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pro  life  nonviolent  action    1526 East 35th Ave. Denver  Colo.  80205

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Open  your  mouth  for  the  speechless,  In  the  cause  of  all  who  are  appointed  to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
  Proverbs   31.8-9   (nKJ)

For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  John  18.37

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  Matthew  25.40

Archbishop Samuel Aquila
Bishop James Conley
1300 S. Steele St.
Denver CO 80210


Tuesday, June 5th 2012

The recent articles in the Denver Catholic Register highlighting local pro life ministries mainly highlight the inadequate effort which is being made in the Archdiocese.  And then, in the May 23rd article, reporter Julie Filby gratuitously disparages the people who are out there 5 mornings a week in front of Planned Parenthood, as they have been for the past 23 years, saving babies from abortion by picketing and sidewalk counselling. 

For Ms. Filby's information, it is no use standing across the street from Planned Parenthood once in a while, coming late and leaving early, and leaving it up to Mary to communicate with the customers.  Why bother to come out ?  Go home or go to church, if all you are going to do is pray.  God can hear you from home, and the abortion customers can't hear you if you are standing across the street mumbling your prayers.  If it is up to God, then leave it up to God and stop pretending that you are doing something. 

Those who are serious about stopping abortion cross the street and make the effort to communicate with the abortion customers.  Mrs. L. is a nice lady, but she has yet to make contact with any abortion customer at 38th and Pontiac and she never will if she insists on standing across the street where there are no customers.  The reporter failed to notice Jo Scott who has been talking to abortion customers in front of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood 5 mornings a week since 1997 and who has saved a few hundred babies by doing that.  At the risk of several false arrests.  Hint:  she gets on the same side of the street as the customers and gets as close as she can.  Like our other ladder day saints, she gets up on the ladder when that is the only way to talk to the customer. 

The Register reporter also failed to notice Ken and Cliff and Tony who stand at the driveway and pass out Alternatives flyers to incoming abortion customers.  Standing across the street and waiting for the abortion customers to come to you is quite useless, as the reporter could have discovered if she had spent some time out there, instead of doing a hit and run.  Those fellows are out there every morning, 5 days a week.  They get there on time: = before the customers show up.  They do their best to get everyone going through the driveway to take literature.  They pass out a lot of literature and it often results in someone turning away from abortion.  If the Register had sent out a competent reporter, she might have picked up on that fact.  On Saturday, June 16th 2012, the day before Father's Day, Tony and Scott Evans got to talk to a young couple who changed their minds, came back out, and burst into tears.  They got them to go to an Alternatives Center.  On Friday July 20th Cliff and Leslie talked to three Hispanic women who came out and said:  You Won.  They will figure out soon enough, when they see the baby, that they won. 

You are not going to pass out alternatives information while you are standing across the street 300 feet away from the nearest abortion customer !  Is that so hard to figure out ?  The reporter neglected to ask Mrs. L.  how many abortion customers she had talked to since she started showing up there a couple times a month, for an hour, after all the customers had gone in.  The answer is none.  The silly  quietist  piety that all you should do is pray cripples what pretends to be a pro life effort.  Since Planned Parenthood has gone to a lot of expense to stop us from communicating with their customers, it is necessary to  do  something  to counter that, like crossing the street, handing out literature at the driveway, or getting up on a ladder.  That high fence with its black curtains was put up for a reason.  That is the reason for the ladders. 



This past year, with the help of Thomas More Society lawyers, Ken Scott fought off a FACE attack by the Obama Justice Department which filed for an injunction to keep Ken and the rest of us 25 feet away from the driveway and across the street from the abortuary.  Planned Parenthood says a loud  amen  to the idea that we should just pray and stay away from their customers.  The Justice Department also filed lawsuits against sidewalk counsellors in other states.  The Denver Catholic Register couldn't be bothered with the story.  They are still into stories which reflect the old organizational chauvinism like No Catholics Killed in Train Wreck and the eagerness to conform and fit in--One of Lincoln's Teachers Thought to Have Been Catholic.  [ he had an Irish name ]   Bill Clinton Attended a Catholic University.  And found himself right at home there. 

Planned Parenthood recognizes that people handing out leaflets at the driveway is hard on their business, their baby killing business.  We have survived a serious attack from the Obama Justice Department this past year, no thanks to the Register or anyone else in the Archdiocese.  Since they voluntarily stay away from the driveway and across the street from the abortuary, they don't understand the issue.  The issue is how you save babies from abortion at this location. 

There is no good excuse for the ignorance and fat-headed complacency displayed by so-called Christians who imagine themselves to be the front line of the battle while they righteously keep to the rear--if they show up at all.  Since the time of Martin Luther King and the early Civil Rights Movement, the power of nonviolent direct action should be well known to any halfway educated person.  Since the time of Jesus Christ and his first followers the necessity of Bearing Witness to the truth should be well known to anyone who claims to be a Christian. 

Bearing Witness

It isn't up to GodBlessAmerica and the Government to stop abortion.  It is up to those who have received the Holy Spirit of Jesus and the Mission to continue the Mission of Jesus as described in John 20.21-22:  Receive the Holy Spirit . . . As my Father sent me, even so I send you.  We are supposed to be clones of Jesus and animated by His Holy Spirit.  Instead of shrugging off the Mission with idle prayers, biennial votes and little bitty checks to pro life lobbies.  

Jesus didn't just go around loving everybody,  He also had the Courage to Bear Witness to the Truth in public places and he said some things loud and clear that seriously offended those he addressed.  People try to be sweeter than Jesus and are blind to their lack of that Courage to confront evil which is the number one sign of the Holy Spirit.  Love and Truth and Courage all go together as signs of the Spirit.  If you don't have it, you are not a Christian.  Which describes most so-called Christians.  They limit Bearing Witness to delivering a banquet speech to a sympathetic audience.  Versus telling people what they don't want to hear as illustrated by Saint Stephen, Saint Paul and Jesus Himself.   Was Stephen unloving when he provoked his audience to stone him  ?  In fact, he illustrates what Bearing Witness sometimes requires of us.   If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all !   is not one of the precepts taught by Jesus.  Stephen's witness led to the conversion of the great Saint Paul.  Who was beaten and jailed for his witness.  2 Corinthians 11.23-25.  Talking nice was not the style of the early Christians.  

There is a serious spiritual sickness in the doctrine that all you have to do is pray.  If the old man says a prayer that God will support his family and then spends the rest of the day watching the ball game and drinking beer instead of looking for work, is that admirable ?  Do you leave a sink full of dirty dishes and go to church to pray that God will do the dishes ?  And, if that doesn't work, you recruit more people to pray with you ?  By way of excuse for their cowardice, people have brainwashed themselves to believe that all you can do is pray the rosary to stop abortion.  God is responsible for abortion.  All we can do is pray and vote.  Leave it to God and the government to take care of it.  The bolder ones will go so far as to shake the rosary at incoming customers. 

There is a reverse theology--a perverse theology--in the way that so-called Christians approach the abortion issue:  it is up to God  and / or Mary to stop abortion, my job is to pray.  Of course, God won't do anything unless you tell him to do it--unless a whole big bunch gets out there and lobbies him.  It is up to God to do it, and up to the prayer lobby to make Him do it.  He is Our Servant who must do what we are too chicken to do.  It is up to Him to clean up the mess we made. 


What that omits is the Christian life.  In which, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we become clones of Jesus and do what the Spirit calls us to do.  In true Christian theology, the arrows run the other way.  Instead of me telling God what to do, I shut up and listen to Him telling me what I should do.  That is real prayer.  The other kind of prayer is silly superstition.  Is an abuse of prayer.  Is the sure sign of apostate and cowardly Christians who take the name in vain.  Under cover of their long prayers, the Pharisees concealed what they were really doing--absorbing the property of widows.   Matthew 23.14   Modern Christians use long prayers to conceal from themselves and others their lack of Christian Courage, their refusal to get serious about stopping abortion.  It is an abuse of prayer to use it as an excuse for neglecting all the effective things you could do--in person--to stop abortion.  As James 2.15-16 instructs us, we have not the right to substitute prayer for doing what we can and should do. 

living on easy street:  the conveyer belt

Lynn Grandon's remarks in the May 23rd article suggest that they had a conveyer belt in Bettendorf Iowa which automatically conveyed Planned Parenthood's abortion customers across the street to her crisis pregnancy center where she could counsel them.  It will be a long time before you get a permit to set up one of those at 38th and Pontiac.  Ms. Grandon is begging the question as to how you get a pregnant woman to go to the Alternatives Center in the first place.  If you can get her to do that, the battle is already half won.  If you can't, you aren't going to counsel her once she has disappeared into Planned Parenthood.  They will do the counseling. 

No doubt there is an art to counseling a woman once she has gone into a crisis pregnancy center.  There is also a science--a moral science--as to how you get her to go in there instead of into the abortuary.  Of which Ms. Grandon obviously knows nothing.  She is not a sidewalk counsellor and does not know the first thing about it.  You should get someone who does. 

We do know something about it.  Experience is the best teacher.  Since we started our 5 morning a week Sidewalk Counselling effort in August of 1989 we have diverted hundreds of women away from the Planned Parenthood abortuary and taken them to alternatives centers.  We averaged two rescues a week at 20th and Vine.  We average one a week at 38th and Pontiac.  Because they have fewer than half the customers they used to have.  We had something to do with that. 

Talking about how to counsel an abortion bound woman is irrelevant  until you address the question as to how you get the chance to talk to her in the first place.  When a woman goes to an Alternatives Pregnancy Center voluntarily, she is looking for an Alternative.  When she goes to an abortion clinic, she is looking for an abortion.  Could we get that straight before any more silliness is printed on this subject ?  The real question--the question the Register article spaces out--is how you divert her from the abortuary to some alternative. 

The reality is that women headed for an abortion appointment at Planned Parenthood are going to keep that appointment unless a Sidewalk Counsellor heads them off.  Very  few of them are going to wander into an Alternatives Center by mistake, even if it is right across the street.  Planned Parenthood has already put up Enter Here signs so that their customers don't make that mistake.  Unless a Sidewalk Counsellor or a rescuer  gets her to turn back, an abortion bound woman is going to go in and have the abortion. 

The foolish illusion that the Alternatives Center is the answer to abortion arises from the self-induced myopia of a lot of nominal pro lifers who refuse to confront abortion.  It gives them an excuse for their cowardice.  Then, from a safe distance,  they criticize us for doing what they are too chicken to do.  It is in fact a camouflaged pro choice position:  We never confront, we only counsel.  An ultrasound will turn a woman away from abortion  if  you can  first  get her away from PP. 

The Alternatives Center--the Crisis Pregnancy Center--is a necessary and important adjunct to the battle to stop abortion.  There are many things which are necessary to support a battle.  Using any one of them as the excuse to avoid the battle is wrong.  Comforting aborted women is an important work of mercy.  Using it as the excuse for the failure to prevent abortion by confronting abortion bound customers is wrong.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 


Sidewalk Counselling is what we have been doing since August 1989 when we launched a five day a week Sidewalk Counselling effort at 20th and Vine where the Planned Parenthood surgical clinic was located.  And there had been people out there for years before that.  Jeanne Hill's booklet on Sidewalk Counselling is still worth reading.  As is Joe Scheidler's book: Closed:  99 Ways to Stop Abortion.   There was a nucleus of people who came out once or twice a week or who had come out and they provided a foundation for our daily witness.  And new people joined us. 

rescuing babies from the trash 

After we launched our 5 morning a week witness in August 1989, we began to save babies in earnest.  Two a week on the average.  We have the pictures to prove it.  I have a picture of me and Jennifer who came by to show us her baby.  I attended a baptism at a Russian Orthodox Church of a baby we saved.  On December 26th 1999, three babies were born on the same day to three different women we had Sidewalk Counselled at 20th and Vine.  Have you ever saved a life--two lives at once ?  There is something rather exhilarating about it.  There is no high like it.  It can easily become an addiction. 

Planned Parenthood set up its first abortuary at 20th and Vine soon after Roe versus Wade led to allowing free standing abortion clinics.  ( The 1967 Colorado law still restricted abortions to hospitals.)  They had two houses there, all of their customers had to park on the street and walk across the sidewalk.  So it was a perfect set up for Sidewalk Counselling.  If you can walk up to abortion customers on the public sidewalk, talk to them quietly and hand them an alternatives flyer, that is the best way to do it.  It saves babies from the trash. 

But then Planned Parenthood launched the first of a long series of moves--situational and legal and pseudo-legal--designed to insulate their customers from Sidewalk Counsellors.  They tore down those houses and three other houses and built a clinic with a parking lot, so their customers would not have to cross the sidewalk.  Later they put up six foot canvas curtains to screen their customers from anti abortion activists out on the sidewalk.  That is when we first started using ladders. 

They mustered a bunch of escorts--deathscorts we called them--NARAL volunteers and staff from their contraception clinics--who would come out and surround any abortion customer who missed the driveway and parked on the street.  That resulted in skirmishes where the sidewalk counsellor trying to talk to the customer was physically shoved away. 

In 1991 the City of Denver passed an 8 foot buffer ordinance aimed at forcing Sidewalk Counsellors to stay 8 feet away from abortion customers.  In 1993 the State of Colorado passed their version of the same law.  Meanwhile, there was a campaign of false arrests aimed at our picket line by the pro abort court house establishment of the City of Denver.  Over the years, we had more than 100 arrests for all sorts of legal junk--disturbing the peace by talking too loud, air trespass etc.  They hired Denver police officers as security guards. 

The new facility at 38th and Pontiac where they moved in August of 2008 was designed as a fortress in which they would be able to kill in peace.  They have made it harder to do sidewalk counselling, properly so-called, but, as usual, their efforts have been self defeating.  They have actually given us the opportunity to lay siege to their fortress in various ways.  Down a long block, their customers have to run a gauntlet of anti abortion posters to get in there.  And the customer entrance forms a kind of amphitheater in which people calling out Don't Do It ! over the fence can be clearly heard. 

effect of the picket line

Even when you cannot do sidewalk counselling, it is important to do whatever you can to turn people away from abortion.  When we first established the 5 day a week picket line we saw a lot of turnaways.  Cars with Wyoming license plates and young couples inside, arriving when the abortions were scheduled, would circle the block a couple of times and then vanish.  They may have gone some where else for the abortion but at least they had another day or two to think about it.  Sometimes we found out months later about a baby we had saved, someone who had turned away because of the picket line, even if they didn't talk to us at the time.


PP's research arm, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, estimated that 25 percent of women who fail to keep the appointment, for whatever reason, do not have the abortion.  Obviously, turning people back from the abortuary with a conspicuous picket line is worth doing, whether or not you get the chance to counsel them.  When their customers make the abortion appointment they have to tell them to expect a picket line.  Which discourages customers unwilling to deal with that.  So now we get those who are willing to run the gauntlet of an anti abortion picket line for the sake of a cheap abortion.  They used to have 30 abortion customers on a Friday.  Now they have a third of that. 

People who have never made a serious commitment to prevent abortion criticize us for displaying gory abortion posters and shouting at customers.  There are a dozen abortuaries in this area where there are almost never any protestors.  Those who criticize us can have one of them all to themselves.  Show us how to do it.  We'll come by and criticize.  The last I heard, one blind man was picketing Planned Parenthood in Fort Collins all by himself. 

using graphic posters

Everyone on the planet has seen those 65 year old movies of the Nazi death camps which show the horror of the mass murder of the Jews in World War II.  It is our duty to watch them over and over and over.  We are regularly exposed to pictures of battered women for which we are somehow to blame.  But supposedly it is reprehensible to display graphic pictures of the murder of embryo children, quite a few of them Jewish, which is going on in every American city right now while we refuse to know anything about it, while we insist on calling it medicine.  And the Christian cowards go along with this ban for fear of not meeting worldly standards of respectability.  They swallow the criticism, make it their standard of righteousness, and take pride in what they won't do. 

Showing graphic abortion pictures violates the canons of suit and tie respectability which are the foundation of conformist Christianity.  It is not polite to tell the truth and even less polite to show the truth via gory posters.  Those who produced the grisly remains are not to be blamed, rather, we are to be blamed for showing the pictures.  My children may get upset.  It is not the kids who get upset, it is the woman who is concealing something from her kids.  Her secret shame has shown up on the public sidewalk and she does not want to answer any questions from her kids about it. 

A picture is worth a thousand words.  When an abortion customer drives into the Planned Parenthood abortuary with the windows up and the radio on, you have a 30 second window of opportunity to show them a sign which may save the life of that baby scheduled to be put in the trash within the hour.  Then you have a minute to say something to abortion customers getting out of their cars and going into the clinic, 50 to 100 feet away.  It requires a condensed speech in a loud voice: . . . Don't Kill Your Baby !  . . .  Your mother didn't put you in the trash ! . . . Dios dice que No !   No Mata a Tu Bebe !   It is Not Moral for people to stay silent while babies are being killed.  It is a serious spiritual aberration when people convince themselves that they have no obligation to say something when they have the chance.  Nor is it a call which belongs to the few of us willing to do it.  In carnal warfare the few are called or conscripted or hired to get themselves dismembered on the front lines while the rest Support the Troops with a $ 1 bumper sticker and a free mini flag.   In Christian spiritual warfare we are all called to the front line.  We are all called to be the soldiers of Jesus Christ.  Not to hang back, wave the flag, and make money off the war, like all the patriots.

That is the style of most so called pro life organizations.  They use the issue to launch political careers, raise funds, and build organizations.  You are Doing Something by sending me a check.  I will take care of it.  The number one sin of pro life organizations is that they teach people to buy their way out of a defining moral and spiritual obligation.  Pray, Vote, Write a Check.  And you are guaranteed a place with all the other goats on judgment day.  They peddle the false faith that abortion will be ended by popular vote or a clever new legal strategy within the comfortable boundaries of conventional politics and law.  the people Will Vote and Abortion Will End !   The Masses Are With Us !  Crowds praying and voting will finally bring an end to abortion !  You don't need to stick your neck out.  Just stick with the crowd.  Be safe.  Stick with Dr. Wilke and conventional politics.  Dr. Wilke refuses to doubt the sincerity of the presidential candidate who converted to pro life in time for the election.  He doesn't doubt his own sincerity.  And, within the limits of what is safe and solvent and respectable at the highest level, he is sincere. 


Every real Christian is called to bear witness, is called to do battle on behalf of the kingdom.  If you ignore the call, you put yourself in the class of those to whom He will say:  I never knew you.  What claim do you have on Jesus if you don't have the Courage to follow Him ?  If you follow Him only at a very safe distance like the dis-Spirited apostles after He was arrested. 

Shouting with Al Garcia

When I first showed up at 20th and Vine in March 1989, there was a small group out there on a Saturday.  Al Garcia was there calling out to the customers.  One of the others suggested that I tell him to shut up.  Since I had just gotten there, I didn't see that it was my place to do that.  After I had gone there a few times I arrived at the conclusion that Al Garcia was right and his critics were wrong.  He was obviously committed to the battle to stop abortion any way he could.  He had to communicate with the abortion customers from 50 feet away between the time they got out of the car in the parking lot and the time they went in the door.  There was no chance to sidewalk counsel with most of them.  You had the choice of saying nothing or shouting loud enough for them to hear. 

If I was standing across the street when a couple of hoodlums jumped you with lethal intent, would you want me to restrict myself to praying for your survival ?  Or offer a quiet and dignified remonstrance:  That's not very nice, what you fellows are doing to that man . . .  ?  Would you be greatly offended if I were to shout out something rude and crude and unloving like:   Help !  Murder !  Police !  The monkey fell in the grease  !  ?  In short, if it was your neck on the block, would you be so picky as to what someone did or said by way of trying to save it ? 

No doubt we have gotten people out there who have said inappropriate things.  The worst things they have said don't compare with what is done on the other side of the fence where babies are dismembered and thrown in the trash under the label of medicine.  What is truly disgusting are all the people with the pious self-deception that they are doing something when they won't even say something--I can't say anything to my niece, but I will pray for her. 

A picket line in a public place is liable to attract all sorts, just like the Cathedral downtown.  No doubt a few of them are a little crazy and / or  mean-spirited.  Like me, after all these years.  But 99 per cent of what is said and done out there is more or less on target and done in the spirit of Do Something to stop a killing.  No doubt abortuaries attract demons.  But they also attract people who are strong in the Spirit.  And we persistently win that battle.  That is the only way we have lasted out there for 23 years.  It is a privilege to join the community of those who come out in the Spirit to do battle with the servants of Moloch--those who sacrifice children for the sake of money.  There is a real fellowship of spiritual and moral struggle out there. 

It may be vulgar to shout at other people in a public place, unless it is a football game where everybody is doing it.  It is even more vulgar to stand there and say nothing while a preborn baby is on the way to being dismembered and thrown in the trash bucket.  The Judgment described in Matthew 25.31-46  will pardon the one kind of vulgarity a lot sooner than it will the other.  Those who refuse to rescue the least of these when they have the chance will surely be standing with the goats on Judgment Day.  There are a lot of nicely dressed people down in hell.  They may be respectable in the eyes of the world, but Jesus has a different standard. 

People have brain-washed themselves to believe that church decorum is proper on the sidewalk in front of an abortuary.  It makes them feel safe, even though the babies are not safe.   Dignity, always dignity.  What dignity is there in silently acquiescing to the murder of preborn children ? 

An outdoor memorial for aborted children is a suitable place for a service at which church decorum prevails.  But, when you are out in front of the abortuary,  they  aren't  dead  yet  !!!  You still have the chance to rescue them !   By showing a sign,  or saying something or even shouting something !  It is appropriate to pray for those who are dying.  It is not appropriate to pray for healthy babies about to be killed and to use that as the excuse for doing nothing to prevent it!  


While you are standing around praying for those about to be killed, praying that God might yet work a miracle to save them, it is appropriate to ask and answer some questions:  what could we have done to prevent this ? . . . what could we have done that we neglected to do ? . . . what could I have done ? . . . what can we do to prevent future killings ?  . . .  how did we all get locked into this money-loving lifestyle which is locked into contraception and abortion ?   

