Regarding Tiller's death: food for thought
As I anticipate the reaction of the media and how I expect them to vilify pro-lifers in the aftermath of Tiller's death, it struck me that the very people who have defended his actions for years, allowed him to violate the law with impunity and gave him cover in the press may be as much responsible for his death as the person who killed him this morning.
Think about it. Had the abortion industry not been so relentless in its persecution of Phill Kline when he was investigating the allegations of Tiller's criminal behavior, had they allowed him to present his case to the courts and the public, had there been a full hearing of all the criminal allegations instead of the weak case that went to trial and resulted in Tiler's acquittal, perhaps Tiller would not have been practicing his deadly arts, and this event would not have occurred.
So rather than blame the pro-life movement for pointing out the evil of abortion, perhaps the media should look at the abortion industry and his political supporters, such as former Governor Kathleen Sebelius for protecting him from the just reach of the law.
Abortionist Tiller Dead
Fr. Pavone, following news that abortionist George Tiller was shot to death today in Wichita, Kansas.
"I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.
"But whatever the motives, we at Priests for Life continue to insist on a culture in which violence is never seen as the solution to any problem. Every life has to be protected, without regard to their age or views or actions."
George Tiller died from the same philosophy by which he lived. And we in the pro-life movement regret his death as loss even as we regret and mourn the deaths of those tens of thousands of innocent children whom he killed over the last 35 years. We regret his death because we seek the conversion of the soul, the restoration of the person and the recognition of wrongness of ones actions so that reconciliation can occur for that person.
We have seen former abortionists realize the evil they had done and seek the forgiveness of both God and their fellow citizens. Leaders such as Joe Scheidler have reached out for years to those who worked in the abortion industry and have brought them out of the hell they were living. In such remarkable events one finds additional proof of the supremacy of the pro-life perspective over the selfish calloused approach promoted by the abortion proponents.
But let us keep everything in perspective. George Tiller made a living killing babies and harming women. He danced with death every day. Tragically someone with Tiller's mentality thought that he or she could act with the same impunity that Tiller claimed in his actions. And as Fr. Pavone noted, at this point we do not know who acted and for what purpose or motive.
Let this event remind this nation why abortion is ultimately a destructive act for all involved. Let us pray for the end to abortion in our nation and throughout the world.
Obama's speech at ND - More of the Same
President Barack Obama and the Obama administration continue their ongoing campaign for president ( this time for re-election in 2012) by speaking at Notre Dame and attempting to further divide Catholics and others on the subject of abortion. The guise was a commencement speech and the awarding of an honorary doctor of laws degree. The protests and the arrests occurred. The press tried to make the opponents of the speech into a minority and the university took a major public relations mistake and made it worse by arresting 80 year old priests and claiming that it had not violated the USCCB's 2004 prohibition honoring open and notorious pro-abortion politicians.
But what of the speech?
Well, I read the speech. There were the appropriate recognitions and pronouncements to the new graduates about this time period being tougher and that they need to go into more service for their neighbor, etc.
And he tackled the subject of abortion by asking for everyone to respect the other side while acknowledging the incompatibility of the two sides.
But think about some white segregationist asking Martin Luther King, Jr. to be more respectful of Bull Connor after he hosed down Black civil rights activists in the 1960s.
He couched his speech in some biblical sounding phrases and mentioned that we need to follow the Golden Rule, "the call to treat one another as we wish to be treated. The call to love. To serve. To do what we can to make a difference in the lives of those with whom we share the same brief moment on this Earth."Why can that sentiment not apply to the unborn?
President Obama said this as well."Because when we do that - when we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do - that's when we discover at least the possibility of common ground."I ask the president. When has he done this?
He also noted that there was a serious debate in this nation. He said
Understand - I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it - indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory - the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.
How complicated is the debate?
The pro-life side argues one should not kill unborn children by abortion.
The pro-choice side argues that it is a woman's "right" to decide if she wants to kill that unborn child.
The pro-life side argues that law should protect all human beings.
The pro-choice side argues that the law should not prevent the woman from killing her unborn child.
