism, have lead many people – even Catholic priests and Bishops – , far away from original doctrines of the Bible.  And 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, terrorism.   So how can we bring Catholics back to the Church, or to God?

Catholics normally want to follow their Cardinals; and especially their “Holy Father,” their Pope. So suppose we get finally, to what the current Pope – who was formerly known as Cardinal Joe Ratzinger, but who is now known as Benedict XVI – really says.  As it turns out, the current Pope is building on and (partially) helping define, the real Catholic Tradition:  as the current Pope, Benedict XVI, clearly speaks of abortion, as being less important, than many other issues. As 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.  As the Pope says in the document reproduced in its traditional entirety, here, below.  In his 2004 memo, written when the Pope was known as Cardinal Joe Ratzinger.

What the Pope actually said about abortion, is very, very different from 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, 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.

Did the Church itself say this?  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?  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 Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life,” have said or implied this.  These organizations and individuals have constantly repeated, a dozen times a day or more, on the air, that the Catholic Church firmly says, the following.  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.

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 will soon see here.

So who actually, has been ordering all these false things, and 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 our new self-appointed “Catholic” media Popes:  like Karl Keating; and Sheila Liaugminas; and Fr. Frank Pavone.  Today, these figures speak on several alleged “Catholic” networks, like EWTN/RN. And thanks to that massive media outlet, our new popes have had perhaps the biggest Catholic audience, in the world.  An audience that often uncritically accepts them, as the official voice of the Church, and of God.   And it is these new media Popes, who are telling Catholics that the Church forbids abortion; forbids it even to the point that Americans and the world, must vote for the most anti-abortion candidate, in most elections. And since the most anti-abortion party, is the Republican party? Then in effect, these new self-appointed voices of the Church and of God, assure us, implicitly, that we must normally vote Republican, in every election.

Today, many Catholics – even many priests and Bishops – know much of their Catholicism, from listening to these new, self-appointed voices of the Catholic Church; on networks like Eternal Word Radio Network.  But as it turns out, EWRN is not what it pretends to be; it is not the officially-recognized, definitive voice of the Roman Catholic Church. It is actually just a private, non-profit organization, run largely by secular, nominal Catholics; who have presumptuously taken it upon themselves, to pretend that they speak for the Church, in some official capacity, When in fact, they have no such charter at all.  In fact, they are a private organization, that presents its own
“conservative” spin or “take,” on the Church.  Who present only the parts of Church doctrine that support their own, mostly conservative theology and political philosophy.  Even over and above what the Church says.  Though they quote parts of what the Church says, they report only – and usually out of context – misrepresentative parts of Church doctrines; only parts that seem to support their own radical conservatism and anti-abortionism.  While they typically leave out or “spin” any parts of Church doctrine that do not fit their own private agenda, or social/political philosophy.  Especially, EWTN/RN, and the various talk show hosts and guests on the network, radically over-emphasize the opposition of the Church, to Abortion. While they do not fully, fairly, represent everything important that the Church has said on this.  In particular, they rarely report, that the current Pope, Benedict XV, said that voting for candidates who happen to be for abortion, “can be permitted,” if we are voting for the candidate’s stand, on “proportionate”ly more important issues.

In point of fact, even most of the many priests who occasionally appear on EWRN network – like Fr. Frank Pavone – we will show here, typically do not really, fully, accurately, reflect the full will and theology, of the Roman Catholic Church; not at all. Amazingly, even the priests on EWTN/RN, are rebelling against, obscuring, a larger and more impartial view of what the Church really, more fully said.  They are reporting only a misleading part of the truth (as St. Paul said); while failing to note the fuller, more accurate overview of what the Church said; especially on the issue of abortion, and voting.

Suppose therefore, we briefly review here, what the Catholic Church has actually, really said, traditionally.  And then review what the Pope now says, currently.

What have not just Catholic talk show hosts, and a few rebellious nuns and priests, but the real Church authority, actually said?  To be sure, antiabortionist media have found a few isolated quotes, from Church authorities, that seem at first, to support their radically anti-abortion position.  But these “Catholic” media figures, we will show here, have ignored, disobeyed, and “twist”ed dozens, hundreds of other statements, by major Catholic officials. Statements by Cardinals and Popes and saints … that would allow abortion.

To be sure there a) 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, b) 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.”  Indeed, 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 the 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 ordering a priest to administer a “dust” or powder, that is in effect an abortifacient; in the Bible’s book of 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, c) what does the Church in itself say?  Outside the Bible, in the Catholic Tradition proper, at least two major saints, 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 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.

The work of these two venerated saints, remains today, the core of religious Pro Choice, Pro Abortion arguments.  Here, we have two saints, two of the greatest authorities in all of Catholic tradition, giving us information that clearly implies, that the abortion of a young embryo, cannot be a very, very serious sin. Or (if a current Catechism suggests it is a “grave” sin?),  it is not a sin proportionately as serious as say, murder.  Or many other sins, we find here.  Since the embryo is simply, not a complete human being. But is only indeed, a “form”less substance.  As they said, following Ps. 139.

Here therefore, the two major theologians of the Church, suggested that abortion is not such a serious sin at all.  And furthermore, in the light of this kind of very, very authoritative tradition,  d) at least two recent cardinals, including the current Pope, have fairly recently (2004/2007), issued statements that confirm what these key saints had said:  the current Cardinals and the current Pope, confirming that although abortion is bad, 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.).

Most Catholics have never been told this.  Because they don’t really know what the Church itself really, fully says.  Today, many people know the Church, only through what unreliable intermediaries like EWTN/RN and Relevant Radio claim that the Church says. While homilies in church, are increasingly influenced by EWTN/RN, for that matter; rather than by sound theology.  So that overwhelmingly, most Catholics never been adequately told, of the real sayings of the saints; and the real sayings of the Cardinals and the Pope.  Because their primary source for “Catholic” information – private “Catholic” talk radio and TV – chose to seldom if ever mention these things.  Since what the saints say, contradicts what EWTN/RN wants people to believe.  Or, if the networks ever report this side of things, the talk show hosts and sophistical guests, topspins and “twists” these sayings of the saints; twisting them till they seem to suit its own self-reported, “conservative” Pro Life, anti-abortionist agenda.

Why hasn’t the Church stopped these false media voices, EWTN/RN and Relevant Radio, from speaking falsely for the Church and for God?  For its own part, the Church has been slow to pick up on the problem, probably due to some internal confusion and vacillation on its own in fact, about its own anti-abortion doctrines.  The current Catechism for example, speaks very, very strongly against abortion – but the saints, and the 2004 memo from Ratzinger, suggest on the other hand that Catholics can vote for pro-abortion candidates.  Thus there is much contradictory evidence within the Church it seems to many, on the subject of abortion.  Then too, if a very few priests have a fairly good education in seminaries, all too many priests do not.  While indeed, most of the pronoucements of serious theology, are equivocal and ambiguous.  So that even priests cannot understand them; and so they end up simply, blindly following … whatever simple, populist messages, that EWTN/RN delivers.  Particularly when it speaks with alleged authority, on obscure issues, like Abortion.

But what finally, is really the most definitive word from the Church itself, to date?  We will have begun to show here, that the real, most definitive hierarchy of the Church – including not least of all, a major saint, and the current Pope – has often issued many, many statements inconsistent with EWRN-style anti-abortionism.  But for most Catholics, perhaps one of the most revered and authoritative sources, is probably the Cardinals, the Vatican, and the current Pope.   So suppose we now examine especially the doctrine of … former Cardinal Joe Ratzinger, of the Vatican.  The former Cardinal – who is now “Our Holy Father,” the Pope, Benedict XVI.

Most importantly,  Cardinal Joe Ratzinger, wrote a rather definitive memo, when he was head of the Vatican office or “Congregation,” “for the Doctrine of Faith”:  the Vatican office, perhaps the highest earthly authority, concerned specifically with the matter at hand; with questions as to what is correct Catholic doctrine.  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 this matter or voting for Pro-Abortion candidates.   The question was 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 aa) abortion is bad; and even that bb) communion might be denied, to politicians who prominently supported abortion.  Or however, cc) it might not be denied; depending it seems, on the individual local Bishop, who “may” or may not find such a thing necessary.  But especially, this memo finally said in a footnote, that dd)  we can however, vote for politicians who support abortion.  Specifically, the Cardinal, the Vatican said, we  can vote for them, when we vote for them for their stand not on abortion, but for their stand on “proportionate”ly more important issues.

So what does the Roman Catholic Church really, finally say about abortion, and voting?  Finally, the 2004 memory from Cardinal Joe Ratzinger, should be taken as being extremely important.  As being far more than “just” the word of priests.  Because in fact, a) it was the word of a Cardinal; ordinarily in effect, a superior even of Bishops.   Furthermore, b) it was the word of a cardinal, at the Vatican; the headquarters of the Catholic Church.  Furthermore, it was c) expressed by the Cardinal who was in charge of specifically, matters of doctrine; the subject at hand in the question of what does Catholic doctrine say about abortion.  But finally, moreover, d) this memo became even more important,  when its author, Card. Joe Ratzinger, became our current “Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in 2005.