Is it righteous to pray for manna from heaven, after we neglect to plant a crop ?  To pray over a child who is starving to death because we neglected to feed her ?  ( cf. James 2.15-16 ) 

Jesus forgave those who had committed sin.  But the judgment described in Matthew 25.31-46 offers no further forgiveness to those guilty of the Great Sin of Omission.  That describes the Church today and most of those in it.  They congratulate themselves on being saved while their grandchildren are headed for the trash bucket at the abortuary. 

The Rescuers of the late 80s and early 90s arrived at the abortuary before the customers did, then sat down and blocked the entrance.  They did their praying and singing after they did something effective to stop the abortions from happening.  Which leads to a couple of questions:  What happened to the Rescue Movement ?  How can we revive it ?   They did not arrive late, after all the abortion customers were inside, and then content themselves with praying.  Is this really such a righteous thing to do ?  Is this really all that God asks from us ? 

It isn't just that those who pretend to be pro life Christians neglect bearing witness--like handing out pro life leaflets--and neglect serious and sustained nonviolent direct action efforts to rescue babies.  They raised their children in that luxurious, two-income, Careers for Women lifestyle which requires women to depend upon contraception backed by abortion until they finally have a baby in their thirties.  They illustrate what St. Paul meant when he said that the love of money is the root of all evil.  It is in fact the tap root of abortion. 

the false claim 

People perpetuate the false claim that Roe versus Wade is the cause of abortion in America--it is just some legal fluke which the lawyers and the politicians can fix.  The first step in the direction of doing something effective to stop abortion is to discard that illusion which has justified so many doomed and useless political and legal efforts. 

There were already an estimated 100,000 illegal abortions every year in the State of California alone when Governor Ronald Reagan signed the 1967 liberal abortion law.  That is what generated the pressure to make it legal.  A month earlier, the Republican controlled legislature of Colorado passed a liberal abortion law which the Republican governor signed.  A few Catholic Democrats voted against it.  Other states followed suit.  The Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 brought a few backward states into line with what had become a national consensus.   These laws in effect recognized that contraception backed by abortion was basic to the American life style.  It is also basic to the American Catholic life style, regardless of the official position of the Church--the on paper position.  That is what has to be fixed. 

Reagan later apologized for signing the California bill.  He was just a crazy mixed-up kid when he was Governor of California.  He didn't know what he was doing.  He hadn't thought it through.  People give him a pass because they give themselves a pass.  His vice President George Bush also changed his position on choice as a condition of being included on the ticket.  That is the kind of hypocrisy which has dominated our national politics ever since.  Mr. Romney is the latest candidate to change his position.  Is Mr. Romney sincerely pro life ?  Yes, of course.  As a matter of verbiage, he is sincerely in favor of whatever will win votes.  


The road back from a contracepted and aborted life style requires something more than prayer.  Because it is our fault, not God's fault.  He can't fix it until we fix it.  A good place to begin is in the company of those who do what they can to confront abortion by bearing witness.  It is a place to re-discover that Spirit of Courage which regenerates the Christian life by guiding us into all truth. 

pray and vote:   the people are with us

Most nominally pro life conformist Christians have never believed in getting out there with a picket sign.  They believe in leaving it up to God and the government.  Their call is to:    1. pray  2. vote  3. send $ 5 to a pro life lobby in Washington.  They fool themselves that some day, some how, Roe v. Wade will be over turned by some legal sleight of hand.  They fool themselves that The People will rise up and stop abortion by a one fingered gesture in the anonymous safety of the voting closet.  They still assume that the people are with us and that the police will protect us.  They are not ready to recognize that the people are not with us and that the police now Serve and Protect Planned Parenthood.  

They cling to the illusion that abortion can be stopped within the comfortable limits of American law and politics.  Some day a pro life president will appoint Supreme Court Justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade.  Sooner or later, they will be forced to abandon that illusion.  Any of them with sense already have. 

The rest won't wake up until they discover that their grandchildren are headed for the trash bucket at the Planned Parenthood abortuary.  And that there is no longer any one out there trying to prevent it.  They may be savedbut their families are headed for the trash.

They do not believe in nonviolent direct action and when they are forced to abandon the illusion that praying and voting will take care of it, they will turn to their bedrock faith that   a  good  man  with  a  gun   answereth  to  evil  ( John 30-30,  Luke 45-70,  Matthew 12 gauge ) as seen on TV every night of the week. 

I think there is a real possibility of another civil war in America.  Not over abortion really, but the usual contest for power and money, will invoke the issue of abortion as its moral justification just as slavery was invoked to justify the last one. 

Nonviolent direct action--Sidewalk Counselling--picketing and leafletting--has turned out to be the only remedy we have left for stopping abortion.  Even though the few of us doing Sidewalk Counselling are a small and unpopular minority, we are at least a rear guard in the rout of the mainstream pro life movement, which was built upon secular Christian illusions.  The doctrine that abortion can some how, some day, be stopped via conventional politics is convenient for those who use the abortion issue to raise money and pursue political power.  That defines the limits of their real agenda.  

And that is where we are now in respect to abortion.  The Sidewalk Counsellors represent the one realistic way to stop abortion and the last hope for putting an end to the violence of abortion without resorting to violence.  At a minimum, the first amendment right to protest is a kind of safety valve.  As witness all the countries which lacked such rights and which have now exploded into violent protests. 

For me, using nonviolent direct action--aka first amendment rights--has been one of the major callings of my life.  I was a Freedom Rider in 1961 and a Draft Card burner in 1966.  I have seen major changes in America because of the peace and civil rights movements of the 1960s.  Nonviolent direct action--sit-ins and Freedom Rides--finally put an end to racial segregation.  The anti Vietnam War movement built upon the success of the Civil Rights Movement.  For one of the very few times in history people continued to oppose a war and resisted being intimidated.  It is true that those movements were soon infected with a contrary spirit.  And they did not remain faithful to The Spiritual Warfare of Jesus Christ.  [ See my article on the web site. ]  The Rescue Movement of the 1980s had a better discipline.  While it lasted, it was a remarkable example of what a nonviolent direct action movement can do.  ( More about that later. ) 


the Lord's one man army

Al Garcia was a one man army out in front of the abortuary at 20th and Vine.  He was wonderfully eloquent in both Spanish and English.  He was often very funny.  He would challenge the manhood of the pugnacious boy friend escorting his lady friend and fiercely protecting her abortion.  You're supposed to be the man of the house, not the mouse of the house.  He was a banty rooster of a fellow who would square off in fearless mock combat with belligerent boy friends, regardless of their size.  Like a gigantic ex football player who towered over him--he would have crushed him if he had fallen on him.  You better stick to beating up on babies . . . those babies can't fight back, we could . . .  It was mostly bluff but he was good at it. 

I have seen it happen a dozen times that some very angry man or woman, after cussing and threatening us, decided not to have the abortion after all.  The anger is a healthy sign--it shows that they are bothered by what they are about to do.  You risk getting shoved or punched.  But you may save a life.  Is that not worth the risk ?  In our patriotic piety we applaud those who get themselves killed on the other side of the world--after doing a lot of killing themselves--to protect our freedom.  How much are we willing to risk ?  We take financial risks to reap a profit in the stock market or the real estate market.  How about a risk aimed at saving the life of a baby ? 

Al would kneel down on the sidewalk in front of an abortion bound woman and plead in English or in Spanish:  I beg you for the life of that baby !  When she burst into tears, he had a save.  And, despite his lack of funds he would reach into his own pocket to give her grocery money. 

From his days as a junk man he had a wonderful collection of props that he used.  He would don a gorilla suit and carry a stuffed monkey doll and stand at the driveway: Gorillas don't kill their kids !  He had a big wooden Santa Claus he brought out at Christmas. 

One day he found a dead cat on his way there so he brought it along.  He stood at the gate and when a customer went in he would hold up the cat and say:  This cat is going to get a decent burial, your baby won't !   He got away with it for about 15 minutes before the cops showed up. 

He regularly addressed the staff:  Learn to Love Children !  He really did love children.  He raised half a dozen of his own and adopted several more.  He died of a sudden heart attack in July of 2008, just before we made the move to 38th and Pontiac.  I saw him out there that morning.  He saved a lot of babies by his fearless witness and I have no doubt as to where he is now.  Or that he is still with us out there in spirit. 

versus the pro abort court house

One day Al used the Spanish word La Negra when speaking to a black Planned Parenthood staffer.  So they called the police and said he had called her the N. word.  The District 2 Police decided there was nothing to it and declined to write a ticket.  But that wasn't the end of it.  Planned Parenthood's Security Consultant, Detective Carol Yates, worked her magic down at the City and County building and a week later two sheriff's deputies showed up in a big van with a warrant for Al's arrest on one felony count of ethnic intimidation, $ 50,000 bond.  The next morning, the jail house magistrate, who, unlike most of them, was not an errand boy for Planned Parenthood, dropped the charge to misdemeanor harassment and turned Al loose on $ 100 bond.  I never saw $ 50,000 disappear so fast.  Al eventually won that case and all his others, one of them on appeal.  He was the first one of us to appeal a case to the District Court and he wrote the appeal brief himself. 

Al was the lightning rod for the attack on our picket line under color of the law which intensified after August of 1989, when we launched the daily picket.  But it was well under way even before that.  In 1988 Jeanne Hill and Joan Cannon were hauled off to jail in handcuffs and charged with Disturbing the Peace for signs which read The Killing Place.  Bishop James Mote was arrested for the same sign.  The case was dismissed and the city eventually paid them a settlement but it did have the intended intimidating effect. 


The real reason for the arrest was the other side of the signs:  a blow up ultrasound photo of an 8 week old embryo--the age when most abortions are done.  It was the first time anyone had deployed a graphic picture out there.  Planned Parenthood agrees with our critics in banning the use of graphic pictures.  It conflicts with PP's story line that it is only fetal tissue or two tablespoons of fluid. 

Even if that were true, a fluid which can grow into a baby is priceless.  But of course they wish to conceal the fact that an embryo child who has reached the age of surgical abortion--8 weeks gestation--already looks like a baby.  There is a national consensus which aids and abets Planned Parenthood in concealing this fact.  Which is why it is a major moral disgrace that what pretends to be a pro life movement has never yet carried out a mass distribution,  person to person, of The First Nine Months  /  Los Primeros Nueve Meses.  ( copies enclosed )  That is one of the obvious things we could and should do when and if we ever get serious about stopping abortion. 

Meanwhile, every election year, enthusiastic volunteers aggressively hand out millions of dollars worth of leaflets for nominally pro life candidates and doomed legal initiatives.  Which perpetuate the false faith that abortion will be ended by popular vote--The Majority Is With Us !  The Personhood initiative still promotes the false hope that the phantom moral majority, stepping into the anonymous voting closet, and deploying one finger, will end abortion in America.   [ see Four Fallacies pf the Personhood Amendment ]  Conventional politics is respectable.  Do it yourself sidewalk level pro life education is not.  That is why the respectable Christians won't do it.

100 arrests 

After we launched the 5 day a week picket line, the Denver Police, under pressure from a city government dominated by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, intensified their harassment.  Detective Carol Yates. who had framed up the charge against the two women, continued to frame up charges against the rest of us.  She became a false arrest specialist who used her position with the Police Department to trump up cases against Sidewalk Counsellors. 

There was all sorts of back stairs collusion between Planned Parenthood and the police and political establishment of the City of Denver.  We belatedly found out about some of it via discovery in the Section 1983 under color of the law federal lawsuit we filed against Planned Parenthood and the City of Denver in 1994.  We learned about the Neighbors Meetings, sponsored by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, and attended by police captains and representatives of the Mayor's office and the City Attorney's office where neighbors--supportors of Planned Parenthood--were recruited and encouraged to make complaints against us. 

They recruited a hoodlum who lived across the street and the city attorney gave him a pass on his own cases in exchange for his repeated complaints that we had disturbed his peace.  Pastor Harvey Baynes was arrested while preaching a sermon out there, as was Bishop Robert Zeiger. 

Between 1989 and 1997 we had more than 100 arrests for disturbing the peace by calling out to customers and air trespass--Ken leaning over the property line on a ladder--and all sorts of other legal junk, including pure frame ups.  I had been arrested before in the Civil Rights Movement and the Peace Movement, but this was the first time I was ever arrested on a frame up, a pure fabrication.  That was after I began promoting the five day a week picket line. 

I had half a dozen arrests and spent 45 days in the Denver County Jail in the spring of 1990 on one bogus complaint and one completely fabricated complaint.  Al Garcia competed with Ken Scott for most arrests.  We weren't just ticketed, we were routinely hauled off to jail in hand cuffs and forced to post bond as part of a special policy of police harassment aimed at pro life activists.  We spent some long nights in jail and some long days in court. 

They hired Denver police officers as security guards and constantly called the police to harass us.  Some of the police officers were personally pro life and others recognized that they were being used as errand boys for Planned Parenthood and in effect suspending the First Amendment guarantees of free speech in regard to pro life activists. 


They sometimes helped us even while maintaining the facade of righteous law enforcement which they didn't believe in any more than we did.  They would go through the motions. 

The most unscrupulous judges down there were given our cases.  Old court house hacks who had long since left behind any belief in the law or in their own integrity.  But even the few judges who were personally pro life were obviously under heavy pressure to go along with the rest of the court house gang.  Although, sometimes, having done their NARAL duty to a pro life defendant in public, the same judge would manage to do us a favor in the back office like giving us a low appeal bond.  Sometimes one of those judges would hand out what appeared to be a tough sentence and then suspend it.  One judge who ostensibly slammed Al Garcia, even though he obviously liked and respected him, reminded me of the In Cold Blood criminal who says that he really respected the man who was the head of the murdered farm family and that he felt that way even while he was cutting his throat. 

Pontius Pilate respected Jesus but his own career and even his neck were on the block if he turned him loose.  He is the model for all those judges who must now defend the legal proposition that abortion is medicine.  And that those who interfere with it are interfering with health care. 

How can any judge pretend to moral integrity and then go along with the laws which protect abortion ?  How can any conscientious police officer treat the abortuary as a health care facility and those who interfere with its operations as criminals ?  What a morally miserable position to be in !

The legalized killing of 50 million babies in America has brought about a corruption of the entire judicial establishment--has multiplied the corruption that was already there.  A government which goes along with putting babies in the trash has lost any claim to authority.  Judgment at Nuremberg has a dramatic presentation of what happened to the German judges when they had to justify and apply the laws of Hitler's Germany.

But you don't have to go back to Hitler's Germany to find a parallel.  In the American South in the early 1960s there was a wholesale corruption of the legal establishment by the necessity of providing a legal camouflage for racial segregation.  It was not possible for a civil rights activist to get a fair trial.  John Kennedy appointed five of the worst segregationist judges ever to sit on the federal bench, totally unscrupulous men who went along with the agenda of the segregationists and bent or broke the law to accommodate it.  (  see the book Kennedy Justice. )   To preserve his own career, he had to cater to the segregationist wing of the Democratic Party.  Today, Democrat politicians have to cater to the pro abortion wing of the Party. 

And then the jury pool has been brainwashed by the mainstream media.  The pervasive prejudice against pro life activists which is found even among nominally pro life Christians is produced by the relentless policy of the media to either ignore us or smear us.   You would never learn that we save babies by standing out there carrying signs and harassing women.  The only time they put the spotlight on us is when someone somewhere shoots an abortionist.  [ cf. my bulletin The Media Murders the Pro Life Movement ]  It is almost impossible for a pro life activist to find a jury which has any sympathy with what we do.  Plus juries have no understanding of what the First Amendment actually allows.  They don't get out there with signs and disturb the peace by yelling and screaming at people so they don't see why we have to. 

the free speech fight:  Zeiger and Martin 

Thanks to some heavenly help and some stout hearted men and women, we stood up to the harassment and we won almost all of our cases eventually.  We learned to defend ourselves either pro se or with the help of volunteer lawyers the best we could.   And despite the harassment, we kept on rescuing babies. 

Bishop Robert Zeiger won 7 free speech acquittals, including one from the notorious Judge Jacqueline St. Joan, which shocked Planned Parenthood and ended her judicial career.  Mike Martin won 8 free speech acquittals, several on appeal from the County Court to the District Court. 


We developed a cumulative free speech brief which we still recycle,  made up of lawyer's briefs and judge's decisions and our own pro se cases.  One morning, Mike Martin had a long, long argument with a pugnacious and threatening boy friend who finally threw in the towel and brought his lady friend back out. 

People who save their First Amendment Rights for banquet speeches, naively suppose that the right of free speech is guaranteed in America.  Actually, free speech is guaranteed every where in the world for those who are patriotic supporters of the government.  In China or Russia or North Korea you can speak freely in support of the establishment and the status quo.  And those who belong to the loyal and powerful opposition are often given the same privilege.  As are those who are just blowing off steam on the talk show, with no intention of doing anything beyond talking.  But when you join that small minority which actively opposes social evil and challenges the Principalities and Powers of this world,  the free speech guarantee vanishes. 

In 1917,  when America jumped into the war to end all wars,  also  known as  the war to make the world safe for Democracy,  there were 10,000 prosecutions under the Patriot Act.  People wound up with felony convictions and 10 years in the penitentiary just for passing out anti war leaflets or talking against the war or against conscription.  [  see Perilous Times by Geoffrey Stone  and Opponents of War 1917-1918  H.C. Peterson and Gilbert C. Fite ]  

The same kind of extra legal law enforcement developed in the South in response to the nonviolent direct action Civil Rights movement of the early 1960s.  Kids walking down the sidewalk with signs were arrested for parading without a permit.  Clergy praying on the court house steps were arrested for loitering.  A couple of fellows trying to register black voters in Louisiana wound up spending months in jail charged with felony sedition--trying to over throw the government of the State of Louisiana.  In 1961 I was arrested with other freedom riders just for walking into the whites only waiting room of the bus station in Jackson Mississippi in a racially mixed group.  We were charged with Breach of the Peace.  Despite 80 police officers, our presence there was liable to start a riot, so the police captain ordered us to Move On ! and, when we didn't, we were arrested. 

under color of the law

That kind of bogus law enforcement eventually became the justification for Section 1983 of Title VII of the 1965 Civil Rights Act.  Which we invoked in the federal lawsuit filed on our behalf by the American Family Association lawyers after Cliff Powell and David Lane were clubbed by Planned Parenthood's new Security Consultant in the course of them confiscating the signs and crosses we put up out front.  He replaced Detective Carol Yates after we finally got rid of her.  It says that when the police attack your first amendment rights under color of the law, you can sue them in federal court. 

Which may not be worth that much when you have a judge who is a Clinton appointee, as we did.  But we did come close enough to winning to force the Denver Police and the City Attorney to back off from a policy of persecution which many officers had participated in reluctantly.  They were well aware that they were being used as errand boys for Planned Parenthood. 

And also, by that time, they had begun to figure out that the Spirit which kept us going was too tough for them.  Individuals quit, but the pro life witness continued.  When Christians confront the principalities and powers of this world in the power of the Spirit, they win.  When you rely upon the power of the people you don't win.  That is another false faith--the essence of humanism. 

District Attorney Bill Ritter, who was nominally pro life,  looked at the video of the clubbing and found no probable cause to file charges--even though our two fellows wound up in the hospital with bloody heads.  Like looking at a body with 5 bullet holes and ruling it a suicide.  He thereby showed Planned Parenthood and NARAL that they could count on him and so he secured his future in the Democratic Party--such as it was.  He was a missionary once, and supposedly pro life, but, like so many ambitious men, he sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.  



We have established our right to rescue children from the trash the hard way.  By picketing, leafletting, shouting out for the babies, and sidewalk counselling.  And still have to fight off new attacks.  Supposedly our rights are secured by the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution and the Second Amendment of the Colorado Constitution.  They aren't secure at all.  But when God calls you to open your mouth for the speechless, you had better do it lest you wind up like Jonah.  Our security comes from a different source entirely.  Our right of free speech is a commission from Jesus which is valid regardless of what any Constitution is supposed to mean this week.  And the very stones cry out against the murder of the children. 

No Compromise

There is a basic difference between the first amendment rights of pro life Sidewalk Counsellors and those of others who claim the protection of the First Amendment.  We don't just protest abortion, we prevent abortion.  Two lives saved and Planned Parenthood loses $ 500 and also loses its moral justification that these abortions are necessary.  And there is no way to compromise.  Is abortion medicine or is it murder ?  A union picket line intends to at least eventually resolve the dispute with management.  Customers crossing a union picket line to buy bread are not deeply ambivalent about it and easily embarrassed about what they are doing.  The store loses $ 20 if they turn back. 

Just one person out there with a sign throws a monkey wrench into the works of the abortion mill.  It is the great shame of the so called Christian so called pro life movement that so many of these abortuaries operate with no effective interference. 

At the upper levels of the law there is an extreme standard of first amendment rights, inherited from the 1960s, which most people do not understand or agree with.  And which they would never extend to pro life activists, if it was left up to them.  Large groups of protestors who enjoy some popular support and a sympathetic media spotlight are likely to have their first amendment rights protected.  Pro life activists, out there harassing women, are classed as terrorists. 

What we do out there is a matter of life and death.  Quite aside from my rights as a protestor, there is the little matter of babies being put in the trash and women having a life time of regret.  The baby's right to life and her mother's right to escape from 20 years of nightmares are in fact intertwined with our right to carry on Sidewalk Counselling under the protection of basic free speech rights supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution.  Which the FACE law and CRS 18-9-122 have seriously undermined.  Rights which all the nominal pro lifers--all the conformist Christians--are too chicken to use.  Then they criticize us for using them. 

Our bottom line is that we have saved hundreds of babies from the trash and hundreds of mothers from feeling like trash by a dedicated daily use of nonviolent direct action = bearing  christian  witness  to the truth about abortion.  cf. Proverbs   31.8-9   (nKJ)   Open  your  mouth  for  the  speechless,  In  the  cause  of  all  who  are  appointed  to die.  . . . plead the cause of the poor and needy.   cf.  John  18.37  For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  And, in John 20.21-22 he passes that mission on to us.  cf. Matthew  25.40  Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 

the 8 foot ordinance

In 1991 the City of Denver passed an 8 foot buffer ordinance designed to force Sidewalk Counsellors to stay away from abortion customers.  In 1993 NARAL and Planned Parenthood pushed CRS 18-9-122 through the Colorado legislature, a state version of the 8 foot ordinance.  The President of NARAL posed for pictures with the Governor when he signed it into law. 

