Chapter 8

UPDATES;

Additional Arguments

For Abortion, To Be

Added Here,

Against EWTN/RN,

And Anti-Abortionism

In our book, we have offered one hundred or more arguments against Pro Life anti-abortionism.  Against the message of the many individuals and organizations that support this heresy:  like EWTN/RN, and Frank Pavone, and Karl Keating.  But to be sure however, no single paper or book – even this one – can compete against a vast, professional, 24/7 top-spin organization, like EWTN/RN and associates. For example, in our mere, static book here,  we have had just a few hours, a few pages, to present our case, and then that is all we can say.  A book cannot defend itself like a live person; what it says is rather fixed.   But EWTN and the anti-abortionist lobby, form a living organism, that continue even after our book is presented to the public.  EWTN/RN is a living organization, allied with many, many anti-abortion organizations; organizations with dozens, even hundreds, of staffers, and professional apologists; the spin-doctors of the Church.  There are therefore, a) legions of live persons – b) some of them full-time  – devoted to attacking abortion.  And to attacking arguments against them, like our own.  And they will no doubt, come up with new sophistries to try to attack our present positions.  While we ourselves will not be there to defend against new arguments.

How can a mere fixed, static book like our own, a fixed emplacement, outflank all future live spin doctors?  In part we might do that, by simply being so dense that most cannot penetrate it; but in that case, that means we lose our audience.  And furthermore,  the new anti-abortionists have not only live staff members to think up objections, after our book is published; c) they also have massive media networks at their disposal; broadcasting and d) even net-steaming their message even twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  To effectively, all of the Unites States, and to the whole world.

Our simple book therefore, comes against the new media machines.  Anti-abortionists have a vast and powerful network of organizations working for them.  Including not least of all, one entire media network, working twenty-four hours at day, seven days a week.  EWTN/RN moreover is not small; though this never should have happened, it was normally offered in the standard major TV cable and satellite packages, all over the United States.  And it also sends its message out over the Internet to in fact, the entire world.

There is therefore, a vast, powerful, entrenched, well-oiled, living, anti-abortion rhetoric machine out there.  And the anti-abortion machine, is almost impossible to combat, with a mere single book.   Though our arguments here are good, such massive networks can generate many, many unanticipated logical tricks, sophistries, that we could not have time or space to address here, just  our single, isolated book.  And so, the anti-abortion machine will fool many; partially because we have not been around to correct them; to note problems in turn, with not only their 1st generation theories, but also with their 2nd generation counter-responses.

.  .  .

How can a mere, fixed, single book , even one with four hundred pages and a hundred separate argument, fight a live organization?   But in part we can do this, by marshaling hundreds of arguments; of which surely one or two will work.  Even if one or two of our arguments here are “disproven,” that is not enough.  Every single one of our arguments must be addressed; it only takes one good point to win an argument. 

Then too, we will have begun to expose some of the common, continuing tricks, deceitful strategies, of the new rhetoric networks.  Though the media networks for example, have call-in shows, that seem to offer real debate for example, in point of fact, nearly all radio call-in shows today, are rigged games; they are not fair debates at all.  The talk-show has huge, built-in advantages, for the host:  a) the call “screener” lets in only voices, people he or she things the host can defeat in discussion; b) the host can in fact hit the “dump” or “off” button on any opponent that gets too good; and c) then the network can edit the whole thing, and d) broadcast only those parts it wants to retain, parts favorable to itself, over and over again, to e) millions of people.

So the resources of anti-abortionists and apologists, today, are vast. Indeed, their resources vastly, hugely exceed ours; our little publication here, our own efforts here, are outnumbered, by a factor of probably, thousands to one.

So how do we have any chance at all, arguing with such a vast, well organized and staffed machine?  In effect perhaps, we have very little chance at all.  Unless finally, we can appeal successfully to intellectual honesty; and to the inherent fairness of priests, and of all good people.

In the meantime, until our arguments one day succeed against the vast, organized machinery of EWTN/RN, and against heretical priests like Frank Pavone, until the Church itself acts decisively, in the meantime, we can here only simply note, what we know so far.

Here we will have noted to the people of the world, especially, that Catholics and others need to be firmly warned, about this:   EWTN presents itself as if it is the official voice of the Church, and therefore, of God; but EWTN/RN is not an official Church organization at all; it is a private, non-profit organization (a 501 c3?  Or today, c4?).   Even in spite of an occasional, informal, (misguided) endorsement of this or that doctrine on EWTN, by this or that priest or bishop, in spite of an endorsement say of the “new evangelization,” and EWTN’s “ministry,” in spite of an occasional informal, private endorsements by priests.  In spite of all that … still, the Roman Catholic Church itself, has not yet officially given EWTN any really official, formal recognition or status; the Church itself has not said that EWTN/RN is its own, fully authoritative voice-piece.

The fact is, it is not EWTN, but the Vatican itself – Vatican.va – that is the real voice of the Church.  Or indeed finally, some say, it is only the Pope himself – and at that, only in the moments that he speaks definitively, “ex Cathedra” – that is said to be absolutely definitive.  Only the Pope himself in such moments … and not even what others say about such moments; how others characterize them.

EWTN therefore, has far, far less authority than it imagines, or pretends to the Catholic world.  And in fact, we will have devoted our article here to showing that a) EWTN/RN has no document that authorizes it as the official voice of the Church; that in fact, b) the dominant, most distinctive, characteristic message of EWTN/RN – its anti-abortionism – is a heresy.  And we have shown c) that its distinctive theology – and EWTN/RN itself – in fact, has been opposed, again and again, by the real authority in the Church itself; by at least three Cardinals, and the Pope.
EWTN and other anti-abortionist organizations have repeatedly presented themselves in effect, as the voice of authority; they have presented themselves in effect, as an approved voice of the Church; and therefore indeed, they have presented themselves as God himself; the voice of God.  But we will have shown here, that they have no such authority.  They speak falsely, for the Church; they speak falsely, for God. 

 

Specifically, EWTN/RN’s position on Abortion, is not even really Christian at all.  It is not fully justified by the a) Bible; nor by b) Ethics; nor by c) real Science.  Nor, for those who follow the Church, is EWTN’s position endorsed by d) the Church; it’s aa) canons, bb) Tradition, cc) saints, dd) Magisterium, ee) doctrine, ff) dogmas, gg) “infallible” positions, and so forth.  Nor has EWTN/RN itself, ever been fully, formally authorized by the Church, as its spokesman.  Instead, EWTN/RN, and especially its “one issue” anti-abortionism, has been opposed by at least three Cardinals; and the Pope himself.

Not only is EWTN therefore, a heretical, “presumptuous,” apostate spin-off or apostate “branch” of the Church; its is in fact, very, very, very deeply offensive; in that this unreliable entity, (especially by incorporating priests into its staff, or regular guest list) has implicitly presented itself as the voice of the Church … and as the voice of God.  For this reason, EWRN is not just a normal, offensive, right-wing/”conservative” radio outlet, voicing biased opinions; EWRN is also guilty in effect, of the religious crimes of “presumption,” and “heresy,” for example.

And if EWRN’s message has for so long, dominated political/religious debate? If it has been broadcast to millions?  Worldwide?  And if it in fact, determined the election of an anti-abortion Republican president, in the elections for 2000 and 2004?  And if thereby, through its control of the US presidency, its radical, false, “one-issue” anti-abortionism (and other positions?) has dominated the whole world?  Then after all, this situation very much recalls the Bible’s warnings; that in the End Time, there would be many “false priests” coming in the “name” of God, calling “Lord, Lord.”  False priests who would pretend to be following God or Christ, or who would believe who their were following him … but who were actually presenting, following, a “false” or “anti-“ Christ; a false idea of God.

But even if most of Catholicism, the United States, and indeed the whole earth, has thus been dominated by this false ideology, this false Christ, we here and now invite the public, to at last join with us; inviting the ordinary reader to petition his or her own local priest, and bishop; then the USCCB and the Vatican, itself.  Petition these authorities,  to at long last, begin to take more effective action against EWTN/RN.  To at last, far more effectively enforce and expand, the earlier criticisms, by Cardinals and Popes, of that organization; and of its founder Mother Angelica; and of its dis-“proportionate,”one “issue” Catholicism.  We ask the real authority of the Church, to finally effectively enforce the criticisms of EWTN/RN, and its one-issue anti-abortionism, by a) Cardinal Mahony.  By b) Cardinal McCarrick, and c) the USCCB. (McCarrick was head of all American Bishops, in fact, as head of the USCCB).   And then too, d) let the Church now enforce its own warnings against a dis-“proportionate” one issue Catholicism,  by former Cardinal Ratzinger.  Who is e) now, our Pope:   Benedict XVI.

The New Nature of “Debate” in

The Internet Age

EWTN and anti-abortionism therefore, have been opposed again and again, by the real authorities of the Church.  And for very good reasons.  Reasons which we have begun to outline, here and now.  No doubt to be sure, as soon the staff of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church, hear our objections, they will try to spin all of this, in turn.  And their absolute domination of their own network, of the Catholic world, will make it hard or impossible to break into their charmed circle, their hypnotized audience.

All we have on our side, is the truth.  But that means we will win, eventually.

But to do win against an ongoing spin-doctoring operation, its continuing and latest efforts, we will probably need to periodically up-date our works, here.  To answer any new sophistries generated by the network, the matrix.

And so finally, our last section, here, will be an informal but useful section; a section which will update our arguments.  With new responses,  to anti-abortionists’ latest arguments.

And so, let us begin now, with a few additions to our work.

First though, a review on the new nature of argumentation, today.  There is something new happening to all arguments, in the day of the Internet:  there are many advocacy groups out there; and thus many political and other positions are now argued around the clock, in a continuous debate, on the Internet.  Therefore, no argument or position can rest with a single book like this one; but anyone who wants to make a case that will stand, must be prepared to actively respond to new arguments.  To update our work, with new arguments and counter-arguments.

Arguments are now offered continuously, on the Internet; arguments offered often 24/7, by professional organizations whose entire job it is in fact, to try to generate comments on a subject like Abortion. (See Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life” for example).  Therefore, the fact is, no mere, single, static article – not even this one, with a hundred points of light in it – can stand up to the professional objection-machines, the organized, professional spin-doctor staff, of a massive, full-time organization like EWTN/RN.  An organization like EWTN/RN has a large, professional, trained staff of spin-doctor apologists and theologians; and it is associated with or can draw on, dozens of other similar organizations; whose entire job it is, forty hours a week, year after year … to try to answer objections to EWTN/RN; to defend allied organizations like EWTN/RN, and its anti-abortionist stance.  Indeed, contributing to EWTN/RN, is at least one entire, full-time organization, that exists to precisely, generate arguments against us:  Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life.”   Therefore, the hundred or so man-hours that we have devoted to our arguments here, will be hugely, vastly outweighed soon enough; by a staff and international body of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church; and by any number of other anti-abortion organizations, working tens of thousands of hours, to try to refute our points.  Who will then, moreover, be able to broadcast their own answers, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to hundreds of millions of people, over cable and so forth, to all the world.

So how could we (or even the Church) hope to win this argument?  Against a massive media machine?  When, even if we are right, we are outnumbered in effect, more than a million to one?  When entire, full-time, professionally staffed organizations exist, to generate arguments against our remarks here?  And yet however, we might attempt to win this argument, after all, by …

Generating after all, so many arguments here; a hundred and more.

To fix this,  we hereby call the public’s – and the Church’s attention – to the fact again, that this is not a fair, free, open debate, between equally-weighed opponents, at all:  EWTN/RN gets a response that is literally, millions of times louder than our own, at present.

Then too, while EWTN/RN will likely have a full-time staff to generate counter-arguments to all our arguments here … perhaps this can be stopped, if at last the Church itself – another living organization – orders EWTN/RN to cease.

 

But finally, in addition to all this, we offer here, next, a few updates to our own work.

Finally the best way to respond, is with our own live updates.  Indeed, this very article, may also be periodically updated, corrected by its original author (and others?).  To try to generate at least some counter-arguments again in turn, against whatever new counter-arguments EWTN may generate.  Though surely, such an involved argument might easily become a quite elaborated structure, incomprehensible to non-initiates, still, early on, a few more simple, useful arguments will no doubt appear here, and elsewhere; here, in the end.  Be sure to check the Internet for the earliest and then the latest editions of our present, original, 2009 AD document. To see what other sophistries by EWTN need to be answered.  This, our first draft, will probably be submitted some time in 2009 AD; look for both this first edition, and the author’s own later updates.

SOME ADDITIONAL, NEW ARGUMENTS AGAINST

ANTI-ABORTIONISTS

In our time, c. 1983-2011, the function of criticism, rhetoric, has become a full time, 24/7 operation. Today, literally hundreds of anti-abortion organizations operate, using the new media, to generate anti-abortion arguments, continually.  Even (considering the times zones), around the clock. Thanks to the new medium especially, of the Internet, it is now possible – and indeed, common – for various advocacy organizations, political and social groups, to be ready on a moment’s notice, to respond in favor of their own views, around the clock.  And?  The anti-abortion movement has done that.  And unfortunately?  It has been all-too-successful. Though it never controlled enough votes to achieve its main objective – to make abortion illegal – it did however, determine one election after another  .. in favor of the Republican Party.  With its militaristic interests and campaigns.

It has been hard for the pro-abortion movement to respond to this massive new propoganda machine, of right-wing radio especiall, in the Rush Limbaugh era.  But to be sure, our method of dealing with this, had been to present at last, an omnibus of not just one, but hundreds of arguments, in response to this vast army.

Then too, to be sure, no doubt the vast propoganda machine will eventually begin to notice and respond, even to our present book.  But?  With luck, the original author himself will still be alive; long enough to respond with a few counterarguments.

And so?  The following space is reserved, for the Author’s updates; for a few new arguments:

111)     Argument # 244 or …. A1)

Jan. 27, 2009.  As a first additional argument and response, consider this:  today on EWTN, pro-life Catholic, Al Kresta, asserted in effect,  that abortion is bad, because it is always good to have more physical children.  The assumption of many pro-lifers, indeed, is that the main  – or even only – way a person can be “fruitful,” is to have more children.  But of course, this argument is ridiculous and even evil; if having children is good, the best or even only way to be fruitful, then of course a) Catholic priests are evil; since they do not have literal children.  And b) Jesus himself likewise, is evil; since Jesus they say, had no literal children either.  Here c) again furthermore (as in their neglect of “ensoul”ment), our anti-abortionists are too simply physical, and neglect and even attack the spirit or soul; they forget that often a man or woman will decide not to have children, as monks do, in order to after all, develop his or her spirit or soul.  Those Catholics who speak, like simple-minded idiots, of having more and more babies as the best goal in life, forget, attack, spiritual, mental fruitfulness.

Arguments that we must always have more and more babies, also d) ignore or slight Malthus.  Who said that humankind will probably reproduce itself … until there are too many people to feed; thus causing mass starvation. Or at least a declining standard of life.

A2) Jan. 27, 2009.  Today on EWTN, Al Kresta also suggests that making abortion legal is bad – because it allows the State to take control of our reproductive lives. But this argument is strange and wong, in that a) the state is not presently telling or ordering anyone to do anything, like have an abortion; it is only allowing them a freedom, to have an abortion if they want it.  Those who don’t like it, don’t have to do it.  Second, b) Kresta ignores the obvious fact that on the other hand, when the State or the Church forbids others to contracept say, or making abortion – the aim of Kresta and many others on EWTN – that would be really, actually, taking control of our reproductive lives.  (Though today the Church’s mandates are voluntary).  So that indeed, the present law – which does not mandate and does not forbid abortion either, leaving it as a personal freedom or “choice” – is a good decision.

 

A3) Feb. 4/19/09:  When do we get a soul?  Consider Adam.   When did Adam receive a soul?  He a) was not born with a soul; God “breathed” it into him.  And was he a child when this happened?  Most accounts have Adam as a fully-completed body (even an adult?) when he was ensouled.

No doubt Adam is something of a special case.  Still it appears that the Bible considered this process normal:  we can be made soulless; and get a soul not at birth, but late in life.  Then too b) it was often thought in some ancient cultures, that our breathing, breath, was our spirit or soul; so that against babies are not fully human until first breath, at birth.

A4) The current Catechism tells us, for a second, to treat embryos exactly like full human beings.  But note the absurdities that happen when we do that.  The problem is that embryos are not human because … a) they are don’t have many of the qualities or abilities that children, or men and women and have:  they cannot walk, talk, act.  Embryos in fact b) therefore probably disobey many of God’s commands to do this or that.  God’s aa) command to “work” six days of the week, and then rest one day for example:  they probably don’t do that very well … because they can’t; they are locked in the womb, and are not quite fully human.. Even the bb) command to love, worship God would be hard for an embryo too, that does not understand language, and therefore cannot understanding anything in the Bible at all.  Much less follow it.

As regarding specific qualities, things embryos haven’t done? Paul and others tell us to cc) “mature” beyond “milk”; embryos haven’t done that

There are many rites of passage in Jewish culture; like dd) circumcision; ee) bar mitzvah; the ff) “day” we make payments to our (land?) Lord.  The embryo has not passed these rites of passage, or obeyed these or other rules of the Bible.

The embryo therefore has not fully – or even approximately – obeyed God.  No doubt to be sure, because it can’t.  But that just points again to the fact that the embryo should not really be considered a full human being.  Because after all, it lacks so many of our abilities.

A5) Conservative Catholicism, opposed liberal cardinals, like Bernardin, and his key concept of other issues, a “seamless web” of many issues.  But in doing so, this “Catholicism” … actually rebelled against major elements of the Church.  The conservative rebellion therefore amounted to therefore, apostasy, schism, heresy.  Liberalism is found in many legitimate and authoritative aspects of the Church; to rebel against liberal Catholic leaders, was to rebel against … much of the Church itself.  Such a rebellion cannot be called “Catholic.”

A6)  Recent attempts have been made to set up a basic vocabulary, that would distinguish between things that a) are “human” – like human skin – from things that are b) human, but also beings; like it is said the embryo, but also we add the human sperm.  These are c) perhaps distinct from a human person, meaning a conscious, intelligent being.  This is a marginally useful – but also misleading – terminology.

In any case, it is asserted that a human being – like say, the embryo – is nearly enough the equal of a human person, to have rights.  But?  A human sperm is also human, and a being:  a rather independent, complete set of DNA, in an animated, motile mode; it appears to fit many people’s idea of a human being.  But are sperm cells also to have rights therefore?  Note that the average procreative act of a human male, ejects hundreds of thousands of sperm cells; only one or two of which have much change of becoming live human beings; while the rest die.  If “every sperm is sacred” – as the Church once claimed – if these human beings, should be regarded as having the right to live of a human person?  Then … almost every male on earth will have to be locked up, as a mass murderer.

So that?  Regarding the attempt to assert that anything that is human, and a “being,” must be fully defended?

A7)  Added Nov. 20, 2011:  Our informal use of the term “heresy” to describe Pro Life movement, has been objected to.  Specifically, it is said that in the Roman Catholic Church, we must distinguish “heresy,” from “incredulity,” “apostasy,” schism, and so forth:  heresy being applied, particularly or only in the case of  “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstainate doubt concerning the same” (Catechism # 2089).  To be sure though, our use of the term “heresy” here is more informal; in the broader dictionary sense, of describing any teaching that goes against, say, the Bible, and God.  However?  To be sure, even the narrower, technical, Catholic definition might be relevant here:  the current Catechism (CCC, Libreria Editrice, c. 1997-2000. ), seems to some, to cite “Tertullian” as an authoritative source oppositing abortion.  But Tertullian of course, was officially declared a heretic by the Catholic Church, when he himself left the Church, for a different religion).  Then too, to some, it has seemed that the current Catechism also cites St. Basil approvingly.  But when St. Basil asked, “what do we care if the embryo is ‘formed’ or not,” (paraphrased from memory), here Basil too could be read as saying he did not care what the Bible said, about the unformed embryo, in Ps. 139; thus Basil too, is becoming a heretic; turning against, saying he does not care about, the Bible itself.  While not only did Tertullian and Basil turn against the Bible, and/or the Church?  But also we will have been showing, any very strong anti-abortion sentiment is ultimately, an attack on the Soul, the spirit itself.  So that it becomes a fundamental attack, on a core doctrine and value of Christianity and Catholicism.

Here therefore, we have used the word “heresy” loosely.  But it is possible that in fact, even the rather strict definition of heresy can be invoked here, against Pro Lifers.  Even if very high officials, Bishops of the Church, support anti-abortionism, even bishops and even popes, are often not infallible.

A8)  And if the current Catechism seems very anti-abortion? The Catechism itself is not infallible, most agree.

Regarding the current Catechism?  Even there, the language is hedged a bit; a person who gets an abortion or assists in one, “incurs escommuncation latae sententia” (CCC 2272; from CIC, can. 1398), but also “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law” (“Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324”).  Those conditions being open to many different understandings.