So that the following position on abortion is in effect, the definitive word of our Pope, Benedict XVI, on the subject of abortion. The following 2004 memo, has been the most definitive statement from the Church, on abortion.  And more specifically, on voting for pro-abortion candidates.  And note, that what the Pope actually says here, conflicts flatly, directly, and absolutely, with what EWTN and “Catholic” anti-abortionists have claimed that the Church was saying.

 

Explicitly, the Pope said that voting for pro-abortion, Pro Choice candidates, “can be permitted.”  While another key word in the 2004 memo, is “proportional”ity.  Here, the future Pope affirmed that we can vote for pro-abortion political candidates – so long as there are other, proportionately more important issues, that they stand up for.  While the memo clearly assumes that there are more important issues, than abortion.  As we will see, right now.

84)         The following 2004 memo from Cardinal Ratzinger – who is now the current Pope, Benedict XVI – has probably been the most direct, current, and definitive statement on abortion, from the Church.  So we need to look at this memo very closely, to understand the Church’s position.  The full text of the parts of the memo that the public has been allowed to see to date (2004), is reproduced, here.

Here we will reproduce the full text, of the parts of Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI’s 2004 memo that have been made available to the public.  Though allegedly some parts of the memo remain confidential and have apparently not been released, Ratzinger’s memo as we have it now, explicitly allows Catholics to vote for Pro-Abortion candidates; voting for them “can be permitted.

In the following memo from the Pope, the Pope in effect says the following:  that 1) voting for a pro-abortion candidate,  “can be permitted.”  2) When we vote for that candidate, for other reasons, other issues than supporting his stand on abortion, the Pope says it is at most, a minor sin:  a “remote material cooperation” in a sin.  3) Particularly, voting for a pro-abortion candidate, can be permitted, when other issues seem “proportionate”ly more important.

Catholics should here note that 4) this 2004 memo is extremely definitive and important:  in it, the Pope himself tells Catholics, that they can vote for pro-abortion candidates; voting for Pro Choice candidates, “can be permitted.”

This is so important, that soon, we will reproduce is the entire memo as we have it today.  The memo is definitive; it is from the Vatican cardinal whose job it was, to issue clear statements on such matters of doctrine; and this cardinal, was soon to become our current Pope, Benedict XVI.  In effect, this is a memo from the current Pope.  And it explicitly allows Americans to vote for pro-abortion political candidates.  As printed below, with important sections presented by us in boldface, the Pope said or implied the following

 

To be sure, the memo does say some bad things about abortion.  But then finally, it relents somewhat.  First 1) the Pope allows that abortion is somewhat bad. And the Pope even says that 2) a law supporting abortion, might even be an “intrinsically” bad law.  So that 3) probably a Catholic who engages in or publicly supports abortion, might not be allowed to receive communion.  Especially 4) in the case of a political candidate who openly supports abortion.  (A major issue, in 2004, just before the presidential election).  And indeed, this memo says that 5) 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, though the Pope here opposed abortion, he did not quite say the fetus was fully human; nor did he that abortion is murder.  In fact, amazingly, in the end, the Pope declares that 6) while it is wrong to vote for a Pro-Choice candidate specifically because he supports abortion, 7) 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, which seem “proportion”ately more important than abortion.  So that amazingly, the Pope told us here that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”  Since there are, after all, “proportionate”ly  more important things in life, than abortion.

This is an extremely important 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:  8) 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).  But note that even here, the Catechism admits certain canonical restrictions.  While the Pope himself here  9) probably does not order such excommunications firmly; a Catholic should “ask himself” whether he is worthy to receive communion; a minister “may” find himself in a position of refusing communion to someone.  While indeed, 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); in a way that “does not restrict the scope of mercy.”  But 10) finally in any case, the memo from the Pope crucially allows, as its final statement, that Catholics can vote for a pro-abortion candidate.  The Pope says that specifically, we can vote for a pro-abortion candidate – if we do not mean to support his pro-abortion stance, but want to vote for him because of his stand on other, proportionately more important issues. The Pope says that voting for Pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted.”

This memo, by the future Pope, is absolutely central to understanding at least the Church’s current, latest stance on abortion. And basically, the overall position of the memo, is this:  the current Pope is a) affirming that, to be sure, abortion is wrong; that unfortunately, it is even an excommunicable offense (subject to limitations described in canon law). But on the other hand, the Pope is b)  telling us that other issues can be more important than abortion.  If abortion is a sin, there are worse sins after all.  While the c) absolutely key word here, is that other things can be “proportionately” more important than abortion.  While finally, the ultimate conclusion of the memo is quite surprising in some ways:  in the end, d) the Pope says that we can vote for a pro-abortion candidate – it “can be permitted” the Pope says. If the candidate is strong on other, “proportionate”ly more important, moral issues.  (So that in effect, in 2004, we could have voted say, for Sen. Kerry).

Amazingly therefore, here the Pope himself says we can vote for Pro Choice, pro-abortion candidates.  If we vote for them, because they are standing up for issues that are more important than abortion.  On talk radio to be sure, it is debated 11) just exactly what might be proportionately more important issues. 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.

While indeed, 12) the Pope we will see, clearly assumes that some issues are more important than abortion, after all13) Even if abortion is “intrinsically” bad, there are other, proportionately worse things, after all.

But finally, 14) just exactly what issues are more important than abortion?  What other issues could and should determine our votes?    If the text mentions that “just” wars are not more important, that leaves open the possibility, implicitly, that un-just wars might be.  To be sure, some wars are allowable, under the theory of “just” wars; wars for good reasons.  But on the other hand, if someone has started a war for a bad reason?  If the war is un-just?  Then after all it, and the deaths it causes, may be an evil worse than abortion. (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.).

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, 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?

To be sure, 15) the Pope 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, might be inherently bad; but after all, it is a sin so small, as to be barely a misdemeanor, in the courts.  So that we will note here, in a section on logical or “intrinsic” evils, that this type of sin can often be much more minor that many might have thought (like Colin Donovan, of EWRN).

Benedict XVI below, indeed  notes, assumes, that there are more important issues, than abortion; proportionately.

Here to be sure, many priests claim that while, to be sure, the issue of abortion might not always be more important than all others, as it happens, it was more important than all other issues in 2004; since they claimed, there was not “unjust” war in Iraq for instance; and even capital punishment killed “only” a few hundred people a year; while abortion killed millions of embryos.   But here we ourselves will note that however, all other moral factors being equal, if we finally go simply with the number of deaths caused, then after all, for that matter, there are other issues that have already caused proportionately far, far more deaths than abortion:   environmental issues, like floods, droughts, plagues, famines.  So that, there being no particularly important status in “intrinsic” evils – the stolen stick of gum – then after all, considering other practical evils as being of essentially the same weight, and going next with therefore in any case, the sheer number of deaths caused, we will ourselves here conclude that … the Environment is ultimately be a far, far more important issue, than abortion.  Since – as we will have begun to noted here – environmental problems like floods and plagues, have already, historically, been firmly proven to have killed millions of people already; in eras when a million was a very high percentage of the total population.  While, given this record, it seems possible that as we destroy more and more key elements of the environment, that could easily lead to the deaths of not “just” millions, but even billions, of indisputably human beings; men, women, and children.  So that finally we will conclude here, that a) the Pope himself clearly assumed that there were more important issues than abortion.  That b) there can be more important issues, even, than “intrinsically” evil things.  While c) in any case, considering the sheer amount of pain and death caused, should always be a major consideration.  And d) by that useful standard, one issue that is proportionately far, far more important than abortion, is the issue of the environment.  (While indeed, the Cardinals and the Pope have recently begun to stress that issue, over abortion).

The following memo from the Pope therefore, is very important in our present book; it more or less outlines the current, effective position of the Church on abortion.  And especially, on 16) the crucial issue of who we are allowed to vote for; on whether we can vote for pro-abortion candidates.  In 2004, this was absolutely crucial; since an anti-abortion Republican incumbent, George Bush II, was running against a Catholic Democrat, Sen. Kerry, who was Catholic … but also publicly pro-abortion.  While it appeared that the current Catechism insisted that any such person as presidential candidate Kerry, could and should be excommunicated; and that therefore the Catechism was telling us that we had to vote Republican,  in 2004.    And so this following memo, this decision from the Vatican, was apparently written, at the urging of various concerned parties, to try to resolve this, in the months before the election.  And in it, note, the memo ends up, finally, confirming that abortion is bad – but at the same time, the Pope firmly allows that there are often “proportionate”ly more important things in life than abortion.  So that voting for a pro-abortion candidate – like Democratic senator John Kerry –  the Pope explicitly finally concludes, “can be permitted.” It 17) is to be sure, a minor sin; a “remote material” cooperation with sin. But a minor sin that 18) the Pope finally concludes, “can be permitted.”  If there are proportionately more important things out there.  As indeed, we will see, the environment is.