These laws were modeled upon a Boulder law pushed by NARAL a few years earlier when Leslie Durgin was Mayor of Boulder and director of the Boulder Valley [ aborted ] Women's Clinic.  She is now a vice president of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood.  And set up Jo Scott's 2007 arrest by having PP staffers walk into 20th and Vine while pretending to be customers.  They could never get any actual customers to complain--come to court and admit what they were doing that day.  They had that much shame. 


Jo Scott joined us in 1997 and she had done sidewalk counselling in California for years before that.  She is the most effective Sidewalk Counsellor we have out there and Planned Parenthood has recognized that by making her their number one target. 

When Governor Robert Casey of Pennsylvania was denied the opportunity to address the 1996 Democratic Convention, he said:  the Democratic National Committee has become a wholly owned subsidiary of NARAL.  You can see the truth of that in the way that formerly pro life Congressmen like Al Gore and Richard Gebhardt switch to pro choice when they get into politics at the national level.    The NARAL and Planned Parenthood wing of the Democratic Party dominate big city governments in the same way that the Segregationist wing of the Democratic Party controlled Southern court houses in the 1960s.  You can see how that played out in the police violence against Rescuers and in the long running attack on our pro life picket line.  Not that the Republican Party is any better.  They pretend to be pro life in their pursuit of political power but they can never be serious about opposing abortion.  Those who vote for them aren't serious either.  It was the Republicans who passed the 1967 Colorado and California liberalized abortion laws.  Later, pro choice Republicans like George Bush senior, adopted an official pro life position to exploit the issue during the presidential election. 

When they moved the abortuary to 38th and Pontiac in 2008 they made various miscalculations.  The entrance to the surgical clinic is more than 100 feet from the sidewalk.  So the 8 foot ordinance--section (3) of CRS 18-9-122--is no longer in effect in respect to customers coming down the sidewalk.  And we still sometimes get walk ins who provide the opportunity for real sidewalk counselling.   So that is why they had to set up another arrest of Jo Scott--who else ?--by using section (2) of the same law. 

This section says that hindering, detaining or impeding is more or less the same as blocking and obstructing, which, under the old loitering law, only applied to someone who deliberately blocked the entrance. 

It is so nebulous that it can mean anything, especially in the court room of a NARAL judge like Claudia Jordan who presided over Jo Scott's trial for  impeding and harassing Laura Brown in May 2010.  The Sergeant who responded to the complaint saw no reason to write a ticket.  Nor did the Detective who reviewed the complaint.  But Planned Parenthood's errand boys and girls worked the old court house magic and a couple of months later Jo Scott was handed a ticket. 

And she was convicted despite the able efforts of her lawyer, Terry O'Malley.  Even though the jury was convinced by the surveillance tape and the blow up photographs that Jonevertouchedher, they convicted her of  detaining   hindering   impeding--the fuzzy substitute synonyms for block and obstruct found in CRS 18-9-122 (2).  Her experience with the pro Planned Parenthood courts of Denver County has left her with no faith that any court will affirm her First Amendment rights as a Sidewalk Counsellor. 

Using the First Amendment

You could argue that the First Amendment was never meant to be anything more than a venue for the politicians of the out party in a two party system.  And it provides a vent for people to let off steam.  When you use what are supposed to be First Amendment Rights to actively interfere with something which has become a necessary foundation for the American life style, it is arguably un-American.  And it stretches the Constitution beyond its limits.  And that is in fact how most Americans regard those who harass women in front of health care centers.  The Christians of America, even those who are nominally pro life, have exactly the same attitude, although they are pushed to invent some theological reason for it. 

That is what we are up against any time we are faced with a jury of our peers--if conformists brain washed by the media can be accurately described as our peers.  Most people on a jury have no sympathy with pro life activists.  And most nominally pro life Christians have no sympathy with those who go beyond praying and voting.  It is not dignified--Jesus wouldn't be out there hollering at women.  And I wouldn't either. 


Jo Scott now has the distinction of being the only person ever convicted under both section 2 and section 3 of this law.  The Hill challenge to section 3, decided in 2003, was a facial challenge.  The dissent of three Supreme Court Justices is worth reading because it brings out the First Amendment issues.  As is the 2003 Harvard law review article by Alan Chen.  But pro life activists cannot rely upon the Supreme Court or any other court except God's Court to uphold their right to bear witness on behalf of the preborn condemned to die.  However, that is a good enough mandate. 

The last conviction is now on appeal at the level of the District Court.  Section two is obviously un Constitutional.  That is, it would be if the Constitution were worth anything, if the judiciary had not been so thoroughly corrupted by the necessity of upholding legal abortion.  But the District Court might rule in Jo's favor.  Stranger things have happened in our various trials and appeals.  [ later note: the Court overturned the harassment conviction while illogically upholding the constitutionality of 18-9-122 (2) and the conviction under it.  A further appeal is contemplated.  See Denver District Court, Judge Haglund, Case  Number  2011CV4757 on ICCES, especially page 9. ] 

The next year, the FACE lawsuit by the Obama Justice Department which was originally against Ken Scott and Jo Scott and others acting in concert with them tried to import the nebulous impeding standard into FACE.  Which was originally aimed at those actually sitting down and blocking the driveway or the entrance.  But Ken Scott's stubborn resistance forced them to abandon the lawsuit.  He has a remarkable capacity for wearing down a corrupt judicial establishment.  Jesus describes the woman who wears down the unjust judge.  Ken has that same spirit.  More than anyone else out there he pushes first amendment rights to the max.  Right up to the line and sometimes across it.  Such as his famous air trespass case when he was up on a ladder and leaned over the property line.  He has had one ticket at 38th and Pontiac because the leg of his chair was over the yellow line. 

We have 20 years of experience with finding the line of our First Amendment and Colorado Second Amendment rights.  We are experts on free speech rights in front of abortuaries.  What it is supposed to be and what it actually is because of politicians and judges whose careers depend upon NARAL.  Over 20 years we have learned the hard way where the line is in respect to the first amendment.  But the line keeps shifting.  And the City of Denver refuses to clarify it.  Years ago, with the encouragement of the District Six police, I tried to get the City Attorney to clarify what the law was in respect to disturbing the peace by calling out to customers, but they never answered me.  They could not admit that they intended to enforce a ban on free speech.  Now the Obama Justice Department has adopted the same policy--trying to move the line again with their FACE lawsuit. 

bending the law

A week after it happened, four cops showed up to hand Ken a ticket for pedestrian in roadway.  The supposition that it is necessary for the federal government to come in is absurd to anyone familiar with the situation here.  The Obama Justice Department is intervening because the Denver police can't bend the law far enough to satisfy Planned Parenthood and NARAL.  They are hoping that the power of the Federal Government will accomplish what the Denver establishment could not.  But they are up against the same Power that has helped us stay out there all these years. 

There is a very liberal standard of free speech rights well established in the law.  Which NARAL controlled government will not extend to those who stand in front of the abortuaries.  The whole purpose of FACE and CRS 18-9-122 was to create a new and much more restrictive standard which could be specially applied to health care facilities--the newspeak label for abortuaries.  Prostitutes are now sex workers and places where babies are aborted are Reproductive Health Care Centers.  

To most people, first amendment means the freedom to call up the talk show and say something critical of the President.  A righteous pro lifeChristian waits until he is invited to be the banquet speaker before he gives vent to his feelings contra abortion.  Ken is out there arguing with cigarette smoking boy friends and ladies who cuss him out before finally deciding they don't really want to put the baby in the trash.  It is sidewalk level free speech.  It does not square with church decorum and respectable Christians want nothing to do with it.  A jury of righteous pro life Christians would convict Ken Scott of whatever.  Not leaving it up to God and the government to stop abortion.


the dedicated dozen

Through the years, our picket line has relied upon a dedicated dozen who show up faithfully once or twice a week.  Many are called but few are chosen.  And those chosen few provide the strength and stability of our pro life witness.  We have a hard core of 20 year veterans, whose perennial commitment has kept our pro life witness in business.  We especially value those who come out during the week when we are sometimes down to a heroic handful.  But somehow we always seem to have enough.  

Ed and Ruth Boulee have been coming out twice a week for 20 years, bringing ladders and signs.  Ed participated in the 1989 rescues and hurt for months afterwards from the pain compliance the Denver police inflicted on completely peaceful rescuers.  Ruth has a beautiful singing voice.  We used to sing hymns and Christmas carols at 20th and Vine where we could get close to the windows of the customer waiting room.  Of course they would turn up the radio inside to drown us out.  They don't want to hear about the nativity.  

Leo Mantei has also been coming twice a week for more than 20 years.  He wound up with one court case when a lady grabbed one of his signs and then accused him of assault.  You should always let a lady have your sign if she wants it.  Replacing it is a lot cheaper than paying a lawyer.  He also got punched by a boy friend at 38th and Pontiac.  Who was charged with a felony since Leo is a senior citizen.  Actually it is surprising how rarely we have been attacked out there by belligerent boy friends considering how much huffing and puffing is aimed at us.  In fact they know they are doing something wrong and their anger quickly evaporates. 

I am convinced that the angels protect us.  I saw that one day when an angry boy friend grabbed a metal frame baby buggy and began hitting Al Garcia with it.  Before I could get down the block, two men jumped out of an unmarked van and handcuffed Al's assailant.  Two under cover cops who were part of the surveillance launched by the Janet Reno Justice Department. 

Despite a heavy work schedule, Mike Winter has been coming out for years every day he could.  He is  one of the few people I know who will get on a bus wearing an Abortion Kills Children sign.  Ernie Gero and Nita have been coming several times a week for 20 years.  Ernie keeps up a constant comment like Father Murphy taught us to do at a baseball game.  It keeps up your morale while wearing down their morale.  A picket line is not a church service or a tea party--unless maybe it resembles the Boston Tea Party.  Ernie and Mike Winter always showed up when we handed out leaflets at high schools.  I counted on them. 

Oakley McEachren comes out a couple of times a week.  He told me how he was called to come out, years ago.  He sings hymns in a loud clear voice which Planned Parenthood does not appreciate.  He and Mike Martin were arrested and hauled off together on one occasion--for nothing, for speaking out. 

John Wiechec has been coming out a couple times a week for the last 10 years despite heavy work and family responsibilities.  Fritz and Jim come on Thursday.  Everett and his brother Gary regularly show up.  Marilyn somehow still manages to come out once in a while with her five kids.  Our youth group tends to be more irregular than regular but Lisa Cress still comes out. 

We have always relied primarily upon the grey panthers.  It is a shame that there are so many retired persons who don't know what to do with themselves.  Who spend their days trying to stay entertained.  Instead of doing the Lord's work.  Surely that describes rescuing babies from abortion.  The pastors should encourage them to come out.  And set the example.  

Our Saturday regulars help us keep Planned Parenthood's business down.  It used to be their busy day along with Friday but they have a third of the customers they once had.  Larry and Mark Aughenbaugh also set up a street corner witness once or twice a month with their pastor.  And they go out to the high schools to leaflet.  Ray has been standing on the corner with his Abortion Kills Children sign on Saturday for the last 20 years.  Gloria and Andy bring ladders.  Steve brings signs and props.  Mike and Tom show up most Saturdays.  So does Scott. 


4 things the archdiocese can do

1. distribute The First Nine Months

The Archdiocese is the largest church organization in the State of Colorado and it should lead the way in reprinting and distributing The First Nine Months   /  Los Primeros Nueve Meses  to Catholics through schools and churches, to non Catholics by cooperative arrangements with other churches, and to the general public by volunteers getting out there on the sidewalk in front of high schools, grocery stores and at shopping malls. 

It is basic bearing witness to the truth person to person.  There is no good substitute for it.  When people find the courage to undertake this kind of witness, it regenerates the Spirit of Courage in them and renews the church.  

Standing out there watching teen aged customers roll into the abortuary,  I figured out after a while that, along with the last minute effort to head them off, it made sense to try and give her an alternatives flyer and a copy of The First Nine Months  before  she made the abortion appointment and even before she found out she was pregnant.  Her and her boy friend and her friends and her parents.  So, with the help of a tough little crew, I started setting up a table with the fetal models and  copies of The First Nine Months on the sidewalk in front of high schools. 

Which naturally gets you into conversations with security guards and assistant principals and police officers who try to tell you that it isn't a public sidewalk or that the School Loitering Law applies to you or that giving away literature is the same as Soliciting Without a Permit etc.  But when you hold your ground and bring some case law with you, you can make them back off and the next time you go there they leave you alone.  The Bill Jack case established the right of Christians to hand out information to students in front of high schools.  The School Loitering Law has an exception for First Amendment activity, designed to accommodate school teachers on strike, but it can be stretched to apply to us.  There are sometimes legal obstacles to distributing literature in shopping malls but there are ways to get around that for people determined to do it. 

There were people distributing literature in front of the high schools before I thought of doing it and there are people still doing it since I quit.  Phil Faustin of Operation Rescue Colorado and Leo Mantei of St. Jude's Parish go out regularly, as do the Aughenbaughs.  There are veterans of this kind of witness who know how to do it when and if any of the conformist Christians find the courage to do it. 

Every election year people enthusiastically hand out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of worthless political literature which mentions abortion in the fine print if it mentions it at all.  Meanwhile, it is like pulling teeth to get people to participate in any serious pro life witness.  Obviously, it is something that the Archdiocese should promote and encourage for the sake of basic education in the facts of life in the 9 months leading up to the birth of a baby.  And without tying it to political campaigns or legislative initiatives or organizational promotions. 

This leaflet is the best because of the Lennart Nilsson fiber optic photographs reprinted from  A Child Is Born.  ( They were also printed in Life Magazine years ago. )  You can't argue with them.  They simply show that an embryo at 8 weeks gestation already looks suspiciously like a baby--A person's a person, no matter how small.   

the first nine months  has 7 pictures which chart the development of the embryo child.  And each one is worth 1000 words.  One of these leaflets handed out in the right place at the right time is worth a dozen sermons about the personhood of the unborn child.  Why bother with such a term ?  Why endlessly play futile legal games ?   She  is  a  baby !  Look at the picture !  In the age of the printing press and fiber optic photographs--which actually show the embryo child in the womb--there is no excuse for distributing long, erudite publications while neglecting to hand out graphic literature which educates people in a simple and direct way. 


The only change I would make in this leaflet is to impose a picture of a Roosevelt dime on the page 8 photo of the 8 week old embryo as is done on the Human Life International before and after card so that it clearly shows the actual size.   

The money thrown away on doomed initiatives and literature for hopeless candidates and hopelessly compromised candidates could be used to put a copy of  the first nine months into the hands of everyone in the state.  It should have been done yesterday--40 years ago yesterday.  It can still be done tomorrow and the day after tomorrow if those who pretend to be Christians will find the courage to bear witness to the truth by handing out pro life leaflets.  It isn't the voters who need to get it.  It is the 14-18 year old girls, and their boy friends, and their parents.  All those who vote for abortion with their feet by walking into Planned Parenthood.  There is no need to get into a long argument,  just show them the truth.  That is what the first nine months does. 

Sidewalk Counsellors are well aware that getting a woman to go to an alternatives center for a free ultrasound can be the clincher in turning her away from having the abortion.  But it is sometimes hit or miss as to whether we can find a free ultrasound on that particular day.  They aren't open, or they don't have an operator etc. 

the first nine months is in effect a generic ultrasound--in color !  It costs 25c.  It is portable.  You can hand it to someone.  It takes the place of long arguments.  It is infinitely superior to these long-winded pro life newspapers which no one is going to read unless they are already pro life and bored--in need of something to read. 

And secular Christians can become real Christians by finding the Spirit of Courage to bear witness.  That Spirit regenerates the Christian life.  Bearing Witness to the Truth is not one of the options of a Christian life, it is the test of whether you are one.  When you never do it, you become shriveled in the spirit.  That describes all those cowardly Christians who hide in the pews and then hide in the voting closet.  Who offend God by praying that he will do what they should have done.   That is why they fall for this false faith that abortion can be stopped by voting.  They don't have the courage to do anything else.  Making the effort to save the babies will save them and their families as well. 

2. use the Register to publicize real pro life activity

Make the Register worth reading.  Instead of publishing a sorry organizational rag that no one bothers to read, make it a pro life paper.  Do something and then write it up. 

The recent Register articles illustrate the failure to report on what is actually going on by way of real pro life activity in the Denver area.  The missing story of  Baby Saved by Sidewalk Counsellors is the story that is also missing from the mainstream media.  Talk to Jo Scott.  There is your story. 

Catholics should do something worth writing about by way of pro life action and then write it up to encourage others to do it.  Years ago the Register belatedly did a front page story on Vern and Susan Kirby who had been given months in jail by Judge Jaqueline St. Joan for participating in two rescues at 20th and Vine.  After the first rescue, everyone paid a $ 25 fine and pled no contest in front of a magistrate.  But that plea set up the second trial in which they were given the maximum sentence on 4 midemeanors--loitering, trespass, resisting arrest and interfering with a police officer--all just for one psalm-singing sit in.  The maximum is 180 days in jail and $ 1000 fine for each charge. 

And the media blacked it out.  We picketed the court house for weeks to no avail.  But finally, after the Register put the story on the front page, the Kirbys were released.  Which illustrates the power of the press.  It also illustrates how rarely the diocesan press has been used to defend pro life activists. 

The Rescue Movement of 1988-1991 was promoted by Pat Robertson's 700 Club and James Dobson's Focus on the Family.  And died after they abandoned it.    The mainstream media ignores the pro life movement unless it can smear us.  The diocesan press is too timid and bureaucratic and too infected with organizational chauvinism to print pro life news.  There are new possibilities with on line news sites which we are only beginning to explore. 


3. encourage people to participate in picketing and Sidewalk Counselling

I wasn't born wearing a sign and I can sympathize with those who are reluctant to do it.  The first time someone tried to get me to wear a picket sign I immediately thought up a dozen reasons why it was not the right thing to do.  As soon as he knocked down one reason I thought up another. 

The bottom line was that I cringed at the idea of appearing in public wearing a sign.  Would Jesus do that ?   Probably not, since he lacked poster board and magic marker.  He did write in the dirt with his finger on one occasion.  He did deliver his message in public places in which it was not all that welcome.  I finally did it and I didn't die.  And after that it got easier. 

When the sit-ins began in February 1960, respectable civil rights organizations like the NAACP were appalled.  And wanted nothing to do with such undignified demonstrations.  But as the movement grew, the NAACP youth groups were increasingly pulled in.  Before it was over everybody and his brother was out there.  A million people marched for civil rights in the summer of 1963.  Priests and nuns and bishops participated in the Selma March in 1965. 

We need Spanish speaking sidewalk counsellors.   In past years we have had some very effective Spanish speaking sidewalk counsellors out there--Al Garcia;  Bishop Robert Zeiger;  Diane and Bernadette Cordova.  We have a few Spanish phrases and in a pinch can get someone on a cell phone.  But it really helps to have people out there who are at home in the language.  The Spanish speaking are not so hard hearted and they are easier to turn around if we have somebody who is on to the job.  They don't have the same defiant self-righteousness.  They know it is wrong. 

We recently learned that Planned Parenthood is now dispensing RU 486 chemical abortion pills at three of their satellite contraception clinics one day a week, on the sneak, as it were.  Which still require the services of a doctor and they only have one doctor doing them all.  But we do not have people out there to Sidewalk Counsel on a regular basis.  Is this not a responsibility that the Archdiocese should take on ?  If the Register would do an honest article about Sidewalk Counsellors, if you encouraged people to come out and learn by doing, and then go to these other places, there is no good reason why they could not be covered.  Your Lighthouse volunteers need to discard the illusion that women headed for appointments at Planned Parenthood abortuaries are going to be miraculously diverted to your facility by angelic sidewalk counsellors who will do what they are too chicken to do:  confront abortion customers.  Since the Archdiocese went to a lot of expense to build an alternatives center across the street from Planned Parenthood, I don't see the reason it is open Monday through Friday when PP does abortions Tuesday through Saturday.  They start at 8:30 and as early as 7:30 on Saturday.  If you are serious about providing an alternative, why not match their hours ?  Is there some reason they don't have an ad under Abortion Alternatives in the yellow pages ?  Are they hiding their light under a bushel ? 

4.  Replace the Respect Life organization with a serious pro life action effort. 

Respect Life is a sorry excuse for a pro life organization.  Not surprising, since that was its original purpose--provide an excuse for the bishops, something they could point to by way of excuse:  See we are doing something  = pretending to do something. 

It's original charter, which lumps together abortion, war and capital punishment, provides a facade of philosophical consistency which is the excuse for doing nothing effective about any of them.  In fact it was designed to provide an excuse for not confronting the contraception and abortion which are epidemic in the Catholic Church and which are the major challenge within the Church. 

It allows people to strike a pose:  more philosophically consistent than thou:  --than all the narrow minded fanatics who oppose abortion but not war and capital punishment.  I agree that Christians must refuse to participate in war.  And that Christians cannot sanction the death penalty.  But that isn't a good reason for lumping together three moral questions that have distinct histories in the Church and in The Bible and that have very different social and political and legal contexts. 


I accept as binding upon Christians what the church father Tertullian taught: a Christian cannot be a magistrate because he cannot impose the death penalty.  That was the belief of the early church, based upon the Sermon on the Mount,  and it is still the belief of the authentic church.  But, as a practical question, it has little in common with abortion.  Since Colorado re-established the death penalty in 1974 there has been one execution--in 1997, the first execution since 1967--after the man forced his lawyers to abandon the appeal, because he preferred death to life in prison.

Meanwhile, since Colorado passed a liberal abortion law in 1967 and since Roe versus Wade in 1973, there have been thousands of abortions every year in Colorado.  No one knows the number for sure because they don't have to report it and abortionists are notorious tax evaders.  If there had been one abortion in Colorado since 1967, performed after lengthy legal proceedings, and, if the embryo child had signed off on it, I would still be against it, but there would not be much occasion for me to get out there with my sign.  Planned Parenthood was doing about 60 abortions a week = 60 executions every week--at 20th and Vine alone when we launched the 5 day a week pro life picketing and sidewalk counselling effort there in 1989.  What excuse is there for neglecting this slaughter of the innocents in favor of specious arguments about Consistent Life Ethic or Seamless Garment ?  Cardinal Bernardin invented the Seamless Garment ethic to avoid having to deal squarely with contraception and abortion.  And that is why the other bishops picked it up.  It is not rooted in The Bible or in the historical ethics of the Catholic Church.  You can argue it from the New Testament, but to do that you first have to challenge whole bible theology (as in my essay on The New Covenant versus the Old Covenant ) and you have to recognize the apostasy of the Imperial Church established by Constantine and Augustine ( cf. The Church of the Empire. )  Otherwise there is no good foundation for it.  Except the kind of consistency mocked by G.K. Chesterton:  Now we realize it is wrong to sit on a man.  Soon we will recognize that it is wrong to sit on a horse.  And, eventually, that it is wrong to sit on a chair.