For that matter?  Does the current Catechism really unambiguously cite Tertullian as an authority?  Tertullian’s anti-abortion statement  – “You shall no kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish” – appears in the Catechism; and it is referenced in footnote, # 75, page 548 of the 1997-2000 CCC.  But Tertullian after all was long ago declared to be a heretic.  And the footnote in some readings, might be said to have bee prefaced, a short while earlier, by the note “cf.”; which means “compare” or “contrast” what follows, to what was apparently at first claimed in the Catechism above.

While by “excommunicating” those who have had an abortion, the Catechism adds that it is – albeit ambiguously – stated that by excommunicating the woman who has had an abortion, “The Church does not therby intend to restrict the scope of mercy” (CCC 2272).

Suggesting that such an offense can be forgiven?  Indeed even EWRN often mentioned apparently (if memory serves)a  “Sacrament of Reconciliation.”  Which might allow a woman who had an abortion, to return to full communion with the church?

If indeed, excommuncation “latae sententia,” and “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law,” even acctually excommunicated anyone “by the very commission of the offense” (CCC section 2272, page 548, footnote 78, citing canon law, Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1314.).

Citations of “Didache,” or Didactics, cite a document that is also suspect; an heretically short primer or made-simple guide to Christianity, having been ejected from the Bible, and form the canon, and from Catholic life, for nearly 2000 years; and having surfaced again, after centuries of suppression, only at a suspiciously opportune moment, as late as 1875.

The anti-abortion case therefore, was based on one heretical and non-authoritative “Catholic” case after another, from the heretic Tertullian, to St. Basil’s “what do we care” remark about the Bible itself.  It was based on one problematic, minor source after another – while it rejected and top-spun the core values, the primary writings of the Bible (Ps. 139),  the major Catholic Theologians Augustine and Aquinas, while ignoring the cautions of countless current cardinals … and the Pope himself.  Who told us in the 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” that abortion was bad; but that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”

To be sure, even Popes are not always infallible; but only when speaking Ex Cathedra (an indefinable moment moreover).  So that? Even popes cannot be cited as absolute authority.  And therefore we rely more on the Bible, for example.  As well as on the “reason” and logic that the Bible itself finally advocated.  (“Come, let us reason together”; “always be prepared to give a reason for your faith”).  And if the current Catechism cites the Papal Encyclical Gaudium et spes, 1965, to the effect that “Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception:  abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes,” then after all, even popes like John, and John Paul II, and their encylicals, often made mistakes.  Especially when they abandoned reason, for sentiment, and the “heart” that the Bible often warned, often “deceiv”es everyone.

Indeed, the very name of God himself, is “Logos.” Which is often translated as the defining “word” or defining characterization; but which can also be translated by the English word that more obviously derives from it:  as, in other words, “Logic.”

No doubt, the fundamental human right, is the right of a human person to live.  But the question is:  is the embryo, a human person?  Should an frozen embryo composed of a dozen cells, smaller than a pinhead, have all the same rights and responsiblities, as a child, or human adult?

That all-too-common assertion was obviously, poorly thought out.  Even as, worse, that assertion based on one implausible and even heretical assertion after another, was firmly presented to the whole world, as the Word of God.

To err on the side of over-caution is, after all, to err.  And often the very worst sins of all, are committed by persons trying to be very, very good.  The road to hell, is paved in good intentions, by do-gooders.

A9)  In the months prior to the assassination/murder of Dr. Tiller, the abortion provider, in May 31, 2009, Fr. Frank Pavone and others, were beginning to follow their fatal convictions to the letter, to their extreme conclusion; and they began to often assert more and more boldly, more and more directly, on violently anti-abortion outets like EWRN and Relevant Radio, that the embryo was a human person; and that therefore, abortion, was in effect, “murder.”   While some noted a fatal practical problem in that line of thinking: which would conclude that the logical conclusion of that strain of thought, would be that some would feel justified in killing abortion providers; to prevent a crime, a sin, or murder.  (While indeed, some parts of the Catechism suggest that acts undertaken to prevent a murderer some murdering again, might in some cases be considered legitimate).

And so warnings were issued, that the thinking, the premises of Right-Wing radio, EWRN and Relevant Radio, and any strong anti-abortionism, lead finally to literally fatal consequences.  But such warnings were not heeded; instead, these warnings were taken as prescriptive.  So that soon, the incentiary and inflamatory rhetoric of antiabortionism reached its fatal “logical” conclusion:  finally on May 31, 2009, some EWRN/Relevant Radio fan or kindred spirit, simply decided to  take it on himself, to shoot Dr. Tiller, an abortion provider, dead. As he did.  Killing Dr. Tiller n his church.  On May 31, 2009.  Thus the careless thinking and incendiary rhetoric of the Pro Life movement, finally came to its ineviable end:  right-wing murder, and terrorism.

And Pavone did not really relent:  within a fairly short time, Pavone was also simply … giving the address of another major abortion provider, on the air (Relevant Radio?) some say.

Today, these things are hard to prove.  And indeed, whenever this role of Pavone and Priest For Life in anti-abortion terrorism and murder, is mentioned, defenders of Pavone to be sure, Pavone and Priests for life, immediately, on paper in in the media, technically, condemned such killings of abortion providers; strongly.  It is added that Priests for Life even offered something like a $50,000 reward, for anyone offering to expose anti-abortion terrrorists; probably for any evidence that would convict someone of anti-abortion terrorism.

And so it is said, Pavone and Priests for Life, EWRN and Relevant Radio, are not to blame for acts of anti-abortion violence.  But to be sure, though various statements were made after the event, trying to put these organizations in a strongly anti-terroristic stance, those efforts were belated; no one in Priests for Life, ever confessed to these right-wing organizations; possible role, in inspiring these murders. And making it stick – uncovering positive evidence, reviewing the complete record of what the massively prolific Fr. Pavone said, in the months before and after May 31, 2009 – is a long chore; if the relevant data was not immediately expunged.  On say, Relevant Radio.

But if imperfect memory serves?  That is what happened.  And futhermore, it happens to this very day:  once again, in c. 2010-11, the Bishop of Arizona began to speak very strongly against abortion, and those who defended it; in within a very short time, yet another right-wing extremist … took the extraordinary measure of attempting to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; shooting her in the head, and seriously injuring her.

To this very day, again and again, many priests and bishops do not hesitate to call abortion “murder.”  Never thinking or caring, about what effects their words might have.  What the consequences of their faulty logic would be.

Or perhaps after all?  Some did think of the consequences.

A)10  …?

More MORE UPDATES, ADDITIONAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST ANTI-ABORTIONISTS, MAY BE INSERTED HERE:   check this space,  or check the internet for versions of this text, updated by the author.  This particular text was completed roughly Nov. 20, 2011.

Chapter 8

UPDATES;

Additional Arguments

For Abortion, To Be

Added Here,

Against EWTN/RN,

And Anti-Abortionism

In our book, we have offered one hundred or more arguments against Pro Life anti-abortionism.  Against the message of the many individuals and organizations that support this heresy:  like EWTN/RN, and Frank Pavone, and Karl Keating.  But to be sure however, no single paper or book – even this one – can compete against a vast, professional, 24/7 top-spin organization, like EWTN/RN and associates. For example, in our mere, static book here,  we have had just a few hours, a few pages, to present our case, and then that is all we can say.  A book cannot defend itself like a live person; what it says is rather fixed.   But EWTN and the anti-abortionist lobby, form a living organism, that continue even after our book is presented to the public.  EWTN/RN is a living organization, allied with many, many anti-abortion organizations; organizations with dozens, even hundreds, of staffers, and professional apologists; the spin-doctors of the Church.  There are therefore, a) legions of live persons – b) some of them full-time  – devoted to attacking abortion.  And to attacking arguments against them, like our own.  And they will no doubt, come up with new sophistries to try to attack our present positions.  While we ourselves will not be there to defend against new arguments.

How can a mere fixed, static book like our own, a fixed emplacement, outflank all future live spin doctors?  In part we might do that, by simply being so dense that most cannot penetrate it; but in that case, that means we lose our audience.  And furthermore,  the new anti-abortionists have not only live staff members to think up objections, after our book is published; c) they also have massive media networks at their disposal; broadcasting and d) even net-steaming their message even twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  To effectively, all of the Unites States, and to the whole world.

Our simple book therefore, comes against the new media machines.  Anti-abortionists have a vast and powerful network of organizations working for them.  Including not least of all, one entire media network, working twenty-four hours at day, seven days a week.  EWTN/RN moreover is not small; though this never should have happened, it was normally offered in the standard major TV cable and satellite packages, all over the United States.  And it also sends its message out over the Internet to in fact, the entire world.

There is therefore, a vast, powerful, entrenched, well-oiled, living, anti-abortion rhetoric machine out there.  And the anti-abortion machine, is almost impossible to combat, with a mere single book.   Though our arguments here are good, such massive networks can generate many, many unanticipated logical tricks, sophistries, that we could not have time or space to address here, just  our single, isolated book.  And so, the anti-abortion machine will fool many; partially because we have not been around to correct them; to note problems in turn, with not only their 1st generation theories, but also with their 2nd generation counter-responses.

.  .  .

How can a mere, fixed, single book , even one with four hundred pages and a hundred separate argument, fight a live organization?   But in part we can do this, by marshaling hundreds of arguments; of which surely one or two will work.  Even if one or two of our arguments here are “disproven,” that is not enough.  Every single one of our arguments must be addressed; it only takes one good point to win an argument. 

Then too, we will have begun to expose some of the common, continuing tricks, deceitful strategies, of the new rhetoric networks.  Though the media networks for example, have call-in shows, that seem to offer real debate for example, in point of fact, nearly all radio call-in shows today, are rigged games; they are not fair debates at all.  The talk-show has huge, built-in advantages, for the host:  a) the call “screener” lets in only voices, people he or she things the host can defeat in discussion; b) the host can in fact hit the “dump” or “off” button on any opponent that gets too good; and c) then the network can edit the whole thing, and d) broadcast only those parts it wants to retain, parts favorable to itself, over and over again, to e) millions of people.

So the resources of anti-abortionists and apologists, today, are vast. Indeed, their resources vastly, hugely exceed ours; our little publication here, our own efforts here, are outnumbered, by a factor of probably, thousands to one.

So how do we have any chance at all, arguing with such a vast, well organized and staffed machine?  In effect perhaps, we have very little chance at all.  Unless finally, we can appeal successfully to intellectual honesty; and to the inherent fairness of priests, and of all good people.

In the meantime, until our arguments one day succeed against the vast, organized machinery of EWTN/RN, and against heretical priests like Frank Pavone, until the Church itself acts decisively, in the meantime, we can here only simply note, what we know so far.

Here we will have noted to the people of the world, especially, that Catholics and others need to be firmly warned, about this:   EWTN presents itself as if it is the official voice of the Church, and therefore, of God; but EWTN/RN is not an official Church organization at all; it is a private, non-profit organization (a 501 c3?  Or today, c4?).   Even in spite of an occasional, informal, (misguided) endorsement of this or that doctrine on EWTN, by this or that priest or bishop, in spite of an endorsement say of the “new evangelization,” and EWTN’s “ministry,” in spite of an occasional informal, private endorsements by priests.  In spite of all that … still, the Roman Catholic Church itself, has not yet officially given EWTN any really official, formal recognition or status; the Church itself has not said that EWTN/RN is its own, fully authoritative voice-piece.

The fact is, it is not EWTN, but the Vatican itself – Vatican.va – that is the real voice of the Church.  Or indeed finally, some say, it is only the Pope himself – and at that, only in the moments that he speaks definitively, “ex Cathedra” – that is said to be absolutely definitive.  Only the Pope himself in such moments … and not even what others say about such moments; how others characterize them.

EWTN therefore, has far, far less authority than it imagines, or pretends to the Catholic world.  And in fact, we will have devoted our article here to showing that a) EWTN/RN has no document that authorizes it as the official voice of the Church; that in fact, b) the dominant, most distinctive, characteristic message of EWTN/RN – its anti-abortionism – is a heresy.  And we have shown c) that its distinctive theology – and EWTN/RN itself – in fact, has been opposed, again and again, by the real authority in the Church itself; by at least three Cardinals, and the Pope.
EWTN and other anti-abortionist organizations have repeatedly presented themselves in effect, as the voice of authority; they have presented themselves in effect, as an approved voice of the Church; and therefore indeed, they have presented themselves as God himself; the voice of God.  But we will have shown here, that they have no such authority.  They speak falsely, for the Church; they speak falsely, for God. 

 

Specifically, EWTN/RN’s position on Abortion, is not even really Christian at all.  It is not fully justified by the a) Bible; nor by b) Ethics; nor by c) real Science.  Nor, for those who follow the Church, is EWTN’s position endorsed by d) the Church; it’s aa) canons, bb) Tradition, cc) saints, dd) Magisterium, ee) doctrine, ff) dogmas, gg) “infallible” positions, and so forth.  Nor has EWTN/RN itself, ever been fully, formally authorized by the Church, as its spokesman.  Instead, EWTN/RN, and especially its “one issue” anti-abortionism, has been opposed by at least three Cardinals; and the Pope himself.

Not only is EWTN therefore, a heretical, “presumptuous,” apostate spin-off or apostate “branch” of the Church; its is in fact, very, very, very deeply offensive; in that this unreliable entity, (especially by incorporating priests into its staff, or regular guest list) has implicitly presented itself as the voice of the Church … and as the voice of God.  For this reason, EWRN is not just a normal, offensive, right-wing/”conservative” radio outlet, voicing biased opinions; EWRN is also guilty in effect, of the religious crimes of “presumption,” and “heresy,” for example.

And if EWRN’s message has for so long, dominated political/religious debate? If it has been broadcast to millions?  Worldwide?  And if it in fact, determined the election of an anti-abortion Republican president, in the elections for 2000 and 2004?  And if thereby, through its control of the US presidency, its radical, false, “one-issue” anti-abortionism (and other positions?) has dominated the whole world?  Then after all, this situation very much recalls the Bible’s warnings; that in the End Time, there would be many “false priests” coming in the “name” of God, calling “Lord, Lord.”  False priests who would pretend to be following God or Christ, or who would believe who their were following him … but who were actually presenting, following, a “false” or “anti-“ Christ; a false idea of God.

But even if most of Catholicism, the United States, and indeed the whole earth, has thus been dominated by this false ideology, this false Christ, we here and now invite the public, to at last join with us; inviting the ordinary reader to petition his or her own local priest, and bishop; then the USCCB and the Vatican, itself.  Petition these authorities,  to at long last, begin to take more effective action against EWTN/RN.  To at last, far more effectively enforce and expand, the earlier criticisms, by Cardinals and Popes, of that organization; and of its founder Mother Angelica; and of its dis-“proportionate,”one “issue” Catholicism.  We ask the real authority of the Church, to finally effectively enforce the criticisms of EWTN/RN, and its one-issue anti-abortionism, by a) Cardinal Mahony.  By b) Cardinal McCarrick, and c) the USCCB. (McCarrick was head of all American Bishops, in fact, as head of the USCCB).   And then too, d) let the Church now enforce its own warnings against a dis-“proportionate” one issue Catholicism,  by former Cardinal Ratzinger.  Who is e) now, our Pope:   Benedict XVI.

The New Nature of “Debate” in

The Internet Age

EWTN and anti-abortionism therefore, have been opposed again and again, by the real authorities of the Church.  And for very good reasons.  Reasons which we have begun to outline, here and now.  No doubt to be sure, as soon the staff of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church, hear our objections, they will try to spin all of this, in turn.  And their absolute domination of their own network, of the Catholic world, will make it hard or impossible to break into their charmed circle, their hypnotized audience.

All we have on our side, is the truth.  But that means we will win, eventually.

But to do win against an ongoing spin-doctoring operation, its continuing and latest efforts, we will probably need to periodically up-date our works, here.  To answer any new sophistries generated by the network, the matrix.

And so finally, our last section, here, will be an informal but useful section; a section which will update our arguments.  With new responses,  to anti-abortionists’ latest arguments.

And so, let us begin now, with a few additions to our work.

First though, a review on the new nature of argumentation, today.  There is something new happening to all arguments, in the day of the Internet:  there are many advocacy groups out there; and thus many political and other positions are now argued around the clock, in a continuous debate, on the Internet.  Therefore, no argument or position can rest with a single book like this one; but anyone who wants to make a case that will stand, must be prepared to actively respond to new arguments.  To update our work, with new arguments and counter-arguments.

Arguments are now offered continuously, on the Internet; arguments offered often 24/7, by professional organizations whose entire job it is in fact, to try to generate comments on a subject like Abortion. (See Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life” for example).  Therefore, the fact is, no mere, single, static article – not even this one, with a hundred points of light in it – can stand up to the professional objection-machines, the organized, professional spin-doctor staff, of a massive, full-time organization like EWTN/RN.  An organization like EWTN/RN has a large, professional, trained staff of spin-doctor apologists and theologians; and it is associated with or can draw on, dozens of other similar organizations; whose entire job it is, forty hours a week, year after year … to try to answer objections to EWTN/RN; to defend allied organizations like EWTN/RN, and its anti-abortionist stance.  Indeed, contributing to EWTN/RN, is at least one entire, full-time organization, that exists to precisely, generate arguments against us:  Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life.”   Therefore, the hundred or so man-hours that we have devoted to our arguments here, will be hugely, vastly outweighed soon enough; by a staff and international body of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church; and by any number of other anti-abortion organizations, working tens of thousands of hours, to try to refute our points.  Who will then, moreover, be able to broadcast their own answers, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to hundreds of millions of people, over cable and so forth, to all the world.

So how could we (or even the Church) hope to win this argument?  Against a massive media machine?  When, even if we are right, we are outnumbered in effect, more than a million to one?  When entire, full-time, professionally staffed organizations exist, to generate arguments against our remarks here?  And yet however, we might attempt to win this argument, after all, by …

Generating after all, so many arguments here; a hundred and more.

To fix this,  we hereby call the public’s – and the Church’s attention – to the fact again, that this is not a fair, free, open debate, between equally-weighed opponents, at all:  EWTN/RN gets a response that is literally, millions of times louder than our own, at present.

Then too, while EWTN/RN will likely have a full-time staff to generate counter-arguments to all our arguments here … perhaps this can be stopped, if at last the Church itself – another living organization – orders EWTN/RN to cease.

 

But finally, in addition to all this, we offer here, next, a few updates to our own work.

Finally the best way to respond, is with our own live updates.  Indeed, this very article, may also be periodically updated, corrected by its original author (and others?).  To try to generate at least some counter-arguments again in turn, against whatever new counter-arguments EWTN may generate.  Though surely, such an involved argument might easily become a quite elaborated structure, incomprehensible to non-initiates, still, early on, a few more simple, useful arguments will no doubt appear here, and elsewhere; here, in the end.  Be sure to check the Internet for the earliest and then the latest editions of our present, original, 2009 AD document. To see what other sophistries by EWTN need to be answered.  This, our first draft, will probably be submitted some time in 2009 AD; look for both this first edition, and the author’s own later updates.

SOME ADDITIONAL, NEW ARGUMENTS AGAINST

ANTI-ABORTIONISTS

In our time, c. 1983-2011, the function of criticism, rhetoric, has become a full time, 24/7 operation. Today, literally hundreds of anti-abortion organizations operate, using the new media, to generate anti-abortion arguments, continually.  Even (considering the times zones), around the clock. Thanks to the new medium especially, of the Internet, it is now possible – and indeed, common – for various advocacy organizations, political and social groups, to be ready on a moment’s notice, to respond in favor of their own views, around the clock.  And?  The anti-abortion movement has done that.  And unfortunately?  It has been all-too-successful. Though it never controlled enough votes to achieve its main objective – to make abortion illegal – it did however, determine one election after another  .. in favor of the Republican Party.  With its militaristic interests and campaigns.

It has been hard for the pro-abortion movement to respond to this massive new propoganda machine, of right-wing radio especiall, in the Rush Limbaugh era.  But to be sure, our method of dealing with this, had been to present at last, an omnibus of not just one, but hundreds of arguments, in response to this vast army.

Then too, to be sure, no doubt the vast propoganda machine will eventually begin to notice and respond, even to our present book.  But?  With luck, the original author himself will still be alive; long enough to respond with a few counterarguments.

And so?  The following space is reserved, for the Author’s updates; for a few new arguments:

111)     Argument # 244 or …. A1)

Jan. 27, 2009.  As a first additional argument and response, consider this:  today on EWTN, pro-life Catholic, Al Kresta, asserted in effect,  that abortion is bad, because it is always good to have more physical children.  The assumption of many pro-lifers, indeed, is that the main  – or even only – way a person can be “fruitful,” is to have more children.  But of course, this argument is ridiculous and even evil; if having children is good, the best or even only way to be fruitful, then of course a) Catholic priests are evil; since they do not have literal children.  And b) Jesus himself likewise, is evil; since Jesus they say, had no literal children either.  Here c) again furthermore (as in their neglect of “ensoul”ment), our anti-abortionists are too simply physical, and neglect and even attack the spirit or soul; they forget that often a man or woman will decide not to have children, as monks do, in order to after all, develop his or her spirit or soul.  Those Catholics who speak, like simple-minded idiots, of having more and more babies as the best goal in life, forget, attack, spiritual, mental fruitfulness.