Here therefore, without further ado, is the memo from Our Holy Father, the Pope. It is printed here as entirely as it was first released; in the first, definitive form leaked to us in 2004, through the USCCB.  In this memo from the Pope to be sure, “Our Holy Father” suggests that abortion is to be sure, a sin.  But the Pope next says there are more important issues in life, after all.   So that while the Church might (or might not) refuse communion to those who break the ban on abortions, or bread many other Catholic rules, finally however, the Pope allows us to vote for pro-abortion political candidates  That “can be permitted” the Pope firmly says.

Here at last therefore, is the crucial memo on Abortion, written by Card. Joe Ratzinger, of the Vatican; who is now our “Holy Father,” the current Pope, Benedict XVI.  Because of its importance, it is printed here s fully as it was made easily available to us, in 2004. In general, the main focus of the memo,  was to a) tell us how serious advocating Abortion could be; whether those who – like Dem. Sen. John Kerry –  publicly advocate abortion, could be excommunicated, or denied communion, kicked out of the Church.  As many Catholics were saying.  But next  its purpose was to b) tell that however, although abortion was a sin, still, we can still vote for pro-abortion political candidates after all. So Catholics could vote for Democratic candidate John Kerry.  As the future Pope himself said.  In this memo:

“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 – who is now “Our Holy Father,” the Pope, Benedict XVI.  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.  Conservative Catholic media though, 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.  But our “conservative” Catholic media, have never been honest or accurate.  They do not know how to read documents very well or fully.  And they end up seeing and stressing, only what they want to see.  In the end they read all religious documents, like this one therefore, wrongly, falsely, incompletely.

What would be the better summary of this memo, which is perhaps the Pope’s most definitive pronouncement to date on Abortion?   Our conclusion is simply 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 a more liberal conclusive footnote:  in 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.”  As the Pope’s memo very firmly, explicitly says, as its final conclusion, at the end.

Conservative Catholic and fundamentalists, typically do not know how to read complex theological or religious statements; and 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 simple religious fundamentalists, to learn to read things more completely, fully, and honestly.  Read more closely, this memo from the current Pope, actually 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.

Thuggish, conservative spin doctors, Pro Life anti-abortionists, ignore especially the end, the final conclusion of this memo.  Or they take only misrepresentative fragments or parts of the memo, to quote on the air; 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 difficult, 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 might even be refused communion (as are women say, who have had abortions too, or who are divorced).  But often a) right alongside rather stern, conservative pronouncements that tell us to obey simple rules or laws, many theological documents – like this one – express b) 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, voting for a pro-abortion candidate, is only a minor sin at most; a “remote material cooperation”; 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” – that are “proportionate”ly more important than abortion.

“Catholic” Media Like EWTN/RN, and

Individuals Like Sheila Liuagminas,

Disobey the Pope

And Advance Partisan Politics

As the Voice of God

The Pope himself therefore said that Catholics can vote for pro-abortion candidates.  Which would seem to finally settle this problem after all.  And end the main assertion of much of private, lay Catholic radio and TV.  Unfortunately though, the above memo from the Pope, has not been fully or widely or accurately reported by lay “Catholic” media outlets.   So that the people know nothing about it.  All they hear on EWTN, Relevant Radio, is that we must vote for the most anti-abortion candidate, a Republican, in every election.

Here indeed is a crucial example, of how private, self-appointed “Catholic” networks, misrepresent, disobey, even the Pope himself.  As we listen to EWTN, we find that absolutely crucial, enormously important fact – that the Pope, the Church, allows us to vote for pro-choice political candidates; Democrats – has been hidden, denied, fought, by the “conservative” – actually, heretical, Republican – “Catholic” media.  Like especially, EWRN, Eternal Word Radio Network; the radio branch of Eternal Word Television Network.  (Which we refer to here as they refer to themselves, collectively:  as EWTN).  So that the fact is, that it becomes clear that the allegedly definitive new “Catholic” media networks like EWTN, have systematically misrepresented the Pope, the Church, and God.  These networks have a political bias; they usually do not present material from the Church they regard as liberal.  Which means they slight, deny, disobey, much of the Bible, and the Church.  In particular they obey the Old Testament, but ignore much of the New.  And unfortunately, these new media have been extremely successful; in hiding, perverting, the real, actual, fuller message of the Church.  They have been extremely successful in disseminating their message, worldwide, thanks to their significant resources.  EWTN for example, currently has “only” about two hundred radio stations; but more than that, its TV shows have been offered for decades, as a standard part of most major cable and satellite TV packages.  So that this politically-biased message, this perverted Catholicism, has been offered over TV, to hundreds of millions of Americans. Many of whom have looked at it once or twice; long enough to hear its anti-abortion message pronounced as the word of God.  While then too, in addition to being presented potentially, in nearly every household in America,  its shows are also web-steamed on the Internet (EWTN.com).  So that the average Catholic learns about his own religion, in large part, from EWTN; never realizing that this network is not in point of fact, the official voice of the Church at all.  (Jerry Usher of EWTN, apparently was in formation, seminary, c. 1989-1996; but never became a priest).

The average Catholic, never realizes that the message he or she is hearing on EWTN, is not the official, definitive voice of the Church; but is only the particular view or slant offered by conservatives.  Because these self-proclaimed “Catholic” new media, are so big, so influential, they today largely control the message that many Catholics hear, even about their Church. While few priests know about the problem with these new media, deliver any very pointed homilies, to warn them about EWTN.  As Chris Ferrara notes, today many millions of Catholics get their sense of what the Church says, not even from church services or homilies, as much as from EWTN over the internet. And now hundreds of millions simply, blindly, trust and believe and follow in EWTN/RN, as the voice of the Church and God.  No one ever realizing or being told that it and its “conservative” message, do not really fully represent what the Church, the Pope more fully says.

The fact is, in spite of the occasional presence of many liberal priests on the network, the prevailing voices, the talk show hosts on EWTN c. 1995-2005, constantly presented themselves as “conservative.”  And no one bothered to make it clear that “conservative” meant, a conservative political philosophy; and bias.  So that such Catholic media, did not report or stress – or follow or obey – any part of what the Church says, that appears “liberal” to it.  Which means that conservative stations, ignore and disobey, huge chunks of the Bible, and of church doctrine. And unfortunately, trained to blind, faithful obedience to authority – and with a strong liking for any very simple, strong message – millions of Catholics simply, blindly follow EWTN as God.  In this particular case, since EWTN and Relevant Radio do not particularly repeat permissive or liberal statements by the Church, while most homilies seldom handle political topics at all, most Catholics have only heard about the part of the above memo, that seems to allow excommunicating pro-abortion politicians; while they have never really heard of the other part of the Pope’s memo, at all.  Most Catholics have never heard of the part where the Pope himself finally concluded that voting for pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted.”  If EWTN or Relevant Radio ever mentions that part of what they Pope says, they quickly topspin it (See example on Sheila Liaugminas, Dec. 2009).

Conservatives often put down “mainstream media,” as being biased.  But far worse than mainstream media, are particularly, very religious media outlets like EWTN.  They are a hundred times worse; and quickly become religious cults in fact.  Like EWTN’s cult of the embryo, Holy Fetus.   And unfortunately, since these networks claim to be the voice of the Church, the voice of God, unfortunately, media networks like EWTN, have had an influence, all out of proportion to their actual listenership figures would suggest.  EWTN speaks in the name of God – and things said in the “name” of God are often retained and believed firmly, even when heard only once.  While things said in the name of God, are also widely repeated, by word of mouth too.  So that finally, the false things said by conservative “Catholic” media, have been far, far, far more influential than one might have expected from media Arbitron ratings.  Unfortunately, EWTN has severely deceived millions, even hundreds of millions, of Americans, and Catholics worldwide.

Probably almost no one who listens to EWTN knows, less than 1% of its listeners know, that EWTN is not the official voice of the Church and of God.  As Chris Ferrara affirms, for millions of Catholics, EWTN is the church; or in effect we add, the talking faces, the talking idols on Catholic talk TV and radio, are God.  And since the network itself rarely if ever makes it clear that it is not the official voice of the Church – since it in fact, constantly presents the opposite impression (with a voice-over of John Paul II seeming to embrace the new media for example),  the people have no idea that EWTN is not the Church; or indeed, is not God.  That the vision of the Church that EWTN offers, is severely edited, biased, twisted.  

 

How can we fix this?  In part, we need the Church itself, and everyone else, to tell everyone, that the Church itself never officially endorsed organizations like EWTN to speak authoritatively for it.  We need the whole world to understand, that these new “Catholic” media, these new talking idols, are actually not the official voice of the Roman Catholic Church.  Rather, they are only private non-profit organizations, headed by alleged Catholics.  Though many (unreliable) priests appear on the network, the network is really run, by a dozen or so persons, who typically are lay persons; not fully trained and committed priests.  Persons who essentially followed Protestant televangelists like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and (Catholic?) Pat Buchanan, freely intermixing their secular/lay Republican opinions, with religion/  People who are merely presenting their own opinion on what the Church says.  Or as what they think the Church should say.  These people present however, not the true word of the Church; but only their particularly “conservative” take on the Church.  Presenting finally their own political opinions, the “traditions of men,” as the word of God.  And finally, we will need the Church to make this very, very, very clear, in constant, unequivocal pronouncements:  that lay “Catholic” organizations, and even the casual conversations of real priests on the air, do not fully, accurately represent the voice of the Church, or of God.