And it is silly to argue that no distinction can be made between a fellow who murdered, raped and tortured women and a preborn child who was sucking her thumb and minding her own business when the suction machine intruded into her space.  You are guilty of being unwanted.  No, you can't have a lawyer, or time to file an appeal to the Supreme Court. 

Opposition to War

I have done some things to oppose war.  I organized against the Vietnam War in 1965-1966 and took a peace team to Catholic colleges and high schools in the New England area.  Places which had never seriously considered that war might be a moral issue for Christians, which blandly assumed that all American wars are just.  I spent 10 months in a federal prison in 1966-1967 for burning a draft card.  [ I tore it in two actually.  A 4F draft card.  Because I caught tuberculosis working in a Catholic Worker house of hospitality in Chicago.  ]  Real Christians have to follow the example of Jesus and his original followers and refuse to participate in war.  But it is much harder for Christians to get a handle on war, now that the draft has ended, and the empire has an all mercenary army.  And the Christian pacifist foundation of the 1960s peace movement has been largely eroded and replaced by secular ideologies which lack moral integrity and spiritual power. 

The question as to whether a Christian should participate in war is different from the question as to whether we can do anything to stop the wars of the empire.  The early Christians refused to participate in the wars of the Roman Empire.  But did not have the power to stop those wars.  Only the disintegration of the empire did that.  The empire always does bankrupt itself eventually by its endless wars.  If I could stop a war by standing out there with a sign, I would probably attempt it.  I can stop the war against the unborn by doing that.  Which is why it must have the priority.  Trying to oppose a war which is killing people 10,000 miles away, you wind up picketing the nearest federal building--like the post office.  But the killing of preborn kids takes place two miles from where you live and you can prevent it just by showing up there with a sign and some alternatives leaflets. 

Child killing by war plane and child killing by abortion are arguably the same basic moral issue.  But there is a peculiar un natural horror in the way that people shrug off and try to justify the cold blooded killing of their own kids.  And the ways to confront it are different because war and capital punishment are State actions, while  abortion is primarily an action taken by private individuals. 


Almost all of these individuals describe themselves as Christians and many of them are Catholic.  The Church, not the State, is responsible for abortion.  Blaming Roe v. Wade is scapegoating.  Is refusing to recognize that  Christians themselves and their money-loving life style are the cause of abortion.  Soldiers are to blame for their participation in war, even if they are conscripts.  And women are to blame for having abortions even when they are pressured into doing it.  A woman who hires a hit man is just as guilty of the resulting homicide.  Blaming the State leads to these endless futile political and legislative campaigns which serve the ambitions of worldly people. 

The cause of saving babies from abortion is much too central to Christian faith and morals to be assigned to some diocesan department which will go through the motions of doing something about it so long as the staff gets paid.  It is the key question in respect to the moral and spiritual survival of the Church.  If we can't stop the members of the church from putting their babies in the trash and destroying their own families, what is left of Christian society ?  Nothing is left.  That's it.  Hot air is left.  Pretence is left.  Whited sepulchres are left.  The Cathedral is a beautiful white building for the funerals of prominent pro choice politicians.

your  baby  forgives  you   [  from  Roots ]

phony  forgiveness:   In place of any serious program to prevent abortion, a lot of groups--nominally Christian and nominally pro life--have programs which focus exclusively upon trying to comfort those miserable women who have had abortions.  It is like all these expensive programs to treat AIDS, which avoid doing anything to prevent people from getting it in the first place.  They belatedly substitute what is supposedly Christian Compassion for the missing Christian Courage which could have prevented the abortion.   They seem never to have learned the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  And what cure can they offer ?  Truly, women who have aborted a baby are like Rachel, weeping for her children, and would not be comforted.  These  belated  compassion  programs  substitute what pretends to be a spiritual answer for the moral answer they have ignored.  They do nothing effective to stop abortion, then offer  tea  and  sympathy  to its victims.  They pretend to forgive the woman's sin as a cover for  the Great Sin of Omission for which they themselves must bear the blame.

What use is such  phony  forgiveness ?  Who is forgiving whom ?  Should we all forgive anything and everything ?  Is that what Jesus taught about forgiveness ?  Jesus said we should forgive those who did something to us, but do we have the standing to forgive others for what they did to others ?  Do you forgive Adolph Hitler for what the Germans did to the Jews ?  Do you forgive Joe Stalin for what the red army did to the women of Europe ?  It is not our business to forgive them.  It is our business to see how far we are in complicity with the causes of genocide and mass rape by what we do and, mainly, by what we neglect to do.  Americans let those things be done, that is the truth. 

Father Paul Marx once said in respect to abortion that  God always forgives, man sometimes forgives, nature never forgives.  You can see the terrible truth of that in the lives of those who have had abortions.  If I get drunk and crash my car into someone else's car, killing that person and putting myself in a wheel chair, will God forgive me ?  I suppose.  Will the mother of the fellow I killed forgive me ?  Maybe.  Will I soon get out of my wheel chair ?  Probably not. 

I have no standing to forgive a woman who has had an abortion--Speaking on behalf of God and your baby, I forgive you.  Don't worry about it.  You didn't do anything wrong.  We are all sinners.  I cannot speak for God, nor can I speak for her baby.  Will her baby forgive her ?  Would you forgive your mother for throwing  you  into the trash ?  Anyway, it is between them.  We have nothing to do with it.  Can she ever forgive herself ?  Will outraged nature ever forgive her ?  I have to say on the basis of meeting some of these women that the answer is  probably not.  You will always remember the child you never knew.  Years later, aborted women are spending all their money on psychiatrists to find forgiveness from that child they put in the trash. 

Which is why the real question is not whether we shall deploy the modern do not judge doctrine of  instant  and  easy  automatic  forgiveness  on behalf of 50 million aborted women.  The question is whether we can be forgiven for our criminal complicity in a society which relentlessly pushes


women to have abortions.  The question is whether God will forgive us for failing to rescue the least of these while there was still time.  The answer which Matthew 25.31-46 gives on that point is  probably not.  The forgiveness  we  need  demands  sincere  repentance.  Repentance for what we failed to do and what we are still failing to do.  It means we have to turn around and start doing it.  That is the test of sincerity. 

We can't change the past.  We can and must change the future.  There is very little we can do for women who have had abortions, except to pretend that we are somehow helping them with something that can't be helped.  There is a great deal we can do to help women who have not yet had abortions.  If we don't do it there is no forgiveness for us in this world or in the next.  And 99 % of those who pretend to be pro life are not doing it.  It is better to make no such pretense than to have it used against you on judgment day.  Those pro  life  pretenders,  who use the issue to promote their careers and raise money, will surely stand among the goats on judgment day.

We conceal from ourselves the real horror of abortion just as we conceal from ourselves the real horror of our wars, the real horrors of real American history.  We look away from those veterans whose intolerable memories drive them to self destruction.  Did you ever accidentally hit a stray cat or a dog when you were driving down the street ?  And how did you feel ?  Bad.  Even though it was an accident and you were not at fault.  Suppose you hit a kid, instead of a stray animal.  Suppose that it was your own kid.  Finally, suppose that it was not an accident.  You did it on purpose.  How do you feel about it ? 

That is how people must feel about abortion, if they allow themselves to feel anything.  Often, they don't feel anything at all because they can't afford to feel anything.  People carry out an emotional lobotomy on themselves because they cannot deal with those terrible feelings.  They go through life in that condition until they break down.  A woman worked in the pro life movement for many years before finally admitting to herself and others that she had once had an abortion 20 years before.  As a society we are in denial.  What pretends to be a pro life movement goes along with this denial.  They pretend to have the answer.  They prescribe aspirin for cancer. 

The Box of Flowers   (from bulletin # 4)

I have long since become accustomed to the daily reality of picketing at the abortuary.  I see the same things every day, I say the same things every day, and much of the time my mind is elsewhere.  You get used to it after a while just like anything else--just like people get to where they take the horrors of war in stride.

But somehow the box of flowers got to me.  She came out of the abortuary crying.  He went over to his car and came back with a long gift box, which had a ribbon around it--it must have had flowers in it.  He knelt down as he handed her the box--she was sitting in her girl friend's car and she was still crying.  Then they drove off in different directions.  And the rest of the day, I couldn't get that box of flowers out of my mind.

Say it with flowers they tell us.  But what was the young man saying with those flowers ?  Here are some flowers for your baby's funeral . . . ?  No, you can't say that, because it isn't supposed to be a baby and it isn't going to have a funeral.

I think he is saying something like this:  I still admire you and I don't think you are any less of a woman just because you did away with your baby.  I am  serious about our relationship even though I didn't want to marry you and take responsibility for the baby.  In other words, he used the flowers to tell two lies.

And what will she do with those flowers ?  Put them in a vase to remind her of her abortion ?  Will the flowers somehow take the place of the missing baby and soothe the pain she feels ?  The baby would have been the loveliest of all flowers, a human child.  Those cut flowers will wither in a few days and will be put into the dumpster--just like that baby.

There are only two sensible things she can do with those flowers.  One is to throw them in the young man's face so as to say: keep your flowers and keep your lies--neither are any good to me.  The other is to put them into the nearest dumpster, the Planned Parenthood dumpster where her baby's body is lying, so as to say:  I'm sorry I put you into such a nasty place.  Maybe these flowers will make it a little nicer.  Maybe they won't, but it's all I can do now.      An abortuary is no place for flowers.  Anything you do to mitigate the horror of an abortion only makes it worse.


The Lost Battle

The battle over abortion was lost within the Catholic Church just as the battle over contraception was lost within the Catholic Church.   If you can even call it  a  battle.  It was a forfeit for all except a few of the bishops.  The rest surrendered without firing a shot.  In fact, there is convincing evidence that many of them were on the other side of the battle, first to last, as were the Canadian bishops and the bishops of Europe.  Father Charles Curran claimed that he had the tacit support of 40 American bishops in his rebellion against the 1968 birth control encyclical Humanae Vitae.  There is no reason to doubt it.  He was obviously the front man for many in the American Church and he had powerful support in Rome.  The American Catholic Bishops did not go as far as the hierarchies of some other countries in openly opposing Humanae Vitae.  But they did essentially the same thing by their equivocations and by the way they ignored the American dissenters, and tacitly encouraged them, and later rewarded them.  . . . [ see The Roots of Abortion  page 20 on for more on this subject ]

But contraception was long established among Catholics by 1968.  Catholic G.I.s knew all about contraception by the time they came back from World War II and bought that little suburban house which was just big enough for a wife and two kids.  Catholic chaplains in World War II had to go along with condoms being passed out to Catholic soldiers.  Women working for wages was an accomplished fact by the end of the war.  The life style which depends upon two incomes was already coming.  The woman's right to be a stay at home mom was already eroding.  America's big wars are a basic cause of the moral breakdown in American society. 

Traditional Catholic values were already being eroded by the wealth-pursuing life style of the larger society characterized by one-or-two-child families, divorce, cohabitation, and rising rates of illegitimacy--aka single motherhood.  Contraception and abortion inevitably belong to such a life style.  When they ceased to be a subculture in America, and joined mainstream America, Catholics soon abandoned the moral standards in respect to family life which had once set them apart.  They proved they could be  good  americans by becoming  bad  catholics.  The same thing happens with the new immigrants from Mexico as they move up the ladder of the American economy. 

decline and fall

In the past 60 years there has been a total erosion of the old Catholic Church as it dissolved into the morally corrosive mainstream of American life.  It is kennedyism, not modernism, which has eroded the faith and morals of the Church.  It is not some intellectual mistake which can be rectified by right thinking.  Rather, the pursuit of all the opportunities for wealth and power which the empire offers, has become a Long Journey away from the original faith and morals of those who survived poverty and persecution in America. 

The full flowering of  secular  catholicism  is symbolized by the arrival at the pinnacle of American wealth and power of a family which pretended to be Catholic,  even while they provided the most conspicuous model of a secularized and modernized Catholicism which had been stripped of traditional faith and morals.  President John F. Kennedy presented the new model two child Catholic family, while the media routinely concealed his shameless private life and the playboy life style which marked the whole family.  The wealth and glamour of the Kennedys and their rise to the highest position the American Empire has to offer illustrates the Rise of Catholics in America and their Falling Away from Christian faith and morals.  The Worldly Church to which they belonged had no alarm bells to warn them that the pursuit of wealth and power is a road which steadily diverges from the path of faithfulness to Christian morals. 

The exodus of teaching nuns destroyed the old Catholic School system.  What was once a real alternative to the public schools has largely disappeared and the Church would be better off if a lot of the remaining schools also disappeared.  The primary school system, which was staffed by nuns vowed to poverty and which charged $ 10 a semester, now costs as much as a private school.  They prepare the young for the 1 kid, 2 income life style.  Contraception and Pro Choice is a necessary part of the curriculum.  At a time when Catholics had a fraction of the income they have now, they


supported a Catholic school system which was the wonder of the church world, without taking a dime of government money.  Every parish had a primary school, within walking distance of where parishioners lived.  There were a dozen Catholic high schools in every city which taught strict morals and orthodox faith.  Which warned Catholics that they would lose their faith if they went to the State University.  They did go and they did lose their faith.  And their morals.  How can you fit in at these  party  schools if you don't learn to party ?  A Catholic father of a large family was happy when his son got scholarships to Stanford and then Harvard.  Now he is dismayed because his son is a pro choice atheist.  What else did he expect ?  Where did he get the idea that the road to worldly success was  the  way  which Jesus showed us ? 

Now, with all their money, Catholics cannot imagine how to maintain a school system without government money, without vouchers.  What the government funds, it inevitably controls sooner or later.  Which means that the government will pull the vouchers of a school which refuses to admit Planned Parenthood or which discriminates against homosexual teachers.  That is the kind of thing that has happened to Catholic hospitals which take medicare patients and Christian universities where students have government backed loans. 

This financial dependence upon the government parallels the spiritual and moral dependence of secular christians upon the state.  We can't live as Christians unless the Senators and the Judges mandate it.  We can't have Christian schools unless the government gives us the money.  We ask the government to return some of the money we have given it.  why  not  keep  them  from  getting  it  in  the  first  place  ? !   Of course no one can figure out how to do that.  They are helpless without the government and its power to tax. 

Anyway, since pro choice now prevails at these nominally Catholic high schools and colleges, (with a few exceptions) they no longer provide a moral alternative to the public schools and it would be better to close them.   Catholic hospitals today are Catholic in name only in respect to maintaining traditional Catholic medical ethics.  The secular management hardly bothers to keep up a pretence, while the bishop looks the other way.  The loss of the hospital sisters means they charge the same rip off prices as the for profit hospitals.  The next time they charge you $ 100 for aspirin, remember:  that is what you get for making fun of nuns. 

In 1963, a Catholic Doctor, John Rock, was a co-inventor of the birth control pill which many influential Catholics, including many of those in the various Catholic family organizations, hoped would escape the Church ban on artificial contraception.  Dr. Rock's real attitude is shown by  a statement he made justifying abortion:  embryos have the same responsibility to the preservation of the human race as soldiers.  These tiny soldiers must bravely sacrifice themselves to preserve the American Dream of Living on Easy Street.  Just think of it the same way you think about war.  Then you will have no trouble justifying it.  They are dying for their country.  Involuntarily perhaps, but it is a noble act all the same.  They should have more flags in front of abortuaries to bring out the patriotic aspect of it.  And aren't they helping to alleviate world hunger ?  That is what we hear from abortion customers--either she was raped--perhaps--or there might be something wrong with the baby, or they are concerned about world hunger and  over  population.  It is surprising how many people believe that Wyoming is over populated. 

contraception and abortion

Several years ago, Father Paul Marx published a substantial article in which he showed from abortion industry sources the basic connection between contraception and abortion.  Anyone who seriously sets out to stop abortion discovers that connection.  There is no such thing as a reliable contraceptive method and so abortion is the necessary back-up to contraception.  In fact, nearly all methods of contraception, including The Pill are abortifacients at least part of the time.  Humanae Vitae states that contraception degrades women.  Gandhi said: contraceptives are an insult to womanhood;  Divorce of the sexual act from its natural consequence must lead to hideous promiscuity;  [it]  can only do great moral injury to the people.  He could not have imagined the things that have happened to modern India.  Sex selection abortions of females have led to 20 million surplus men.  Men without women turn to prostitutes from whom they get AIDS.  This degraded culture promotes a predatory dis-respect for women--even gangs of rapists in the big cities. 


Women who know all about contraception neglect to use it and don't insist that their boy friends use it.  Something in her pushes her to rebel against being a  safely  sterilized  sex  object.  Something in her pushes her to test the relationship by taking a risk, by seeing how the man will respond--what would he do if I got pregnant ?  Could he take the responsibility ?  They naturally rebel against waiting until age 35 to have a baby.   Something in her rebels against being one more desk in the labyrinthine bureaucracy of commerce, industry and government.  Is this my Wonderful Career ?  Is this my life ?   What a bore !  A name plate on the door, a carpet on the floor and dinner at the French Restaurant is supposed to atone for having no family.  Since men are now brought up to decline any responsibility--it's  her  choice  !--they end up at the abortuary.  Planned Parenthood thinks it has an "information" problem.  It is something much more fundamental. 

There is a basic connection between contraception and abortion.  They are two aspects of the luxurious and anti child lifestyle.  It is an illusion to think that you can separate them.  They both belong to the one imperative:  avoid having lots of kids so that you can instead have lots of money.  So your wife can work and bring in that second paycheck. 

The original pro abortion Supreme Court decision derived its right of privacy doctrine from the decision in Griswold vs. Connecticut, which struck down a law against the sale of contraceptives.  The Justices recognized that they were fundamentally the same issue.  And they are.  When Planned Parenthood crusaded for legal contraception, the push for legal abortion was implicit.  Contra their own false propaganda that contraception is the alternative to abortion.  

When the Reagan-Bush Supreme Court rejected any serious restrictions upon legal abortion in the 1992 Casey decision,  they said that Americans had come to rely upon easily available abortion to maintain their lifestyle.  They told the truth.  And it was true long before the Supreme Court said it.  The Secular Christian lifestyle, requires contraception and abortion.   The  Catholic  lifestyle and the  Protestant  lifestyle are based upon contraception  and abortion. 

When Protestant Churches tolerate contraception, they tolerate the abortion-bound lifestyle, whether they admit it or not.  The Catholic bishops cannot do anything effective to stop abortion among Catholics because they cannot do anything effective to stop contraception.  They can only maintain a  paper  position  which they have abandoned in reality.  When the Republican led Congress left it up to the incoming President to place a nominal restriction on abortion in the Foreign Aid Bill, they also increased the  family  planning  funding to $425 million.  No one even wanted to argue about that.  It is established American policy to promote contraception at home and abroad.  The Republicans don't even pretend to oppose it.  Now Catholic institutions are being targeted--by Catholics !--to pay for contraception.  Are being pushed to discard the legal fig leaf which conceals their surrender on the issue. 

the  aborted  american  lifestyle 

There are technical distinctions with moral implications which can be made between abortion,  contraception and so-called natural family planning, but all three aim at the same lifestyle, a lifestyle which is built upon the principle of more money, fewer kids.   The higher you aspire in worldly terms, the tougher times get, the more the Christian community disintegrates, the more that principle becomes the iron law of the modern American life style.  not having babies is the foundation of that luxurious life style which is now an American Necessity.  It is a necessity for the prosperous hanging on to the precarious position they have reached on the steep and slippery slope of American prosperity.  It is a necessity for those trapped at the bottom who are paid a  servant  wage  which precludes having kids for all except the most reckless.

The prosperous must rely upon contraception and abortion in order to pass their prosperous life style on to their children.  Her college scholarship is out the window if she does not get rid of the baby.  Either her baby goes into the trash or her career goes into the trash.  The poor are forced into abortion by an  anti family economy  in which your own survival on a subsistence wage demands the sacrifice of your children.   Her husband has been deported back to Mexico and her uncle threatens to put her out of his tiny house, if she does not get rid of the baby. 


The logic of contraception is fornication.  If  careless  love  is necessary for married couples, it is even more necessary for unmarried couples.  And their parents have set them the example.  After looking in their parents' bedroom, they know what brand to buy.  And their parents have brought them up in that luxurious lifestyle which mandates   careers  for  women  because it requires two incomes.  It means a woman must wait until she is 35 to have her one and only child.  So, from 15 to 35 she must remain a virgin.  Or turn to Planned Parenthood for help.  What is the realistic choice ? 

Is it surprising that sailors patronize prostitutes, that soldiers rape captive women, or that prisoners become involved in homosexual relationships ?  When you separate young men at the lustiest time of their lives from any possibility of having a wife or girl friend and then send them halfway around the world to where they may get killed or crippled the next day, it is entirely predictable that desperate desires will get hold of them.  Neither is it surprising that Nature escapes from the un natural constraints imposed by the pursuit of the luxurious lifestyle.  Young men and women, facing 20 years of enforced celibacy, end up throwing off all restraints.  Sex is the only adventure allowed them.  The  urge  to  party  is a natural rebellion against the sterility and deadly boredom imposed upon them as the price for securing a place in the bureaucracy where they will spend the rest of their lives.  The frantic bacchanal is a temporary escape from an unnatural bondage which closes off any good alternative for finding the love they need and establishing a home of their own.  Like the slaves and servants and laborers of the 19th century, they are effectively prohibited from getting married and having children.  Lady Bellamy did not allow her servants to marry.  Dame Affluence does not permit it either. 

preaching  chastity  to  teens

  is stupid when we also teach them to aim for Law School.  She will be 18 by the time she finishes high school, 22 when she finishes College, 25 when she finishes law school, 30 by the time she passes the bar exam and establishes herself in the legal profession.  Can she then give it up, throw away a $ 300,000 investment in her education, in order to stay home and raise children ?  Obviously she has to keep on working.  She has to pay back all that borrowed money, which could have bought a house or a farm or a small business.  We have a society in which 12 year old girls are already dedicated to the pursuit of males and in which 32 year old girls are still not allowed to have babies.  It is a sure fire recipe for contraception and abortion.  It is silly to expect anything else.  It is silly to preach chastity while you raise your children in a life style which has no place for it. 