Arguments that we must always have more and more babies, also d) ignore or slight Malthus.  Who said that humankind will probably reproduce itself … until there are too many people to feed; thus causing mass starvation. Or at least a declining standard of life.

A2) Jan. 27, 2009.  Today on EWTN, Al Kresta also suggests that making abortion legal is bad – because it allows the State to take control of our reproductive lives. But this argument is strange and wong, in that a) the state is not presently telling or ordering anyone to do anything, like have an abortion; it is only allowing them a freedom, to have an abortion if they want it.  Those who don’t like it, don’t have to do it.  Second, b) Kresta ignores the obvious fact that on the other hand, when the State or the Church forbids others to contracept say, or making abortion – the aim of Kresta and many others on EWTN – that would be really, actually, taking control of our reproductive lives.  (Though today the Church’s mandates are voluntary).  So that indeed, the present law – which does not mandate and does not forbid abortion either, leaving it as a personal freedom or “choice” – is a good decision.

 

A3) Feb. 4/19/09:  When do we get a soul?  Consider Adam.   When did Adam receive a soul?  He a) was not born with a soul; God “breathed” it into him.  And was he a child when this happened?  Most accounts have Adam as a fully-completed body (even an adult?) when he was ensouled.

No doubt Adam is something of a special case.  Still it appears that the Bible considered this process normal:  we can be made soulless; and get a soul not at birth, but late in life.  Then too b) it was often thought in some ancient cultures, that our breathing, breath, was our spirit or soul; so that against babies are not fully human until first breath, at birth.

A4) The current Catechism tells us, for a second, to treat embryos exactly like full human beings.  But note the absurdities that happen when we do that.  The problem is that embryos are not human because … a) they are don’t have many of the qualities or abilities that children, or men and women and have:  they cannot walk, talk, act.  Embryos in fact b) therefore probably disobey many of God’s commands to do this or that.  God’s aa) command to “work” six days of the week, and then rest one day for example:  they probably don’t do that very well … because they can’t; they are locked in the womb, and are not quite fully human.. Even the bb) command to love, worship God would be hard for an embryo too, that does not understand language, and therefore cannot understanding anything in the Bible at all.  Much less follow it.

As regarding specific qualities, things embryos haven’t done? Paul and others tell us to cc) “mature” beyond “milk”; embryos haven’t done that

There are many rites of passage in Jewish culture; like dd) circumcision; ee) bar mitzvah; the ff) “day” we make payments to our (land?) Lord.  The embryo has not passed these rites of passage, or obeyed these or other rules of the Bible.

The embryo therefore has not fully – or even approximately – obeyed God.  No doubt to be sure, because it can’t.  But that just points again to the fact that the embryo should not really be considered a full human being.  Because after all, it lacks so many of our abilities.

A5) Conservative Catholicism, opposed liberal cardinals, like Bernardin, and his key concept of other issues, a “seamless web” of many issues.  But in doing so, this “Catholicism” … actually rebelled against major elements of the Church.  The conservative rebellion therefore amounted to therefore, apostasy, schism, heresy.  Liberalism is found in many legitimate and authoritative aspects of the Church; to rebel against liberal Catholic leaders, was to rebel against … much of the Church itself.  Such a rebellion cannot be called “Catholic.”

A6)  Recent attempts have been made to set up a basic vocabulary, that would distinguish between things that a) are “human” – like human skin – from things that are b) human, but also beings; like it is said the embryo, but also we add the human sperm.  These are c) perhaps distinct from a human person, meaning a conscious, intelligent being.  This is a marginally useful – but also misleading – terminology.

In any case, it is asserted that a human being – like say, the embryo – is nearly enough the equal of a human person, to have rights.  But?  A human sperm is also human, and a being:  a rather independent, complete set of DNA, in an animated, motile mode; it appears to fit many people’s idea of a human being.  But are sperm cells also to have rights therefore?  Note that the average procreative act of a human male, ejects hundreds of thousands of sperm cells; only one or two of which have much change of becoming live human beings; while the rest die.  If “every sperm is sacred” – as the Church once claimed – if these human beings, should be regarded as having the right to live of a human person?  Then … almost every male on earth will have to be locked up, as a mass murderer.

So that?  Regarding the attempt to assert that anything that is human, and a “being,” must be fully defended?

A7)  Added Nov. 20, 2011:  Our informal use of the term “heresy” to describe Pro Life movement, has been objected to.  Specifically, it is said that in the Roman Catholic Church, we must distinguish “heresy,” from “incredulity,” “apostasy,” schism, and so forth:  heresy being applied, particularly or only in the case of  “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstainate doubt concerning the same” (Catechism # 2089).  To be sure though, our use of the term “heresy” here is more informal; in the broader dictionary sense, of describing any teaching that goes against, say, the Bible, and God.  However?  To be sure, even the narrower, technical, Catholic definition might be relevant here:  the current Catechism (CCC, Libreria Editrice, c. 1997-2000. ), seems to some, to cite “Tertullian” as an authoritative source oppositing abortion.  But Tertullian of course, was officially declared a heretic by the Catholic Church, when he himself left the Church, for a different religion).  Then too, to some, it has seemed that the current Catechism also cites St. Basil approvingly.  But when St. Basil asked, “what do we care if the embryo is ‘formed’ or not,” (paraphrased from memory), here Basil too could be read as saying he did not care what the Bible said, about the unformed embryo, in Ps. 139; thus Basil too, is becoming a heretic; turning against, saying he does not care about, the Bible itself.  While not only did Tertullian and Basil turn against the Bible, and/or the Church?  But also we will have been showing, any very strong anti-abortion sentiment is ultimately, an attack on the Soul, the spirit itself.  So that it becomes a fundamental attack, on a core doctrine and value of Christianity and Catholicism.

Here therefore, we have used the word “heresy” loosely.  But it is possible that in fact, even the rather strict definition of heresy can be invoked here, against Pro Lifers.  Even if very high officials, Bishops of the Church, support anti-abortionism, even bishops and even popes, are often not infallible.

A8)  And if the current Catechism seems very anti-abortion? The Catechism itself is not infallible, most agree.

Regarding the current Catechism?  Even there, the language is hedged a bit; a person who gets an abortion or assists in one, “incurs escommuncation latae sententia” (CCC 2272; from CIC, can. 1398), but also “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law” (“Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324”).  Those conditions being open to many different understandings.

For that matter?  Does the current Catechism really unambiguously cite Tertullian as an authority?  Tertullian’s anti-abortion statement  – “You shall no kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish” – appears in the Catechism; and it is referenced in footnote, # 75, page 548 of the 1997-2000 CCC.  But Tertullian after all was long ago declared to be a heretic.  And the footnote in some readings, might be said to have bee prefaced, a short while earlier, by the note “cf.”; which means “compare” or “contrast” what follows, to what was apparently at first claimed in the Catechism above.

While by “excommunicating” those who have had an abortion, the Catechism adds that it is – albeit ambiguously – stated that by excommunicating the woman who has had an abortion, “The Church does not therby intend to restrict the scope of mercy” (CCC 2272).

Suggesting that such an offense can be forgiven?  Indeed even EWRN often mentioned apparently (if memory serves)a  “Sacrament of Reconciliation.”  Which might allow a woman who had an abortion, to return to full communion with the church?

If indeed, excommuncation “latae sententia,” and “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law,” even acctually excommunicated anyone “by the very commission of the offense” (CCC section 2272, page 548, footnote 78, citing canon law, Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1314.).

Citations of “Didache,” or Didactics, cite a document that is also suspect; an heretically short primer or made-simple guide to Christianity, having been ejected from the Bible, and form the canon, and from Catholic life, for nearly 2000 years; and having surfaced again, after centuries of suppression, only at a suspiciously opportune moment, as late as 1875.

The anti-abortion case therefore, was based on one heretical and non-authoritative “Catholic” case after another, from the heretic Tertullian, to St. Basil’s “what do we care” remark about the Bible itself.  It was based on one problematic, minor source after another – while it rejected and top-spun the core values, the primary writings of the Bible (Ps. 139),  the major Catholic Theologians Augustine and Aquinas, while ignoring the cautions of countless current cardinals … and the Pope himself.  Who told us in the 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” that abortion was bad; but that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”

To be sure, even Popes are not always infallible; but only when speaking Ex Cathedra (an indefinable moment moreover).  So that? Even popes cannot be cited as absolute authority.  And therefore we rely more on the Bible, for example.  As well as on the “reason” and logic that the Bible itself finally advocated.  (“Come, let us reason together”; “always be prepared to give a reason for your faith”).  And if the current Catechism cites the Papal Encyclical Gaudium et spes, 1965, to the effect that “Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception:  abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes,” then after all, even popes like John, and John Paul II, and their encylicals, often made mistakes.  Especially when they abandoned reason, for sentiment, and the “heart” that the Bible often warned, often “deceiv”es everyone.

Indeed, the very name of God himself, is “Logos.” Which is often translated as the defining “word” or defining characterization; but which can also be translated by the English word that more obviously derives from it:  as, in other words, “Logic.”

No doubt, the fundamental human right, is the right of a human person to live.  But the question is:  is the embryo, a human person?  Should an frozen embryo composed of a dozen cells, smaller than a pinhead, have all the same rights and responsiblities, as a child, or human adult?

That all-too-common assertion was obviously, poorly thought out.  Even as, worse, that assertion based on one implausible and even heretical assertion after another, was firmly presented to the whole world, as the Word of God.

To err on the side of over-caution is, after all, to err.  And often the very worst sins of all, are committed by persons trying to be very, very good.  The road to hell, is paved in good intentions, by do-gooders.

A9)  In the months prior to the assassination/murder of Dr. Tiller, the abortion provider, in May 31, 2009, Fr. Frank Pavone and others, were beginning to follow their fatal convictions to the letter, to their extreme conclusion; and they began to often assert more and more boldly, more and more directly, on violently anti-abortion outets like EWRN and Relevant Radio, that the embryo was a human person; and that therefore, abortion, was in effect, “murder.”   While some noted a fatal practical problem in that line of thinking: which would conclude that the logical conclusion of that strain of thought, would be that some would feel justified in killing abortion providers; to prevent a crime, a sin, or murder.  (While indeed, some parts of the Catechism suggest that acts undertaken to prevent a murderer some murdering again, might in some cases be considered legitimate).

And so warnings were issued, that the thinking, the premises of Right-Wing radio, EWRN and Relevant Radio, and any strong anti-abortionism, lead finally to literally fatal consequences.  But such warnings were not heeded; instead, these warnings were taken as prescriptive.  So that soon, the incentiary and inflamatory rhetoric of antiabortionism reached its fatal “logical” conclusion:  finally on May 31, 2009, some EWRN/Relevant Radio fan or kindred spirit, simply decided to  take it on himself, to shoot Dr. Tiller, an abortion provider, dead. As he did.  Killing Dr. Tiller n his church.  On May 31, 2009.  Thus the careless thinking and incendiary rhetoric of the Pro Life movement, finally came to its ineviable end:  right-wing murder, and terrorism.

And Pavone did not really relent:  within a fairly short time, Pavone was also simply … giving the address of another major abortion provider, on the air (Relevant Radio?) some say.

Today, these things are hard to prove.  And indeed, whenever this role of Pavone and Priest For Life in anti-abortion terrorism and murder, is mentioned, defenders of Pavone to be sure, Pavone and Priests for life, immediately, on paper in in the media, technically, condemned such killings of abortion providers; strongly.  It is added that Priests for Life even offered something like a $50,000 reward, for anyone offering to expose anti-abortion terrrorists; probably for any evidence that would convict someone of anti-abortion terrorism.

And so it is said, Pavone and Priests for Life, EWRN and Relevant Radio, are not to blame for acts of anti-abortion violence.  But to be sure, though various statements were made after the event, trying to put these organizations in a strongly anti-terroristic stance, those efforts were belated; no one in Priests for Life, ever confessed to these right-wing organizations; possible role, in inspiring these murders. And making it stick – uncovering positive evidence, reviewing the complete record of what the massively prolific Fr. Pavone said, in the months before and after May 31, 2009 – is a long chore; if the relevant data was not immediately expunged.  On say, Relevant Radio.

But if imperfect memory serves?  That is what happened.  And futhermore, it happens to this very day:  once again, in c. 2010-11, the Bishop of Arizona began to speak very strongly against abortion, and those who defended it; in within a very short time, yet another right-wing extremist … took the extraordinary measure of attempting to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; shooting her in the head, and seriously injuring her.

To this very day, again and again, many priests and bishops do not hesitate to call abortion “murder.”  Never thinking or caring, about what effects their words might have.  What the consequences of their faulty logic would be.

Or perhaps after all?  Some did think of the consequences.

A)10  …?

More MORE UPDATES, ADDITIONAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST ANTI-ABORTIONISTS, MAY BE INSERTED HERE:   check this space,  or check the internet for versions of this text, updated by the author.  This particular text was completed roughly Nov. 20, 2011.

Chapter 8

UPDATES;

Additional Arguments

For Abortion, To Be

Added Here,

Against EWTN/RN,

And Anti-Abortionism

In our book, we have offered one hundred or more arguments against Pro Life anti-abortionism.  Against the message of the many individuals and organizations that support this heresy:  like EWTN/RN, and Frank Pavone, and Karl Keating.  But to be sure however, no single paper or book – even this one – can compete against a vast, professional, 24/7 top-spin organization, like EWTN/RN and associates. For example, in our mere, static book here,  we have had just a few hours, a few pages, to present our case, and then that is all we can say.  A book cannot defend itself like a live person; what it says is rather fixed.   But EWTN and the anti-abortionist lobby, form a living organism, that continue even after our book is presented to the public.  EWTN/RN is a living organization, allied with many, many anti-abortion organizations; organizations with dozens, even hundreds, of staffers, and professional apologists; the spin-doctors of the Church.  There are therefore, a) legions of live persons – b) some of them full-time  – devoted to attacking abortion.  And to attacking arguments against them, like our own.  And they will no doubt, come up with new sophistries to try to attack our present positions.  While we ourselves will not be there to defend against new arguments.

How can a mere fixed, static book like our own, a fixed emplacement, outflank all future live spin doctors?  In part we might do that, by simply being so dense that most cannot penetrate it; but in that case, that means we lose our audience.  And furthermore,  the new anti-abortionists have not only live staff members to think up objections, after our book is published; c) they also have massive media networks at their disposal; broadcasting and d) even net-steaming their message even twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  To effectively, all of the Unites States, and to the whole world.

Our simple book therefore, comes against the new media machines.  Anti-abortionists have a vast and powerful network of organizations working for them.  Including not least of all, one entire media network, working twenty-four hours at day, seven days a week.  EWTN/RN moreover is not small; though this never should have happened, it was normally offered in the standard major TV cable and satellite packages, all over the United States.  And it also sends its message out over the Internet to in fact, the entire world.

There is therefore, a vast, powerful, entrenched, well-oiled, living, anti-abortion rhetoric machine out there.  And the anti-abortion machine, is almost impossible to combat, with a mere single book.   Though our arguments here are good, such massive networks can generate many, many unanticipated logical tricks, sophistries, that we could not have time or space to address here, just  our single, isolated book.  And so, the anti-abortion machine will fool many; partially because we have not been around to correct them; to note problems in turn, with not only their 1st generation theories, but also with their 2nd generation counter-responses.

.  .  .

How can a mere, fixed, single book , even one with four hundred pages and a hundred separate argument, fight a live organization?   But in part we can do this, by marshaling hundreds of arguments; of which surely one or two will work.  Even if one or two of our arguments here are “disproven,” that is not enough.  Every single one of our arguments must be addressed; it only takes one good point to win an argument. 

Then too, we will have begun to expose some of the common, continuing tricks, deceitful strategies, of the new rhetoric networks.  Though the media networks for example, have call-in shows, that seem to offer real debate for example, in point of fact, nearly all radio call-in shows today, are rigged games; they are not fair debates at all.  The talk-show has huge, built-in advantages, for the host:  a) the call “screener” lets in only voices, people he or she things the host can defeat in discussion; b) the host can in fact hit the “dump” or “off” button on any opponent that gets too good; and c) then the network can edit the whole thing, and d) broadcast only those parts it wants to retain, parts favorable to itself, over and over again, to e) millions of people.

So the resources of anti-abortionists and apologists, today, are vast. Indeed, their resources vastly, hugely exceed ours; our little publication here, our own efforts here, are outnumbered, by a factor of probably, thousands to one.

So how do we have any chance at all, arguing with such a vast, well organized and staffed machine?  In effect perhaps, we have very little chance at all.  Unless finally, we can appeal successfully to intellectual honesty; and to the inherent fairness of priests, and of all good people.

In the meantime, until our arguments one day succeed against the vast, organized machinery of EWTN/RN, and against heretical priests like Frank Pavone, until the Church itself acts decisively, in the meantime, we can here only simply note, what we know so far.

Here we will have noted to the people of the world, especially, that Catholics and others need to be firmly warned, about this:   EWTN presents itself as if it is the official voice of the Church, and therefore, of God; but EWTN/RN is not an official Church organization at all; it is a private, non-profit organization (a 501 c3?  Or today, c4?).   Even in spite of an occasional, informal, (misguided) endorsement of this or that doctrine on EWTN, by this or that priest or bishop, in spite of an endorsement say of the “new evangelization,” and EWTN’s “ministry,” in spite of an occasional informal, private endorsements by priests.  In spite of all that … still, the Roman Catholic Church itself, has not yet officially given EWTN any really official, formal recognition or status; the Church itself has not said that EWTN/RN is its own, fully authoritative voice-piece.

The fact is, it is not EWTN, but the Vatican itself – Vatican.va – that is the real voice of the Church.  Or indeed finally, some say, it is only the Pope himself – and at that, only in the moments that he speaks definitively, “ex Cathedra” – that is said to be absolutely definitive.  Only the Pope himself in such moments … and not even what others say about such moments; how others characterize them.

EWTN therefore, has far, far less authority than it imagines, or pretends to the Catholic world.  And in fact, we will have devoted our article here to showing that a) EWTN/RN has no document that authorizes it as the official voice of the Church; that in fact, b) the dominant, most distinctive, characteristic message of EWTN/RN – its anti-abortionism – is a heresy.  And we have shown c) that its distinctive theology – and EWTN/RN itself – in fact, has been opposed, again and again, by the real authority in the Church itself; by at least three Cardinals, and the Pope.
EWTN and other anti-abortionist organizations have repeatedly presented themselves in effect, as the voice of authority; they have presented themselves in effect, as an approved voice of the Church; and therefore indeed, they have presented themselves as God himself; the voice of God.  But we will have shown here, that they have no such authority.  They speak falsely, for the Church; they speak falsely, for God. 

 

Specifically, EWTN/RN’s position on Abortion, is not even really Christian at all.  It is not fully justified by the a) Bible; nor by b) Ethics; nor by c) real Science.  Nor, for those who follow the Church, is EWTN’s position endorsed by d) the Church; it’s aa) canons, bb) Tradition, cc) saints, dd) Magisterium, ee) doctrine, ff) dogmas, gg) “infallible” positions, and so forth.  Nor has EWTN/RN itself, ever been fully, formally authorized by the Church, as its spokesman.  Instead, EWTN/RN, and especially its “one issue” anti-abortionism, has been opposed by at least three Cardinals; and the Pope himself.

Not only is EWTN therefore, a heretical, “presumptuous,” apostate spin-off or apostate “branch” of the Church; its is in fact, very, very, very deeply offensive; in that this unreliable entity, (especially by incorporating priests into its staff, or regular guest list) has implicitly presented itself as the voice of the Church … and as the voice of God.  For this reason, EWRN is not just a normal, offensive, right-wing/”conservative” radio outlet, voicing biased opinions; EWRN is also guilty in effect, of the religious crimes of “presumption,” and “heresy,” for example.

And if EWRN’s message has for so long, dominated political/religious debate? If it has been broadcast to millions?  Worldwide?  And if it in fact, determined the election of an anti-abortion Republican president, in the elections for 2000 and 2004?  And if thereby, through its control of the US presidency, its radical, false, “one-issue” anti-abortionism (and other positions?) has dominated the whole world?  Then after all, this situation very much recalls the Bible’s warnings; that in the End Time, there would be many “false priests” coming in the “name” of God, calling “Lord, Lord.”  False priests who would pretend to be following God or Christ, or who would believe who their were following him … but who were actually presenting, following, a “false” or “anti-“ Christ; a false idea of God.