Unfortunately though, the Church itself has not yet taken effective measures against unauthorized, unofficial “Catholic” media outlets like EWTN.  Or indeed, the new talking idols have deceived not only the general public, but also even priests, and bishops, and archbishops.  As we will see, even many bishops today, follow the extreme, heretical anti-abortionism of EWTN/RN.

So that finally the Church has been taken over by EWTN/RN. Since the massive resources of EWTN/RN and related associates, its conservative base, effectively controls the Catholic message on the airways, most of the faithful have never even heard about the above message from the Pope himself, for example.  The media domination of the Catholic message, has been so successful in suppressing and denying any “liberal” side of the Church,   that EWRN and associated agencies have been able to re-energize the Republican anti-abortion vote, against pro abortion Democratic candidates, time after time, for nearly three decades.  Eventually Catholic “conservatism” elected countless anti-abortion – but pro-war – Republicans to office.  Thanks in large part to the anti-abortion vote, one anti-abortion but pro-military, pro “troops” Republican after another, was elected, c. 1980-2007.  And they were soon enough at war with (ironically) their Muslim counterparts; with conservative Muslim fundamentalist militarist terrorists. As even Bishops began to support EWTN, and therefore egged all this on.

How did EWRN come to control/leverage, the world?  Ironically in part, the to-be-sure at times excessive, 1970’s liberality of the Church, was responsible for the travesty of conservative lay Catholic media; a certain laxity, allowed finally many different, rather unregulated voices to present themselves as the voice of the Church and God.  And if at first those heretical voices were also liberal, ironically finally, there developed a heretically conservative voice too. One that was allowed to speak in the name of the Church in part, ironically, because of a general liberal loosening of Church oversight.  Ironically, extreme liberality was to be its own undoing; and began to self-destruct.

At one time, the Church monitored, every single word issued in its name; in the liturgy for example.  But the Church had always allowed individual Bishops and priests, to speak rather more informally. And it did not really notice the new media much, after a few reassuring experiences with Bishop Fulton Sheen.  So it did not notice when suddenly the informal, half-baked ideas of often biased priests, were being presented as the word of God to hundreds of millions of people; effectively supplanting the liturgy as the medium by which Catholicism was conveyed.  Once the Church stopped very rigorously monitoring the main sources of the message that was delivered in its name, suddenly, interested parties stepped in, and began controlling and spinning and editing the fuller message of the Church, to match their own social/political biases.  And since the shows controlled the message, no objections really got out; not in this market at least.

The new media tightly controlled their own message however; and made sure no liberal voices were allowed.  On EWTN, occasionally, a very rare caller or two on Catholic radio, mentioned the Pope’s memo, above.  But call-in talk radio shows are not fair and honest debate.  Any callers, who mentioned the fuller message of the memo, were a) not allowed on the air in the first place.  Or b) were usually quickly hung up on.  Thus  c) leaving the talk show host and his anti-abortion guests, with the final word.  Allowing them to continue to “twist” this memo, any way they wanted to; without real debate.  Especially d) dishonest conservative talk show rhetoricians or sophists, quoted and stress just the parts of Church documents that seem to agree with them; while ignoring or twisting or denying, “liberal” parts.  EWTN seldom mentioning the parts of the Pope’s memo that told us that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”  If that part of the memo was ever mentioned, it was simply “twist”ed.  And/or was soon drowned out; by a hundred times more-frequent quotes, condemning abortion. The new conservative Catholic media would only allow an occasional ineffective liberal on the air; and they could be readily  shot down, thanks to the fact that the “talk show” was always a rigged game, a false debate.  Then too, the first conservative Republican president, Ronald Regan, was a former Army propagandist, who had made films for the US Army.  And EWTN and other agencies, knew the power of the essential propaganda techniques, like Hitler’s “Big Lie”:  just say the same thing over and over, and whether it is the truth of not, people will eventually believe it.  While Catholics – who were already partial to endlessly repeated prayers; like Mother Angelica the nun – readily took to repeating the same anti-abortion message.  A dozen, even a hundred times a day; for hours a day; for 27 years.  Though to be sure, this never won over an intellectual audience, it  dominated much of the uneducated working class.  (While rich bankers found it convenient to back, financially).

Due to ancient and the new propaganda methods, “staying on message,” the “conservative” Republican “twist” on what the Church said about abortion, was soon enormously influential.  Quoting a) just the parts of the memo they wanted people to hear, radical Catholic anti-abortionists like Karl Keating, on EWRN, constantly quoted the parts of the memo that seemed to support their own case.  They substantially ignored, or did not often mention, the part where aa) the Pope said that voting for pro-abortion candidates, “can be permitted.”  And the part that said that bb) there are many other issues that can be “proportionate”ly more important than abortion, that can determine our votes.

Ignoring, denying, disobeying these sayings from the Pope himself,  conservative media, priests, constantly read on the air, only those parts of what the Church was saying, that they agreed with.  And b) they read, repeated, only the parts they liked, dozens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of times.  To be sure, EWTN does not like to mention the 2004 memo from the Pope, at all.  But when now and then, on a rare occasion, a caller managed to get by the screener, and mentioned it on the air, the network simply cut the caller off; and ran their own voice, repeating especially the part of the Pope’s memo that suggested that aa) pro-abortion political candidates might be refused communion; and the parts that (to some) suggested that bb) abortion, probably being an “intrinsic” evil, might outweigh many other issues.  Seldom did the network repeat or stress the final part of the memo; where the Pope said that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”

Are conservatives, EWTN, really working for God, or for the devil himself?  It seems clear, they are working for Satan, not God.  Note that in effect, they are lying continuously to the people.  Here, right-wing radio consistently, repeatedly, deliberately, misrepresent and “twist”ed the message of the Pope, and the Church, for example.  The new religious media present to the people, only the parts of the Church they agree with. And then they used their own false statements, deceits, to lie to the people, and to get them to vote in ways different from what the Church and God indicated.  Worse, deliberately citing only at misleading “part”s of what the Bible and the Church said, these organizations and individuals then used their deceitful statements, to control Catholics, and manipulate the vote.  Using deliberate mis-statements, they convinced millions of Catholics and fundamentalist Christians of their constant unstated but implicit message:   that God was ordering us to vote for the most anti-abortion candidate, in every election.  While, since the most anti-abortion party was the Republican Party, it was constantly concluded, implicitly, that God or “Our Holy Father” the Pope, was commanding Catholics to vote Republican.  In every election.

Conservatives carefully crafted a lie.  And their false message,  unfortunately, was enormously effective in 2004 for example; just as it had been in the majority of elections, from 1980 on.  This carefully-crafted, deliberate lie, this dishonest oversimplification of what the Pope actually said, was repeated on “Global Catholic Radio” (EWRN’s motto), many times.  While this a) deliberate distortion of what the Pope himself had said, was b) joined to the endless, nauseating repetition, of other anti-abortion propaganda phrases, that were c) repeated dozens, even hundreds  times a day.  Often in d) hour-long anti-abortion tirades.  Ultimately, e) all this was repeated to millions of Catholics. (Again:  EWTN/RN was found in most major media, TV cable packages; and net-casts to the entire world).  So that finally, f) great numbers of uneducated Catholics came to believe that God himself, was really telling us to vote Republican in every election.  (Though EWTN probably only occasionally said this explicitly, this was its constant implicit conclusion).

And this massive big lie technique was successful.  Eventually, thanks to this huge monomaniacal media platform, anti-abortionism got far more votes out of Catholic minorities and Caucasians, than what would normally have been its normal share of votes.  The one-sided politics of EWTN/RN played a major role, in determining the election of 2004, to cite just one random example. In this election, pro-abortionist – but Catholic– candidate, Dem. Sen. John Kerry, was defeated by anti-abortion, Protestant, conservative, George Bush. To be sure, a great number of the 60,000,000 nominal Catholics in America – possibly most of them – belong to the Hispanic minority.  And since the Democratic party supports minorities, normally,  minority Catholics would vote overwhelmingly, for a Democratic candidate.  While then too, since in 2004 the Democrat presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, was also a Catholic; so that he normally, therefore, he should have drawn a high percentage of the Catholic vote.  But instead, he got reportedly only about 50%.  And in a close election, that was enough to win the day for the conservative, “patriotic,” “Pro-American” (/right wing, nationalist-militarist) party; the Republican Party.  The Catholic – especially liberal white Catholic – vote, was not to change, until 2008.