Is she going to wait until she is in her thirties to have a boy friend ?  Wait until she is 35 to have the one baby she is allowed, which she must then put in day care ?   Is she going to remain a virgin until she is 35 ?  If she doesn't, she must use contraception backed by abortion.  If she gets pregnant during those  20  years  of  sterility  for  the  sake  of  money  there is only one answer.  In an investment minded society, abortion is the best investment there is.  Counting the $ 200,000 it cost to raise her, the $ 300,000 it cost to educate her, and the $ 50,000 a year she can make in her career, a $ 500 abortion yields a million dollars in money saved and money earned. 

People may not consciously make that kind of a calculation, but they understand it quite as well as if they did.  The Saint Mary's girl we met going into Planned Parenthood told us that her friend had a scholarship to college and had no choice except to get rid of the baby.  And realistically what choice did she have ?  The American Dream--get your kid into law school--leaves only one choice.  careers  for  women  and  abortion  go together like ham and eggs.

Fifty years ago you could tell a 16 year old girl to wait.  Don't spoil it for yourself.  When you are 18 you can get married and start having babies.  And, if she couldn't wait, getting married at 16 wasn't the end of the world.  Today, if she gets pregnant and refuses to get rid of the baby, she is bound for the welfare rolls.  For a short while anyway.  Thanks to the welfare  reform  alliance between the radical feminists and the conservatives, she will soon be forced to go to work at a minimum wage job while they subsidize food, housing, child care etc.  They don't care how much the subsidies cost just so the main objective is achieved:  do not allow women to stay home with their children. 


For a while the American welfare state provided some minimal support for lower class families.  There is no realistic alternative so long as lower class men have no access to jobs which pay a family wage.  (Unless they get into the rackets--the free enterprise system of the slums.)  The alternative is to give up on having children.  You can't afford it.  Since women of the affluent class are not allowed to have children, why should they subsidize these lower class women who insist upon doing it ?  The current American solution is to  push  careers  for  all  women.  All women, even those of the lowest class must seek entry to law school, medical school or business school.  It is the American way.  It is the American way and the feminist way to have someone else raise your children while you work for wages.  No amateur child-raising allowed.  Eight dollar an hour professionals, hired off the street, will raise your children while you pursue your wonderful career.  Amateur child-raising,  by someone whose main qualification is that she loves the baby, is obsolete.

Bring back the shotgun wedding 

Some years ago, a 16 year old gentleman of my acquaintance, who lived in a small town, got his girl friend pregnant.  There was only one answer:  they had to get married.  His parents agreed and her parents agreed.  What surprised me was the response of his male buddies, who were also her friends.  They planned to beat him up after they heard about her being pregnant.  He squared it with them by assuring them that he intended to do the right thing by the young lady and that they were all invited to the wedding.  And it worked out.  They got married and raised several more children.  A basic reason for the precocious passion was that they really did like each other. 

Which illustrates the old code which said that, if you were old enough to have sex, you were old enough to take responsibility for the result.  It had the effect of teaching people to be responsible.  When you are about to be hung or about to be married, it concentrates your attention.  Seeing your buddy married at 16 made you think.  It wasn't such a bad thing.  Now they don't have to think.  If it feels good, do it !   Now American society perpetuates adolescence and encourages irresponsibility. 

But 50 years ago it was possible to support a family on one income.  It wasn't that hard to find a family wage--an income which would allow a man to support a wife and kids by working a 40 hour week.  Today's young men are encouraged to be as responsible as a baby's rear end.  If you allow your 16 year old to take the car, even though the insurance does not cover him, and he runs into someone else's car, you and he may both end up in jail.  But if you allow him the sexual freedom to ruin some young girl's life, there is no penalty. 

In fact, your 16 year old might very well point out that he is effectively precluded from finding a job which would allow him to support a family in today's economy.  Why should he take responsibility for a baby when he has no parental rights ?  It is Her Choice whether the baby lives or dies.  There is a  phony  pro  choice  male  who keeps saying  it's  her  choice !  usually while leaning out the car window and giving the finger to the sidewalk counselors in front of the abortuary.  What he means of course is that  It is her problem, not mine !  Not even Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton can afford to be really pro choice:   Well it is your choice !  If you want to have an abortion, send me a bill for $ 500 (or use this Kennedy Family Coupon.)  Or, if you want to keep the baby, and raise him, send me a bill for $ 500,000.  It is all the same to me. 

American women now have every luxury except the luxury of staying home with their children.  That is the one thing they cannot afford.  In fact the economy is rigged against it.  People who might once have had to count their pennies to buy necessities now engage in the national past time of recreational shopping.  They buy new cars, they dine in restaurants.  But babies are a luxury they can't afford.  What was once a necessity has now become a luxury.  While all the things that used to be regarded as luxuries are now necessities.  The one begets the other. 

The modern American life style is a second  pay  check  life  style.  It is tied to  careers  for  women.  Putting the women to work doubles family income.  That is its first effect.  Its second effect is to cut wages in half, because you have doubled the labor supply.  That is why it now takes two wage earners to make the equivalent of what one could make 50 years ago.  The third effect is to eliminate the family, because women permanently in the work force have no time or energy left to raise children.  The more women work, the more they have to work. 


Now it takes two pay checks to buy a house.  So both have to work.  Before 1970 only the man's income was counted when banks wrote mortgages.  The assumption was that the woman would soon quit work to stay home with the kids.  When the feminists and their business allies forced a change in policy, the effect was to double and triple the price of a house every where in America.  Since you can now afford a house which costs twice as much, we will double the price of the house you want to buy.  In the 1990s the price of a house has tripled again.  Has your income tripled in the past 10 years ?  Has the demand for houses tripled ? 

A major part of the inflation comes from two career childless couples with money to invest.  So they buy an extra house for an investment.  The result is that the one income family winds up paying rent to the childless couple which owns the house they live in.  The whole of American society is committed to investing, that is to   speculating  =  usury,  making money off money--reaping where you did not sow, and taking up what you did not lay down.  (Luke 19.21-32 ) 

The collapse of the financial industry came about because of the runaway inflation in the American housing market.  Swiss banks were buying bundled mortgage securities tied to the assumption that the price of California houses would go up and up and up.  Which they did.  Until they started going down, down, down. 

So now they are trying to re-inflate the housing market.  That is, they haven't learned a thing.  When the price of a house triples, because of all the speculators, it means that families which need homes are excluded from the chance to buy one.  

sexual  freedom  has become the most  absolute  of American Freedoms.  The homosexual who spreads AIDS to hundreds of other  men cannot be held liable, even though he effectively sentences them to death.  It would violate his privacy even to publicly acknowledge it.  Why do homosexual groups support abortion ?  What does it have to do with them ?  The answer is that they are committed to  absolute  sexual  freedom,  even if someone else must die to pay for it.  absolute  sexual  freedom means that we lay down their lives for our Liberty.  . . .

liberated  from  children

The radical feminists of the 1960s consciously aimed at a society in which all women would be  liberated  from home-making and child-raising so that they could have careers.  That was the public face of a group which had kept alive a secretive faith in the original  abolish  the  family ideology of radical feminism.  Careers for women and raising all children in government funded child care centers were essential parts of an anti Christian religion which can be traced back through 19th century socialism and the French Revolution to the secret faith of the late 18th century Freemasons in France and America.  Their mystique of a new world order is modeled upon Plato's Republic, from which sexual morality and the family have been banished.  But the radical feminists were a minority of a minority.  They could never have carried out this program without the support of worldly Christians who had long since explained away and forgotten everything that Jesus taught about money.  The materialism of the American Dream and the false faith in America pushes people to pursue a paradise on earth which is defined by the mandate to have  more  money,  fewer  children. 

The false faith in My Career is a secularized version of the true Christian faith in my vocation.  It is a moneyed-up version of it which has lost moral integrity and spiritual purpose--which has been endowed with a pseudo purpose based upon feminist fantasies:   Find a Glorious Destiny in the Safety of the Bureaucracy--Great Adventure and Money in the Bank.  You can have it all and not miss a meal.  By the time they find out they have been suckered, they are too old to have children and hurting in every way.  So, having sterilized themselves via contraception, abortion, and putting off child-bearing, they pay out large sums of money for fertility treatments or try to find a child to adopt in a third world country.  Meanwhile, a million and a half American babies are dismembered and thrown in the trash every year.  The sheer criminal insanity of  liberated contemporary culture and the blind folly of liberated so-called women is thereby grotesquely illustrated.  ( They have really been turned into  anti-women by the feminist virus which destroyed them. ) 


The mandate of Careers for Women teaches them to put Security and Money First.  But what is Secured after your Family is Lost ?  What can Money ever buy which will replace that Missing Family ?  In a de facto way, the ancient feminist mandate to Abolish the Family has been more than halfway accomplished in America even while they concealed their real aim under the title of  careers  for  women.  It is the ancient mandate of those who seek to stop others from having families because they have been deprived of their chance and because Misery Loves Company.  It is the strange fact that, in the Land of Opportunity, the opportunity to ever have a family has all but disappeared, even for the most privileged class of Americans.

The news media and the film industry carry on a relentless campaign of propaganda on behalf of women having careers.  A woman with several children is never featured unless she has just murdered them.  Women who stay home and raise children are treated with a disdain that borders on contempt.  Meanwhile, any woman anywhere who is doing something that only men used to do is given star billing.  The female golfer who flopped in her attempt to make it on the men's circuit is nonetheless a heroine to the feminists and their friends in the media.  The inept attempt to gain glory by hitting that little white ball in company with the men represents the noblest tradition of feminist aspiration.  They will love her forever and publicize her forever unless she decides to get married and have kids. 

Whenever there is a crime scene or a fire, the TV camera rushes past a dozen policemen or firemen to interview any female police officer or fire fighter at the scene.  The TV cameras pursue females in the military with the dedication of those who chase movie stars.  They relentlessly sell the doctrine that  a  woman's  place  is  in  the  military.  The militant feminists in the media--male and female--are so hungry for propaganda illustrations of the Female Warrior that they simply fabricated the story about Private Jessica Lynch shooting it out with the Enemy.  Then they ran it as News !  And still haven't admitted that they made it up !  You would never guess that women in combat is still against the law.  Women conscripted into the army and pushed into combat has long been the dearest dream of the feminists.  They wouldn't back off the issue even though it caused the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982.  Now they proceed as if it had passed. . . .

new car  /  dead baby  

Standing in front of the abortuary, I have seen it 1000 times:  a new car rolls in and a couple walks in to have an abortion.  The car is a necessity of the American life style.  The baby is a luxury they cannot afford.  

On the day after Thanksgiving one year, we saw a baby saved at the Planned Parenthood abortuary at 20th and Vine, when  a couple in an old car came out with tears on their faces.  They stopped and talked and took our alternatives flyer.  But there were two dozen more who went in that day in their nice new cars and they didn't come back out.  They are committed to that lifestyle of big houses and new cars which demand child sacrifice.  America's worldly Christians live like the pagans around them.  They must go along with  careers  for  women,  which double family income by putting the family into the trash at Planned Parenthood.  America's career women can afford every luxury.  A baby is a luxury they cannot afford.  So, from 15 to 35, they rely upon contraception backed by abortion.  They have to believe in what Planned Parenthood provides. 

One day I watched a woman being led into Planned Parenthood by her boy friend while her parents came along behind to push her through the experience.  She was crying.  It illustrates the social context of abortion and the inadequacy of trying to deal with it in terms of a woman's choice.  The choice is being made for her by the relentless pressure of conforming to the demands made upon women by modern society, for which the so-called Church provides no alternative.  The disappearance of the Christian community has left us with no alternative except to conform to the values of pagan society--go along with the world and baptize it with a revised theology. 

Pew Research Center polls conducted in January 2010 and December 2011 showed that for two thirds of American women, being successful in a high-paying career or profession is "one of the most important things" or "very important" in their lives. [ NYT June 23 2012  A19 ]  They neglected to ask


these follow up questions:  How important is having children ?  How do you square those two things ?   How many years will it take you to arrive at this career ?  How much will it cost ?  How old will you be when you have your first baby ?    Will you remain a virgin until then ?  Or put your faith in Planned Parenthood ?   There really is no great mystery as to what has caused the epidemic of abortions in modern society.  It is a mystery only to those who refuse to see what the pursuit of wealth via careers for women has done to women.  A Pew report of 2008 says that the percentage of American women who did not have children by their early 40s was double what it was in 1976. 

A while back, I had lunch with an old school friend who had married young and raised a Catholic family.  And, unlike quite a few of my Catholic friends, he was not divorced.  What startled me was that he told me with some pride that both of his daughters were living with guys.  His perspective seemed to be that they had at least gotten that far in the direction of maybe eventually getting married and giving him grandchildren.  It is no secret that young people today put off getting married and having children indefinitely and meanwhile live in shack up relationships where no permanent commitment is asked or given and where avoiding pregnancy by artificial methods is taken for granted.  And what other realistic option is there for these young people in today's society ?  So Christianity is increasingly defined by the refusal to face reality.  Homosexual marriage is tolerated by young people who are themselves routinely living in shack up relationships.  Which are necessitated by the indefinite delay of marriage among those who are pursuing careers and professions that require many years of expensive education. 

The collapse of the financial system and the ensuing recession should provide a stimulus for people to look for an alternate lifestyle which is friendly to the formation of families.  It pushes us to discard the illusion that we can all crowd into the privileged class  and that women can somehow raise a family and pursue a career without neglecting one or the other.  Somehow we have all got stuck in this luxurious lifestyle which forces us to limit our families to the minimum if we don't give up on it entirely.   We live in a Non Christian society.  In a pseudo Christian society.  The challenge is to find the way back and the way forward to a real Christian society.  Most of our so-called Christian churches are only blocking the road if they aren't actively enlisted on the other side.  So we have to get around them some how. 

the wilberforce myth 

It's like the abolition of slavery    No, it is not 

re: the false faith and the persistent illusion that 

The People Will Vote and The Law Will End Abortion

Contrary to a contemporary myth, slavery in America was not abolished by William Wilberforce patiently pushing abolition through Parliament.  William Wilberforce was a Member of Parliament who began sponsoring laws to abolish the slave trade.  And then laws to abolish slavery itself.  Slavery in the British Empire was finally outlawed in 1833, a year after his death. 

Wilberforce was a real person, but it is a myth that slavery was abolished by persistent parliamentarianism.  And it is a Grand Illusion to believe that Abortion will be stopped in America by people pushing Personhood initiatives.  The false faith that abortion in America can be ended via law and conventional politics is one of the major causes of the defeat of the pro life movement.  It is a symptom of the deeper cause:  the false faith of those worldly Christians who identify with power and define the pro life challenge within those limits.  Get me into Congress and I'll take care of it !  Those who pursue seats in Congress want to give Wilberforce the credit because that is how they justify their own commitment to coming in at the high end--their pursuit of political power.  

Thomas Clarkson, who became a vice president of the new anti slavery society in 1823 along with William Wilberforce, pioneered in organizing the anti slavery movement which was the social force behind the anti slavery legislation.  His first major work on the slave trade published in 1786 was based upon the Historical Survey of New Guinea by the American Quaker Anthony Benezet. 


Benezet's writings about slavery were circulated by the American Quakers.  In a letter of January 1773, Patrick Henry acknowledges receiving a copy from Robert Pleasants, a Quaker and Virginia neighbor who had freed his slaves and hired them back as paid laborers.  The reported cost was 3000 pounds--half a million in modern dollars.  He also set up schools to educate them at a time when Virginia had laws against educating slaves.  Henry expresses his sympathy with the book and his respect for the abolition movement among the Quakers.  But he lived and died a slave owner and left plantations worked by slave labor to his many children.  Henry's major concern when the Constitution was written in 1787 was to protect the property of Virginia slave owners like himself.  He never tried to square his famous Liberty or Death proclamation with his commitment to preserve slavery.  He and the other Virginia slave owners inspired the sarcastic quip from  Dr. Samuel Johnson:  How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for  liberty  among the drivers of Negroes ? 

The stubborn refusal to define what liberty is supposed to mean and the delusion that Americans care about it, has persisted to the present day.  How often do we hear abortion defended in the name of Freedom ?  And they are right in a way.  Sexual Freedom requires abortion.  Women being free to pursue careers and make lots of money requires contraception backed by abortion. 

William Wilberforce was a wealthy aristocrat who bought his seat in Parliament in 1781.  He became a convert to Christianity and took up the cause of opposing slavery in 1787.  It is to his credit that he used his position to do something, in contrast to all the other wealthy and powerful Englishmen who did nothing to oppose it even if they did not actually make money from investing in plantations or the slave trade.  But it is a dangerous myth that Christians can hold on to wealth and pursue political power and conform to this world and still effectively oppose the evil of society.  The rank and file of the abolition movement were those who had neither wealth nor political power and they were more likely to wind up in jail than to wind up in Parliament. 

Sommersett Case

Slavery was already outlawed in England itself before Wilberforce entered Parliament.  11,000 slaves were freed in England in 1772 by the Sommersett decision.  The British high court ruled that any slave landed in England thereby became a free man.  It was just the opposite of the Dred Scott decision in America in 1857, 85 years later,  which ruled that slaves were still property even if taken to free territories.  Benjamim Franklin lost his slave when he took him to England.  The man ran away and Franklin could not get him back because of the English law. 

The power of the British sugar plantation owners and investors long delayed the end of slavery in the British empire, even though they were a very small part of the population.  How much longer would it have been delayed if America had remained in the British empire ?  America breaking away from Britain preserved slavery in America and made it much easier for the British to abolish slavery in the rest of the empire because they no longer had to accommodate the powerful interest of the slave owners of Virginia--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry and all the less famous owners of tobacco plantations worked by slave labor, who kept it going for another 75 years.  The American "statesmen" shamefully surrendered on slavery when they wrote the American Constitution in 1787 and this act of unprincipled political expedience on their part led directly to a major increase in slavery and in the power of the slavery interest in America and to the death of a million people in the Civil War.  There is a price that has to be paid for a moral society.  If we do not pay it now, we must pay it later--with heavy interest penalties.

the folly of half measures

Meanwhile Pitt and Wilberforce persuaded the British Parliament to pass an Act in 1788 which said that the number of slaves carried in British slave ships must be in proportion to the tonnage.  Partial measures actually increased the evil of slavery instead of alleviating it.  An act of the British Parliament in 1807 supposedly abolished, not slavery itself, but only the slave trade.  This led to a situation in which  the traders made great efforts to carry as many slaves as possible in every voyage, and practised atrocities to get rid of the slaves when capture was imminent.  It was, besides, the interest of the cruisers, who shared the price of the captured slave ship, rather to allow the slaves to be taken on board than to prevent their being shipped at all.  Thrice as great a number of negroes as before, it was


said, was exported from Africa, and two-thirds of these were murdered on the high seas.  It was found also that the abolition of the British slave trade did not lead to an improved treatment of the Negroes in the West Indies.  The slaves were overworked now that fresh supplies were stopped, and their numbers rapidly decreased.  (Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, essay on Slavery)   That illustrates the immoral folly of half measures.  There has been an epidemic of failed and futile half measures in the official pro life movement, invariably accompanied by bogus claims--abortions went down 20 per cent when we passed a law requiring the abortionist to wear a clean gown,  Send us a check. 

In fact, the slave trade persisted to the end of the 19th century despite the law.  In 1884 General Gordon in Khartoum issued a declaration which re-legalized the slave trade in the Sudan to pacify the Arab slave traders.  [  The White Nile  Alan Moorehead ]  And the Chinese and Indian COOLIE system which replaced it was often as bad as outright slavery.  See the horrifying little essay in the 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica VI 333   COOLIE or Cooly:  In 1860 it was calculated that of the 4000 coolies who since the traffic began had been fraudulently consigned to the guano pits of Peru, not one had survived. 

excommunicating  slavery

George Fox began leading the Quakers in opposing slavery 116 years before William Wilberforce made his first speech in Parliament against the slave trade in 1787.  They led the movement which abolished slavery in England itself by 1772.  Thousands of Quakers were put in prison in England in the 17th century because of their radical and non-conforming Christian faith and morals, which led them to refuse to go along with war and slavery.  The Quakers were also persecuted in America.  They were banned from Plymouth, imprisoned in Virginia and Maryland, and hanged in Boston.  Pennsylvania, founded by William Penn after he became a Quaker, was the first American colony to allow religious freedom.  The Quakers and the Amish and the Mennonites and the Moravian Brethren who migrated there established the first authentic Christian faith in the new world, by contrast to the slave owners and traders and the rapacious land seekers of Virginia and New England, for whom war and slavery were an integral part of their pseudo Christian faith and morals.  [ see the Governor Bradford article ]  The real crusade against slavery in America began with the Quakers who excommunicated slave owners and slave traders at a time when America's Founding Slave Owners still clung to their property and put laws protecting slavery into the Constitution. 

By 1776, American Quakers excluded from their membership anyone who owned slaves.  They  abolished  slavery  from their own community at a time when George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were still buying slaves.  Except for the Quakers and a few other radical Christian groups, the so-called Christian Churches went along with slavery right up to the time of the Civil War.  Their failure to arrive at a moral and spiritual answer to slavery is paralleled by their present failure to do anything effective to stop abortion.  After the Civil War put an end to formal legal slavery, these worldly Christian churches were the bastions of racial segregation.  11 am on Sunday was the most segregated hour in America.  To their credit, the Catholic schools in the South finally desegregated after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in 1954.  At least they followed the path of social morality after the state led the way. 

Imagine today's church excommunicating those who practice contraception and tolerate abortion.  Which is to imagine a church which has taken the road back from that  mass  church  of  no  standards  which was established by Conformist Christianity.  Which is to imagine a Church which no longer caters  to  the  crowd while holding on to its privileged position.  Is it impossible to imagine ?  Almost.  But how shall we abolish abortion in the larger society if we cannot do it in our own Christian society ?  