But even if most of Catholicism, the United States, and indeed the whole earth, has thus been dominated by this false ideology, this false Christ, we here and now invite the public, to at last join with us; inviting the ordinary reader to petition his or her own local priest, and bishop; then the USCCB and the Vatican, itself.  Petition these authorities,  to at long last, begin to take more effective action against EWTN/RN.  To at last, far more effectively enforce and expand, the earlier criticisms, by Cardinals and Popes, of that organization; and of its founder Mother Angelica; and of its dis-“proportionate,”one “issue” Catholicism.  We ask the real authority of the Church, to finally effectively enforce the criticisms of EWTN/RN, and its one-issue anti-abortionism, by a) Cardinal Mahony.  By b) Cardinal McCarrick, and c) the USCCB. (McCarrick was head of all American Bishops, in fact, as head of the USCCB).   And then too, d) let the Church now enforce its own warnings against a dis-“proportionate” one issue Catholicism,  by former Cardinal Ratzinger.  Who is e) now, our Pope:   Benedict XVI.

The New Nature of “Debate” in

The Internet Age

EWTN and anti-abortionism therefore, have been opposed again and again, by the real authorities of the Church.  And for very good reasons.  Reasons which we have begun to outline, here and now.  No doubt to be sure, as soon the staff of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church, hear our objections, they will try to spin all of this, in turn.  And their absolute domination of their own network, of the Catholic world, will make it hard or impossible to break into their charmed circle, their hypnotized audience.

All we have on our side, is the truth.  But that means we will win, eventually.

But to do win against an ongoing spin-doctoring operation, its continuing and latest efforts, we will probably need to periodically up-date our works, here.  To answer any new sophistries generated by the network, the matrix.

And so finally, our last section, here, will be an informal but useful section; a section which will update our arguments.  With new responses,  to anti-abortionists’ latest arguments.

And so, let us begin now, with a few additions to our work.

First though, a review on the new nature of argumentation, today.  There is something new happening to all arguments, in the day of the Internet:  there are many advocacy groups out there; and thus many political and other positions are now argued around the clock, in a continuous debate, on the Internet.  Therefore, no argument or position can rest with a single book like this one; but anyone who wants to make a case that will stand, must be prepared to actively respond to new arguments.  To update our work, with new arguments and counter-arguments.

Arguments are now offered continuously, on the Internet; arguments offered often 24/7, by professional organizations whose entire job it is in fact, to try to generate comments on a subject like Abortion. (See Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life” for example).  Therefore, the fact is, no mere, single, static article – not even this one, with a hundred points of light in it – can stand up to the professional objection-machines, the organized, professional spin-doctor staff, of a massive, full-time organization like EWTN/RN.  An organization like EWTN/RN has a large, professional, trained staff of spin-doctor apologists and theologians; and it is associated with or can draw on, dozens of other similar organizations; whose entire job it is, forty hours a week, year after year … to try to answer objections to EWTN/RN; to defend allied organizations like EWTN/RN, and its anti-abortionist stance.  Indeed, contributing to EWTN/RN, is at least one entire, full-time organization, that exists to precisely, generate arguments against us:  Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life.”   Therefore, the hundred or so man-hours that we have devoted to our arguments here, will be hugely, vastly outweighed soon enough; by a staff and international body of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church; and by any number of other anti-abortion organizations, working tens of thousands of hours, to try to refute our points.  Who will then, moreover, be able to broadcast their own answers, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to hundreds of millions of people, over cable and so forth, to all the world.

So how could we (or even the Church) hope to win this argument?  Against a massive media machine?  When, even if we are right, we are outnumbered in effect, more than a million to one?  When entire, full-time, professionally staffed organizations exist, to generate arguments against our remarks here?  And yet however, we might attempt to win this argument, after all, by …

Generating after all, so many arguments here; a hundred and more.

To fix this,  we hereby call the public’s – and the Church’s attention – to the fact again, that this is not a fair, free, open debate, between equally-weighed opponents, at all:  EWTN/RN gets a response that is literally, millions of times louder than our own, at present.

Then too, while EWTN/RN will likely have a full-time staff to generate counter-arguments to all our arguments here … perhaps this can be stopped, if at last the Church itself – another living organization – orders EWTN/RN to cease.

 

But finally, in addition to all this, we offer here, next, a few updates to our own work.

Finally the best way to respond, is with our own live updates.  Indeed, this very article, may also be periodically updated, corrected by its original author (and others?).  To try to generate at least some counter-arguments again in turn, against whatever new counter-arguments EWTN may generate.  Though surely, such an involved argument might easily become a quite elaborated structure, incomprehensible to non-initiates, still, early on, a few more simple, useful arguments will no doubt appear here, and elsewhere; here, in the end.  Be sure to check the Internet for the earliest and then the latest editions of our present, original, 2009 AD document. To see what other sophistries by EWTN need to be answered.  This, our first draft, will probably be submitted some time in 2009 AD; look for both this first edition, and the author’s own later updates.

SOME ADDITIONAL, NEW ARGUMENTS AGAINST

ANTI-ABORTIONISTS

In our time, c. 1983-2011, the function of criticism, rhetoric, has become a full time, 24/7 operation. Today, literally hundreds of anti-abortion organizations operate, using the new media, to generate anti-abortion arguments, continually.  Even (considering the times zones), around the clock. Thanks to the new medium especially, of the Internet, it is now possible – and indeed, common – for various advocacy organizations, political and social groups, to be ready on a moment’s notice, to respond in favor of their own views, around the clock.  And?  The anti-abortion movement has done that.  And unfortunately?  It has been all-too-successful. Though it never controlled enough votes to achieve its main objective – to make abortion illegal – it did however, determine one election after another  .. in favor of the Republican Party.  With its militaristic interests and campaigns.

It has been hard for the pro-abortion movement to respond to this massive new propoganda machine, of right-wing radio especiall, in the Rush Limbaugh era.  But to be sure, our method of dealing with this, had been to present at last, an omnibus of not just one, but hundreds of arguments, in response to this vast army.

Then too, to be sure, no doubt the vast propoganda machine will eventually begin to notice and respond, even to our present book.  But?  With luck, the original author himself will still be alive; long enough to respond with a few counterarguments.

And so?  The following space is reserved, for the Author’s updates; for a few new arguments:

111)     Argument # 244 or …. A1)

Jan. 27, 2009.  As a first additional argument and response, consider this:  today on EWTN, pro-life Catholic, Al Kresta, asserted in effect,  that abortion is bad, because it is always good to have more physical children.  The assumption of many pro-lifers, indeed, is that the main  – or even only – way a person can be “fruitful,” is to have more children.  But of course, this argument is ridiculous and even evil; if having children is good, the best or even only way to be fruitful, then of course a) Catholic priests are evil; since they do not have literal children.  And b) Jesus himself likewise, is evil; since Jesus they say, had no literal children either.  Here c) again furthermore (as in their neglect of “ensoul”ment), our anti-abortionists are too simply physical, and neglect and even attack the spirit or soul; they forget that often a man or woman will decide not to have children, as monks do, in order to after all, develop his or her spirit or soul.  Those Catholics who speak, like simple-minded idiots, of having more and more babies as the best goal in life, forget, attack, spiritual, mental fruitfulness.

Arguments that we must always have more and more babies, also d) ignore or slight Malthus.  Who said that humankind will probably reproduce itself … until there are too many people to feed; thus causing mass starvation. Or at least a declining standard of life.

A2) Jan. 27, 2009.  Today on EWTN, Al Kresta also suggests that making abortion legal is bad – because it allows the State to take control of our reproductive lives. But this argument is strange and wong, in that a) the state is not presently telling or ordering anyone to do anything, like have an abortion; it is only allowing them a freedom, to have an abortion if they want it.  Those who don’t like it, don’t have to do it.  Second, b) Kresta ignores the obvious fact that on the other hand, when the State or the Church forbids others to contracept say, or making abortion – the aim of Kresta and many others on EWTN – that would be really, actually, taking control of our reproductive lives.  (Though today the Church’s mandates are voluntary).  So that indeed, the present law – which does not mandate and does not forbid abortion either, leaving it as a personal freedom or “choice” – is a good decision.

 

A3) Feb. 4/19/09:  When do we get a soul?  Consider Adam.   When did Adam receive a soul?  He a) was not born with a soul; God “breathed” it into him.  And was he a child when this happened?  Most accounts have Adam as a fully-completed body (even an adult?) when he was ensouled.

No doubt Adam is something of a special case.  Still it appears that the Bible considered this process normal:  we can be made soulless; and get a soul not at birth, but late in life.  Then too b) it was often thought in some ancient cultures, that our breathing, breath, was our spirit or soul; so that against babies are not fully human until first breath, at birth.

A4) The current Catechism tells us, for a second, to treat embryos exactly like full human beings.  But note the absurdities that happen when we do that.  The problem is that embryos are not human because … a) they are don’t have many of the qualities or abilities that children, or men and women and have:  they cannot walk, talk, act.  Embryos in fact b) therefore probably disobey many of God’s commands to do this or that.  God’s aa) command to “work” six days of the week, and then rest one day for example:  they probably don’t do that very well … because they can’t; they are locked in the womb, and are not quite fully human.. Even the bb) command to love, worship God would be hard for an embryo too, that does not understand language, and therefore cannot understanding anything in the Bible at all.  Much less follow it.

As regarding specific qualities, things embryos haven’t done? Paul and others tell us to cc) “mature” beyond “milk”; embryos haven’t done that

There are many rites of passage in Jewish culture; like dd) circumcision; ee) bar mitzvah; the ff) “day” we make payments to our (land?) Lord.  The embryo has not passed these rites of passage, or obeyed these or other rules of the Bible.

The embryo therefore has not fully – or even approximately – obeyed God.  No doubt to be sure, because it can’t.  But that just points again to the fact that the embryo should not really be considered a full human being.  Because after all, it lacks so many of our abilities.

A5) Conservative Catholicism, opposed liberal cardinals, like Bernardin, and his key concept of other issues, a “seamless web” of many issues.  But in doing so, this “Catholicism” … actually rebelled against major elements of the Church.  The conservative rebellion therefore amounted to therefore, apostasy, schism, heresy.  Liberalism is found in many legitimate and authoritative aspects of the Church; to rebel against liberal Catholic leaders, was to rebel against … much of the Church itself.  Such a rebellion cannot be called “Catholic.”

A6)  Recent attempts have been made to set up a basic vocabulary, that would distinguish between things that a) are “human” – like human skin – from things that are b) human, but also beings; like it is said the embryo, but also we add the human sperm.  These are c) perhaps distinct from a human person, meaning a conscious, intelligent being.  This is a marginally useful – but also misleading – terminology.

In any case, it is asserted that a human being – like say, the embryo – is nearly enough the equal of a human person, to have rights.  But?  A human sperm is also human, and a being:  a rather independent, complete set of DNA, in an animated, motile mode; it appears to fit many people’s idea of a human being.  But are sperm cells also to have rights therefore?  Note that the average procreative act of a human male, ejects hundreds of thousands of sperm cells; only one or two of which have much change of becoming live human beings; while the rest die.  If “every sperm is sacred” – as the Church once claimed – if these human beings, should be regarded as having the right to live of a human person?  Then … almost every male on earth will have to be locked up, as a mass murderer.

So that?  Regarding the attempt to assert that anything that is human, and a “being,” must be fully defended?

A7)  Added Nov. 20, 2011:  Our informal use of the term “heresy” to describe Pro Life movement, has been objected to.  Specifically, it is said that in the Roman Catholic Church, we must distinguish “heresy,” from “incredulity,” “apostasy,” schism, and so forth:  heresy being applied, particularly or only in the case of  “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstainate doubt concerning the same” (Catechism # 2089).  To be sure though, our use of the term “heresy” here is more informal; in the broader dictionary sense, of describing any teaching that goes against, say, the Bible, and God.  However?  To be sure, even the narrower, technical, Catholic definition might be relevant here:  the current Catechism (CCC, Libreria Editrice, c. 1997-2000. ), seems to some, to cite “Tertullian” as an authoritative source oppositing abortion.  But Tertullian of course, was officially declared a heretic by the Catholic Church, when he himself left the Church, for a different religion).  Then too, to some, it has seemed that the current Catechism also cites St. Basil approvingly.  But when St. Basil asked, “what do we care if the embryo is ‘formed’ or not,” (paraphrased from memory), here Basil too could be read as saying he did not care what the Bible said, about the unformed embryo, in Ps. 139; thus Basil too, is becoming a heretic; turning against, saying he does not care about, the Bible itself.  While not only did Tertullian and Basil turn against the Bible, and/or the Church?  But also we will have been showing, any very strong anti-abortion sentiment is ultimately, an attack on the Soul, the spirit itself.  So that it becomes a fundamental attack, on a core doctrine and value of Christianity and Catholicism.

Here therefore, we have used the word “heresy” loosely.  But it is possible that in fact, even the rather strict definition of heresy can be invoked here, against Pro Lifers.  Even if very high officials, Bishops of the Church, support anti-abortionism, even bishops and even popes, are often not infallible.

A8)  And if the current Catechism seems very anti-abortion? The Catechism itself is not infallible, most agree.

Regarding the current Catechism?  Even there, the language is hedged a bit; a person who gets an abortion or assists in one, “incurs escommuncation latae sententia” (CCC 2272; from CIC, can. 1398), but also “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law” (“Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324”).  Those conditions being open to many different understandings.

For that matter?  Does the current Catechism really unambiguously cite Tertullian as an authority?  Tertullian’s anti-abortion statement  – “You shall no kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish” – appears in the Catechism; and it is referenced in footnote, # 75, page 548 of the 1997-2000 CCC.  But Tertullian after all was long ago declared to be a heretic.  And the footnote in some readings, might be said to have bee prefaced, a short while earlier, by the note “cf.”; which means “compare” or “contrast” what follows, to what was apparently at first claimed in the Catechism above.

While by “excommunicating” those who have had an abortion, the Catechism adds that it is – albeit ambiguously – stated that by excommunicating the woman who has had an abortion, “The Church does not therby intend to restrict the scope of mercy” (CCC 2272).

Suggesting that such an offense can be forgiven?  Indeed even EWRN often mentioned apparently (if memory serves)a  “Sacrament of Reconciliation.”  Which might allow a woman who had an abortion, to return to full communion with the church?

If indeed, excommuncation “latae sententia,” and “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law,” even acctually excommunicated anyone “by the very commission of the offense” (CCC section 2272, page 548, footnote 78, citing canon law, Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1314.).

Citations of “Didache,” or Didactics, cite a document that is also suspect; an heretically short primer or made-simple guide to Christianity, having been ejected from the Bible, and form the canon, and from Catholic life, for nearly 2000 years; and having surfaced again, after centuries of suppression, only at a suspiciously opportune moment, as late as 1875.

The anti-abortion case therefore, was based on one heretical and non-authoritative “Catholic” case after another, from the heretic Tertullian, to St. Basil’s “what do we care” remark about the Bible itself.  It was based on one problematic, minor source after another – while it rejected and top-spun the core values, the primary writings of the Bible (Ps. 139),  the major Catholic Theologians Augustine and Aquinas, while ignoring the cautions of countless current cardinals … and the Pope himself.  Who told us in the 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” that abortion was bad; but that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”

To be sure, even Popes are not always infallible; but only when speaking Ex Cathedra (an indefinable moment moreover).  So that? Even popes cannot be cited as absolute authority.  And therefore we rely more on the Bible, for example.  As well as on the “reason” and logic that the Bible itself finally advocated.  (“Come, let us reason together”; “always be prepared to give a reason for your faith”).  And if the current Catechism cites the Papal Encyclical Gaudium et spes, 1965, to the effect that “Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception:  abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes,” then after all, even popes like John, and John Paul II, and their encylicals, often made mistakes.  Especially when they abandoned reason, for sentiment, and the “heart” that the Bible often warned, often “deceiv”es everyone.

Indeed, the very name of God himself, is “Logos.” Which is often translated as the defining “word” or defining characterization; but which can also be translated by the English word that more obviously derives from it:  as, in other words, “Logic.”

No doubt, the fundamental human right, is the right of a human person to live.  But the question is:  is the embryo, a human person?  Should an frozen embryo composed of a dozen cells, smaller than a pinhead, have all the same rights and responsiblities, as a child, or human adult?

That all-too-common assertion was obviously, poorly thought out.  Even as, worse, that assertion based on one implausible and even heretical assertion after another, was firmly presented to the whole world, as the Word of God.

To err on the side of over-caution is, after all, to err.  And often the very worst sins of all, are committed by persons trying to be very, very good.  The road to hell, is paved in good intentions, by do-gooders.

A9)  In the months prior to the assassination/murder of Dr. Tiller, the abortion provider, in May 31, 2009, Fr. Frank Pavone and others, were beginning to follow their fatal convictions to the letter, to their extreme conclusion; and they began to often assert more and more boldly, more and more directly, on violently anti-abortion outets like EWRN and Relevant Radio, that the embryo was a human person; and that therefore, abortion, was in effect, “murder.”   While some noted a fatal practical problem in that line of thinking: which would conclude that the logical conclusion of that strain of thought, would be that some would feel justified in killing abortion providers; to prevent a crime, a sin, or murder.  (While indeed, some parts of the Catechism suggest that acts undertaken to prevent a murderer some murdering again, might in some cases be considered legitimate).

And so warnings were issued, that the thinking, the premises of Right-Wing radio, EWRN and Relevant Radio, and any strong anti-abortionism, lead finally to literally fatal consequences.  But such warnings were not heeded; instead, these warnings were taken as prescriptive.  So that soon, the incentiary and inflamatory rhetoric of antiabortionism reached its fatal “logical” conclusion:  finally on May 31, 2009, some EWRN/Relevant Radio fan or kindred spirit, simply decided to  take it on himself, to shoot Dr. Tiller, an abortion provider, dead. As he did.  Killing Dr. Tiller n his church.  On May 31, 2009.  Thus the careless thinking and incendiary rhetoric of the Pro Life movement, finally came to its ineviable end:  right-wing murder, and terrorism.

And Pavone did not really relent:  within a fairly short time, Pavone was also simply … giving the address of another major abortion provider, on the air (Relevant Radio?) some say.

Today, these things are hard to prove.  And indeed, whenever this role of Pavone and Priest For Life in anti-abortion terrorism and murder, is mentioned, defenders of Pavone to be sure, Pavone and Priests for life, immediately, on paper in in the media, technically, condemned such killings of abortion providers; strongly.  It is added that Priests for Life even offered something like a $50,000 reward, for anyone offering to expose anti-abortion terrrorists; probably for any evidence that would convict someone of anti-abortion terrorism.

And so it is said, Pavone and Priests for Life, EWRN and Relevant Radio, are not to blame for acts of anti-abortion violence.  But to be sure, though various statements were made after the event, trying to put these organizations in a strongly anti-terroristic stance, those efforts were belated; no one in Priests for Life, ever confessed to these right-wing organizations; possible role, in inspiring these murders. And making it stick – uncovering positive evidence, reviewing the complete record of what the massively prolific Fr. Pavone said, in the months before and after May 31, 2009 – is a long chore; if the relevant data was not immediately expunged.  On say, Relevant Radio.

But if imperfect memory serves?  That is what happened.  And futhermore, it happens to this very day:  once again, in c. 2010-11, the Bishop of Arizona began to speak very strongly against abortion, and those who defended it; in within a very short time, yet another right-wing extremist … took the extraordinary measure of attempting to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; shooting her in the head, and seriously injuring her.

To this very day, again and again, many priests and bishops do not hesitate to call abortion “murder.”  Never thinking or caring, about what effects their words might have.  What the consequences of their faulty logic would be.

Or perhaps after all?  Some did think of the consequences.

A)10  …?

More MORE UPDATES, ADDITIONAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST ANTI-ABORTIONISTS, MAY BE INSERTED HERE:   check this space,  or check the internet for versions of this text, updated by the author.  This particular text was completed roughly Nov. 20, 2011.

Chapter 8

UPDATES;

Additional Arguments

For Abortion, To Be

Added Here,

Against EWTN/RN,

And Anti-Abortionism

In our book, we have offered one hundred or more arguments against Pro Life anti-abortionism.  Against the message of the many individuals and organizations that support this heresy:  like EWTN/RN, and Frank Pavone, and Karl Keating.  But to be sure however, no single paper or book – even this one – can compete against a vast, professional, 24/7 top-spin organization, like EWTN/RN and associates. For example, in our mere, static book here,  we have had just a few hours, a few pages, to present our case, and then that is all we can say.  A book cannot defend itself like a live person; what it says is rather fixed.   But EWTN and the anti-abortionist lobby, form a living organism, that continue even after our book is presented to the public.  EWTN/RN is a living organization, allied with many, many anti-abortion organizations; organizations with dozens, even hundreds, of staffers, and professional apologists; the spin-doctors of the Church.  There are therefore, a) legions of live persons – b) some of them full-time  – devoted to attacking abortion.  And to attacking arguments against them, like our own.  And they will no doubt, come up with new sophistries to try to attack our present positions.  While we ourselves will not be there to defend against new arguments.