The pattern – far less minority and other Catholics voting for Democrats, than might normally be expected – had been established long before, around 1980; with the efforts of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (and Father Feeney?).   With conservative media like EWRN taking up the new Republican Christianity, this pattern would not change much, until 2008.  Then for a moment at last, it is said, after years of much effort from grass roots liberals and callers on conservative radio, the liberal (white? But also Hispanic?) Catholic vote reasserted itself.  And began to vote more Democratic. So that Democrat Barack Obama, was elected president in 2008.  So that at last a Democratic president and congress, could try to turn to pass other issues; like better health care for the poor and the sick, 2008-10.   But this change was hard fought; many heretofore unappreciated factors intervened here; including a) the resistance of a determined few liberals, managing to get their message, not Conservative talk radio.  And b) also due to the fact that the more intellectual, Democratic Party, at last, began to notice how many votes it was losing in the religious sphere. So that by 2006 at last, the Democratic party began making more Christian statements; statements in support of religion.  Taking up issues in the name of Christianity and Christian “values”; normally a Republican shibboleth.  As the Democratic party began noting that the Democratic Party after all, had always backed things that Jesus had supported; like “helping the poor” and the sick.  Which indeed were major programs of Jesus himself, in the New Testament.  Whereas Jesus himself never mentioned abortion; not even once.

Except for this recent, 2008 interruption of the usual pattern however, for many years, self-identified “conservatives” have dominated about 19% of the vote; and have formed the backbone of the Republican Party.  And EWTN/RN was at the center of all that.  Their self-avowed “conservatives” were constantly opposed explicitly to “liberal”s, and the liberal Democratic party.  And they contributed appreciably, to the triumph of one Republican after another. When conservative Catholics convinced everyone, that God himself told us to vote anti-abortion in every election – even though the Bible itself never mentioned abortion by name, even once – that threw enough normally liberal Catholic votes to conservatism.  Enough to win one election after another, from 1980 – the election of conservative Republican Ronald Reagan – to 2006.  “Conservatism”– which might be about 19% of the vote in most elections –  was enough to determine one election after another in America, 1980-2006; including the election of at least two or three American presidents.  From Ronald Regan, to George Bush I and George Bush II.  And then, having determined who was to be president, Catholic anti-abortionism thus, determined the course of America.  And through America, it leveraged the world.  Republican candidates were “good” on issues like abortion; but not so good on other issues, other Christian, priestly virtues, like say a) peacemaking.  Soon anti-abortion – but nationalistic and militarist – Republican administrations and congresses, were busy baiting Muslim countries with “Christian” “values”; bullying Iran (Reagan allegedly threatened Iran with nuclear destruction, if it did not release the hostages the day of his inauguration);  baiting Iraq (see above), and attacking and invading small countries (like Grenada Oct. 25, 1983; later Iraq, Jan. 16, 1991 & c. 2001, and Afghanistan.  While the  Republicans EWTN elected, were b) not so good on helping the poor and the sick; Republicans even in 2008-10, were voting overwhelmingly, to give money, economic stimulus, to troubled banks and corporations, but voted 96% against health insurance for poor and sick people.  Thus ironically, an issue that the Bible had never mentioned by name even once, utterly defeated an issue the Bible had mentioned hundreds of times. And ironically all this was done in the name of Jesus.  While even today, most priests never noticed this at all.

The anti-abortion vote, we suggest here, has actually determined one election after another, from 1980 on.  But did that vote determine the direction of America and the world, for the better?  Did it take America to a better – or worse – place?  First of all, we will have been showing  here, that a) the anti-abortion message, misrepresented Christianity; the Bible itself did not stress abortion that much.  Indeed, if it mentioned it at all, it approved of it in Num. 5.   While indeed, b) the Bible in fact hugely, overwhelmingly, favors other issues; Democratic issues, like helping the poor and the sick.  (Nor was Jesus that fond of war it seems to many).  While then too, c) the anti-abortion message, misrepresented the Church; the saints had told us that the young embryo was not a fully “ensouled” human being.  While we will have been adding here, that d) the Pope himself, had said that abortion is not, “proportionately,” the most important issue.  This was e) to be confirmed furthermore, by many bishops and cardinals, like Cardinal McCarrick, then head of the USCCB.  Who often warned that a given political candidate, might be “with us” Catholics on the issue of abortion, but “against” us, on “other issues.”

Clearly in fact, the anti-abortion movement misrepresented and defeated in fact, real Christianity.  With its own false vision of the Holy Embryo.

How and why did it do this?  In part to be sure, the a) excesses of liberalism, would eventually have called down some conservative counter-movement.  But to be sure, the b) problem with “conservatism,” is that after all, often the same old answers are not quite good enough; to progress, you need to move on. If we had conserved the horse and buggy, we would never have moved on to automobiles.

Then too c) one major theologial problem with “one-issue” Catholicism, as it came to be euphemistically called, was its narrowness.  As Cardinal McCarrick was to warn indirectly, voting for a candidate just because of his stand on abortion, ignored the possibility that his stand on many other issues, might be bad.  If Republicans were against abortion, for example, they were also however, very, very patriotic/nationalistic.  And pro-military; militaristic.  Which is to say, they didn’t mind wars so much; they regarded war as our patriotic duty; “standing up for what we believe.” And so they didn’t like “turning the other check,” as Jesus had commanded; they didn’t like “loving our enemies.”  They liked physical contests, the way Rush Limbaugh liked football; and they didn’t mind getting into physical contests – killing wars –  with people they felt threatened America.  In essence, d) Republicans were not intellectual or spiritual; they wanted simple answers and simple physical marching orders.  And they e) didn’t like trying to get along with foreigners too much.  And f) they didn’t like turning the other cheek.  If they had a difference with someone, they wanted to use physical force to settle it.  So they were often in effect, bullies, and worshipers of power, and f) war-mongers.  Since they had little tolerance of other peoples, Republican presidents, could not help baiting Muslims; or finally, engaging in wars with them.  (So that Bush I’s ambassador, told Sadam Hussein of Iraq, that its border disputes with other countries, were not America’s concern; and Hussein, convinced he had been given the green light to pick up the Kuwait oil fields in exchange for having worked with America against Russia, quickly invaded Kuwait, Aug. 2, 1990.  But then American declared Iraq an invader … and in a short time, by Jan. 1991, America was in a war.  With Iraq.  Then, when Muslims responded, in 9/11/01, American began a “war on terrorism.”  Then a war in Afghanistan. Then an invasion of Iraq.)

From the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and in spite of the Democratic presidency of Bill Clinton, the country, the Congress, remained predominantly Republican – and militaristic; patriotic.  And therefore involved in one war after another.  From 1980, when Reagan allegedly threatened Iran with nuclear annihilation, to the war that began in Iraq in 1991, and is still basically going on nearly 20 years later, in 2009  The US has been in wars for about 20 years; and many would say, this is in large part, some would say, to due to Catholic conservatives.  Who elected militaristic Republican politicians.  Republicans who were “good” on “one issue” … but not so good on other issues.  Like “peace,” and “turning the other cheek.” And helping the poor.  They were great on helping the body, globs of DNA; but not so good in helping children, adults, who were poor and sick and in need.

Thanks to the efforts of Conservatives, the Church therefore, in spite of some charity hospitals, still worked more strongly against the poor and sick therefore, in the political sphere, 1980-2008.  As the more intellectual people took to TV and then the internet, radio was left for those who could not work a computer.  And the new Rush Limbaugh- style talk radio appealed there, to an extremely uneducated, anti-intellectual and resentful class.  Who could not appreciate endless “liberal,” intellectual ambiguities; who wanted just simple rules, simple direct (and preferably physical, not intellectual) answers.  While those who wanted to devote time to such people, who felt some sympathy for them,  gradually found them, listening to their old fashioned radios.  So that in a short time, by Rush Limbaugh in 1983 and on, radio became overwhelmingly a working-class, anti-intellectual, anti-liberal medium.  (In spite of NPR).   In an uneducated,  working-class or conservative demographic; that looked all too similar to the “proles,” or the “Deltas” or “Epsilons,” in Brave New World or 1984.  That looked to many, like it was composed of just, simply, the stupid people.

Whoever it was, they wanted very, very simple answers.  Not endless spiritual/intellectual games and ambiguities.  And when Conservative Catholics and Republicans took over radio, and turned it into Right Wing Radio, c. 1983 on, they found a ready audience, for simple, traditional, physical, repetitive teachings.  There, a traditional and endlessly repetitive Catholicism, joined with working-class intolerance for intellectual ambiguities and extended arguments; to create a new simple rosary litany; of a few simple anti-liberal and anti-abortion phrases, repeated a hundred times a day.  And this message was extremely convenient, to industrialists and bankers, who wanted a well-trained and obedient work force and an army, following orders.  (“Foot soldiers” of the Lord,” a voice tells us on Relevant Radio, early in the morning of Jan  ).   Priests loved their conventionality and obedience; they never noticed the deeply anti-intellectual and anti-spiritual quality of this class of people.