The Abolitionist Movement was the forerunner of the Civil Rights Movement.  It was the work of the Quakers and other radical Christians who were opposed by the American establishment and by the Christian establishment of America.  They organized the Underground Railroad which helped many slaves to escape to freedom, much as today, the Sidewalk Counsellors help many babies escape from abortion.  From the Roman catacombs to the present time, serious Christians are often found in the underground, in one sense or another, and are rarely found in Parliament.


Leo Tolstoy was inspired by William Lloyd Garrison and the American abolitionists and there is a lot about them in The Kingdom of God Is Within You, the book which inspired Gandhi to launch his campaign of nonviolent direct action.  Gandhi's soul force principle  means the power which is born of truth and love.  It was his attempt--arguably unwise--to import the concept of the Holy Spirit of Truth and Love and Courage into his synthesis of Hindu / Moslem theology and Indian nationalism.  The imperial Christians of the British Empire had forgotten about it, but Gandhi dusted it off and made use of it.  Henry David Thoreau's  Essay on Civil Disobedience, written when he went to jail for refusing to pay the tax which supported war and slavery, is another of the charter documents of the nonviolent direct action movement.  And Gandhi's success inspired those who instructed Martin Luther King and Reverend James Lawson in the method of nonviolent resistance to evil. 

The American Answer to Slavery

The true history of how slavery was abolished in America--how we failed to abolish it--is far more relevant to our failure to stop abortion, than any fairy tale counter example imported from England.  In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson, the apostle of freedom, fired the man who was trying to enforce the new law against the slave trade and replaced him with someone who looked the other way while the slave trade flourished.  And the slave trade continued right up to the time of the Civil War even though it was nominally illegal.  [ see Roots of Abortion page 53 ] 

In February 1862, after the Civil War began, Captain Nathaniel Gordon was hung for bringing a cargo of slaves from Africa, the first man in American history to be so punished, even though slave trading had nominally been a hanging offense for more than 40 years.  book:  Hanging Captain Gordon: The Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader   Ron Soodalter 2006. 

When he was in the Congress in 1784, Jefferson supported a provision in the Ordinance regulating the new territories,  which would prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude after 1800.  When it was voted down, by one vote, he gave it up.  When the issue came up again in 1820 in respect to the Missouri Compromise he took the opposite position and defended the extension of slavery into the new territories.  [ See Roots of Abortion page 52. ]  Which led directly to Bloody Kansas, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry and the Civil War.  When Jefferson died bankrupt in 1826 his slaves had to be sold to pay up his wine bills.  He and his guests in effect drank up the blood of those 200 slaves in the fine wine they poured.  Today we sacrifice the lives of preborn children to sustain our luxurious life style.  To pay for the fine wine we pour and the fine cars we drive. 

Americans are stuck with the legacy of Thomas Jefferson.  American prisons are full of his descendants and the mixed race descendants of the other founding slave owners.  It is no use our trying to substitute William Wilberforce for our real founding fathers.  It is from them that we have received our real spiritual and moral legacy, the failure to live up to liberty and justice for all.  Americans put the lives of millions of slaves in the trash in the pursuit of wealth.  In the war against the natives of America, in the war with Mexico, in the invasion of the Philippines, in the other wars of empire, Americans put millions of lives in the trash in pursuit of land and loot and trade.  So it is not surprising that Americans now put the lives of millions of their own babies in the trash in pursuit of wealth.  That is our real heritage, contra all the proclamations of American righteousness.  And that is the challenge that anyone who is serious about living a Christian life in this place has to confront.  When we cling to American values and claim our share of American wealth and power, we cannot find a way out of this aborted society. 

The Civil War

In 1861, autocratic Russia, which made no claim to faith in freedom, achieved the emancipation of the peasants without a war.  Unlike America, where the failure to put an end to slavery in a peaceful way led to a fratricidal war in which 740,000 Americans were killed.  Like our other wars, it was a contest for wealth and political power, rather than for the  Great  Moral  Purpose  it pretended to serve.  As witness General Sherman's blunt statement:  All the niggers in the South aren't worth the blood of one Union soldier.  This is about control of the Mississippi River.  Lincoln said he would have perpetuated slavery to preserve the union.  His Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure which only applied to the rebel states. 


The Civil War devastated the South and embittered relations for generations after.  It put an end to legal slavery but a condition of semi-slavery for Southern Negroes persisted for 100 years.  Negro men were given 6 months in jail for trumped up misdemeanors and then rented out to plantation owners as convict labor.  Lynchings and Klan terrorism which American Presidents ignored kept Southern Negroes in economic bondage.  Today we are still living with the consequences of slavery.  Millions of impoverished Negroes living in slums.  American prisons are full of black men.  The bill for their incarceration should be sent to the estates of our founding slave owners. 

Legality often conceals a very different reality.  Today, all over the world, there are millions of people working in conditions of semi slavery,  including children trapped in factories.   140 million child slaves make goods for the free global market.  See the reports by the International Anti Slavery Society in Sydney  Australia.  Carpets,  chemicals and auto headlights sold in America are being produced in such factories.   In India they produce diesel engines, hoists, hand tools.    China produces shirts, pants, hairpins.  The  shoes made in Pakistan, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh and Vietnam come from such factories.  In the 1890s there were still a million kids working in American factories in dreadful conditions. 

Those who are obsessed with legal abortion, who care about the issue as the political football in a power contest, are willfully blind to the challenge of actually stopping abortion, regardless of whether it is legal or illegal.  Abortion became legal in 1967 in Colorado and California because it was already common in America.  That is what generated the pressure to make it legal.  California already had an estimated 100,000 abortions annually as of 1967, most of them still nominally illegal under the new law which Governor Ronald Reagan signed.  Which didn't prevent them from happening.  By 1967 abortion and contraception had become as common among Catholics as among Protestants.  Abortion came from the  imperative  of the luxury-loving American life style to which these Secular Christians had already conformed:  more money, fewer children.

Illegal Abortion

Abortion is common in all the nations of Central and South America despite the fact that it is still nominally against the law in those places.  Brazil has 2 million abortions a year.  Abortion is a crime for which no one is prosecuted.  [ These figures are exaggerated by those who promote legal abortion and minimized by those who raise their funds by a narrow focus on abortion laws.  ]  Peru even had a program of forced abortion.  Pro-lifers who speak no Spanish take junkets to help preserve these useless laws and then use that adventure to raise funds.  Mexico has a million abortions a year and the abortuaries are run by the criminal syndicates.  You are more likely to get gunned down than arrested for picketing one of those places.  The Philippines have a  higher  abortion rate than the United States, despite a ban on abortion written into the Constitution.  They  have  a Human Life Amendment and they ignore it.  As prohibition showed, the law is not enforced when many dissent from it, even if the law is an Amendment to the Constitution.  Is marijuana still illegal ?  You would hardly know it. 

This wrong focus is not just an intellectual error.  It is the necessary justification for the pro life lobbies which have to pretend that abortion can be stopped by what they are doing in Washington.  For worldly Christians, the obsession with what The Law says is joined to an indifference as to the actual evils of society.  They don't really care whether prostitution goes on or about the economic forces that push women into prostitution so long as it is still against the law and kept out of sight.  Their real desire is to restore that  whited  sepulchre  veneer of righteousness which allows ladies and gentlemen to come to Church without having to step over the scandal and disgrace of legal abortion and prostitution right out in the open where it can't be ignored.  So long as the State shows up at church on Sunday, dressed in his Sunday clothes, they ignore what he did on Saturday night. 

Most of what pretends to be a pro life movement is stuck in this old pattern of legal and political contests to restore the old hypocrisy.  So they have no motive to dig deeper into the roots of abortion and to try to understand better why a society which pretends to be Christian is so very, very far from home.  Their bottom line is to somehow find an answer which fits within the


boundaries of their comfort zone.  There is a willful blindness in blaming abortion in America on Roe v. Wade, which is especially conspicuous in the statements of the bishops,  because they belong to an international Church which claims to have moral standards that transcend those of any national Church.  Is Roe v. Wade the reason that so-called Catholic Countries around the world have abortions just like America ?  What is the reason for abortion in Spain, France and Italy, where everyone is supposedly Catholic and where Roe v. Wade does not apply ?

voting for morality 

The reason for legal abortion in Italy is that Italians voted to keep it legal in a 1981 national referendum on a law which was passed in 1978.  Despite the pleas of Pope John Paul II.  A country which is 90 percent Catholic, which is the home of the Pope,  voted against him on a fundamental question of Christian morality.  So much for establishing Christian morality by voting.  The basic reason that abortion could not be outlawed in so-called Catholic Italy is the same reason it cannot be outlawed in so-called Christian America:  the  people  wantitthatway.  In fact, contraception and abortion have become integrated into the Italian life style.  Native Italians have so few babies allowed to live that they are becoming an endangered species.  Italy is on the way to becoming a Moslem country because the Moslems still have large families and the Catholics don't.  The same thing is happening in the rest of Europe. 

And the  people have been taught to believe that you can vote on morality.  It is moral if 51 % think it is moral.  If only 49 % think it is moral, it isn't.  It is moral one year and immoral the next, depending on how the vote goes.  What was once a terrible crime is now a  standard  medical  procedure.  When you vote against abortion, you in effect concede that it is something to be voted on.  If the vote goes against you, you still have to go along with it.  If you aren't bound by the results of the vote, why is anyone else ?  If the vote goes your way, the way is open for those who were beaten this time to bring the issue up again.  The Pope asked the Italians to vote against abortion.  But they voted the other way, thus proving that the Pope was wrong about abortion.  What else is the logic of entrusting morality to the voters ? 

The fact of legal abortion in the Catholic countries of Europe and the fact of illegal abortion in the Catholic countries of South America shows the realistic context in which abortion among American Catholics has to be understood.  Clearly, abortion is not something outside the Catholic Church, which has been imposed upon it by some legal fluke.  Abortion is inside the Catholic Church.  Until Catholics face up to that fundamental fact, until they begin to deal with it, no change is possible.  Catholics who decry that culture of death, which has reached flood stage in modern times, are still trying to ignore five feet of sewer water in the Church itself.  Nor do they know how to free themselves from that  love  of  money  which breached the dike in the first place.  The pursuit of wealth needs contraception backed by abortion. 

Catholics should focus upon stopping abortion within the Catholic Church.  If the Catholic Church were the pro life bulwark it pretends to be, the abortion situation in America would be entirely different.  Roe versus Wade came about because abortion laws were passed not despite Catholics but because of them.  Because by, 1967, they had already adopted that two kid Kennedy life style which depends upon contraception and abortion.  Legal abortion continues because Catholic voters routinely elect pro abortion politicians.  States  with the most Catholic voters, provide the most reliable support for Catholicpro choice  Senators and Congressmen and Governors. 

Since automatic excommunication has taken care of it, the bishops can go in to lunch with the pro abortion politician.  Invite him to the Al Smith Dinner.  Perhaps influence him a little.  In the direction of their own moral cowardice.  It seems to be working.  No need for the bishops to confront pro abortion Catholic politicians.  No reason not to invite Obama to Notre Dame for the sake of dialogue.  Which means, we don't want to fight, let's just talk.  You make your speeches, we'll make ours.  Then we can eat.  No need for confrontation with abortion.  Let Mary confront the abortion bound woman while we provide prayer support.  Let pro abortion Catholic politicians be automatically excommunicated.  No need for the bishop to embarrass himself by attempting manual excommunication--actually opening his mouth and saying something unloving which the press will pounce on.  Prominent Pro Choice and Catholic politicians get a big funeral at the Cathedral. 


The most Catholic states are also those which elect pro choice Catholic politicians like Ted Kennedy,  Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi.   58 percent of Catholics voted for Obama and it would be silly to assume that the vote for John McCain represented a pro life vote.  More likely it represents a pro money vote--he'll protect my investments better than Obama. 

In short, Catholics cannot even be counted upon to make a one fingered gesture, once every two years, in the anonymous safety of the voting closet on behalf of ending abortion.  That accurately measures their pro life commitment.  How much Christian Courage they have.  How much of a claim to possess the Spirit which is the foundation of the Christian life.  It measures the depth of the spiritual hole they have to dig out of.  On the historical record, Catholics reliably vote pro abortion here just like they do in Italy.  Is this the foundation of a pro life movement ?  A foundation sitting upon quick sand.  The joke is that the American Catholic Church is pro life.  The joke is that the American Catholic Church is still opposed to contraception.  Because they still issue official statements now and then.  The million babies killed by abortion every year don't see the joke. 

Bring Down the Big Tent !

Thanks to people like Rush Limbaugh endorsing pro choice Republicans, the Republican Party has long since become a big tent which can never be serious about opposing abortion.  And that also describes the American Catholic Church.  The bishops persist in using official paper to wall paper over the big crack in the church.  Behind the paper it is a house divided which can never be serious about opposing contraception and abortion.  Those Catholics who are serious are not just a minority but a remnant. 

The Catholic Church needs to divide permanently on the issues of contraception and abortion.  Even though only the minority of Catholics will stick with the official paper position.  Well and good.  Other churches divide on the question of abortion, just as they once divided on the question of slavery.  The American Baptist Church goes along with abortion, the Southern Baptists do not.  And there are similar divisions among the Lutherans and other denominations. 

It is morally right and spiritually healthy to part company with those whose beliefs are contrary--whose persistent actions violate basic faith and morals.  Pro choice is the alternative-- I wouldn't own a slave myself, but I won't interfere with someone who thinks differently.   By tolerating Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, etc. etc. etc.  . . . the American Catholic Church has put itself into a de facto pro choice position.  While preserving the hypocrisy of official paper.  On paper, it remains righteous.  It is justified by its paper position.  

If it is ever to renew a claim to integrity, the Church must abandon the worldly compromises which allow it to say one thing and do another.  Or, rather, the minority which has had enough of these compromises must find the exit.  Contrary to what Lincoln said, a house divided can stand, at least in a ramshackle way.  Look at America itself.  But it cannot stand for truth and righteousness.  It cannot and it does not and that is where it is now. 

power of nonviolent direct action

Many American Negroes finally escaped from semi slavery and racial segregation, not because of lawyers delivering speeches in Congress, but because rank and file Christians joined the nonviolent direct action movement of the 1960s.  The Civil Rights movement was corrupted soon enough, but it accomplished something before that happened.  A million people marched for Civil Rights in the summer of 1963.  The Civil Rights Laws of 1964 and 1965 were the result, not the cause, of a broad movement which bypassed conventional politics.  And the real changes in American society have come from the power of that movement, not from anything done by the lawyers and the lawyer politicians who claim the credit.  

For a few short years, the Civil Rights Movement showed how much real power for moral and social change can be generated by a nonviolent direct action movement.  And, going beyond protest, there were those who seriously set out to build an alternative society, a just society, which


no government will ever create, despite its windy pretensions.  And the anti Vietnam War movement which followed, illustrated it once again.  It is one of the few times in history that people have managed to halfway stop a war.  They set an example which was copied by the pro life rescue movement of the 1980s in St Louis and Philadelphia, a primarily Catholic movement,   which led to the Operation Rescue movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

I believe in nonviolent direct action, that it is the kind of spiritual warfare that Jesus and Saint Paul taught us to use.  [ see my essay on  The Spiritual Warfare of Jesus Christ ]  I believe that personal witness is necessary to a Christian life--you can't pretend to be a Christian if you won't do it.  You shrivel in the Spirit when you fail to do it.  That describes most so-called Christians.  

Most Christians do not believe it.  Nominally pro life Christians are our worst critics because they have been brainwashed by the same media as everyone else, and because anything which calls for personal risk violates their religion.  They are all in favor of the war from a safe distance.  They support the troops with a $ 1 bumper sticker.  They support the pro life movement with a prayer, a vote and a $ 5 check to a pro life lobby.  When you are judged on what you did to rescue the least of these, they will give you back your $ 5 and send you down below to join the other supporters. 

Cast Your Whole Vote

As Thoreau says, in his Essay on Civil Disobedience:    There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them  . . . They hesitate, and they regret, and sometimes they petition; but they do nothing in earnest and with effect.  They will wait, well disposed, for others to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret.  At most, they give only a cheap vote, and a feeble countenance and God-speed, to the right, as it goes by them.  There are nine hundred and ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man  . . .   cast  your  whole  vote,  not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.  ( Written after he went to jail rather than pay the taxes which supported slavery and the War with Mexico. ) 

If you are serious about claiming to be a Christian, You have to get serious about  casting  your  whole  vote.  You have to vote every day, not spend 10 minutes doing it once every two years while hiding behind the curtain of the voting closet.  You have to vote with both hands.  And both feet.  And do it right out in the open where everyone can see you. 

Most so-called Christians will not do that.  Which is why we have to part company with them.  It provides a test, like the test which the Lord instructed Gideon to use to separate out the Lord's Army from all those who did not have the Spirit to belong to it. 

The lawyers, the legislators and the lobbyists will never do anything effective to end abortion.  The pro life movement cannot even get started until we acknowledge that basic fact.  Ambitious people use the movement to pursue political power just as Jesse Jackson and a thousand other ambitious blacks used the Civil Rights Movement to pursue political power and personal wealth.  They sold out the black people of America while pretending to serve them.  These fellows pretend to be pushing the wagon but they are only riding on it.  We fall for it because we are foolish and because there is a little bit of larceny in our hearts also.  We also dream of success, of rising to a position at the top.  And we fall for it because of our bedrock faith in  the  easy  way.  We have to believe that to justify our cowardice.  We do not believe a real battle is necessary--not if we have to fight it. 

We forget what Jesus taught us about how Christians change society.  We do not wish to remember it.  There is a legion of those who are willing to change society from the high end, from the prestige and comfort of a Senate seat.  But real moral change is brought about by those who have given up on being respectable in the eyes of their fellow citizens, who don't demand to be paid.  Who have no political careers to sacrifice.  Who have already made the sacrifice.  The Pro Life Revolution will not be carried out by those who have to be paid $ 200 an hour for their services.  A long lost first century Christian catechism,  the  teachings  of  the  apostles  says  if he asks for money, he is a false prophet.  You can see why they had to lose it.  When we begin to apply that standard to today's false prophets, we will have taken a necessary step forward in putting an end to abortion.  


Christians did not need the help of the Roman Senate and the Roman Emperor in building Christianity.  That is the false faith of Secular Christianity.  When they did get the sponsorship of the Emperor, it established that worldly and  conformist Christianity which is with us still.  Which is the crippling disease, the chronic and epidemic spiritual disease,  of that which pretends to be the Christian Church.  Which is the fundamental cause of abortion.  A real pro life movement cannot depend upon The Man at the Top of the American Empire.  That is the false faith which is destroying the American pro life movement as it has destroyed the Christian church.  

The pro life movement has to be a moral crusade.  A moral crusade has to chart a course which avoids the futility of the Law and the immoral compromises that are in the very nature of conventional politics.  We aren't going to win the battle in the court or in the legislature until we have won the battle out on the sidewalks and inside the shopping malls.  Until we have won the battle  within  the  church.  We are a long way from winning that battle because we haven't even begun to fight it seriously.  Most of our nominal "pro-life" organizations are too chicken-hearted to even think about fighting it.

holding on to privilege

The main reason the pro life movement goes no where is that people insist upon holding on to their own privileged position in American society ( and enhancing it when they can ) as the limiting condition of their efforts to oppose abortion;  There is a simple difference between a soldier who is willing to sacrifice himself to win the battle and a general who promotes his own career by taking credit for  winning the battle from 30 miles away.  The pro life movement is full of such generals.  And, unlike the general of the army, we have no conscripts who can be forced to fight the battle for us.  Nor money enough to hire a mercenary army.  So it remains a sham battle. 

Those whose wealth was tied to slavery were a minority of Americans, although a powerful and influential minority.  The majority of Americans owned no slaves and lost no money when the slave owners were finally forced to give up their slaves after a long and bitter war.  In fact, many of the New York capitalists made fortunes from the war, after buying their way out of the draft, like Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan.  The Roots of Abortion  [ see my book of that title ]  go just as deep as the roots of slavery once did and they are much more widespread.  Those whose prosperity depends upon careers for women--depends upon contraception backed by abortion--are a majority of Americans.  Most so-called Christians joined them long ago.  That is what we are up against.  We are not going to stop abortion in America by voting.  What we can do is vote with our feet for a family friendly and abortion free society by walking away from the aborted anti family society which dominates America.  And we may have to walk.  You are not likely to get there in your new car. 

remembering  the  rescue  movement

On May 16th 2012 Father Norman Weslin died in Michigan, where he was born August 29th 1930.  He was the leader of the Lambs of Christ, a dedicated rescue group which carried out a sustained series of rescues all over the country beginning in April of 1989.  In their first two years, the Lambs rescued 25 times.  That is a pretty good average considering that they were regularly locked up in jail for weeks and even months at a time.  These were actions in which people sat down in the entrance of an abortuary until they were arrested and carried away.  Sometimes they locked themselves together to delay their removal and keep the abortuary closed as long as possible.  They had a remarkable discipline which included Jail, No Bail.  Everyone stayed in until everyone was released Time Served, however long it took.  Ninety-five of them were locked up in Burlington Vermont for 79 days, in the spring of 1990--their longest stretch. 

The result was that they were able to keep on rescuing at the expense of the legal system, instead of being bogged down with trials and fines etc.  That's how to do it.   Pro life activists from Denver, including Ken Scott, Rob Mauldin, Dolores Chavez, Sandra Cordts and DeAna Robinson rescued with the Lambs.  In the summer of 1992, 85 of us rescued in San Antonio with Father Weslin's group plus the Pro Life Action Network.  We refused to give our names or cooperate in any way with the jail authorities until we were all released a week later Time Served. 


Which meant that no one had to go back for a trial, it was over and done.  And they didn't get one dime from any of us--it was their treat.  No one paid a fine, no one put up a bail bond.  We didn't even accept personal recognizance, we didn't give our names, and no one left, until the last person was unconditionally released.  It was either time served for everybody or keep us until you get tired of feeding us.  All of the rescue rally speakers and all of the rescue leaders were right in there with us.  Since we filled up one whole dormitory, we had it all to ourselves and it became a week long retreat in the company of some of the most Spirit-filled people that I have ever met.  It really was a privilege to be there !