How can a mere fixed, static book like our own, a fixed emplacement, outflank all future live spin doctors?  In part we might do that, by simply being so dense that most cannot penetrate it; but in that case, that means we lose our audience.  And furthermore,  the new anti-abortionists have not only live staff members to think up objections, after our book is published; c) they also have massive media networks at their disposal; broadcasting and d) even net-steaming their message even twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  To effectively, all of the Unites States, and to the whole world.

Our simple book therefore, comes against the new media machines.  Anti-abortionists have a vast and powerful network of organizations working for them.  Including not least of all, one entire media network, working twenty-four hours at day, seven days a week.  EWTN/RN moreover is not small; though this never should have happened, it was normally offered in the standard major TV cable and satellite packages, all over the United States.  And it also sends its message out over the Internet to in fact, the entire world.

There is therefore, a vast, powerful, entrenched, well-oiled, living, anti-abortion rhetoric machine out there.  And the anti-abortion machine, is almost impossible to combat, with a mere single book.   Though our arguments here are good, such massive networks can generate many, many unanticipated logical tricks, sophistries, that we could not have time or space to address here, just  our single, isolated book.  And so, the anti-abortion machine will fool many; partially because we have not been around to correct them; to note problems in turn, with not only their 1st generation theories, but also with their 2nd generation counter-responses.

.  .  .

How can a mere, fixed, single book , even one with four hundred pages and a hundred separate argument, fight a live organization?   But in part we can do this, by marshaling hundreds of arguments; of which surely one or two will work.  Even if one or two of our arguments here are “disproven,” that is not enough.  Every single one of our arguments must be addressed; it only takes one good point to win an argument. 

Then too, we will have begun to expose some of the common, continuing tricks, deceitful strategies, of the new rhetoric networks.  Though the media networks for example, have call-in shows, that seem to offer real debate for example, in point of fact, nearly all radio call-in shows today, are rigged games; they are not fair debates at all.  The talk-show has huge, built-in advantages, for the host:  a) the call “screener” lets in only voices, people he or she things the host can defeat in discussion; b) the host can in fact hit the “dump” or “off” button on any opponent that gets too good; and c) then the network can edit the whole thing, and d) broadcast only those parts it wants to retain, parts favorable to itself, over and over again, to e) millions of people.

So the resources of anti-abortionists and apologists, today, are vast. Indeed, their resources vastly, hugely exceed ours; our little publication here, our own efforts here, are outnumbered, by a factor of probably, thousands to one.

So how do we have any chance at all, arguing with such a vast, well organized and staffed machine?  In effect perhaps, we have very little chance at all.  Unless finally, we can appeal successfully to intellectual honesty; and to the inherent fairness of priests, and of all good people.

In the meantime, until our arguments one day succeed against the vast, organized machinery of EWTN/RN, and against heretical priests like Frank Pavone, until the Church itself acts decisively, in the meantime, we can here only simply note, what we know so far.

Here we will have noted to the people of the world, especially, that Catholics and others need to be firmly warned, about this:   EWTN presents itself as if it is the official voice of the Church, and therefore, of God; but EWTN/RN is not an official Church organization at all; it is a private, non-profit organization (a 501 c3?  Or today, c4?).   Even in spite of an occasional, informal, (misguided) endorsement of this or that doctrine on EWTN, by this or that priest or bishop, in spite of an endorsement say of the “new evangelization,” and EWTN’s “ministry,” in spite of an occasional informal, private endorsements by priests.  In spite of all that … still, the Roman Catholic Church itself, has not yet officially given EWTN any really official, formal recognition or status; the Church itself has not said that EWTN/RN is its own, fully authoritative voice-piece.

The fact is, it is not EWTN, but the Vatican itself – Vatican.va – that is the real voice of the Church.  Or indeed finally, some say, it is only the Pope himself – and at that, only in the moments that he speaks definitively, “ex Cathedra” – that is said to be absolutely definitive.  Only the Pope himself in such moments … and not even what others say about such moments; how others characterize them.

EWTN therefore, has far, far less authority than it imagines, or pretends to the Catholic world.  And in fact, we will have devoted our article here to showing that a) EWTN/RN has no document that authorizes it as the official voice of the Church; that in fact, b) the dominant, most distinctive, characteristic message of EWTN/RN – its anti-abortionism – is a heresy.  And we have shown c) that its distinctive theology – and EWTN/RN itself – in fact, has been opposed, again and again, by the real authority in the Church itself; by at least three Cardinals, and the Pope.
EWTN and other anti-abortionist organizations have repeatedly presented themselves in effect, as the voice of authority; they have presented themselves in effect, as an approved voice of the Church; and therefore indeed, they have presented themselves as God himself; the voice of God.  But we will have shown here, that they have no such authority.  They speak falsely, for the Church; they speak falsely, for God. 

 

Specifically, EWTN/RN’s position on Abortion, is not even really Christian at all.  It is not fully justified by the a) Bible; nor by b) Ethics; nor by c) real Science.  Nor, for those who follow the Church, is EWTN’s position endorsed by d) the Church; it’s aa) canons, bb) Tradition, cc) saints, dd) Magisterium, ee) doctrine, ff) dogmas, gg) “infallible” positions, and so forth.  Nor has EWTN/RN itself, ever been fully, formally authorized by the Church, as its spokesman.  Instead, EWTN/RN, and especially its “one issue” anti-abortionism, has been opposed by at least three Cardinals; and the Pope himself.

Not only is EWTN therefore, a heretical, “presumptuous,” apostate spin-off or apostate “branch” of the Church; its is in fact, very, very, very deeply offensive; in that this unreliable entity, (especially by incorporating priests into its staff, or regular guest list) has implicitly presented itself as the voice of the Church … and as the voice of God.  For this reason, EWRN is not just a normal, offensive, right-wing/”conservative” radio outlet, voicing biased opinions; EWRN is also guilty in effect, of the religious crimes of “presumption,” and “heresy,” for example.

And if EWRN’s message has for so long, dominated political/religious debate? If it has been broadcast to millions?  Worldwide?  And if it in fact, determined the election of an anti-abortion Republican president, in the elections for 2000 and 2004?  And if thereby, through its control of the US presidency, its radical, false, “one-issue” anti-abortionism (and other positions?) has dominated the whole world?  Then after all, this situation very much recalls the Bible’s warnings; that in the End Time, there would be many “false priests” coming in the “name” of God, calling “Lord, Lord.”  False priests who would pretend to be following God or Christ, or who would believe who their were following him … but who were actually presenting, following, a “false” or “anti-“ Christ; a false idea of God.

But even if most of Catholicism, the United States, and indeed the whole earth, has thus been dominated by this false ideology, this false Christ, we here and now invite the public, to at last join with us; inviting the ordinary reader to petition his or her own local priest, and bishop; then the USCCB and the Vatican, itself.  Petition these authorities,  to at long last, begin to take more effective action against EWTN/RN.  To at last, far more effectively enforce and expand, the earlier criticisms, by Cardinals and Popes, of that organization; and of its founder Mother Angelica; and of its dis-“proportionate,”one “issue” Catholicism.  We ask the real authority of the Church, to finally effectively enforce the criticisms of EWTN/RN, and its one-issue anti-abortionism, by a) Cardinal Mahony.  By b) Cardinal McCarrick, and c) the USCCB. (McCarrick was head of all American Bishops, in fact, as head of the USCCB).   And then too, d) let the Church now enforce its own warnings against a dis-“proportionate” one issue Catholicism,  by former Cardinal Ratzinger.  Who is e) now, our Pope:   Benedict XVI.

The New Nature of “Debate” in

The Internet Age

EWTN and anti-abortionism therefore, have been opposed again and again, by the real authorities of the Church.  And for very good reasons.  Reasons which we have begun to outline, here and now.  No doubt to be sure, as soon the staff of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church, hear our objections, they will try to spin all of this, in turn.  And their absolute domination of their own network, of the Catholic world, will make it hard or impossible to break into their charmed circle, their hypnotized audience.

All we have on our side, is the truth.  But that means we will win, eventually.

But to do win against an ongoing spin-doctoring operation, its continuing and latest efforts, we will probably need to periodically up-date our works, here.  To answer any new sophistries generated by the network, the matrix.

And so finally, our last section, here, will be an informal but useful section; a section which will update our arguments.  With new responses,  to anti-abortionists’ latest arguments.

And so, let us begin now, with a few additions to our work.

First though, a review on the new nature of argumentation, today.  There is something new happening to all arguments, in the day of the Internet:  there are many advocacy groups out there; and thus many political and other positions are now argued around the clock, in a continuous debate, on the Internet.  Therefore, no argument or position can rest with a single book like this one; but anyone who wants to make a case that will stand, must be prepared to actively respond to new arguments.  To update our work, with new arguments and counter-arguments.

Arguments are now offered continuously, on the Internet; arguments offered often 24/7, by professional organizations whose entire job it is in fact, to try to generate comments on a subject like Abortion. (See Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life” for example).  Therefore, the fact is, no mere, single, static article – not even this one, with a hundred points of light in it – can stand up to the professional objection-machines, the organized, professional spin-doctor staff, of a massive, full-time organization like EWTN/RN.  An organization like EWTN/RN has a large, professional, trained staff of spin-doctor apologists and theologians; and it is associated with or can draw on, dozens of other similar organizations; whose entire job it is, forty hours a week, year after year … to try to answer objections to EWTN/RN; to defend allied organizations like EWTN/RN, and its anti-abortionist stance.  Indeed, contributing to EWTN/RN, is at least one entire, full-time organization, that exists to precisely, generate arguments against us:  Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life.”   Therefore, the hundred or so man-hours that we have devoted to our arguments here, will be hugely, vastly outweighed soon enough; by a staff and international body of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church; and by any number of other anti-abortion organizations, working tens of thousands of hours, to try to refute our points.  Who will then, moreover, be able to broadcast their own answers, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to hundreds of millions of people, over cable and so forth, to all the world.

So how could we (or even the Church) hope to win this argument?  Against a massive media machine?  When, even if we are right, we are outnumbered in effect, more than a million to one?  When entire, full-time, professionally staffed organizations exist, to generate arguments against our remarks here?  And yet however, we might attempt to win this argument, after all, by …

Generating after all, so many arguments here; a hundred and more.

To fix this,  we hereby call the public’s – and the Church’s attention – to the fact again, that this is not a fair, free, open debate, between equally-weighed opponents, at all:  EWTN/RN gets a response that is literally, millions of times louder than our own, at present.

Then too, while EWTN/RN will likely have a full-time staff to generate counter-arguments to all our arguments here … perhaps this can be stopped, if at last the Church itself – another living organization – orders EWTN/RN to cease.

 

But finally, in addition to all this, we offer here, next, a few updates to our own work.

Finally the best way to respond, is with our own live updates.  Indeed, this very article, may also be periodically updated, corrected by its original author (and others?).  To try to generate at least some counter-arguments again in turn, against whatever new counter-arguments EWTN may generate.  Though surely, such an involved argument might easily become a quite elaborated structure, incomprehensible to non-initiates, still, early on, a few more simple, useful arguments will no doubt appear here, and elsewhere; here, in the end.  Be sure to check the Internet for the earliest and then the latest editions of our present, original, 2009 AD document. To see what other sophistries by EWTN need to be answered.  This, our first draft, will probably be submitted some time in 2009 AD; look for both this first edition, and the author’s own later updates.

SOME ADDITIONAL, NEW ARGUMENTS AGAINST

ANTI-ABORTIONISTS

In our time, c. 1983-2011, the function of criticism, rhetoric, has become a full time, 24/7 operation. Today, literally hundreds of anti-abortion organizations operate, using the new media, to generate anti-abortion arguments, continually.  Even (considering the times zones), around the clock. Thanks to the new medium especially, of the Internet, it is now possible – and indeed, common – for various advocacy organizations, political and social groups, to be ready on a moment’s notice, to respond in favor of their own views, around the clock.  And?  The anti-abortion movement has done that.  And unfortunately?  It has been all-too-successful. Though it never controlled enough votes to achieve its main objective – to make abortion illegal – it did however, determine one election after another  .. in favor of the Republican Party.  With its militaristic interests and campaigns.

It has been hard for the pro-abortion movement to respond to this massive new propoganda machine, of right-wing radio especiall, in the Rush Limbaugh era.  But to be sure, our method of dealing with this, had been to present at last, an omnibus of not just one, but hundreds of arguments, in response to this vast army.

Then too, to be sure, no doubt the vast propoganda machine will eventually begin to notice and respond, even to our present book.  But?  With luck, the original author himself will still be alive; long enough to respond with a few counterarguments.

And so?  The following space is reserved, for the Author’s updates; for a few new arguments:

111)     Argument # 244 or …. A1)

Jan. 27, 2009.  As a first additional argument and response, consider this:  today on EWTN, pro-life Catholic, Al Kresta, asserted in effect,  that abortion is bad, because it is always good to have more physical children.  The assumption of many pro-lifers, indeed, is that the main  – or even only – way a person can be “fruitful,” is to have more children.  But of course, this argument is ridiculous and even evil; if having children is good, the best or even only way to be fruitful, then of course a) Catholic priests are evil; since they do not have literal children.  And b) Jesus himself likewise, is evil; since Jesus they say, had no literal children either.  Here c) again furthermore (as in their neglect of “ensoul”ment), our anti-abortionists are too simply physical, and neglect and even attack the spirit or soul; they forget that often a man or woman will decide not to have children, as monks do, in order to after all, develop his or her spirit or soul.  Those Catholics who speak, like simple-minded idiots, of having more and more babies as the best goal in life, forget, attack, spiritual, mental fruitfulness.

Arguments that we must always have more and more babies, also d) ignore or slight Malthus.  Who said that humankind will probably reproduce itself … until there are too many people to feed; thus causing mass starvation. Or at least a declining standard of life.

A2) Jan. 27, 2009.  Today on EWTN, Al Kresta also suggests that making abortion legal is bad – because it allows the State to take control of our reproductive lives. But this argument is strange and wong, in that a) the state is not presently telling or ordering anyone to do anything, like have an abortion; it is only allowing them a freedom, to have an abortion if they want it.  Those who don’t like it, don’t have to do it.  Second, b) Kresta ignores the obvious fact that on the other hand, when the State or the Church forbids others to contracept say, or making abortion – the aim of Kresta and many others on EWTN – that would be really, actually, taking control of our reproductive lives.  (Though today the Church’s mandates are voluntary).  So that indeed, the present law – which does not mandate and does not forbid abortion either, leaving it as a personal freedom or “choice” – is a good decision.

 

A3) Feb. 4/19/09:  When do we get a soul?  Consider Adam.   When did Adam receive a soul?  He a) was not born with a soul; God “breathed” it into him.  And was he a child when this happened?  Most accounts have Adam as a fully-completed body (even an adult?) when he was ensouled.

No doubt Adam is something of a special case.  Still it appears that the Bible considered this process normal:  we can be made soulless; and get a soul not at birth, but late in life.  Then too b) it was often thought in some ancient cultures, that our breathing, breath, was our spirit or soul; so that against babies are not fully human until first breath, at birth.

A4) The current Catechism tells us, for a second, to treat embryos exactly like full human beings.  But note the absurdities that happen when we do that.  The problem is that embryos are not human because … a) they are don’t have many of the qualities or abilities that children, or men and women and have:  they cannot walk, talk, act.  Embryos in fact b) therefore probably disobey many of God’s commands to do this or that.  God’s aa) command to “work” six days of the week, and then rest one day for example:  they probably don’t do that very well … because they can’t; they are locked in the womb, and are not quite fully human.. Even the bb) command to love, worship God would be hard for an embryo too, that does not understand language, and therefore cannot understanding anything in the Bible at all.  Much less follow it.

As regarding specific qualities, things embryos haven’t done? Paul and others tell us to cc) “mature” beyond “milk”; embryos haven’t done that

There are many rites of passage in Jewish culture; like dd) circumcision; ee) bar mitzvah; the ff) “day” we make payments to our (land?) Lord.  The embryo has not passed these rites of passage, or obeyed these or other rules of the Bible.

The embryo therefore has not fully – or even approximately – obeyed God.  No doubt to be sure, because it can’t.  But that just points again to the fact that the embryo should not really be considered a full human being.  Because after all, it lacks so many of our abilities.

A5) Conservative Catholicism, opposed liberal cardinals, like Bernardin, and his key concept of other issues, a “seamless web” of many issues.  But in doing so, this “Catholicism” … actually rebelled against major elements of the Church.  The conservative rebellion therefore amounted to therefore, apostasy, schism, heresy.  Liberalism is found in many legitimate and authoritative aspects of the Church; to rebel against liberal Catholic leaders, was to rebel against … much of the Church itself.  Such a rebellion cannot be called “Catholic.”

A6)  Recent attempts have been made to set up a basic vocabulary, that would distinguish between things that a) are “human” – like human skin – from things that are b) human, but also beings; like it is said the embryo, but also we add the human sperm.  These are c) perhaps distinct from a human person, meaning a conscious, intelligent being.  This is a marginally useful – but also misleading – terminology.

In any case, it is asserted that a human being – like say, the embryo – is nearly enough the equal of a human person, to have rights.  But?  A human sperm is also human, and a being:  a rather independent, complete set of DNA, in an animated, motile mode; it appears to fit many people’s idea of a human being.  But are sperm cells also to have rights therefore?  Note that the average procreative act of a human male, ejects hundreds of thousands of sperm cells; only one or two of which have much change of becoming live human beings; while the rest die.  If “every sperm is sacred” – as the Church once claimed – if these human beings, should be regarded as having the right to live of a human person?  Then … almost every male on earth will have to be locked up, as a mass murderer.

So that?  Regarding the attempt to assert that anything that is human, and a “being,” must be fully defended?

A7)  Added Nov. 20, 2011:  Our informal use of the term “heresy” to describe Pro Life movement, has been objected to.  Specifically, it is said that in the Roman Catholic Church, we must distinguish “heresy,” from “incredulity,” “apostasy,” schism, and so forth:  heresy being applied, particularly or only in the case of  “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstainate doubt concerning the same” (Catechism # 2089).  To be sure though, our use of the term “heresy” here is more informal; in the broader dictionary sense, of describing any teaching that goes against, say, the Bible, and God.  However?  To be sure, even the narrower, technical, Catholic definition might be relevant here:  the current Catechism (CCC, Libreria Editrice, c. 1997-2000. ), seems to some, to cite “Tertullian” as an authoritative source oppositing abortion.  But Tertullian of course, was officially declared a heretic by the Catholic Church, when he himself left the Church, for a different religion).  Then too, to some, it has seemed that the current Catechism also cites St. Basil approvingly.  But when St. Basil asked, “what do we care if the embryo is ‘formed’ or not,” (paraphrased from memory), here Basil too could be read as saying he did not care what the Bible said, about the unformed embryo, in Ps. 139; thus Basil too, is becoming a heretic; turning against, saying he does not care about, the Bible itself.  While not only did Tertullian and Basil turn against the Bible, and/or the Church?  But also we will have been showing, any very strong anti-abortion sentiment is ultimately, an attack on the Soul, the spirit itself.  So that it becomes a fundamental attack, on a core doctrine and value of Christianity and Catholicism.

Here therefore, we have used the word “heresy” loosely.  But it is possible that in fact, even the rather strict definition of heresy can be invoked here, against Pro Lifers.  Even if very high officials, Bishops of the Church, support anti-abortionism, even bishops and even popes, are often not infallible.

A8)  And if the current Catechism seems very anti-abortion? The Catechism itself is not infallible, most agree.

Regarding the current Catechism?  Even there, the language is hedged a bit; a person who gets an abortion or assists in one, “incurs escommuncation latae sententia” (CCC 2272; from CIC, can. 1398), but also “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law” (“Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324”).  Those conditions being open to many different understandings.

For that matter?  Does the current Catechism really unambiguously cite Tertullian as an authority?  Tertullian’s anti-abortion statement  – “You shall no kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish” – appears in the Catechism; and it is referenced in footnote, # 75, page 548 of the 1997-2000 CCC.  But Tertullian after all was long ago declared to be a heretic.  And the footnote in some readings, might be said to have bee prefaced, a short while earlier, by the note “cf.”; which means “compare” or “contrast” what follows, to what was apparently at first claimed in the Catechism above.

While by “excommunicating” those who have had an abortion, the Catechism adds that it is – albeit ambiguously – stated that by excommunicating the woman who has had an abortion, “The Church does not therby intend to restrict the scope of mercy” (CCC 2272).

Suggesting that such an offense can be forgiven?  Indeed even EWRN often mentioned apparently (if memory serves)a  “Sacrament of Reconciliation.”  Which might allow a woman who had an abortion, to return to full communion with the church?

If indeed, excommuncation “latae sententia,” and “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law,” even acctually excommunicated anyone “by the very commission of the offense” (CCC section 2272, page 548, footnote 78, citing canon law, Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1314.).