And so the “Christian Coalition,” was formed.  No one noticed the all important change, when it morphed almost indistinguishably, imperceptibly, into the “Conservative” Coalition; and lost all religious spirituality altogether.  To become the movement that worshiped money. And the brain-dead body of Terri Schiavo.  And the soulless embryo. When it backed banks,  but not the poor and the sick.  When it turned directly against the Bible and Christ.

Specifically, EWTN played a seemingly small but very significant role in all this. Especially after Mother Angelica began to found the roots of EWTN, c. 1981/2.  Within a few years, a single “Catholic” radio station grew to many radio stations – and then a TV network.  A network that in many ways, clearly copycatted the Republican religious efforts of “evangelicals” like Pat Robertson.  The Church – which had previously always opposed Protestant evangelism  –  had somehow itself partially opened up this possibility, with its own allowance for a “new evangelization” even among Catholics.  And the new Catholic media constantly cited this phrased, as their constant plug and authorization:  stations presenting themselves as “answering Pope John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization.”  Citing this constantly,  the new, conservative Catholic evangelical media, soon somehow attached itself to the (in a way traditional?) sentiment of women, for babies, embryos.  To end up with a credo that was intent on making babies; babies that moreover, did not like to think too much about ambiguities, and that wanted simple answers and simple marching orders; that would not mind marching off to war for banks and industrialists.  Without ever asking for more pay, or help for the poor and the sick.

In this program, abortion of course was a sin; never mind that the Bible itself never mentioned it, or even advocated it in Num. 5.  The important thing was to stop turning the other cheek, and getting along with our enemies; the important thing was to produce lots of babies, that would obey simple rules, and march off to war.  The possibility that Christ himself did not favor wars, was conveniently ignored. And somehow, amazingly – perhaps because these people were at least loyal to traditional values – priests embraced these people; and even began to adopt their thought, themselves.  Even though the saints and the Cardinals and the Pope himself (to say nothing of Christ himself)  issued statements that should have warned them to slow all this down.

Thanks to agencies like EWTN, in the name of the Theology of the Body and endless babies, the masses have duly marched off to war with Muslims.   Turning the other cheek, asceticism, Jesus, were forgotten; in their place, was the John Paul II’s theology of endless reproductive sex;  and then the masses of troops physically defeating our rivals.  Giving the “mass”es the simple “marching orders” to physically kill,  that so many loved to hear (on the Drew Mariani Show, Jan. ).  While curiously, so many priests tolerated this and even, encouraged it. No one never noticing that it was good on “one issue,” but not so good on others.  Never noticing that they were cannon/canon fodder.

Leave Catholic Media;

Get Back to the Pope

Should so many millions of Catholics have been listening to “Catholic” media shows?  Instead of reading their Bibles? Undoubtedly, they should not have been.  Or for that matter, they should have read the Pope himself.

Religious “conservatives,” Mother Angelica and EWRN, have for nearly 30 years,  focused the attention of millions of Catholics’ attention, very narrowly, on primarily one issue:  on abortion.  On the embryo.  And millions learned from Mother Angelica to vote in elections, based just on that one issue.  But was that good?  Now it is time for anti-abortionists, Catholics, even conservatives, to learn to look at the broader sphere of life.  At some “other issues,” as Cardinal McCarrick called them.  At the many things “proportionate”ly more important than abortion, as the Pope said.  (Sean Herriott of Relevant Radio to the contrary; “The Morning Show,” 7:49 AM, Jan. 8, 2010, Relevant Radio, AM 970).

Conservatives try to make life and God simple.  To put things down in very simple language, orders, that simple, uneducated people can understand, and follow.  They like to narrow our attention down to one issue.  Like abortion.  But to be sure, a) Life, God, are complex.  And to reflect that, b) the major documents of Christianity, like the Bible, are written in very complex language. Language that, in one common interpretation, offers a simple message of hope and obedience; but that read more carefully, delivers a message that consistently equivocates between a simple faith in simple rules, and a wider appreciation of the infinite complexity of God and truth.  No doubt, we all wish that if there were just a few simple rules to follow, life would be much easier; and we long for those who would (unfortunate, unscrupulously), give us those few simple rules or “marching orders” (Jan. 7, 2010, Drew Mariani Show? Replayed Jan. 8 AM 970 Austin, TX).

Uneducated and unintelligent people in particular, get tired of the evasive ambiguities of intellectuals and priests; and want a few simple rules.  But after all, not only the Bible, but also the documents of the Catholic Church too, were written in a complex way.  Most religious writings to be sure, offer aa) a first, superficial appearance, or level, that gives a simple message, for people without much education. And so a document like the Pope’s 2004 memo, offers a level that on the one hand, in one reading, seems to oppose abortion for example, firmly.  That tells us that pro-abortion candidates can be excommunicated.  But after all, perhaps the Church would have been making a very, very severe mistake, if it had stressed this single issue so strongly. (Did it intend to make this a test shibboleth? To a new humanistic church, that feels free to offer its own human opinions as the word of God?).   But in fact, this part of the Pope’s document, after making such a severe, simplistic over-statement, backed off this position somewhat.

God, Life, are complex; not simple.  And to reflect this, most of the documents of the Church, are complex too; even individually. (While then too, there are hundreds, thousands of Church documents; so that much complexity emerges in comparing one to another).  Even individually though, most of them can be read in a way that, for example, acknowledges that Life and God are never simple, and that there are many different opinions, options, on many issues.  In the case the 2004 memo reveals, that specifically, the status of the embryo is not so certain as many have thought or wished.  And specifically, while parts of the 2004 memo from the Pope, seem to say abortion is bad, the memo also says, that there are many other issues in life, other than abortion; things that we must consider, when voting.

The fact is, abortion is probably rather bad.  But there are many, many things that can be – as the Pope, “the Holy Father” himself said – “proportionate”ly more important than abortion, and the embryo.  And in fact, it is the future Pope’s use of the word “proportionate,” that is particularly useful.  Here, the future Pope himself told us that in effect, life, and Catholicism, is not simple; that we must consider many, many things.  And learn to weigh them; in proportion to how important they are.

But specifically what other issues in life, might be more important than abortion?  The Pope suggested that “just wars,” might not be as bad as some things.  And that even capital punishment, might at times be justified and not be major issues. But the Pope, we will find, left open the possibility that say, un-just wars, or unnecessary wars for example, could be worse than abortion.  Or failing to give Health Care to the poor, and letting many die from lack of care for the sick.   As it turns out historically, at times wars can be incredibly evil, killing hundreds of millions of innocent human beings.  While bad health care, letting plagues run their course, could even kill billions of people; a significant portion of the entire human population.

Given the complexity of life, the Bible itself at times warned us that we should always keep in view the bigger picture; “for everything there is a season,” said Ecclesiastes. While Paul warned that many see only “part” of the truth.  So that finally, we need to be able to see the broader picture. As we will see here, religion, Christianity, actually considers many, many issues in life.  Which is why finally, Cardinal McCarrick and others began to condemn “one issue” Catholicism; a criticism which was in effect, directed especially against one-issue anti-abortionism. Though amazingly, a nun like Mother Angelica, and an entire “Catholic” media network, ignored, disobeyed this Cardinal, among many others.  Even though McCarrick’s 2007 statement was supported by, just an extension of, the Pope himself, and his 2004 memo.

How many aspects of life, have one-issue, obsessive people ignored?  How many parts of what the Pope said, have Catholics disobeyed?  Conservatives in particular, a)  ignored and were disobedient to, any and all parts of the Bible and the Church they thought were too “liberal.”  They favored war, and the severe God of vengeance in the Bible, in the Old Testament; but they ignored in particular, Jesus himself.  When he told us to learn to get along with our “enemies”; and to learn to avoid killing and war for example. While Jesus himself told us to “heal the sick” and help the poor; issues that the Democratic Party is probably better at, than Republicans.  And then even worse, they b) have long since begun to simply insert their own political ideas into religion; like their strong anti-abortion sentiments.  Which are not found in the Bible; which are even contradicted by the Bible itself (Numb. 5.15-29; Ps. 139.13-18)

Whatever conservatives think, actually, the “Holy Father,” the Pope himself, issued a statement that was not unequivocally anti-abortion; one that ended by telling us that we can vote for pro-abortion candidates in elections.  Instead, we should look at the larger picture; look at the many different issues.  And “weigh” and balance them against each other; to see which candidate, has the best platform, overall.  Especially, Pope Benedict XVI, commands Catholics to consider other, “proportionate”ly more important issues than abortion, when voting.  Issues which can outweigh, abortion.  And then the Pope says, that allows us to vote for political candidates, that happen to support abortion.  As future “Holy Father,” Pope Benedict XVI himself, told all Catholics.  In this final passage of his memo, especially, that you never heard much about on EWRN:

“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.” (First publicly reported in L’Espresso, around July 3, 2004?  Text here found online, in Catholic Culture:  “Catholic Culture”; “culture” “library”; “Pope Benedict XVI”; “June 2004”; “Worthiness … ”).