Dobbs Ferry 

When the Lambs joined those in jail for the Dobbs Ferry rescues in  January of 1991 it ended in a major success for the rescue movement.  The sustained rescue campaign at an abortuary in Dobbs Ferry, New York continued for more than a year.  On January 20th 1990, 85 were arrested including three nuns.  There was a series of pickets and rescues during the summer and rescuers were still in jail when Tom Herlihy of born (Bi-state Operation Rescue Network) and Pastor Skip Robokoff led a rescue of 38 people on September 28th 1990 where krypto locks were used.  They were still in jail when the Lambs rescued at Dobbs Ferry on January 8th and January 24th 1991, also using the krypton locks which slow the arrest procedure and keep the abortuary inoperable.  All of them maintained a non coop discipline, refused to give their names and refused to bail out. 

What finally broke the system, was a week of rescues by national Operation Rescue in which more than 400 people were arrested in Dobbs Ferry and White Plains.  These rescuers were released without going to jail, because of the large number of noncooperating rescuers already in there.  A group of determined noncooperators from Philadelphia were simply put out of the jail without even a ticket, when they refused to give their names.

Finally, they had to let them all go.  Two thousand people turned out to welcome the 71 pro life prisoners released from the Westchester County jail on February 4th 1991.  Twenty eight of them from born had been in more than four months, since September 28th 1990, and had refused any cooperation with the injustice system the whole time !  The other 43 were the Lambs who were also refusing to cooperate. 

Besides the three rescue organizations, the Dobbs Ferry abortuary had been under constant pressure because of a heavy picket line organized as Operation Goliath.  They shut the place down without any arrests when they mustered 500 people there on June 16th 1990.  On June 29th 1990, seven rescuers closed the place by chaining themselves on the floor.  Bishop Austin Vaughan and 350 others picketed there on December 8th 1990.  Cardinal O'Connor visited the rescuers in jail and said Mass for them.    

What made the difference in the battle of Dobbs Ferry was the cooperation of local and national rescue organizations.  The hundreds who picketed.  The thousands who gave support from outside the jail.  But the heart of the battle was the spirit of those who entirely sacrificed themselves to win a spiritual fight.  In the battle for the goods of this world, war is the decider.  In the ultimate battle between good and evil, there can be no victory without a moral equivalent of war, a willingness to pay the full price.  It is because of that spirit that these heroic rescuers won the battle of Dobbs Ferry.

The original group of rescuers from born were committed in advance to total noncooperation with the injustice system.  They pledged to remain in jail for an indefinite period of time, without posting bonds or paying fines.  They had no attorneys.  They wouldn't give their names, except for a "baby doe" pseudonym.  They passively resisted any cooperation with the court and jail system by going limp.  When dragged into court, they spoke only once, to demand that the court free them to rescue more babies.  They told the court that, even though it had power over them, it had no authority over them, while it used its authority to further the killing of babies.

The born rescuers were physically attacked by the guards in the Westchester County Jail when they refused to give their names or let themselves be fingerprinted.  Some were choked, others had their wrists twisted.  A guard kept stepping on the stomach of one rescuer who was passively noncooperating.  But even the routine conditions inside the jail were hard.  One of the worst things


was loud rap music piped into the cells 14 hours a day from 11 am to 1 am, with no way to escape it or turn it off.  Imagine putting up with that for 4 months !  Plus the cockroaches.   And the rescuers had no idea when they would get out.  You trust in God, but you start wondering if God hasn't forgotten about you.  The Lambs Trust in God to Bail Them Out.  [  One partial remedy for a noisy jail is to make ear plugs from a wet paper towel. ]  

One of the born rescuers that I talked to was Ralph Traphagen, a Pentecostal minister who had been rescuing since Atlanta in August 1988.  He was in jail with the Lambs in Vermont in the spring of 1990.  But this was his longest sentence.  Why does he do it ?  In jail they sang a hymn which expressed it best for him: I have decided to follow Jesus. . . . though none go with us, we will follow, no turning back, no turning back.  As a follower of Jesus, he is called to witness and to sacrifice.  The prison letters of Joan Andrews were a major inspiration.  In them and in his own faith he finds the idea that the unborn children are  the least of these; that you have to identify with them and sacrifice for them; that the cross today has to be the burden of trying to save them from death, regardless of the consequences; that whether you succeed or not, you keep the children company by suffering with them; that you bear witness against the evil nation that kills babies.

Tom Herlihy, who led the born rescue, says that they made the commitment to total noncooperation for both moral and practical reasons.  They denied the very right of the police and the courts to stop them from rescuing babies.  And they couldn't let themselves be prevented from future rescue efforts by cooperating with the courts and making deals that would lead to bonds, trials, probation and stay-away orders.  The only "deal" they were offering the court was, in effect:  turn us loose so that we can save the babies--you have no right to stop us.

Tom's longest previous sentence was the 79 days he spent with the Lambs in Vermont in the spring of 1990.  This time he was in for 130 days.  He thought the major factor in their release was Father Norm Weslin and the Lambs, who came to return the favor of the born group which helped the Lambs in Vermont.  The witness of Joan Andrews was a major influence on him.  Courage is contagious, just like fear he says, and her courage put the men to shame.  Towards the end, Tom Herlihy said, his faith was severely tested.  But when it was over, he had no doubt that they had won a pitched battle against the almighty state, by the grace of almighty God.

Jail, No Bail

Jail, No Bail was a basic principle of Nonviolent Direct Action, which was usually abandoned in practice.  The Freedom Riders of 1961 were supposedly pledged to Jail, No Bail, but, after all the leaders bailed out, so did the rest except for a handful of die hards including me, who were committed to it on principle.  The failure to stick with Jail, No Bail gave the Mississippi authorities the legal weapon they used to stop the Freedom Rides.  The spiraling legal and transportation costs forced CORE to call a halt.  That part of the story is left out of the official accounts. 

In 1962 a group of anti war marchers stayed in jail for a couple of months until  Police Chief Laurie Pritchett finally agreed to let them march through Albany, Georgia.  He had successfully shut down the civil rights movement there after they failed to maintain the Jail, No Bail discipline.  After Martin Luther King bailed out, they all did.  And that killed the Albany Movement.  This group of anti war marchers, led by Brad Lyttle, showed how a group which stays committed to the basic principles of nonviolent direct action can prevail in even the toughest situation.  And that is what Father Weslin and the Lambs demonstrated during some 30 rescues.  [ Father Weslin's book is available from the crisis pregnancy home he started, Mary Weslin Homes, P.0. Box 241281, Omaha NE 68124 ]

In the end, the Civil Rights Movement succeeded mainly because of spectacular atrocities by people like Commissioner Eugene Bull Connor of Birmingham and Sheriff Jim Clark of Selma in full view of national and international media which put the story on the front page and the pictures on the evening TV news.  And ML King et al learned how to use the media.  In Birmingham, in the spring of 1963, Connor deployed police dogs and fire hoses against kids walking down the sidewalk carrying signs.  And the pictures were on front pages all over the world.  Two years earlier, the Freedom Riders made the front page after Connor allowed a Klan-led mob  to beat them up.  The


mob beat up the reporters and photographers as well.  That gave them a little motivation to fully report on it.  In 1965, Sheriff Clark's mounted posse rode down peaceful voting rights marchers while the cameras rolled.  The Cossacks Ride Again !  The result was that everybody and his brother joined the March from Selma to Montgomery.   And the federal government was pushed to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The Civil Rights Movement should put up a monument to Connor and Clark.  They deserve an award for Best Supporting Villainous Actors.  

The pro life action movement suffered worse atrocities at the hands of the police during the 1989 rescues, but the media made them disappear from public view.  The policy of the mainstream media towards the pro life action movement is ignore them if you can, smear them if you can't.  A little bit of nonviolent direct action and a lot of front page media is not going to work for us the way it once worked for the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti War Movement of the 1960s.  But a serious and sustained campaign of nonviolent direct action, relying upon the means of communication that belong to us, would work. 

the early rescue movement

The early rescue movement in Philadelphia and St. Louis was mostly Catholic.  In Philadelphia, Joe Roach, a former banker, led a series of rescues.  Joe Wall of Philadelphia was arrested some 33 times there and elsewhere.  He was part of the first Denver rescue in 1986 when National Right to Life and the National Organization of Women had conventions here the same week.  National Right to Life, under Wilke's leadership was already distancing the organization from any kind of direct action, but a group of delegates carried out a rescue at 20th and Vine.  National Right to Life has grown wimpier by the year, although it is hard to see how they manage to do it.  Catering to the cowards is the bottom line of their program.  The rescuers in 1986 were roughly and unprofessionally handled by the police.  

Joan Andrew's book You Reject Them, You Reject Me has a good history of the St. Louis rescue movement.  She started rescuing there in March 1980.  In 1986, she was given a 5 year sentence after she unplugged a suction machine in a Florida abortuary.  Here are some excerpts from my account in Pro Life Action bulletin # 4:  

Joan  Andrews:  the spirit of rescue

I'm just a little peon rescuer, she said, holding her thumb and index finger 2 inches apart to illustrate what she meant by little.  I happened to get publicity.

She is a little peon rescuer who started rescuing in 1980 and who is still going strong a decade later after 150 arrests.  She got some publicity--half what her case deserved--when she was given a five year prison sentence for a rescue in Florida and for her subsequent refusal to knuckle under to the pro abort court.

She is obviously a truthful woman, but her modesty makes her untruthful about what she is.  She is at least a big peon rescuer to carry the weight she carries for the pro life movement.

Her remarkable courage and spiritual toughness, which stymied the system that tried to break her, made her a major inspiration to the pro life movement.  Her name and her witness seem to come up whenever you ask hard core rescuers about what motivates them.

She isn't the only pro life hero or heroine who has labored in the vineyard from the first hour but if you have to pick one to stand for them all, none of them will argue with the choice of Joan Andrews.

It is hard for most people to comprehend the character of a person like Joan Andrews--I'm not sure that I do.  Even for those in the pro life movement who also engage in nonviolent direct action and who get arrested for it she seems to be in some other dimension.


There is, first of all, the problem of her relationship with Jesus Christ and then her relationship with the preborn children she rescues.  It is simple enough in a way--she takes literally the gospel about accepting the cross and identifying with the least of these.  But that is so uncharacteristic of normal Christians that it strikes us as a kind of heathen fanaticism.  Instead of interpreting the gospel, she tries to live up to it.  We all know that it can't be done, so we naturally suspect her of being mentally unbalanced.

Why else would she insist on staying in prison when she could get out just by cooperating a little, by deferring to the judge.  We all have to defer to the judge don't we ?  Only stubborn and foolish persons think you can defy the judge.

Her non-cooperation in prison was essentially a contest of wills between one lone woman and the government, which gave her a five year prison sentence for trying to rescue the babies.  They put her in the worst prison in Florida, in a cell with no window, surrounded by hard cases, half-crazy from being locked up for years.  Every month they gave her the chance of getting an early release if she would start cooperating.  Every month she refused.  They insisted they would keep her the whole five years, but finally, after two and a half years, they released her--in October of 1988.  She immediately went back to rescuing and she has been doing it ever since.

She got some help from the outside.  As best they could, with no help from the media, no help from the federal government and very little help from the Church, the pro life movement mounted a pressure campaign against the State of Florida.  But it was mostly her own unconquerable spirit that finally effected her release.

In The Kingdom of God Is Within You, Leo Tolstoy says that most people understand why the individual must lay down his life for something larger than himself--for his family or his nation.  But they don't yet comprehend what Jesus showed us, that we must lay down our lives for what transcends the nation, just as He did.  I think that describes what Joan Andrews has shown us.

Here are some of the things she has to say about herself, about rescue and about noncooperation.  Quotes are from the talk she gave here in Denver September 19 1990 and from her book of prison letters:  You Reject Them, You Reject Me:

+++If there is a mining accident, everyone in the community helps to rescue the trapped miners.  So we are all called to help rescue the babies.

+++Without rescue, baby-killing becomes just another issue.  It's debated as an issue.  It's compromised as an issue.  It shouldn't be debated at all.  There can be no compromise with baby-killing.

+++Rescue says that these little pre-born babies are our brothers and sisters.  We block the execution with our bodies.  So, for the execution to take place, they first have to get rid of those that love the children.

+++The closer we are to the preborn children, the more faithful we are, then the more identically aligned we become with them.  This is our aim and goal: to wipe out the line of distinction between the preborn and their born friends, becoming ourselves discriminated against.  Good !  This is necessary.  Why should we be treated any differently ?  The rougher it gets for us, the more we can rejoice that we are succeeding.  No longer are we being treated so much as the privileged born, but as the discriminated against preborn.  We must become aligned with them completely and totally or else the double standard separating the preborn from the rest of humanity will never be eliminated.  I don't want to be treated any differently than my brother, my sister.  You reject them, you reject me.  (cf. Mt. 25:45)

+++We do not expect justice in the courts.  Furthermore, we do not seek it for ourselves when it is being denied our beloved preborn brothers and sisters.  Thus I plead a case for complete and total vulnerability in court by refusing self-defense and all legal argumentation for self protection.  We should in truth tell the court that we, as defenders and friends of the preborn, expect no justice and no


compassion, as the true defendants, the preborn children, received none and were killed without due process on the day of the rescue attempt.  We only stand here in their stead, being substitute defendants by a compelling and painful logic.  They died for the crimes of being preborn and unwanted.  We expect no justice from a judicial system which decrees such savagery and a government which allows it.  If it is a crime punishable by death to be unwanted, maybe it should be a crime, punishable by death, to love the unwanted and to act to protect them.

[ In the Roman Empire, unwanted babies were exposed to die and it was a capital crime to rescue them from death.  But the early Christians did rescue them.  ]

+++One of the arresting police officers went into a rage when I refused to walk out, and he locked me in a stranglehold by the neck and demanded I walk out.  He kept choking me and almost got hysterical.  Finally he just dragged me out because I wouldn't submit.  He cursed and raged all the way back to the station.  I always remain silent in the face of rage unless I am asked a direct question.  My throat and jaw was bruised for more than a week.  Having faced this particular officer and others like him before, I think it is an inability for them to accept a disregard for their authority, which of course they don't have in this area.  We are always polite with the police, but we obviously cannot acknowledge their authority to force us to leave a death chamber while we are trying to rescue the victim, and some officers are just not able to accept that.  And you know, I am not surprised that many officers do not acknowledge the humanity of the preborn, and I'm not surprised that there are those who, though they do realize children are being legally murdered, yet follow orders and feel it is their duty to stop our rescue attempts.  And so I can't be surprised either that this makes many of them, probably the majority, act in an unprofessional and hot-headed manner.  Especially I am not surprised by this when you consider that though there are many, many people in our society who are opposed to abortion, knowing it kills our youngest children, that there are also many of those who do little or nothing to stop the killing, not even by casting a pro life vote, or publicly voicing a pro life opinion, because they are afraid of being viewed unfavorably by friends and peers.  So one can understand why police officers behave as they do.  Which is what makes officers like Dave Buford, who gave me the rosary, and Officer Fitzgerald, who broke down and wept after arresting John Ryan and Miriam, so wonderful.

[ Chet Gallagher, a Las Vegas police officer, became convicted in the middle of a rescue and joined the rescuers, thereby giving up his job.  He and Joan Andrews both later rescued with the Lambs. ]

+++I feel deep peace and acceptance for whatever comes.  Let others know this in case the sentence is a heavy one.  There will be a time when the courts will begin hitting us hard.  We must be prepared.  At the same time we must not shrink back when it comes.  We need to pray for strength that we hang together and accept in perfect submission whatever trials and penances come.  

[ written just before she was given the five year sentence on Sept 24 1986; the courts did begin hammering rescuers with extreme sentences;  and the police used pain compliance on them in a number of cities ] 

+++I firmly believe that we should physically make the community deal with us, put us out of the way, in order to carry out the killing in any given community.  This holocaust could not exist if even just the avowed prolifers in this country decided in unison to refuse all cooperation with it.  It doesn't take large numbers, but it does take great dedication by the few.

+++Numbers are impotent if those who comprise them are not willing to take up the Cross.  And not even jail is the real cross--especially as, with numbers, our people would be pretty safe from the threat of jail.  The real cross is dying to image-consciousness and being willing to confront the holocaust head-on.  Not just at the death camps, but in court and everywhere.  To totally refuse cooperation with any aspect of the holocaust and its rancid support system.  Forgive the soap box preaching, but I truly believe this is the way we have to go.  We have to step out from safety, no holds, and let each other be our protection in the Body of Christ.


+++It is my sincere belief that we will not be able to halt the killing, even were we to win a High Court reversal of Roe and Doe and even were we to gain a Human Life Amendment, until and unless our people stop the killing physically with their own bodies.  If this is not made clear, if we do not make the protection of children a fact by the obvious means we have always had at hand--our own bodies, our own lives--then abortion will continue barely abated once it's made illegal.  It will simply go "underground"--and barely will it have to do that, as the powers-that-be will simply turn a blind eye to it just as they did in the last years prior to 1973.

+++I should be on death row, not merely in confinement.  These courts and this society have ruled that all preborn children as well as newborn handicapped children can be placed on death row and summarily executed without so much as a mock trial.  So at the very least we should be condemned to death also after a mock trial, because we love these children and we try to defend them.

+++The most important reason why I cannot compromise is that it is the very issue of compromise--regarding cooperation--which has become the basis and structure and backup of the entire abortion holocaust.  I have been as guilty of this as anybody over the years.  But if we ceased compromising with the holocaust, we could end it virtually overnight.  

In her book she says that the new archbishop of St. Louis, John Lawrence May, told diocesan priests not to participate in the rescues and this was one of the reasons the St. Louis rescue movement shut down.  The main reason was probably the increasingly harsh sentences and atrocious treatment of rescuers. 

And there were other heroic rescuers who followed Joan Andrews.  A trio of Catholic women who called themselves Missionaries to the Unborn carried out a series of rescues in Vermont.  They stuck to total noncooperation.  They were here for the PLAN conference in 1993 in connection with World Youth Day.  One of them, Kay Trudell, has written some remarkable poems on pro life themes like the one called In Defense of the Throwaway People. 

In Milwaukee Pastor Matt Trewhella has led one of the strongest pro life groups in the country, the Missionaries to the Preborn.  Many of their rescuers received long prison sentences for persistent rescues.  Jim Soderna got two years.  Tom Nowak got one year.  Bryan Longworth and number of others served long sentences.  We should remember those who put it all on the line to save the babies.  They laid the foundation for the persistent movement we have today.  And they are still going 20 years later, bringing the reality of abortion to the middle of the city via giant posters and passing out pro life leaflets. 

Pain Compliance

In March 1989, dozens of women rescuers were physically and sexually abused and maltreated by Pittsburgh police and guards at the Allegheny County jail.  The Direct Action News (St. Louis) of August 1989 reported:  Warden Charles Kozakiewicz and those acting under him, dragged, kicked, punched, stripped, and molested these defenseless women.  Two women were stripped naked and dragged down a corridor in front of cells holding regular male prisoners, while police laughed and uttered graphic obscenities.  Most of these women were Catholic and a number of them were Steubenville coeds.  [ the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, not far from Pittsburgh; ]  There are more detailed and graphic accounts of the treatment of these rescuers.  A lawsuit on their behalf was unfortunately dismissed, because of the court house situation and also because of mishandling by incompetent attorneys. 

What happened to these rescuers was part of a nation-wide pattern of attack on the rescue movement.  Bishop George Lynch and several priests were among those severely injured by police mistreatment of the West Hartford Connecticut rescue on June 17th 1989.  Many of these rescuers suffered lasting injuries.  Judah of The Lambs was sidelined with a severe knee injury suffered in the West Hartford Connecticut rescue.  A similar pain compliance attack upon rescuers took place at an abortuary near Los Angeles.  Senator William Armstrong later held hearings into these attacks on rescuers which received very little attention in the media. They documented the fact that entirely peaceful psalm-singing rescuers were violently handled by police in a number of cities. 


In April 1989 the first Operation Rescue rescue in this area went to Leslie Durgin's Boulder Valley Women's Clinic and completely shut it down.  The Boulder police used a wheel chair to wheel the arrested rescuers away.  A large number of rescuers were arrested.  Anglican Catholic Bishop James Mote was one of several rescuers who refused to pay a fine and stayed in jail. 

On July 8th 1989, the rescue  came to 20th and Vine in Denver.  Over 100 police officers surrounded it as the Mayor demonstrated his support for Planned Parenthood.  The police used pain compliance on the rescuers--twisting their arms and thumbs to force them to stand and walk, a procedure I had never seen used against peaceful protestors.  A number of rescuers suffered injuries which were still bothering them a year later. 

extreme sentences

Those who persisted in rescuing were given extreme sentences.  In Pennsylvania, Steubenville students Mike Schmiedicke and Kevin Cleary did two years in prison.  Father John Osterhout and 6 Steubenville students were given a year in jail for a rescue in Allentown.  They could have been released had they agreed to stop rescuing babies but they all refused.  They were finally released in May of 1993.  In Boston, Father Thomas Carleton got 2 & 1/2 years for a rescue.  Meanwhile, the Catholic voters of Massachusetts continued to re-elect Ted Kennedy.  Here in Denver, Vern and Susan Kirby were given extreme sentences, as described earlier. 

Mike Schmiedicke was finally released on June 13th 1992 after he and fellow Steubenville student Kevin Cleary spent almost two years in prison for participating in two rescues in Pittsburgh, and for refusing parole offered on condition that they not rescue. 

He told me that, when he was in college, he had too much beer to drink one Saturday night and wound up in jail.  And thought he would kill himself if he ever wound up there again.  And yet, by God's grace, he spent two years in jail when he could have gotten out just by agreeing to the judge's demand that he quit rescuing  This is part of a letter he wrote to me.  [ from bulletin # 5 ]

Testimony of Mike Schmiedicke:  

"Rescue is in its essence charity, in fact, it is the fullness of charity, when done in the proper spirit, for no greater love hath a man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  That is why rescue is indispensable, that is why we must rescue, because this is a spiritual battle, the Truth confronting the Lie . . . 