Citations of “Didache,” or Didactics, cite a document that is also suspect; an heretically short primer or made-simple guide to Christianity, having been ejected from the Bible, and form the canon, and from Catholic life, for nearly 2000 years; and having surfaced again, after centuries of suppression, only at a suspiciously opportune moment, as late as 1875.

The anti-abortion case therefore, was based on one heretical and non-authoritative “Catholic” case after another, from the heretic Tertullian, to St. Basil’s “what do we care” remark about the Bible itself.  It was based on one problematic, minor source after another – while it rejected and top-spun the core values, the primary writings of the Bible (Ps. 139),  the major Catholic Theologians Augustine and Aquinas, while ignoring the cautions of countless current cardinals … and the Pope himself.  Who told us in the 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” that abortion was bad; but that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”

To be sure, even Popes are not always infallible; but only when speaking Ex Cathedra (an indefinable moment moreover).  So that? Even popes cannot be cited as absolute authority.  And therefore we rely more on the Bible, for example.  As well as on the “reason” and logic that the Bible itself finally advocated.  (“Come, let us reason together”; “always be prepared to give a reason for your faith”).  And if the current Catechism cites the Papal Encyclical Gaudium et spes, 1965, to the effect that “Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception:  abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes,” then after all, even popes like John, and John Paul II, and their encylicals, often made mistakes.  Especially when they abandoned reason, for sentiment, and the “heart” that the Bible often warned, often “deceiv”es everyone.

Indeed, the very name of God himself, is “Logos.” Which is often translated as the defining “word” or defining characterization; but which can also be translated by the English word that more obviously derives from it:  as, in other words, “Logic.”

No doubt, the fundamental human right, is the right of a human person to live.  But the question is:  is the embryo, a human person?  Should an frozen embryo composed of a dozen cells, smaller than a pinhead, have all the same rights and responsiblities, as a child, or human adult?

That all-too-common assertion was obviously, poorly thought out.  Even as, worse, that assertion based on one implausible and even heretical assertion after another, was firmly presented to the whole world, as the Word of God.

To err on the side of over-caution is, after all, to err.  And often the very worst sins of all, are committed by persons trying to be very, very good.  The road to hell, is paved in good intentions, by do-gooders.

A9)  In the months prior to the assassination/murder of Dr. Tiller, the abortion provider, in May 31, 2009, Fr. Frank Pavone and others, were beginning to follow their fatal convictions to the letter, to their extreme conclusion; and they began to often assert more and more boldly, more and more directly, on violently anti-abortion outets like EWRN and Relevant Radio, that the embryo was a human person; and that therefore, abortion, was in effect, “murder.”   While some noted a fatal practical problem in that line of thinking: which would conclude that the logical conclusion of that strain of thought, would be that some would feel justified in killing abortion providers; to prevent a crime, a sin, or murder.  (While indeed, some parts of the Catechism suggest that acts undertaken to prevent a murderer some murdering again, might in some cases be considered legitimate).

And so warnings were issued, that the thinking, the premises of Right-Wing radio, EWRN and Relevant Radio, and any strong anti-abortionism, lead finally to literally fatal consequences.  But such warnings were not heeded; instead, these warnings were taken as prescriptive.  So that soon, the incentiary and inflamatory rhetoric of antiabortionism reached its fatal “logical” conclusion:  finally on May 31, 2009, some EWRN/Relevant Radio fan or kindred spirit, simply decided to  take it on himself, to shoot Dr. Tiller, an abortion provider, dead. As he did.  Killing Dr. Tiller n his church.  On May 31, 2009.  Thus the careless thinking and incendiary rhetoric of the Pro Life movement, finally came to its ineviable end:  right-wing murder, and terrorism.

And Pavone did not really relent:  within a fairly short time, Pavone was also simply … giving the address of another major abortion provider, on the air (Relevant Radio?) some say.

Today, these things are hard to prove.  And indeed, whenever this role of Pavone and Priest For Life in anti-abortion terrorism and murder, is mentioned, defenders of Pavone to be sure, Pavone and Priests for life, immediately, on paper in in the media, technically, condemned such killings of abortion providers; strongly.  It is added that Priests for Life even offered something like a $50,000 reward, for anyone offering to expose anti-abortion terrrorists; probably for any evidence that would convict someone of anti-abortion terrorism.

And so it is said, Pavone and Priests for Life, EWRN and Relevant Radio, are not to blame for acts of anti-abortion violence.  But to be sure, though various statements were made after the event, trying to put these organizations in a strongly anti-terroristic stance, those efforts were belated; no one in Priests for Life, ever confessed to these right-wing organizations; possible role, in inspiring these murders. And making it stick – uncovering positive evidence, reviewing the complete record of what the massively prolific Fr. Pavone said, in the months before and after May 31, 2009 – is a long chore; if the relevant data was not immediately expunged.  On say, Relevant Radio.

But if imperfect memory serves?  That is what happened.  And futhermore, it happens to this very day:  once again, in c. 2010-11, the Bishop of Arizona began to speak very strongly against abortion, and those who defended it; in within a very short time, yet another right-wing extremist … took the extraordinary measure of attempting to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; shooting her in the head, and seriously injuring her.

To this very day, again and again, many priests and bishops do not hesitate to call abortion “murder.”  Never thinking or caring, about what effects their words might have.  What the consequences of their faulty logic would be.

Or perhaps after all?  Some did think of the consequences.

A)10  …?

More MORE UPDATES, ADDITIONAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST ANTI-ABORTIONISTS, MAY BE INSERTED HERE:   check this space,  or check the internet for versions of this text, updated by the author.  This particular text was completed roughly Nov. 20, 2011.

Chapter 8

UPDATES;

Additional Arguments

For Abortion, To Be

Added Here,

Against EWTN/RN,

And Anti-Abortionism

In our book, we have offered one hundred or more arguments against Pro Life anti-abortionism.  Against the message of the many individuals and organizations that support this heresy:  like EWTN/RN, and Frank Pavone, and Karl Keating.  But to be sure however, no single paper or book – even this one – can compete against a vast, professional, 24/7 top-spin organization, like EWTN/RN and associates. For example, in our mere, static book here,  we have had just a few hours, a few pages, to present our case, and then that is all we can say.  A book cannot defend itself like a live person; what it says is rather fixed.   But EWTN and the anti-abortionist lobby, form a living organism, that continue even after our book is presented to the public.  EWTN/RN is a living organization, allied with many, many anti-abortion organizations; organizations with dozens, even hundreds, of staffers, and professional apologists; the spin-doctors of the Church.  There are therefore, a) legions of live persons – b) some of them full-time  – devoted to attacking abortion.  And to attacking arguments against them, like our own.  And they will no doubt, come up with new sophistries to try to attack our present positions.  While we ourselves will not be there to defend against new arguments.

How can a mere fixed, static book like our own, a fixed emplacement, outflank all future live spin doctors?  In part we might do that, by simply being so dense that most cannot penetrate it; but in that case, that means we lose our audience.  And furthermore,  the new anti-abortionists have not only live staff members to think up objections, after our book is published; c) they also have massive media networks at their disposal; broadcasting and d) even net-steaming their message even twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  To effectively, all of the Unites States, and to the whole world.

Our simple book therefore, comes against the new media machines.  Anti-abortionists have a vast and powerful network of organizations working for them.  Including not least of all, one entire media network, working twenty-four hours at day, seven days a week.  EWTN/RN moreover is not small; though this never should have happened, it was normally offered in the standard major TV cable and satellite packages, all over the United States.  And it also sends its message out over the Internet to in fact, the entire world.

There is therefore, a vast, powerful, entrenched, well-oiled, living, anti-abortion rhetoric machine out there.  And the anti-abortion machine, is almost impossible to combat, with a mere single book.   Though our arguments here are good, such massive networks can generate many, many unanticipated logical tricks, sophistries, that we could not have time or space to address here, just  our single, isolated book.  And so, the anti-abortion machine will fool many; partially because we have not been around to correct them; to note problems in turn, with not only their 1st generation theories, but also with their 2nd generation counter-responses.

.  .  .

How can a mere, fixed, single book , even one with four hundred pages and a hundred separate argument, fight a live organization?   But in part we can do this, by marshaling hundreds of arguments; of which surely one or two will work.  Even if one or two of our arguments here are “disproven,” that is not enough.  Every single one of our arguments must be addressed; it only takes one good point to win an argument. 

Then too, we will have begun to expose some of the common, continuing tricks, deceitful strategies, of the new rhetoric networks.  Though the media networks for example, have call-in shows, that seem to offer real debate for example, in point of fact, nearly all radio call-in shows today, are rigged games; they are not fair debates at all.  The talk-show has huge, built-in advantages, for the host:  a) the call “screener” lets in only voices, people he or she things the host can defeat in discussion; b) the host can in fact hit the “dump” or “off” button on any opponent that gets too good; and c) then the network can edit the whole thing, and d) broadcast only those parts it wants to retain, parts favorable to itself, over and over again, to e) millions of people.

So the resources of anti-abortionists and apologists, today, are vast. Indeed, their resources vastly, hugely exceed ours; our little publication here, our own efforts here, are outnumbered, by a factor of probably, thousands to one.

So how do we have any chance at all, arguing with such a vast, well organized and staffed machine?  In effect perhaps, we have very little chance at all.  Unless finally, we can appeal successfully to intellectual honesty; and to the inherent fairness of priests, and of all good people.

In the meantime, until our arguments one day succeed against the vast, organized machinery of EWTN/RN, and against heretical priests like Frank Pavone, until the Church itself acts decisively, in the meantime, we can here only simply note, what we know so far.

Here we will have noted to the people of the world, especially, that Catholics and others need to be firmly warned, about this:   EWTN presents itself as if it is the official voice of the Church, and therefore, of God; but EWTN/RN is not an official Church organization at all; it is a private, non-profit organization (a 501 c3?  Or today, c4?).   Even in spite of an occasional, informal, (misguided) endorsement of this or that doctrine on EWTN, by this or that priest or bishop, in spite of an endorsement say of the “new evangelization,” and EWTN’s “ministry,” in spite of an occasional informal, private endorsements by priests.  In spite of all that … still, the Roman Catholic Church itself, has not yet officially given EWTN any really official, formal recognition or status; the Church itself has not said that EWTN/RN is its own, fully authoritative voice-piece.

The fact is, it is not EWTN, but the Vatican itself – Vatican.va – that is the real voice of the Church.  Or indeed finally, some say, it is only the Pope himself – and at that, only in the moments that he speaks definitively, “ex Cathedra” – that is said to be absolutely definitive.  Only the Pope himself in such moments … and not even what others say about such moments; how others characterize them.

EWTN therefore, has far, far less authority than it imagines, or pretends to the Catholic world.  And in fact, we will have devoted our article here to showing that a) EWTN/RN has no document that authorizes it as the official voice of the Church; that in fact, b) the dominant, most distinctive, characteristic message of EWTN/RN – its anti-abortionism – is a heresy.  And we have shown c) that its distinctive theology – and EWTN/RN itself – in fact, has been opposed, again and again, by the real authority in the Church itself; by at least three Cardinals, and the Pope.
EWTN and other anti-abortionist organizations have repeatedly presented themselves in effect, as the voice of authority; they have presented themselves in effect, as an approved voice of the Church; and therefore indeed, they have presented themselves as God himself; the voice of God.  But we will have shown here, that they have no such authority.  They speak falsely, for the Church; they speak falsely, for God. 

 

Specifically, EWTN/RN’s position on Abortion, is not even really Christian at all.  It is not fully justified by the a) Bible; nor by b) Ethics; nor by c) real Science.  Nor, for those who follow the Church, is EWTN’s position endorsed by d) the Church; it’s aa) canons, bb) Tradition, cc) saints, dd) Magisterium, ee) doctrine, ff) dogmas, gg) “infallible” positions, and so forth.  Nor has EWTN/RN itself, ever been fully, formally authorized by the Church, as its spokesman.  Instead, EWTN/RN, and especially its “one issue” anti-abortionism, has been opposed by at least three Cardinals; and the Pope himself.

Not only is EWTN therefore, a heretical, “presumptuous,” apostate spin-off or apostate “branch” of the Church; its is in fact, very, very, very deeply offensive; in that this unreliable entity, (especially by incorporating priests into its staff, or regular guest list) has implicitly presented itself as the voice of the Church … and as the voice of God.  For this reason, EWRN is not just a normal, offensive, right-wing/”conservative” radio outlet, voicing biased opinions; EWRN is also guilty in effect, of the religious crimes of “presumption,” and “heresy,” for example.

And if EWRN’s message has for so long, dominated political/religious debate? If it has been broadcast to millions?  Worldwide?  And if it in fact, determined the election of an anti-abortion Republican president, in the elections for 2000 and 2004?  And if thereby, through its control of the US presidency, its radical, false, “one-issue” anti-abortionism (and other positions?) has dominated the whole world?  Then after all, this situation very much recalls the Bible’s warnings; that in the End Time, there would be many “false priests” coming in the “name” of God, calling “Lord, Lord.”  False priests who would pretend to be following God or Christ, or who would believe who their were following him … but who were actually presenting, following, a “false” or “anti-“ Christ; a false idea of God.

But even if most of Catholicism, the United States, and indeed the whole earth, has thus been dominated by this false ideology, this false Christ, we here and now invite the public, to at last join with us; inviting the ordinary reader to petition his or her own local priest, and bishop; then the USCCB and the Vatican, itself.  Petition these authorities,  to at long last, begin to take more effective action against EWTN/RN.  To at last, far more effectively enforce and expand, the earlier criticisms, by Cardinals and Popes, of that organization; and of its founder Mother Angelica; and of its dis-“proportionate,”one “issue” Catholicism.  We ask the real authority of the Church, to finally effectively enforce the criticisms of EWTN/RN, and its one-issue anti-abortionism, by a) Cardinal Mahony.  By b) Cardinal McCarrick, and c) the USCCB. (McCarrick was head of all American Bishops, in fact, as head of the USCCB).   And then too, d) let the Church now enforce its own warnings against a dis-“proportionate” one issue Catholicism,  by former Cardinal Ratzinger.  Who is e) now, our Pope:   Benedict XVI.

The New Nature of “Debate” in

The Internet Age

EWTN and anti-abortionism therefore, have been opposed again and again, by the real authorities of the Church.  And for very good reasons.  Reasons which we have begun to outline, here and now.  No doubt to be sure, as soon the staff of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church, hear our objections, they will try to spin all of this, in turn.  And their absolute domination of their own network, of the Catholic world, will make it hard or impossible to break into their charmed circle, their hypnotized audience.

All we have on our side, is the truth.  But that means we will win, eventually.

But to do win against an ongoing spin-doctoring operation, its continuing and latest efforts, we will probably need to periodically up-date our works, here.  To answer any new sophistries generated by the network, the matrix.

And so finally, our last section, here, will be an informal but useful section; a section which will update our arguments.  With new responses,  to anti-abortionists’ latest arguments.

And so, let us begin now, with a few additions to our work.

First though, a review on the new nature of argumentation, today.  There is something new happening to all arguments, in the day of the Internet:  there are many advocacy groups out there; and thus many political and other positions are now argued around the clock, in a continuous debate, on the Internet.  Therefore, no argument or position can rest with a single book like this one; but anyone who wants to make a case that will stand, must be prepared to actively respond to new arguments.  To update our work, with new arguments and counter-arguments.

Arguments are now offered continuously, on the Internet; arguments offered often 24/7, by professional organizations whose entire job it is in fact, to try to generate comments on a subject like Abortion. (See Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life” for example).  Therefore, the fact is, no mere, single, static article – not even this one, with a hundred points of light in it – can stand up to the professional objection-machines, the organized, professional spin-doctor staff, of a massive, full-time organization like EWTN/RN.  An organization like EWTN/RN has a large, professional, trained staff of spin-doctor apologists and theologians; and it is associated with or can draw on, dozens of other similar organizations; whose entire job it is, forty hours a week, year after year … to try to answer objections to EWTN/RN; to defend allied organizations like EWTN/RN, and its anti-abortionist stance.  Indeed, contributing to EWTN/RN, is at least one entire, full-time organization, that exists to precisely, generate arguments against us:  Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life.”   Therefore, the hundred or so man-hours that we have devoted to our arguments here, will be hugely, vastly outweighed soon enough; by a staff and international body of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church; and by any number of other anti-abortion organizations, working tens of thousands of hours, to try to refute our points.  Who will then, moreover, be able to broadcast their own answers, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to hundreds of millions of people, over cable and so forth, to all the world.

So how could we (or even the Church) hope to win this argument?  Against a massive media machine?  When, even if we are right, we are outnumbered in effect, more than a million to one?  When entire, full-time, professionally staffed organizations exist, to generate arguments against our remarks here?  And yet however, we might attempt to win this argument, after all, by …

Generating after all, so many arguments here; a hundred and more.

To fix this,  we hereby call the public’s – and the Church’s attention – to the fact again, that this is not a fair, free, open debate, between equally-weighed opponents, at all:  EWTN/RN gets a response that is literally, millions of times louder than our own, at present.

Then too, while EWTN/RN will likely have a full-time staff to generate counter-arguments to all our arguments here … perhaps this can be stopped, if at last the Church itself – another living organization – orders EWTN/RN to cease.

 

But finally, in addition to all this, we offer here, next, a few updates to our own work.

Finally the best way to respond, is with our own live updates.  Indeed, this very article, may also be periodically updated, corrected by its original author (and others?).  To try to generate at least some counter-arguments again in turn, against whatever new counter-arguments EWTN may generate.  Though surely, such an involved argument might easily become a quite elaborated structure, incomprehensible to non-initiates, still, early on, a few more simple, useful arguments will no doubt appear here, and elsewhere; here, in the end.  Be sure to check the Internet for the earliest and then the latest editions of our present, original, 2009 AD document. To see what other sophistries by EWTN need to be answered.  This, our first draft, will probably be submitted some time in 2009 AD; look for both this first edition, and the author’s own later updates.

SOME ADDITIONAL, NEW ARGUMENTS AGAINST

ANTI-ABORTIONISTS

In our time, c. 1983-2011, the function of criticism, rhetoric, has become a full time, 24/7 operation. Today, literally hundreds of anti-abortion organizations operate, using the new media, to generate anti-abortion arguments, continually.  Even (considering the times zones), around the clock. Thanks to the new medium especially, of the Internet, it is now possible – and indeed, common – for various advocacy organizations, political and social groups, to be ready on a moment’s notice, to respond in favor of their own views, around the clock.  And?  The anti-abortion movement has done that.  And unfortunately?  It has been all-too-successful. Though it never controlled enough votes to achieve its main objective – to make abortion illegal – it did however, determine one election after another  .. in favor of the Republican Party.  With its militaristic interests and campaigns.

It has been hard for the pro-abortion movement to respond to this massive new propoganda machine, of right-wing radio especiall, in the Rush Limbaugh era.  But to be sure, our method of dealing with this, had been to present at last, an omnibus of not just one, but hundreds of arguments, in response to this vast army.

Then too, to be sure, no doubt the vast propoganda machine will eventually begin to notice and respond, even to our present book.  But?  With luck, the original author himself will still be alive; long enough to respond with a few counterarguments.

And so?  The following space is reserved, for the Author’s updates; for a few new arguments:

111)     Argument # 244 or …. A1)

Jan. 27, 2009.  As a first additional argument and response, consider this:  today on EWTN, pro-life Catholic, Al Kresta, asserted in effect,  that abortion is bad, because it is always good to have more physical children.  The assumption of many pro-lifers, indeed, is that the main  – or even only – way a person can be “fruitful,” is to have more children.  But of course, this argument is ridiculous and even evil; if having children is good, the best or even only way to be fruitful, then of course a) Catholic priests are evil; since they do not have literal children.  And b) Jesus himself likewise, is evil; since Jesus they say, had no literal children either.  Here c) again furthermore (as in their neglect of “ensoul”ment), our anti-abortionists are too simply physical, and neglect and even attack the spirit or soul; they forget that often a man or woman will decide not to have children, as monks do, in order to after all, develop his or her spirit or soul.  Those Catholics who speak, like simple-minded idiots, of having more and more babies as the best goal in life, forget, attack, spiritual, mental fruitfulness.

Arguments that we must always have more and more babies, also d) ignore or slight Malthus.  Who said that humankind will probably reproduce itself … until there are too many people to feed; thus causing mass starvation. Or at least a declining standard of life.

A2) Jan. 27, 2009.  Today on EWTN, Al Kresta also suggests that making abortion legal is bad – because it allows the State to take control of our reproductive lives. But this argument is strange and wong, in that a) the state is not presently telling or ordering anyone to do anything, like have an abortion; it is only allowing them a freedom, to have an abortion if they want it.  Those who don’t like it, don’t have to do it.  Second, b) Kresta ignores the obvious fact that on the other hand, when the State or the Church forbids others to contracept say, or making abortion – the aim of Kresta and many others on EWTN – that would be really, actually, taking control of our reproductive lives.  (Though today the Church’s mandates are voluntary).  So that indeed, the present law – which does not mandate and does not forbid abortion either, leaving it as a personal freedom or “choice” – is a good decision.