To be sure, supporting a Pro Choice candidate might be “remote”ly, a small sin.  But the Pope says that “can be permitted.”  If there are good reasons; more important things to vote for.

As we will see, this memo, moreover, and our reading of it, are not just a fluke; they are not the only example of this point.  The meaning of this extremely important, central a) memo, was later confirmed and expanded later on, by other major religious officials.  For example, it was all confirmed, by b) Archbishop/Cardinal McCarrick and others.  When they condemned “one-issue” Catholicism; because it often neglected important “other issues.”  While indeed, c) our more than one hundred Christian arguments in favor or abortion, prove that this decision, was supported by one Christian tradition, after another.

As we are seeing here, huge chunks of extremely central Catholic doctrine, history – from the testimony of saints, to the Bible itself – confirm that though abortion might be somewhat bad, it is not the worst sin; that many other matters should normally have our attention and votes.  But especially, of course,  it is probably this 2004 memo that might be the best way to present this finding to all Catholics today.  First, it will demand some attention, because it is from the current Pope himself.

By now, after reading the Pope himself, it should be clear, that “Catholic” media like EWTN/RN, are not really, accurately representing the Church, when they told us that voting for pro-abortion political candidates cannot be permitted; in fact, the Catholic media are misrepresenting the Church, and God; they are deceiving the Catholic public. Catholic talk show hosts in particular, have been extremely misleading, and deceitful. So what should we say about conservative Catholic media, like EWTN and Relevant Radio?    Such radio, TV, Internet networks, have constantly represented themselves as the reliable voice of the Church, and of God.  But they have actually deceived themselves and the whole world.  The fact is, the public needs to know that they these “Catholic” organizations, not have any official charter from the Church, to fully serve as its official voice.  They are merely private organizations, that offer only their own conservative “take” or “spin” on what the Church says.  They do not really, fully, accurately reflect what the Church really, fully says; not at all.  Indeed in fact, such organizations in have ended up twisting and opposing, the words of Pope Benedict XVI for example.  And so “Catholic” networks have thus mislead themselves, and the world; by even deliberately misrepresenting the Church and God; to the whole world.  Which is a very, very evil sin, indeed.

Specifically, “conservative” Catholic talk radio like EWRN especially, have quoted and a) stressed only a misleading part of the Pope’s 2004 memo for instance; the part of the memo that seems to allow for excommunication of pro-abortion political candidates.  But b) they have not given the “full,” final message of the Pope’s 2004 memo, its full due. They did not really adequately present the part of the memo that says voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”  (While for that matter, the Church itself, the Pope himself, overstated the case for excommunication; perhaps the Pope should read our book, here).

Clearly in any case though,  conservative Catholic media are not accurately telling us what the Bible and God and the Church really say.   Nor indeed, has conservative “Catholic” radio ever been truly obedient to the Church; it has only been true to its own biased, arch-conservative, literalistic misunderstandings of, or twist on, what the Church actually said.  You would think that a “conservative” Catholic would always say things that everyone could agree, were at the reliable core of Catholicism. But we will find that “conservative” Catholics are actually not following the core authorities of the Church at all.  They are not following the Bible.  They are not following the saints.  And now we find, they are not following the Pope; not at all.  Instead, they slyly, systematically ignore and disobey and twist, topspin, all elements of Church doctrine that seem “liberal” to it. But there are many parts of the Church that are “liberal”; indeed, Paul told us to “be liberal” in giving things to the poor (I Tim. 6.18; Prov. 11.25; Est. 2.18; Rom. 12.8; 2 Corin. 8.2; Deut. 15.14; Acts 10.2).

Conservatives and evangelicals – like Pat Robertson, and now in Catholicism, Karl Keating – told us to hate “liberals.”  But God himself in the Bible itself says “be liberal” in helping the poor. Ironically therefore, those conservative Catholics who assured everyone that they alone really followed God, but who constantly criticized “liberals,” have ended up disobeying part of the Bible. And rebelling against God.  Or for that matter, we here have shown they were secretly rebelling against the Pope himself, all along.

Clearly, the 2004 memo from the current Pope, assumes that there are things “proportionate”ly more important than abortion.  And if the memo seems not to think that just wars or justifiable homicide, capital punishment, might apply?  Then we and even the Pope, later suggest possible other important things after all. Like, we suggest here, avoiding unjust wars.  Or just but unnecessary wars.  Or like avoiding the many environmental disasters that the Bible itself constantly mentioned.  And for that matter, helping the poor and the sick.  Things that Jesus and God mentioned hundred, if not thousands of times.  While they did not mention abortion at all by name; not even once.

It is indeed strange and perverse, that there should be such a group of Catholics, as conservatives, the EWTN anti-abortionists. Of people who call themselves Catholics, Christians, though they focus their entire lives, around a single issue; a single issue that, amazingly, is never named in the Bible, not even once.  While this sect – the anti-abortionist sect, that claims to be Catholic and Christian – utterly ignores, dozens of important issues mentioned in the Bible a thousand times or more some say:   like helping the poor, and healing the sick; as in passing Health Care.  Issues whose importance was mentioned not just by contemporary Democrats, but also by the Bible itself.  By God himself.  Hundreds – even thousands – of times.

It is odd, amazing, that such a group calls itself “Christian.”  A group that centers itself sp entirely, around a single issue, that is never mentioned by name in the Bible, not even once.  So indeed, what should we finally say about this group of people?  That now even (in a denied way) encourages terrorism; the assassination of abortion doctors?  Like the late Dr. George Tiller, c. 2009?  Finally, we must simply call these Pro Lifers, a group of fetishists; who are not really Christian at all; but are really a classic sector cult; centered around a cult object, of the embryo, the fetus.  A cult that that is here and now, moreover, now exposed as having never been fully Catholic at all; but to have been in secret rebellion, all along, against even the Pope himself, Pope Benedict XVI.  A cult that really in effect, worships the fetus, over the Pope.  And over the Bible.  And therefore, over God himself.  So that finally the anti-abortion movement is not even Christian; it is a primal fetus cult.

Anyone who listened to EWRN, 1995-2002, speaking for even hours a day, day after day, on the abortion and the embryo, should have guessed, we are not dealing here with the Catholic Church of Mary and Joseph and Jesus any more.  Rather, what we have here is actually a new, only para-Catholic cult.  An embryo cult.  A new, apostate church of the heretical embryo.

And of course, when the whole world is distracted by this heretical entity, and neglects many other important issues?  Like health and environment?  Then of course, the whole world is lead into apostasy and heresy.

Finally 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.  Then too, by stretching a point, and declaring something that was uncertain, absolutely holy and certain, the Church has everyone following something that was potentially a falsehood.  While indeed we find here that it simply was, after all, a falsehood.  And that is a big, big problem.  So that finally, while the 2004 memo of the Pope is useful, finally its allowing for the excommunication of pro-abortionists, was a serious mistake.  The fact is we will see, those many priests who condemned and judged others, abortionists, who even excommunicated some, are here found to have here committed the same kind of sins and errors they judged other to have had.  They themselves were the very “Cafeteria Catholics,” they called others; they themselves read parts of the Bible, but not all of it.  They accused everyone else of attacking the soul … while deep down, their own efforts validate a mere physical body, and denigrate the soul of the grown child and adult.  So that their own efforts, no matter how well-intentioned, backfired.  So we might finally say that those who deliberately “err” after all, lie.  And Satan, not God, is the father of lies.

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.  As one-issue Catholicism, fails to take care of environmental things, like the four horsemen; like disease, plagues, famines.

What Can be Done?

Anti-abortionism has been preached by major radio networks,  many times daily, 365 days a year, for twenty five years or more; preaching the holy fetus to eventually, hundreds of millions of Catholics, worldwide.  And these preachments were rather successful; though they never achieved their stated aim, of ending Roe vs. Wade, they did succeed in electing one Republican politician after another. A solidly social-Darwinian, traditional hierarchy rule, without much care for workers.   So that any sort of extension of aid to poor people, health care for the poor, was solidly defeated, from 1980-2010.  This clerics have greatly assisted, believing they were nevertheless following a real, a good, Lord.

But how honest and good, has this particular rule – of conservative Republican laymen (and even some priests-  been?  Advocates were never fully honest; they quoted only a few short, out-of-context  parts of what the Bible, and Church, and bishops have said.  They only told one side of the story; and quoted only those parts of what the Church said, that seem to support these radio shows, and their “conservative” personal or political philosophy.  But this of course, was a bad thing, that did not really want to reach the “fullness of the Truth” of God or anything else.    And so, now it is time for the Church, and for concerned listeners, to hear the fuller story.  Of what the Bible and the Church really, more fully said.  In particular, even the Church itself needs to hear this; so that it can come to a fuller sense of itself; and then, take firmer action against the anti-abortionists and networks.

What can be done?  We will devote our final few chapters to that question.  The first thing concerned citizens can do though, to help the problem, is to begin to more fully inform Catholics, bishops, what the real, fuller opinion of the Church really is.