The people and organizations who support Obama support abortion and its continued legality. Where can there be "common ground" with people who are a part of an industry that kills children for money?
He said, "Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions."Mr. President, why is an abortion heart wrenching? Is it because a baby dies as a result?
He did say something that I will echo and remind those of us in the pro-life movement.
In this world of competing claims about what is right and what is true, have confidence in the values with which you've been raised and educated. Be unafraid to speak your mind when those values are at stake. Hold firm to your faith and allow it to guide you on your journey. Stand as a lighthouse.
He also said this:
Remember that each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we all seek the same love of family and the same fulfillment of a life well-lived.
These are all very nice words. Sadly that is all they are - words. Because the man who spoke them did not remember that his mother did not abort him and is not willing to allow his fellow human beings the same opportunity for life that he had.
So the emptiness of his words are a stark reminder of the million dead each year. The emptiness of the rhetoric will not help the woman who is coerced into killing her baby and has no recourse through the courts. The vagueness of his soundbites will not ease the grief of a parent whose minor child was victimized by a child predator and then aborted by the local Planned Parenthood.
President Obama went to Notre Dame. The abortion apologists in the church, in the media, in the universities think they have won. But God is not mocked. Perhaps the prayers of the millions who objected will bring about conversion. But it is sad to think that this otherwise intelligent man does not know, does not care or even worse knows and does not care about the lives of these unborn children. Perhaps he should listen to his own words.
[F]aith ...is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.
God's wisdom says that "Thou shalt not kill."
Lets find common ground there first and stop all the killing.
Growing the pro-life movement
It seems that the election of Barack Obama may have had some unintended consequences not contemplated by the media, the abortion industry or the president's people.
We all know that the Obama team made a concerted effort to neutralize the pro-life effort during the last election. They went after Catholics and Evangelicals who were weary and disillusioned after 35 years. They went to the nation's capitol with a lot of support from the national media and the conventional wisdom was that Obama owned the field. The word on the streets to the pro-life movement was - you lost - get used to it.
Well now it seems that the pundits may have spoke too soon - once again ( I remember these same remarks back in 1978, 1992, 1996, etc). According to various polls, Obama's aggressive moves to expand abortion have resulted in a sizable drop in his overall positive ratings. According to an article recently written by Jill Stanek
the public does not appreciate this approach and and told pollsters of their disdain for these politics of division.
In addition pro-life groups and organizations around the country are reporting greater interest and involvement in events and activities. Groups are noting bigger crowds at marches, more involvement in events such as 40 Days for Life, and increased membership.
I can report that over 300,000 people attended the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., over 25,000 marched in San Francisco, and thousands marched, prayed and otherwise gathered throughout the heartland of America. Even the USCCB took unprecedented action by shipping millions of postcards to parishes throughout the U.S. opposing FOCA. The ongoing controversy at Notre Dame has kept the issue on the front pages. The passage of state laws throughout the country is another sign that the movement is not going away.
The statistics still show that political figures should consider the moral and political advantage of being pro-life. The young people are more sympathetic to the life issue in that they are survivors of the abortion mentality. Arguing that the nation must protect the rights of the unborn is more reasonable than suggesting that there should be a right to kill one's child. Combine that with the overwhelming rightness of the cause and it is very clear that what e need to do is continue to build at the grassroots and then translate that growth into political action.
Ignore the media and realize that Obama in his own perverse way may be helping our movement to re-focus on the basics and how we will win. There can be no letting up in our objections to his terrible efforts to expand abortion. We must hold our local politicians accountable and in fact we should challenge every pro-abortion candidate in every primary. We must challenge our pastors to preach the truth in the pulpit and not give cover to the weak willed spineless sorts. Finally we must continue our prayerful public presence in front of the abortion mills.
If each of us would commit to bringing new people into the cause, then we could expand our ranks exponentially. Use the latest in technology and do not ignore the opportunities that social networking programs such as Facebook provide.
And remember you are the face and the voice of the pro-life movement. Be clear, be strong and build your network so that you an influence those around you. Your efforts can make a real difference. You can save a life.