 

A3) Feb. 4/19/09:  When do we get a soul?  Consider Adam.   When did Adam receive a soul?  He a) was not born with a soul; God “breathed” it into him.  And was he a child when this happened?  Most accounts have Adam as a fully-completed body (even an adult?) when he was ensouled.

No doubt Adam is something of a special case.  Still it appears that the Bible considered this process normal:  we can be made soulless; and get a soul not at birth, but late in life.  Then too b) it was often thought in some ancient cultures, that our breathing, breath, was our spirit or soul; so that against babies are not fully human until first breath, at birth.

A4) The current Catechism tells us, for a second, to treat embryos exactly like full human beings.  But note the absurdities that happen when we do that.  The problem is that embryos are not human because … a) they are don’t have many of the qualities or abilities that children, or men and women and have:  they cannot walk, talk, act.  Embryos in fact b) therefore probably disobey many of God’s commands to do this or that.  God’s aa) command to “work” six days of the week, and then rest one day for example:  they probably don’t do that very well … because they can’t; they are locked in the womb, and are not quite fully human.. Even the bb) command to love, worship God would be hard for an embryo too, that does not understand language, and therefore cannot understanding anything in the Bible at all.  Much less follow it.

As regarding specific qualities, things embryos haven’t done? Paul and others tell us to cc) “mature” beyond “milk”; embryos haven’t done that

There are many rites of passage in Jewish culture; like dd) circumcision; ee) bar mitzvah; the ff) “day” we make payments to our (land?) Lord.  The embryo has not passed these rites of passage, or obeyed these or other rules of the Bible.

The embryo therefore has not fully – or even approximately – obeyed God.  No doubt to be sure, because it can’t.  But that just points again to the fact that the embryo should not really be considered a full human being.  Because after all, it lacks so many of our abilities.

A5) Conservative Catholicism, opposed liberal cardinals, like Bernardin, and his key concept of other issues, a “seamless web” of many issues.  But in doing so, this “Catholicism” … actually rebelled against major elements of the Church.  The conservative rebellion therefore amounted to therefore, apostasy, schism, heresy.  Liberalism is found in many legitimate and authoritative aspects of the Church; to rebel against liberal Catholic leaders, was to rebel against … much of the Church itself.  Such a rebellion cannot be called “Catholic.”

A6)  Recent attempts have been made to set up a basic vocabulary, that would distinguish between things that a) are “human” – like human skin – from things that are b) human, but also beings; like it is said the embryo, but also we add the human sperm.  These are c) perhaps distinct from a human person, meaning a conscious, intelligent being.  This is a marginally useful – but also misleading – terminology.

In any case, it is asserted that a human being – like say, the embryo – is nearly enough the equal of a human person, to have rights.  But?  A human sperm is also human, and a being:  a rather independent, complete set of DNA, in an animated, motile mode; it appears to fit many people’s idea of a human being.  But are sperm cells also to have rights therefore?  Note that the average procreative act of a human male, ejects hundreds of thousands of sperm cells; only one or two of which have much change of becoming live human beings; while the rest die.  If “every sperm is sacred” – as the Church once claimed – if these human beings, should be regarded as having the right to live of a human person?  Then … almost every male on earth will have to be locked up, as a mass murderer.

So that?  Regarding the attempt to assert that anything that is human, and a “being,” must be fully defended?

A7)  Added Nov. 20, 2011:  Our informal use of the term “heresy” to describe Pro Life movement, has been objected to.  Specifically, it is said that in the Roman Catholic Church, we must distinguish “heresy,” from “incredulity,” “apostasy,” schism, and so forth:  heresy being applied, particularly or only in the case of  “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstainate doubt concerning the same” (Catechism # 2089).  To be sure though, our use of the term “heresy” here is more informal; in the broader dictionary sense, of describing any teaching that goes against, say, the Bible, and God.  However?  To be sure, even the narrower, technical, Catholic definition might be relevant here:  the current Catechism (CCC, Libreria Editrice, c. 1997-2000. ), seems to some, to cite “Tertullian” as an authoritative source oppositing abortion.  But Tertullian of course, was officially declared a heretic by the Catholic Church, when he himself left the Church, for a different religion).  Then too, to some, it has seemed that the current Catechism also cites St. Basil approvingly.  But when St. Basil asked, “what do we care if the embryo is ‘formed’ or not,” (paraphrased from memory), here Basil too could be read as saying he did not care what the Bible said, about the unformed embryo, in Ps. 139; thus Basil too, is becoming a heretic; turning against, saying he does not care about, the Bible itself.  While not only did Tertullian and Basil turn against the Bible, and/or the Church?  But also we will have been showing, any very strong anti-abortion sentiment is ultimately, an attack on the Soul, the spirit itself.  So that it becomes a fundamental attack, on a core doctrine and value of Christianity and Catholicism.

Here therefore, we have used the word “heresy” loosely.  But it is possible that in fact, even the rather strict definition of heresy can be invoked here, against Pro Lifers.  Even if very high officials, Bishops of the Church, support anti-abortionism, even bishops and even popes, are often not infallible.

A8)  And if the current Catechism seems very anti-abortion? The Catechism itself is not infallible, most agree.

Regarding the current Catechism?  Even there, the language is hedged a bit; a person who gets an abortion or assists in one, “incurs escommuncation latae sententia” (CCC 2272; from CIC, can. 1398), but also “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law” (“Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324”).  Those conditions being open to many different understandings.

For that matter?  Does the current Catechism really unambiguously cite Tertullian as an authority?  Tertullian’s anti-abortion statement  – “You shall no kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish” – appears in the Catechism; and it is referenced in footnote, # 75, page 548 of the 1997-2000 CCC.  But Tertullian after all was long ago declared to be a heretic.  And the footnote in some readings, might be said to have bee prefaced, a short while earlier, by the note “cf.”; which means “compare” or “contrast” what follows, to what was apparently at first claimed in the Catechism above.

While by “excommunicating” those who have had an abortion, the Catechism adds that it is – albeit ambiguously – stated that by excommunicating the woman who has had an abortion, “The Church does not therby intend to restrict the scope of mercy” (CCC 2272).

Suggesting that such an offense can be forgiven?  Indeed even EWRN often mentioned apparently (if memory serves)a  “Sacrament of Reconciliation.”  Which might allow a woman who had an abortion, to return to full communion with the church?

If indeed, excommuncation “latae sententia,” and “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law,” even acctually excommunicated anyone “by the very commission of the offense” (CCC section 2272, page 548, footnote 78, citing canon law, Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1314.).

Citations of “Didache,” or Didactics, cite a document that is also suspect; an heretically short primer or made-simple guide to Christianity, having been ejected from the Bible, and form the canon, and from Catholic life, for nearly 2000 years; and having surfaced again, after centuries of suppression, only at a suspiciously opportune moment, as late as 1875.

The anti-abortion case therefore, was based on one heretical and non-authoritative “Catholic” case after another, from the heretic Tertullian, to St. Basil’s “what do we care” remark about the Bible itself.  It was based on one problematic, minor source after another – while it rejected and top-spun the core values, the primary writings of the Bible (Ps. 139),  the major Catholic Theologians Augustine and Aquinas, while ignoring the cautions of countless current cardinals … and the Pope himself.  Who told us in the 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” that abortion was bad; but that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”

To be sure, even Popes are not always infallible; but only when speaking Ex Cathedra (an indefinable moment moreover).  So that? Even popes cannot be cited as absolute authority.  And therefore we rely more on the Bible, for example.  As well as on the “reason” and logic that the Bible itself finally advocated.  (“Come, let us reason together”; “always be prepared to give a reason for your faith”).  And if the current Catechism cites the Papal Encyclical Gaudium et spes, 1965, to the effect that “Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception:  abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes,” then after all, even popes like John, and John Paul II, and their encylicals, often made mistakes.  Especially when they abandoned reason, for sentiment, and the “heart” that the Bible often warned, often “deceiv”es everyone.

Indeed, the very name of God himself, is “Logos.” Which is often translated as the defining “word” or defining characterization; but which can also be translated by the English word that more obviously derives from it:  as, in other words, “Logic.”

No doubt, the fundamental human right, is the right of a human person to live.  But the question is:  is the embryo, a human person?  Should an frozen embryo composed of a dozen cells, smaller than a pinhead, have all the same rights and responsiblities, as a child, or human adult?

That all-too-common assertion was obviously, poorly thought out.  Even as, worse, that assertion based on one implausible and even heretical assertion after another, was firmly presented to the whole world, as the Word of God.

To err on the side of over-caution is, after all, to err.  And often the very worst sins of all, are committed by persons trying to be very, very good.  The road to hell, is paved in good intentions, by do-gooders.

A9)  In the months prior to the assassination/murder of Dr. Tiller, the abortion provider, in May 31, 2009, Fr. Frank Pavone and others, were beginning to follow their fatal convictions to the letter, to their extreme conclusion; and they began to often assert more and more boldly, more and more directly, on violently anti-abortion outets like EWRN and Relevant Radio, that the embryo was a human person; and that therefore, abortion, was in effect, “murder.”   While some noted a fatal practical problem in that line of thinking: which would conclude that the logical conclusion of that strain of thought, would be that some would feel justified in killing abortion providers; to prevent a crime, a sin, or murder.  (While indeed, some parts of the Catechism suggest that acts undertaken to prevent a murderer some murdering again, might in some cases be considered legitimate).

And so warnings were issued, that the thinking, the premises of Right-Wing radio, EWRN and Relevant Radio, and any strong anti-abortionism, lead finally to literally fatal consequences.  But such warnings were not heeded; instead, these warnings were taken as prescriptive.  So that soon, the incentiary and inflamatory rhetoric of antiabortionism reached its fatal “logical” conclusion:  finally on May 31, 2009, some EWRN/Relevant Radio fan or kindred spirit, simply decided to  take it on himself, to shoot Dr. Tiller, an abortion provider, dead. As he did.  Killing Dr. Tiller n his church.  On May 31, 2009.  Thus the careless thinking and incendiary rhetoric of the Pro Life movement, finally came to its ineviable end:  right-wing murder, and terrorism.

And Pavone did not really relent:  within a fairly short time, Pavone was also simply … giving the address of another major abortion provider, on the air (Relevant Radio?) some say.

Today, these things are hard to prove.  And indeed, whenever this role of Pavone and Priest For Life in anti-abortion terrorism and murder, is mentioned, defenders of Pavone to be sure, Pavone and Priests for life, immediately, on paper in in the media, technically, condemned such killings of abortion providers; strongly.  It is added that Priests for Life even offered something like a $50,000 reward, for anyone offering to expose anti-abortion terrrorists; probably for any evidence that would convict someone of anti-abortion terrorism.

And so it is said, Pavone and Priests for Life, EWRN and Relevant Radio, are not to blame for acts of anti-abortion violence.  But to be sure, though various statements were made after the event, trying to put these organizations in a strongly anti-terroristic stance, those efforts were belated; no one in Priests for Life, ever confessed to these right-wing organizations; possible role, in inspiring these murders. And making it stick – uncovering positive evidence, reviewing the complete record of what the massively prolific Fr. Pavone said, in the months before and after May 31, 2009 – is a long chore; if the relevant data was not immediately expunged.  On say, Relevant Radio.

But if imperfect memory serves?  That is what happened.  And futhermore, it happens to this very day:  once again, in c. 2010-11, the Bishop of Arizona began to speak very strongly against abortion, and those who defended it; in within a very short time, yet another right-wing extremist … took the extraordinary measure of attempting to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; shooting her in the head, and seriously injuring her.

To this very day, again and again, many priests and bishops do not hesitate to call abortion “murder.”  Never thinking or caring, about what effects their words might have.  What the consequences of their faulty logic would be.

Or perhaps after all?  Some did think of the consequences.

A)10  …?

More MORE UPDATES, ADDITIONAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST ANTI-ABORTIONISTS, MAY BE INSERTED HERE:   check this space,  or check the internet for versions of this text, updated by the author.  This particular text was completed roughly Nov. 20, 2011.

Chapter 8

UPDATES;

Additional Arguments

For Abortion, To Be

Added Here,

Against EWTN/RN,

And Anti-Abortionism

In our book, we have offered one hundred or more arguments against Pro Life anti-abortionism.  Against the message of the many individuals and organizations that support this heresy:  like EWTN/RN, and Frank Pavone, and Karl Keating.  But to be sure however, no single paper or book – even this one – can compete against a vast, professional, 24/7 top-spin organization, like EWTN/RN and associates. For example, in our mere, static book here,  we have had just a few hours, a few pages, to present our case, and then that is all we can say.  A book cannot defend itself like a live person; what it says is rather fixed.   But EWTN and the anti-abortionist lobby, form a living organism, that continue even after our book is presented to the public.  EWTN/RN is a living organization, allied with many, many anti-abortion organizations; organizations with dozens, even hundreds, of staffers, and professional apologists; the spin-doctors of the Church.  There are therefore, a) legions of live persons – b) some of them full-time  – devoted to attacking abortion.  And to attacking arguments against them, like our own.  And they will no doubt, come up with new sophistries to try to attack our present positions.  While we ourselves will not be there to defend against new arguments.

How can a mere fixed, static book like our own, a fixed emplacement, outflank all future live spin doctors?  In part we might do that, by simply being so dense that most cannot penetrate it; but in that case, that means we lose our audience.  And furthermore,  the new anti-abortionists have not only live staff members to think up objections, after our book is published; c) they also have massive media networks at their disposal; broadcasting and d) even net-steaming their message even twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  To effectively, all of the Unites States, and to the whole world.

Our simple book therefore, comes against the new media machines.  Anti-abortionists have a vast and powerful network of organizations working for them.  Including not least of all, one entire media network, working twenty-four hours at day, seven days a week.  EWTN/RN moreover is not small; though this never should have happened, it was normally offered in the standard major TV cable and satellite packages, all over the United States.  And it also sends its message out over the Internet to in fact, the entire world.

There is therefore, a vast, powerful, entrenched, well-oiled, living, anti-abortion rhetoric machine out there.  And the anti-abortion machine, is almost impossible to combat, with a mere single book.   Though our arguments here are good, such massive networks can generate many, many unanticipated logical tricks, sophistries, that we could not have time or space to address here, just  our single, isolated book.  And so, the anti-abortion machine will fool many; partially because we have not been around to correct them; to note problems in turn, with not only their 1st generation theories, but also with their 2nd generation counter-responses.

.  .  .

How can a mere, fixed, single book , even one with four hundred pages and a hundred separate argument, fight a live organization?   But in part we can do this, by marshaling hundreds of arguments; of which surely one or two will work.  Even if one or two of our arguments here are “disproven,” that is not enough.  Every single one of our arguments must be addressed; it only takes one good point to win an argument. 

Then too, we will have begun to expose some of the common, continuing tricks, deceitful strategies, of the new rhetoric networks.  Though the media networks for example, have call-in shows, that seem to offer real debate for example, in point of fact, nearly all radio call-in shows today, are rigged games; they are not fair debates at all.  The talk-show has huge, built-in advantages, for the host:  a) the call “screener” lets in only voices, people he or she things the host can defeat in discussion; b) the host can in fact hit the “dump” or “off” button on any opponent that gets too good; and c) then the network can edit the whole thing, and d) broadcast only those parts it wants to retain, parts favorable to itself, over and over again, to e) millions of people.

So the resources of anti-abortionists and apologists, today, are vast. Indeed, their resources vastly, hugely exceed ours; our little publication here, our own efforts here, are outnumbered, by a factor of probably, thousands to one.

So how do we have any chance at all, arguing with such a vast, well organized and staffed machine?  In effect perhaps, we have very little chance at all.  Unless finally, we can appeal successfully to intellectual honesty; and to the inherent fairness of priests, and of all good people.

In the meantime, until our arguments one day succeed against the vast, organized machinery of EWTN/RN, and against heretical priests like Frank Pavone, until the Church itself acts decisively, in the meantime, we can here only simply note, what we know so far.

Here we will have noted to the people of the world, especially, that Catholics and others need to be firmly warned, about this:   EWTN presents itself as if it is the official voice of the Church, and therefore, of God; but EWTN/RN is not an official Church organization at all; it is a private, non-profit organization (a 501 c3?  Or today, c4?).   Even in spite of an occasional, informal, (misguided) endorsement of this or that doctrine on EWTN, by this or that priest or bishop, in spite of an endorsement say of the “new evangelization,” and EWTN’s “ministry,” in spite of an occasional informal, private endorsements by priests.  In spite of all that … still, the Roman Catholic Church itself, has not yet officially given EWTN any really official, formal recognition or status; the Church itself has not said that EWTN/RN is its own, fully authoritative voice-piece.

The fact is, it is not EWTN, but the Vatican itself – Vatican.va – that is the real voice of the Church.  Or indeed finally, some say, it is only the Pope himself – and at that, only in the moments that he speaks definitively, “ex Cathedra” – that is said to be absolutely definitive.  Only the Pope himself in such moments … and not even what others say about such moments; how others characterize them.

EWTN therefore, has far, far less authority than it imagines, or pretends to the Catholic world.  And in fact, we will have devoted our article here to showing that a) EWTN/RN has no document that authorizes it as the official voice of the Church; that in fact, b) the dominant, most distinctive, characteristic message of EWTN/RN – its anti-abortionism – is a heresy.  And we have shown c) that its distinctive theology – and EWTN/RN itself – in fact, has been opposed, again and again, by the real authority in the Church itself; by at least three Cardinals, and the Pope.
EWTN and other anti-abortionist organizations have repeatedly presented themselves in effect, as the voice of authority; they have presented themselves in effect, as an approved voice of the Church; and therefore indeed, they have presented themselves as God himself; the voice of God.  But we will have shown here, that they have no such authority.  They speak falsely, for the Church; they speak falsely, for God. 

 

Specifically, EWTN/RN’s position on Abortion, is not even really Christian at all.  It is not fully justified by the a) Bible; nor by b) Ethics; nor by c) real Science.  Nor, for those who follow the Church, is EWTN’s position endorsed by d) the Church; it’s aa) canons, bb) Tradition, cc) saints, dd) Magisterium, ee) doctrine, ff) dogmas, gg) “infallible” positions, and so forth.  Nor has EWTN/RN itself, ever been fully, formally authorized by the Church, as its spokesman.  Instead, EWTN/RN, and especially its “one issue” anti-abortionism, has been opposed by at least three Cardinals; and the Pope himself.

Not only is EWTN therefore, a heretical, “presumptuous,” apostate spin-off or apostate “branch” of the Church; its is in fact, very, very, very deeply offensive; in that this unreliable entity, (especially by incorporating priests into its staff, or regular guest list) has implicitly presented itself as the voice of the Church … and as the voice of God.  For this reason, EWRN is not just a normal, offensive, right-wing/”conservative” radio outlet, voicing biased opinions; EWRN is also guilty in effect, of the religious crimes of “presumption,” and “heresy,” for example.

And if EWRN’s message has for so long, dominated political/religious debate? If it has been broadcast to millions?  Worldwide?  And if it in fact, determined the election of an anti-abortion Republican president, in the elections for 2000 and 2004?  And if thereby, through its control of the US presidency, its radical, false, “one-issue” anti-abortionism (and other positions?) has dominated the whole world?  Then after all, this situation very much recalls the Bible’s warnings; that in the End Time, there would be many “false priests” coming in the “name” of God, calling “Lord, Lord.”  False priests who would pretend to be following God or Christ, or who would believe who their were following him … but who were actually presenting, following, a “false” or “anti-“ Christ; a false idea of God.

But even if most of Catholicism, the United States, and indeed the whole earth, has thus been dominated by this false ideology, this false Christ, we here and now invite the public, to at last join with us; inviting the ordinary reader to petition his or her own local priest, and bishop; then the USCCB and the Vatican, itself.  Petition these authorities,  to at long last, begin to take more effective action against EWTN/RN.  To at last, far more effectively enforce and expand, the earlier criticisms, by Cardinals and Popes, of that organization; and of its founder Mother Angelica; and of its dis-“proportionate,”one “issue” Catholicism.  We ask the real authority of the Church, to finally effectively enforce the criticisms of EWTN/RN, and its one-issue anti-abortionism, by a) Cardinal Mahony.  By b) Cardinal McCarrick, and c) the USCCB. (McCarrick was head of all American Bishops, in fact, as head of the USCCB).   And then too, d) let the Church now enforce its own warnings against a dis-“proportionate” one issue Catholicism,  by former Cardinal Ratzinger.  Who is e) now, our Pope:   Benedict XVI.

The New Nature of “Debate” in

The Internet Age

EWTN and anti-abortionism therefore, have been opposed again and again, by the real authorities of the Church.  And for very good reasons.  Reasons which we have begun to outline, here and now.  No doubt to be sure, as soon the staff of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church, hear our objections, they will try to spin all of this, in turn.  And their absolute domination of their own network, of the Catholic world, will make it hard or impossible to break into their charmed circle, their hypnotized audience.