First, all churches and Catholics should be made aware that, so far as the Bible itself, the holy book itself does not ever mention the subject of abortion by name.  It therefore does not speak very, very firmly against abortion; certainly not firmly enough to make it the major issue in elections.  If anything, if the Bible ever mentions abortion at all, it allows and even advocates it.  In fact, it appears that in the Bible itself, God even orders priests to perform what would amount to abortions (Num. 5).

So it seems that the core document of Christianity, the Bible itself, is not very anti-abortionist; to say the least. In fact, the Bible itself appears rather pro-abortion  So what next?  That in itself, should be conclusive.  But beyond the Bible, what do the Christian churches say?  Most  Protestant churches allow abortion. 

Then what about science?  It suggests the embryo is not fully human.

Then what about secular Ethics?  It largely allows abortion. Indeed, secular ethics was behind the decision to legalize abortion, in Roe v. Wade.

But what about finally, the Roman Catholic Church?  Does it go against the Bible, and firmly prohibit abortion?  We have the doctrines of the Catholic Church.  And found that its doctrines at present, do seem to suggest that abortion is bad – but that finally the Church has not absolutely declared it a sin that is so important as all that.  Relevant here, are the testimony of the two major saints and theologians of the church, partially Augustine, but especially St. Thomas Aquinas.  Aquinas confirmed the Bible, and said that in effect, the very young embryo is not a fully “form”ed human being, with a “soul.”  Which in effect says that if abortion is a sin, it is not a major one; aborting an embryo is not as serious as killing a human being.  And this testimony by St. Aquinas became doubly important, entered the core of the Catholic Tradition and Magisterium, when Aquinas was made a (even the?) major theologian for the Church; in its 1917 Code of Canon law; CIC; Codex Iuris Canonici.

After considering the Bible, Science, Ethics, two major saints, the two major theologians of the Church, next, we have considered the testimony of two or three contemporary cardinals (three, to include Mahony).  Including the head of the USCCB, Cardinal McCarrick.  Who spoke against “one issue” Catholicism.  But especially, we looked at a 2004 memo from Cardinal Ratzinger; who was the head of the Vatican office that examines doctrines.  Ratzinger’s memo seems to have been excessive in one way; it allowed excommunication of pro-abortionists.  But then, on the other hand, it more moderately confirmed that voters after all, could vote for Pro Choice politicians, to support their stand on other issues “proportionate”ly more important issues, than abortion. The testimony of this Cardinal Ratzinger is particularly important.  First, Cardinal Ratzinger when he made this statement, was head of the very authoritative Vatican office charged with examining problems with doctrine; like the anti-abortion doctrine in particular.  Which we are asserting here is indeed, particularly problematic at best; certainly it is not certain enough to make it the central issue of every election.  Indeed, Cardinal Ratzinger was even-handed enough, to allow that after all, voting for pro-abortion politicians was a minor and forgivable sin, (if it was a sin at all).  And moreover, his testimony was doubly important, because in 2005, Joe Ratzinger was to become our current Pope; Pope Benedict XVI.

Should Catholics continue to religiously follow, listen, to EWTN/RN therefore?  We have begun to examine many major Christian and Ethical authorities here, on the subject of abortion, and the status of the embryo.  At least two major theologian/saints, several cardinals, and the Pope, have opposed anti-abortion’s doctrine; its disproportionate, one issue focus.  Not only have the Cardinals and the Pope opposed the doctrines of antiabortionism; at least one cardinal – Cardinal Mahony – also attacked even the main institutional voice behind it, Eternal Word Television Network; EWTN.  We will have mentioned in passing, at times, the testimony of Card. Mahony; as he testified against specifically, Mother Angelica, the founder and head of the rabidly anti-abortionist radio and TV and internet organization, EWTN/RN.  It therefore is now clear, that beyond the media, the real Christian authority, does not really support “Catholic” anti-abortionism and media at all.

So how Christian, or “Catholic,” how good, are these conservative “Catholic” anti-abortion organizations, like EWTN/RN, and their message?  Clearly they are going against at least two saints; and three cardinals; and against the Pope.  So that finally, we will have to conclude that, not only are these media voices, the true, real voice of the Church and God; EWTN and EWRN and their anti-abortionist associates, are really, actually, a major voice for a dangerous heresy.

What’s wrong with anti-abortionism?  One of the major problems with anti-abortionism, the Church itself has said, was simply that a) the very young fetus was not fully human; did not have a “soul”; was not “ensouled” as they say today.  In addition to this, the most fundamental criticism, b) more recent comments on anti-abortionism specifically, has been that focusing too much on the embryo, is excessively narrow.  Both Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, and Cardinal McCarrick of the USCCB, criticized in effect, the concentration of Pro Life anti-abortionism, on just “one issue,” as McCarrick said.  While the future Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, repeated this, telling us that when voting, we should keep in mind “proportionate”ly more important issues than abortion.

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.  As we will see later, ultimately, the penalty of excommunication, is far, far better deserved by anti-abortionists that pro-abortionists.

Chapter 9

What Things Specifically, are

“Proportionate”ly More Important

Than Abortion?

The “Environment,” Broadly Understood:

Avoiding Deaths from

Plagues, Famines, Floods –

And Wars

Anti-abortionists constantly speak as if the Church and God, firmly say that only the life of embryos, is really important.  The lives of those who die out of lack of health care, those who die in floods and so forth, are insignificant, to the anti-abortionists; 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 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, just fine.

But this extreme new theology, has never actually been the view of the Church itself, and its holiest Tradition. 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 that in our own time, the Pope 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 such “one issue” Catholicism, was not good; that the Church was “not telling Catholics how to vote.”

Yet their message was essentially ignored by self-appointed “Catholic” media networks like EWTN and Relevant Radio; who constantly speak against abortion; speaking of it so violently, as being such an important issue, that finally, it should clearly, according to them, outweighs all other issues in politics.  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; as a less important issue, than abortion.  Indeed, many of them essentially follow Karl Keating and others on EWTN/RN; who have often said that abortion is the most important or only issue in “life issues” and life; and therefore we must always vote for the most anti-abortion politician, in every election.  Which means in effect, we are being told to vote Republican in every elections.  Conservative stations deny this; but they have often explicitly said as much; while this is their constant implicit message.

But what we hear on private, non-profit “Catholic” media networks, is not really what the Church itself has really been saying.   The fact is, we just found here, St. Aquinas told us that the embryo does not have a soul, and therefore is not fully human; while the current Pope, Benedict XVI, told us that there are “proportionate”ly more important issues, than abortion.  So that voting for candidates that support abortion, “Can be permitted.”

While finally, we will next note, the fact is, 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, many more lives 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:  floods, plagues, droughts, etc..  Beyond the problematic theories of “Global Warming,” there are dozens of other proven environment-related disasters, that we know really happen in real life.  That in fact already have already cost millions of lives; and will cost millions, even billions more, if we continue to pay too much attention to abortion, and not enough care to health issues, and the environment.

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 that?  The Pope seemed to suggest that just wars would not be more important. Or even capital punishment.  But what about say, neglecting the environment?   Many say that nothing could be more important than abortion;  since tens of millions of fetuses were killed in abortions.  But we will note here, that even if embryos were human beings, and those numbers were significant, that number would still be proportionately far, far less, than the hundreds of millions, that have already been killed in various natural and unnatural, environment-related disasters.

Like, as noted earlier, plagues.  Or diseases.  As often mentioned in the Bible.

Floods have already killed millions; like the Flood of Noah

Famines and droughts.  Earthquakes.  Tsunamis.

Most conservatives today, think too narrowly of everything; including “environmental” problems.  They think that the only “environment”al disaster that is at issue:  “global warming”; and they insist, this 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; to too much or too little rain; to population density in relation to land mass, and so forth.  All these things are environmental. And neglect of them has is not a hypothetical evil; history has already proven that inability to control them, or neglecting them, has already caused one proven disaster after another; the environment 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 “destroyers of the earth.”

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?). 

 

a)      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.

 

b)      Then next, even more, consider that billions of lives that could be lost, in future wars.

 

c)      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. 

d)     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.  

e)      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.

 

f)       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.

g)      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.)

h)      The pope’s memo on abortion, above, to be sure, offers a few lines to 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 important. Or are good. Trying to avoid killing and war, are just not worth our attention or vote; because in fact the Pope and many others, have allowed that some wars are “just,” and can be good.  But Cat. 2308:  “All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.”

The argument that many wars are wonderful, “just,” was taken up in particular, by conservative Catholics in America, c. 1991 to the present; to assert that the American war in Iraq and Afghanistan, specifically, was unavoidable; and was a just war.  So that no votes were required, to end this war.  Or for that matter, to avoid creating even more wars.  Thus 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 let’s look prudently, at the consequences of this logic:  suddenly, 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 lives of a billion more that might be at risk, were not important; only the life of the embryo, deserved our vote, we were told. And many women, especially, believe this, 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.

i)        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.

 

 

j)        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.

k)      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 earlier 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.

l)        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).

m)    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.

n)      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.

  • o)      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 important 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).  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.

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