All we have on our side, is the truth.  But that means we will win, eventually.

But to do win against an ongoing spin-doctoring operation, its continuing and latest efforts, we will probably need to periodically up-date our works, here.  To answer any new sophistries generated by the network, the matrix.

And so finally, our last section, here, will be an informal but useful section; a section which will update our arguments.  With new responses,  to anti-abortionists’ latest arguments.

And so, let us begin now, with a few additions to our work.

First though, a review on the new nature of argumentation, today.  There is something new happening to all arguments, in the day of the Internet:  there are many advocacy groups out there; and thus many political and other positions are now argued around the clock, in a continuous debate, on the Internet.  Therefore, no argument or position can rest with a single book like this one; but anyone who wants to make a case that will stand, must be prepared to actively respond to new arguments.  To update our work, with new arguments and counter-arguments.

Arguments are now offered continuously, on the Internet; arguments offered often 24/7, by professional organizations whose entire job it is in fact, to try to generate comments on a subject like Abortion. (See Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life” for example).  Therefore, the fact is, no mere, single, static article – not even this one, with a hundred points of light in it – can stand up to the professional objection-machines, the organized, professional spin-doctor staff, of a massive, full-time organization like EWTN/RN.  An organization like EWTN/RN has a large, professional, trained staff of spin-doctor apologists and theologians; and it is associated with or can draw on, dozens of other similar organizations; whose entire job it is, forty hours a week, year after year … to try to answer objections to EWTN/RN; to defend allied organizations like EWTN/RN, and its anti-abortionist stance.  Indeed, contributing to EWTN/RN, is at least one entire, full-time organization, that exists to precisely, generate arguments against us:  Frank Pavone’s “Priests for Life.”   Therefore, the hundred or so man-hours that we have devoted to our arguments here, will be hugely, vastly outweighed soon enough; by a staff and international body of apologists, the spin doctors of the Church; and by any number of other anti-abortion organizations, working tens of thousands of hours, to try to refute our points.  Who will then, moreover, be able to broadcast their own answers, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to hundreds of millions of people, over cable and so forth, to all the world.

So how could we (or even the Church) hope to win this argument?  Against a massive media machine?  When, even if we are right, we are outnumbered in effect, more than a million to one?  When entire, full-time, professionally staffed organizations exist, to generate arguments against our remarks here?  And yet however, we might attempt to win this argument, after all, by …

Generating after all, so many arguments here; a hundred and more.

To fix this,  we hereby call the public’s – and the Church’s attention – to the fact again, that this is not a fair, free, open debate, between equally-weighed opponents, at all:  EWTN/RN gets a response that is literally, millions of times louder than our own, at present.

Then too, while EWTN/RN will likely have a full-time staff to generate counter-arguments to all our arguments here … perhaps this can be stopped, if at last the Church itself – another living organization – orders EWTN/RN to cease.

 

But finally, in addition to all this, we offer here, next, a few updates to our own work.

Finally the best way to respond, is with our own live updates.  Indeed, this very article, may also be periodically updated, corrected by its original author (and others?).  To try to generate at least some counter-arguments again in turn, against whatever new counter-arguments EWTN may generate.  Though surely, such an involved argument might easily become a quite elaborated structure, incomprehensible to non-initiates, still, early on, a few more simple, useful arguments will no doubt appear here, and elsewhere; here, in the end.  Be sure to check the Internet for the earliest and then the latest editions of our present, original, 2009 AD document. To see what other sophistries by EWTN need to be answered.  This, our first draft, will probably be submitted some time in 2009 AD; look for both this first edition, and the author’s own later updates.

SOME ADDITIONAL, NEW ARGUMENTS AGAINST

ANTI-ABORTIONISTS

In our time, c. 1983-2011, the function of criticism, rhetoric, has become a full time, 24/7 operation. Today, literally hundreds of anti-abortion organizations operate, using the new media, to generate anti-abortion arguments, continually.  Even (considering the times zones), around the clock. Thanks to the new medium especially, of the Internet, it is now possible – and indeed, common – for various advocacy organizations, political and social groups, to be ready on a moment’s notice, to respond in favor of their own views, around the clock.  And?  The anti-abortion movement has done that.  And unfortunately?  It has been all-too-successful. Though it never controlled enough votes to achieve its main objective – to make abortion illegal – it did however, determine one election after another  .. in favor of the Republican Party.  With its militaristic interests and campaigns.

It has been hard for the pro-abortion movement to respond to this massive new propoganda machine, of right-wing radio especiall, in the Rush Limbaugh era.  But to be sure, our method of dealing with this, had been to present at last, an omnibus of not just one, but hundreds of arguments, in response to this vast army.

Then too, to be sure, no doubt the vast propoganda machine will eventually begin to notice and respond, even to our present book.  But?  With luck, the original author himself will still be alive; long enough to respond with a few counterarguments.

And so?  The following space is reserved, for the Author’s updates; for a few new arguments:

111)     Argument # 244 or …. A1)

Jan. 27, 2009.  As a first additional argument and response, consider this:  today on EWTN, pro-life Catholic, Al Kresta, asserted in effect,  that abortion is bad, because it is always good to have more physical children.  The assumption of many pro-lifers, indeed, is that the main  – or even only – way a person can be “fruitful,” is to have more children.  But of course, this argument is ridiculous and even evil; if having children is good, the best or even only way to be fruitful, then of course a) Catholic priests are evil; since they do not have literal children.  And b) Jesus himself likewise, is evil; since Jesus they say, had no literal children either.  Here c) again furthermore (as in their neglect of “ensoul”ment), our anti-abortionists are too simply physical, and neglect and even attack the spirit or soul; they forget that often a man or woman will decide not to have children, as monks do, in order to after all, develop his or her spirit or soul.  Those Catholics who speak, like simple-minded idiots, of having more and more babies as the best goal in life, forget, attack, spiritual, mental fruitfulness.

Arguments that we must always have more and more babies, also d) ignore or slight Malthus.  Who said that humankind will probably reproduce itself … until there are too many people to feed; thus causing mass starvation. Or at least a declining standard of life.

A2) Jan. 27, 2009.  Today on EWTN, Al Kresta also suggests that making abortion legal is bad – because it allows the State to take control of our reproductive lives. But this argument is strange and wong, in that a) the state is not presently telling or ordering anyone to do anything, like have an abortion; it is only allowing them a freedom, to have an abortion if they want it.  Those who don’t like it, don’t have to do it.  Second, b) Kresta ignores the obvious fact that on the other hand, when the State or the Church forbids others to contracept say, or making abortion – the aim of Kresta and many others on EWTN – that would be really, actually, taking control of our reproductive lives.  (Though today the Church’s mandates are voluntary).  So that indeed, the present law – which does not mandate and does not forbid abortion either, leaving it as a personal freedom or “choice” – is a good decision.

 

A3) Feb. 4/19/09:  When do we get a soul?  Consider Adam.   When did Adam receive a soul?  He a) was not born with a soul; God “breathed” it into him.  And was he a child when this happened?  Most accounts have Adam as a fully-completed body (even an adult?) when he was ensouled.

No doubt Adam is something of a special case.  Still it appears that the Bible considered this process normal:  we can be made soulless; and get a soul not at birth, but late in life.  Then too b) it was often thought in some ancient cultures, that our breathing, breath, was our spirit or soul; so that against babies are not fully human until first breath, at birth.

A4) The current Catechism tells us, for a second, to treat embryos exactly like full human beings.  But note the absurdities that happen when we do that.  The problem is that embryos are not human because … a) they are don’t have many of the qualities or abilities that children, or men and women and have:  they cannot walk, talk, act.  Embryos in fact b) therefore probably disobey many of God’s commands to do this or that.  God’s aa) command to “work” six days of the week, and then rest one day for example:  they probably don’t do that very well … because they can’t; they are locked in the womb, and are not quite fully human.. Even the bb) command to love, worship God would be hard for an embryo too, that does not understand language, and therefore cannot understanding anything in the Bible at all.  Much less follow it.

As regarding specific qualities, things embryos haven’t done? Paul and others tell us to cc) “mature” beyond “milk”; embryos haven’t done that

There are many rites of passage in Jewish culture; like dd) circumcision; ee) bar mitzvah; the ff) “day” we make payments to our (land?) Lord.  The embryo has not passed these rites of passage, or obeyed these or other rules of the Bible.

The embryo therefore has not fully – or even approximately – obeyed God.  No doubt to be sure, because it can’t.  But that just points again to the fact that the embryo should not really be considered a full human being.  Because after all, it lacks so many of our abilities.

A5) Conservative Catholicism, opposed liberal cardinals, like Bernardin, and his key concept of other issues, a “seamless web” of many issues.  But in doing so, this “Catholicism” … actually rebelled against major elements of the Church.  The conservative rebellion therefore amounted to therefore, apostasy, schism, heresy.  Liberalism is found in many legitimate and authoritative aspects of the Church; to rebel against liberal Catholic leaders, was to rebel against … much of the Church itself.  Such a rebellion cannot be called “Catholic.”

A6)  Recent attempts have been made to set up a basic vocabulary, that would distinguish between things that a) are “human” – like human skin – from things that are b) human, but also beings; like it is said the embryo, but also we add the human sperm.  These are c) perhaps distinct from a human person, meaning a conscious, intelligent being.  This is a marginally useful – but also misleading – terminology.

In any case, it is asserted that a human being – like say, the embryo – is nearly enough the equal of a human person, to have rights.  But?  A human sperm is also human, and a being:  a rather independent, complete set of DNA, in an animated, motile mode; it appears to fit many people’s idea of a human being.  But are sperm cells also to have rights therefore?  Note that the average procreative act of a human male, ejects hundreds of thousands of sperm cells; only one or two of which have much change of becoming live human beings; while the rest die.  If “every sperm is sacred” – as the Church once claimed – if these human beings, should be regarded as having the right to live of a human person?  Then … almost every male on earth will have to be locked up, as a mass murderer.

So that?  Regarding the attempt to assert that anything that is human, and a “being,” must be fully defended?

A7)  Added Nov. 20, 2011:  Our informal use of the term “heresy” to describe Pro Life movement, has been objected to.  Specifically, it is said that in the Roman Catholic Church, we must distinguish “heresy,” from “incredulity,” “apostasy,” schism, and so forth:  heresy being applied, particularly or only in the case of  “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstainate doubt concerning the same” (Catechism # 2089).  To be sure though, our use of the term “heresy” here is more informal; in the broader dictionary sense, of describing any teaching that goes against, say, the Bible, and God.  However?  To be sure, even the narrower, technical, Catholic definition might be relevant here:  the current Catechism (CCC, Libreria Editrice, c. 1997-2000. ), seems to some, to cite “Tertullian” as an authoritative source oppositing abortion.  But Tertullian of course, was officially declared a heretic by the Catholic Church, when he himself left the Church, for a different religion).  Then too, to some, it has seemed that the current Catechism also cites St. Basil approvingly.  But when St. Basil asked, “what do we care if the embryo is ‘formed’ or not,” (paraphrased from memory), here Basil too could be read as saying he did not care what the Bible said, about the unformed embryo, in Ps. 139; thus Basil too, is becoming a heretic; turning against, saying he does not care about, the Bible itself.  While not only did Tertullian and Basil turn against the Bible, and/or the Church?  But also we will have been showing, any very strong anti-abortion sentiment is ultimately, an attack on the Soul, the spirit itself.  So that it becomes a fundamental attack, on a core doctrine and value of Christianity and Catholicism.

Here therefore, we have used the word “heresy” loosely.  But it is possible that in fact, even the rather strict definition of heresy can be invoked here, against Pro Lifers.  Even if very high officials, Bishops of the Church, support anti-abortionism, even bishops and even popes, are often not infallible.

A8)  And if the current Catechism seems very anti-abortion? The Catechism itself is not infallible, most agree.

Regarding the current Catechism?  Even there, the language is hedged a bit; a person who gets an abortion or assists in one, “incurs escommuncation latae sententia” (CCC 2272; from CIC, can. 1398), but also “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law” (“Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324”).  Those conditions being open to many different understandings.

For that matter?  Does the current Catechism really unambiguously cite Tertullian as an authority?  Tertullian’s anti-abortion statement  – “You shall no kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish” – appears in the Catechism; and it is referenced in footnote, # 75, page 548 of the 1997-2000 CCC.  But Tertullian after all was long ago declared to be a heretic.  And the footnote in some readings, might be said to have bee prefaced, a short while earlier, by the note “cf.”; which means “compare” or “contrast” what follows, to what was apparently at first claimed in the Catechism above.

While by “excommunicating” those who have had an abortion, the Catechism adds that it is – albeit ambiguously – stated that by excommunicating the woman who has had an abortion, “The Church does not therby intend to restrict the scope of mercy” (CCC 2272).

Suggesting that such an offense can be forgiven?  Indeed even EWRN often mentioned apparently (if memory serves)a  “Sacrament of Reconciliation.”  Which might allow a woman who had an abortion, to return to full communion with the church?

If indeed, excommuncation “latae sententia,” and “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law,” even acctually excommunicated anyone “by the very commission of the offense” (CCC section 2272, page 548, footnote 78, citing canon law, Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1314.).

Citations of “Didache,” or Didactics, cite a document that is also suspect; an heretically short primer or made-simple guide to Christianity, having been ejected from the Bible, and form the canon, and from Catholic life, for nearly 2000 years; and having surfaced again, after centuries of suppression, only at a suspiciously opportune moment, as late as 1875.

The anti-abortion case therefore, was based on one heretical and non-authoritative “Catholic” case after another, from the heretic Tertullian, to St. Basil’s “what do we care” remark about the Bible itself.  It was based on one problematic, minor source after another – while it rejected and top-spun the core values, the primary writings of the Bible (Ps. 139),  the major Catholic Theologians Augustine and Aquinas, while ignoring the cautions of countless current cardinals … and the Pope himself.  Who told us in the 2004 memo, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” that abortion was bad; but that voting for pro-abortion candidates “can be permitted.”

To be sure, even Popes are not always infallible; but only when speaking Ex Cathedra (an indefinable moment moreover).  So that? Even popes cannot be cited as absolute authority.  And therefore we rely more on the Bible, for example.  As well as on the “reason” and logic that the Bible itself finally advocated.  (“Come, let us reason together”; “always be prepared to give a reason for your faith”).  And if the current Catechism cites the Papal Encyclical Gaudium et spes, 1965, to the effect that “Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception:  abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes,” then after all, even popes like John, and John Paul II, and their encylicals, often made mistakes.  Especially when they abandoned reason, for sentiment, and the “heart” that the Bible often warned, often “deceiv”es everyone.

Indeed, the very name of God himself, is “Logos.” Which is often translated as the defining “word” or defining characterization; but which can also be translated by the English word that more obviously derives from it:  as, in other words, “Logic.”

No doubt, the fundamental human right, is the right of a human person to live.  But the question is:  is the embryo, a human person?  Should an frozen embryo composed of a dozen cells, smaller than a pinhead, have all the same rights and responsiblities, as a child, or human adult?

That all-too-common assertion was obviously, poorly thought out.  Even as, worse, that assertion based on one implausible and even heretical assertion after another, was firmly presented to the whole world, as the Word of God.

To err on the side of over-caution is, after all, to err.  And often the very worst sins of all, are committed by persons trying to be very, very good.  The road to hell, is paved in good intentions, by do-gooders.

A9)  In the months prior to the assassination/murder of Dr. Tiller, the abortion provider, in May 31, 2009, Fr. Frank Pavone and others, were beginning to follow their fatal convictions to the letter, to their extreme conclusion; and they began to often assert more and more boldly, more and more directly, on violently anti-abortion outets like EWRN and Relevant Radio, that the embryo was a human person; and that therefore, abortion, was in effect, “murder.”   While some noted a fatal practical problem in that line of thinking: which would conclude that the logical conclusion of that strain of thought, would be that some would feel justified in killing abortion providers; to prevent a crime, a sin, or murder.  (While indeed, some parts of the Catechism suggest that acts undertaken to prevent a murderer some murdering again, might in some cases be considered legitimate).

And so warnings were issued, that the thinking, the premises of Right-Wing radio, EWRN and Relevant Radio, and any strong anti-abortionism, lead finally to literally fatal consequences.  But such warnings were not heeded; instead, these warnings were taken as prescriptive.  So that soon, the incentiary and inflamatory rhetoric of antiabortionism reached its fatal “logical” conclusion:  finally on May 31, 2009, some EWRN/Relevant Radio fan or kindred spirit, simply decided to  take it on himself, to shoot Dr. Tiller, an abortion provider, dead. As he did.  Killing Dr. Tiller n his church.  On May 31, 2009.  Thus the careless thinking and incendiary rhetoric of the Pro Life movement, finally came to its ineviable end:  right-wing murder, and terrorism.

And Pavone did not really relent:  within a fairly short time, Pavone was also simply … giving the address of another major abortion provider, on the air (Relevant Radio?) some say.

Today, these things are hard to prove.  And indeed, whenever this role of Pavone and Priest For Life in anti-abortion terrorism and murder, is mentioned, defenders of Pavone to be sure, Pavone and Priests for life, immediately, on paper in in the media, technically, condemned such killings of abortion providers; strongly.  It is added that Priests for Life even offered something like a $50,000 reward, for anyone offering to expose anti-abortion terrrorists; probably for any evidence that would convict someone of anti-abortion terrorism.

And so it is said, Pavone and Priests for Life, EWRN and Relevant Radio, are not to blame for acts of anti-abortion violence.  But to be sure, though various statements were made after the event, trying to put these organizations in a strongly anti-terroristic stance, those efforts were belated; no one in Priests for Life, ever confessed to these right-wing organizations; possible role, in inspiring these murders. And making it stick – uncovering positive evidence, reviewing the complete record of what the massively prolific Fr. Pavone said, in the months before and after May 31, 2009 – is a long chore; if the relevant data was not immediately expunged.  On say, Relevant Radio.

But if imperfect memory serves?  That is what happened.  And futhermore, it happens to this very day:  once again, in c. 2010-11, the Bishop of Arizona began to speak very strongly against abortion, and those who defended it; in within a very short time, yet another right-wing extremist … took the extraordinary measure of attempting to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; shooting her in the head, and seriously injuring her.

To this very day, again and again, many priests and bishops do not hesitate to call abortion “murder.”  Never thinking or caring, about what effects their words might have.  What the consequences of their faulty logic would be.

Or perhaps after all?  Some did think of the consequences.

More MORE UPDATES, ADDITIONAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST ANTI-ABORTIONISTS, MAY BE INSERTED HERE:   check this space,  or check the internet for versions of this text, updated by the author.  This particular text was completed roughly Nov. 20, 2011

 

A10)  Feb. 18, 2012, from First Things blog:  Consider a new kind of priestly life, that is not devoted to having children, but is devoted to the spirit.

From First Things:  The current conservative focus on the family, the current emphasis on the importance of having children, of reproduction, is actually exactly opposite of what we heard from millions of priests, until around 1968.  Until then, priests would often quote to themselves – and to us  – the parts of the Bible, where Paul told us that it was “better not to marry.”

Indeed the real, core of the Church, was the call to the priestood (and the nunnery).  And the essence of that, was to not get married, or have children.  Following St. Paul, we did not get married, we did not have children. In order to have more time to devote ourselves to other better, higher things.

For various reasons, in the 20th century, elements of the Church itself, had begun to abandon the traditional, core, marriage-less and childless ideal of the Church.  Many priestly ideals were increasingly abandoned.  So that the ordinary middle class ideal – of getting married and having children – could take its place.  Many everyday Catholics apparently, could not really believe as much in the priestly life; or in the nunnery any more.  And so the marriageless, childless ideal, was in many ways, dropped.  By radical new “conservative” Catholic outlets, like EWTN and so forth.

And yet however?  Though the priestly ideal is increasingly dropped by Catholics, many of our more intellectual/spiritual citizens, now and then, still feel some of the same urges that once led many to become priests and nuns:  to abstain if not from sex, then at least to abstain from marriage and/or having children; in order to devote ourselves more fully to doing good work.  Helping the poor and disadvantaged, etc..

And so, I suggest Catholicism is in transition.  And two new Catholic lifestyles emerge. Many 1) Catholics simply dropped the old priestly ideal; to get married and emphasize having children.  But if these Catholics are allowed to deviate from the Old Catholicism?  Maybe 2) our new liberal Catholics might be allowed a revision of the old priestly model too.  To create a new version of the life devoted not to children; but devoted to doing social work, and helping mankind.

Where we do not get married or have children. In order to devote ourselves more fully to doing useful work.  Helping the poor and uneducated, and so forth.

In some ways, very much like the old priests and nuns.

But to revive a least some elements of this old lifestyle?  We need our more reproductive brethren, to begin to look at, acknowledge and accept, the elements of the Bible and Church tradition, that were not focused on reproduction, and forming a family.  But that were always more devoted to the life of the mind, and the spirit; the life of doing good works.

 

For the good of all.