"That is why rescue is so important, because it is the ultimate act of charity, which is the ultimate weapon against the Lie.  When we go there, we unequivocally assert the value of that child's life by showing that it is worth exactly as much as our own.  We love our neighbor as we love ourselves

"Rescue can't always be justified in terms of temporal effectiveness.  Currently, I am serving four years for two days of shutting down clinics--a prime example of foolishness and ineffectiveness.  Yet because this is a spiritual battle, I emerge, with Christ, as the ultimate victor through the paradox of the Cross.  Christ, at the time of his death, had some twelve followers, all of whom then deserted him as he went to the Cross.  Not a very effective evangelization program.  Yet because of what he did--He loved--He made possible the true conversion of millions and millions.  Likewise, rescue has a similar success record:  first minimal and eventually everything.

"So long as all you do is picket, counsel, etc. you relegate yourself to saving a few children in an endless stream of victims.  You might appear at first to be more effective than rescue, but the stream never ends.  While you save a few, you do not strike at the source and put an end to it.  It would be like Christ continuing on with his preaching/healing ministry but never carrying the Cross. While He would heal many, it would be a position of despair in the end, because there would be no final victory of good over evil.  Sooner or later, if you love enough, you must choose with Christ the desperation of the Cross. 


"A rescuer who goes to prison is confronting the totality of the Lie with the fullness of the Truth and is then bearing the consequences of that confrontation 24 hours a day.  Every hour he is in prison, he is a witness to the truth that children are good and worth even the sacrifice of a life.  He is constantly tempted with opportunities to capitulate--to accept parole or probation on condition that he promise not to rescue.  The temptations are hard and, if you refuse their "mercy" and their "generosity", then it's off to Calvary. 

"But if you agree to go and strive with Christ, to go like a lamb, you become, in union with Him, a constant stream of intercession to the Heart of the Father, your body a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to the Lord,  your whole will utterly crucified with Christ to make an offering that wounds with tender pity our Father's merciful Heart.  What we seek is the power of the Resurrection.  That alone can end abortion.  But the Resurrection, the ultimate victory of Love over the Lie, comes only after the Crucifixion.  It depends not on how many go, only that they go in love and persevere in faithfulness.  "


The Meaning of Rescue 

You can't argue with the self sacrificing dedication of those heroic rescuers who set the highest standard of personal commitment.  I will argue with the assumption that sitting in and getting arrested is the way to save babies from abortion.  Rescue is not a term which should be exclusively reserved for sitting down in the clinic entrance and getting arrested.  Anything you do which saves a baby from death by abortion is a rescue properly so-called. 

That is just what Sidewalk Counsellors do every day of the week standing out in front of the abortuary with their signs and literature.  That is what people do by handing out pro life leaflets in front of the high schools.  It requires as much courage to get out there with a sign all by yourself as it does to risk arrest with 100 others.  We have people who have been coming faithfully once or twice a week for 20 years.  And we have rescued a couple of babies every week. 

When we had the big rescues here in 1989, they happened two months apart and then quit entirely.  Most of those who participated had never done sidewalk counselling, or picketed an abortuary or passed out pro life leaflets.  And they still haven't.  They bailed out the same day and that was the end of it.  After that, they voted for George Bush. 

Any time you participate in nonviolent direct action you may find yourself talking to someone in a blue uniform.  The risk of being arrested accompanies serious efforts to save babies, just as the risk of getting wounded accompanies combat.  As witness the 100 plus arrests we accumulated over the years despite trying to stay within what we naively supposed to be our First Amendment Rights.  A good soldier doesn't just hide out where he runs no risk of being wounded.  But neither should he stroll out into a field of fire and get himself killed for nothing.  A similar sensible standard applies to rescuers.  

It is too easy to fall into that psychology where a bunch of people get arrested as an end in itself and as a one time adventure, not as the beginning of a serious and sustained commitment to rescuing babies.   That was a conspicuous feature of the later Civil Rights Movement and it showed up again in the later Rescue Movement.   Too many of them used a one time involvement with rescue as an excuse for doing nothing thereafter by way of personal witness.  I Rescued, therefore I am Saved was their attitude. 

Rescue  became a one time fad.  People got their Rescue medal and decided they only needed one.  60,000 rescued once.  6000 rescued twice.  600 rescued three times.  60 rescued four times.  We ended with half a dozen die hards still rescuing.  Meanwhile, before they gave it up entirely, Operation Rescue degenerated into Rescue for Tourists--those that could afford $ 1000 to fly some where and rescue and then bail themselves out and pay fines.  


Christians are called to be martyrs, which was an old Greek word meaning witness.  Called to bear witness to the truth even unto death.  But not all of them were called to be killed right away for refusing to participate in emperor worship and the wars of the empire.  Most were called to bear witness one day at a time, to live Christian lives and serve the brethren.  To pay out your life one day at a time in the Lord's service is also to be a martyr, a witness.  Sometimes it is harder to live for a cause than to die for it. 

If going to prison is the only way to make a complete commitment, then many people in the pro life movement have a very good excuse--their small children--for not making a complete commitment.  A major part of the pro life movement is made up of women with lots of small children and the men who work hard to support them.  It can't be right to ask these people to spend months in jail, to risk losing their jobs or to pay heavy fines.  But are the only alternatives the petition signing, the conventional politics, the token gestures and the once a year activism that seems to satisfy so many pro-lifers ?  I think we are all called to make a complete commitment and we shouldn't provide people with excuses for not making it.  So we have to find ways of making a complete commitment that aren't restricted to people without other responsibilities.

But there are many things they can do.  We have barely begun to do some of the effective things we could do to rescue babies, like passing out The First Nine Months to everyone in the State.  Meanwhile, there are a whole lot of bored senior citizens out there who might just as well play bridge in jail as any where else.  Youth is a wonderful thing but it is wasted on the young.  The grey panthers are the foundation of a durable direct action movement.  And it doesn't have to be a mass sit-in.  Two people sitting in the driveway disrupt the flow of customers.  And having 200 block the doors is only temporarily effective. 

What Happened to the Rescue Movement

There should be a Rescue Movement of people willing to face arrest to stop the abortion mill from going.  And there could be, if we can clear the wreckage of the last one off the tracks.  The first step is to understand why it failed. 

The main obstacle to a renewed rescue movement is that most Christians still have that false faith which killed the old rescue movement.  They still believe in the righteous Christian empire.  Why go to jail when you can vote for George Bush and let him take care of it ?  No doubt there was a failure of leadership but there was also a failure of followership.  They shared the same false faith. 

They had no faith in the necessity of Spiritual Warfare.  In making a Declaration of Independence from the World and sticking to it.  They believed instead that we could muster a Moral Majority and Take Back the Power Bases--Randall Terry's slogan.  They tried to use nonviolent direct action as an alternative road to political power.  That is what eroded the integrity of the Civil Rights movement in the late 1960s.  That is what produced the corruption you see in the career of Jesse Jackson and all the other hustlers. 

What Randall Terry did after he left Operation Rescue showed what his real agenda was.  He and others wasted millions of dollars, months of time and tons of pro life energy  in their futile attempt to get into Congress.  But they were only catering to that Worldly Christian faith which is the common spiritual disease of what pretends to be a pro life movement. 

Wimp out in Wichita

The cover story now circulating in the pro life movement says that the 1993 F.A.C.E bill--Free Access to Clinic Entrances--killed the Rescue Movement.  It is not true.  The Rescue Movement was as dead as vaudeville before FACE was passed.  It died out because pro life Christians did not really believe in do-it-yourself Christianity--aka nonviolent direct action.  It died out because Randall Terry and the rest of the Operation Rescue leadership chickened out in Wichita. 



Operation Rescue went to Wichita Kansas in the summer of 1991 because Wichita was still a place where rescuers received the same sort of lenient treatment given to other kinds of protestors.  After being booked they were released on $ 25 bail.   But then the abortion industry got a federal injunction.  Randall Terry left town.  The rest of the OR leaders followed. 

When you defy the judge and his injunction in round one, and then say something agreeable enough to get yourself out of jail in round two, that is a wimp out and it is no use pretending that Randall Terry did anything else.  Worse, the other Operation Rescue leaders followed his example and let their lawyers negotiate their own release on the same terms:  agreeing to abide by the injunction, to call off the rescues in effect, as far as they were concerned, and then leaving town.  And then they didn't have the grace afterwards to tell the truth about it.

35,000 people came out for the rally on Sunday the 25th of August.  The next morning there were 35 people ready to rescue.  And that was called off because, behind the scenes, the Operation Rescue lawyers were making a dishonorable deal with Judge Kelly to release the O.R. leaders still in jail.  In fact, that was the end of the Wichita rescue campaign.  Thanks to the wimp out by the O. R. leaders, defeat had been snatched from the jaws of victory.

The spectacle of 35,000 prolifers at a rally was wonderful.  The spectacle of 35 people willing to rescue the next morning was not so wonderful.  To paraphrase a Latin poet: the elephant goes into labor !   then ! . . . out comes a mouse !  Pat Robertson and George Grant weren't among the would be rescuers.  The next time they invite these gents to a rescue rally, they should make it clear that the invitation includes the rescue to be held the next morning.  If you are too much of a big shot to rescue with us, then don't bother making speeches at us.

The usual big pro life rally is supposed to be a hot air festival.  Rescue and rescuers in jail aren't even mentioned.  But this rally grew out of 40 days of continuous rescues, which led to 2000 arrests.  There were 150 rescuers sitting in jail the afternoon of the rally.  Everyone applauded the rescuers and two of them addressed the rally by phone from the jail.  That is why it was so strange that this mammoth rally actually killed the rescue campaign instead of revitalizing it.  How could it happen like that ?

The reason is that the Operation Rescue leaders had already decided to follow the example of Randall Terry and do whatever they had to do to get Judge Kelly to release them.  So, instead of using the rally to boost the rescue effort, they used it as cover to quit the rescue campaign and leave town.

Randall Terry was conspicuously missing from the rally, in obedience to Judge Kelly's order.  His failure to return for the mass rally on August 25th was the major reason that it turned into a hot air festival instead of leading to a renewed wave of rescues.  He had a moral obligation to be there and to personally lead the rescues.  He was the primary leader of the Wichita rescue campaign, and a courageous example from him would have been contagious.  Instead, he set an example of bowing to Judge Kelly's injunction.  His example was contagious.

Rescue  Movement R.I.P. 

That was the end of the rescue campaign in Wichita.  The rescuers still in jail for violating the injunction had committed themselves to the rescue campaign and expected the same commitment from the Operation Rescue leaders.  Instead, the rescue campaign was abandoned and the rescuers still in jail were left to get out on their own as best they could.  The crowd went home, where they could watch Pat Robertson on TV in comfort.  Randall Terry threw himself into a futile attempt to arrive at political power.  And everybody followed that lead too. 

Rescue was their stock in trade.  It was the whole justification for Operation Rescue.  But you can't rescue without going to jail !  You can't carry on a sustained series of rescues without getting hit with an injunction.  So how are you going to lead rescues if you aren't ready to pay the price?  The O.R. answer was to try and set up a secular style of leadership which let them be generals who don't put themselves at risk on the front lines.


The fuss about Judge Kelly's injunction was a smoke screen for the abandonment of the rescue effort by the O.R. leaders.  The legal basis for the injunction in federal law may be defective, but injunctions in response to rescue campaigns are a fact of life.  A sustained and serious rescue campaign will inevitably produce an injunction.  Every city that had a sustained rescue campaign has drawn an injunction under local, state or federal law.  If the federal basis for Judge Kelly's injunction was invalidated, it simply meant that the abortion industry would have to get an injunction under state law as they do elsewhere.  Now they can try to get an injunction under FACE. 

An injunction is always aimed at the leaders and organizers, who may not be present at the actual protest site.  The O.R. leaders wanted to lead the rescue from a safe distance, without getting themselves put in jail like the people who were actually rescuing.  The injunction prevented them from doing that.  The injunction made them personally responsible even though they stayed away from the rescue sites.  But that is a common feature of injunctions.  It just recognizes that those who organize and direct something are in fact answerable for it.

A rescue organization that can't meet the challenge of continuing to rescue, despite an injunction, is out of business as a rescue organization, however many interviews it gets in the media.  If the rescue leaders aren't prepared to personally defy the injunction and take the consequences, then who else is supposed to do it ?  What qualifies them to go on being the leaders if they no longer have the nerve to lead ?

One of the underlying problems was that Randall Terry burned out on being in jail during his last long sentence in Georgia in 1989-90.  He came out of it 23 lbs. lighter and looking 10 years older.  He felt betrayed by the pro life movement which didn't rally to help him.  He had sense enough to drop out of the leadership role in the spring of 1990.  Unfortunately, he couldn't resist the temptation to try and lead from a distance in Wichita.  He thereby set a style that all the other leaders in Operation Rescue copied.  They pushed others into going to jail while they stayed out--or bailed out--and held press conferences back at the hotel.

I don't fault anyone for getting burned out on going to jail.  Jail can be a very nasty place.  It is designed to break a man's spirit and it often does just that.  Even if you survive it spiritually, it can sap your emotional strength so that you aren't up to much for a long while afterwards.  If someone drops out of the movement for that reason I have no criticism for him.  But Randall Terry persisted in trying to lead the movement after he had dropped out of it.  And thereby mis-led it in a very destructive way. 

defying the injunction

An injunction is just a piece of paper, if enough people treat it like one.  It is a "law" which has no authority behind it except that of one unelected pro abortion judge, who is willing to be an errand boy for the abortion industry.  For a month after Judge Kelly handed down his injunction in Wichita, everyone ignored it and nothing was done about it.  In round one, Randall Terry treated the injunction like a piece of paper.  But a week later, he said what he had to say to get out of jail.

When the leaders back off from breaking the injunction, then everyone starts backing off.  Then the injunction becomes a monster that everyone fears.  The fearless few who continue to defy the injunction are gobbled up as a warning to everyone else.  That is just what happened in Wichita.  The next year they tried the same thing in Buffalo.  They pushed people to defy the injunction.  Then went off and left them in jail and liable for $1000 bonds.  The leaders avoided personal participation in the rescues.  When they were indicted anyway, for violating the injunction, they paid thousands of dollars to bail themselves out, while leaving everyone else stuck in jail.

They called a press conference and defied the injunction--verbally.  Then, when the actual rescue happened, they were some where else, usually holding another press conference.  It's like a man who invites everyone to dine with him at the fancy French restaurant.  Then he excuses himself--just before the waiter shows up with the bill !


In Wichita, Operation Rescue left the local people holding the bag--a very heavy bag with the weight of a federal injunction in it.  They played the game until they had raised the rescue ante from an afternoon in jail to a year in jail.  Then they said in effect:  "Here, you play out the rest of this hand !"  They took the collection basket with them and left the debts behind.

The verse invoked by Operation Rescue is Proverbs 24.11  Rescue those being led away to death.  But there was a seriously defective spirituality among the OR leadership.  Their spiritual reading was an antique Chinese military manual: The Art of War.  And there was a Commandos Strike at Dawn psychology which had little in common with the spirituality which is the necessary basis for The Spiritual Warfare of Jesus Christ. 

In common with most of those they led, the leaders of OR believed in Christians pursuing political power.  And, like the late 60s civil rights movement, they tried to use nonviolent direct action as an alternate road to political power.  It soon became the road to no where. 

Rescue for Tourists

At the end, the Operation Rescue program became Rescue for Tourists--people who want the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of being in a rescue, and who are willing to pay several thousand dollars for the privilege.  That's what it costs to get clear of the injustice system after Operation Rescue goes off and leaves you entangled with it.  No one who was serious about a commitment to rescue would put up with this more than once.  That is the major reason they had so many one time rescuers.

They didn't let it bother them that they left behind the wreckage of a rescue movement in the cities where they had major campaigns.  Instead of building the rescue movement up, they tore it down, because they didn't make a commitment to sustaining the battle that they started.   They started a fight and then walked away from it, leaving the local people to try and carry on a battle that was far too big for them to handle.

I am a little sensitive to the issue of leaders that bail themselves out, leaving their followers behind in jail.  It happened more than once in the civil rights movement--Reverend King gave some conspicuous examples of it.  He was a hero to the newspapers and to all the people who participated vicariously in the civil rights movement, but he was no hero to those who had to carry on the battle after he and the reporters left town.  And other civil rights leaders copied the style.  It put a premature end to the Freedom Rides in the summer of 1961 in which I participated.  I ended up spending five months in the Mississippi State Penitentiary that year with a handful of other diehards, but our glorious leaders, who had originally insisted upon jail--no bail !  were long gone--they all bailed out.  It wasn't a bad experience for me personally--it was a good one, really--but the Freedom Rides came to an abrupt and premature end because of the wimp out by the leadership.  It seriously diminished the value of the sacrifice that we had been called upon to make.  They threw away a great opportunity because they didn't have the spiritual grit to persevere.

The leader should not ask other people to do what he won't do.  If you are the leader, your rear end should go over the fence first.  You should be the last one to leave the jail, not the first one--like the captain who stays with his ship until everyone else is clear.  If you can't do that, you have no moral right to lead rescues. 

the failure of follower-ship 

The Rescue movement died out because of a leadership obsessed with the pursuit of political power and because of a followership with a false faith in the fundamental righteousness of the American Empire and in the broad road of conventional politics.  A faith that they could stick with the moral majority. 

People did not believe in building a Christian Society via Do It Yourself Christianity.  They believed in leaving it up to God and the Government.  Why go to jail when all you have to do is Vote for Bush ?   The President will take care of it, all I have to do is Vote.  And that is where we are now.  =  no where. 


The Rescue Movement died out because most of the nominally pro life Christians participating in it did not really believe in relying upon spiritual warfare to stop abortion.  That is why they rescued once and quit.  They did not believe that Christians must bear personal witness and must refuse to conform to the world which shrugs off the killing of babies by abortion, which calls it health care.  Especially if they had to do it and had to risk jail in order to do it. 

They believed that abortion could be stopped through conventional politics and the law.   The lawyers will find some new legal stratagem to reverse Roe versus Wade.  They still cling to that illusion because it is the necessary foundation of their own comfortable life style.  They can go along with the crowd.  They don't have to confront the crowd with personal witness to the truth about abortion.  They can wait patiently for the pro life politicians and the lawyers to do the job. 

When they finally lose that illusion, it is predictable that they will accept violence as the only way to stop abortion.  Violence by someone else anyway, while they support the troops.  They do not believe in nonviolent direct action or in using your first amendment rights out in front of the abortuary to save babies.  But they do believe in war, so long as they don't have to fight it. 

Not that there is likely to be a war over abortion.  Not that many care enough to fight about someone else's baby being killed.  But the increasingly rancorous divisions in American society have the potential for a violent conflict which will include abortion as one of  its moral justifications.  The American Civil War wasn't really about slavery.  It was about power and wealth, like all wars.  But the issue of slavery provided that moral tinge which wars require. 


FACE did not shut down the so-called Rescue Movement as many people mistakenly believe.  The FACE Act provided a convenient excuse for Operation Rescue to quit.  In 1993, the Clinton Administration pushed through the FACE bill, which gave the federal government a legal weapon to target pro life activists.  The specious justification for FACE was that there was a place or two in the whole country, like Wichita, where rescuers were not being hammered as hard as they were in the big cities. 

There is no reason to quit rescuing because the Federal Government gets involved.  If you can tolerate County Court, you will find that Federal Courts are larger and pleasanter.  You don't have to wait through a parade of drunk driving and domestic violence cases before they get to your case.  And federal jails are nicer than big city jails. 

When the Congress rushed through a law targeting draft card burning in the fall of 1965, it led to a wave of draft card burning.  It allowed men who were not draft eligible, like me, to join the 20 year olds facing conscription in defying the government.  By the spring of 1967 draft card burning had become a fad and the Feds gave up trying to enforce the law.  A similar thing could have happened had there been any real momentum in the so-called Rescue Movement.  Federal jails are no worse than the city jails that rescuers had to put up with.  And it would have raised the profile of rescue to a national level. 

reviving the rescue movement

We have to revive the Rescue Movement.  To do that we have to clear away the wreckage on the tracks.  We have to discard the false faith of conformist Christianity, of imperial Christianity which persists in believing that we can hold on to all our privileges as citizens of the empire without giving up our citizenship in the Kingdom of God.  That we can pursue political power and impose Christian morality via the power of the state.  The People Are With Us.  The principalities and powers of this world are on our side !  Or soon will be, after the next election.  [  See what Paul has to say about that. ]  



The Rescue movement of 1988-1991 was the largest nonviolent direct action movement the country has ever seen.  And the most peaceful.  It was never marred by the kind of rock throwing and vandalism that more and more marked the Civil Rights movement of the later 1960s as its runaway success began to attract an undisciplined crowd who stayed out so long as it was a small and risky movement.  The boast of Operation Rescue was that 60,000 rescuers were arrested without one conviction for assault.  Which, in a rescue, usually means that you bumped into someone or that they bumped into you.  The nonviolent discipline was as good as the early civil rights movement.  And had no similarity to contemporary demonstrations which routinely include vandalism and throwing things at the police. 

Because of the mis-reporting of the commercial news media, people outside the pro life movement still don't understand that a "rescue" isn't just another name for a protest or a demonstration.  It's a way of directly stopping the killing of babies.

There has never been anything quite like the rescue.  Most direct action movements find it difficult to directly target the evil they oppose.  The sit-ins did directly target the segregated lunch counters but most civil rights demonstrations were forced to target something or someone at several removes from the thing they were trying to get at.  They wound up doing stupid things like blocking the highway.  And it's the same with other movements.  In order to oppose the war, you wind up picketing the post office, because the military recruiters have an office there, but the war you want to stop is a long way off.

On August 6th 1963, a very hot Sunday in St. Louis, a couple dozen of us picketed the Post Office for an hour by way of a vigil commemorating the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.  That was about as close as we could get to the destruction of more than 100,000 people by the Hiroshima bomb.  There was a Catholic grade school at ground zero.  You can't get within 1000 miles of the war you are trying to stop.  But when you go to the local abortuary with a sign, you are a few feet away from the War on the Unborn.  The couple on their way to put a baby in the trash has to pass right by you.  If you sit down in the driveway, they have to drive over you.  Or stop. 

The abortion war is going on right in front of you and you can stop it, if you are willing to put your body on the line.  There sits the abortuary, and, just by sitting down in front of it, you can save the life of an abortion-bound baby and call everyone's attention to the murder going on there.  It's a life and death drama that cannot be misunderstood by anyone, as hard as the media tries to obscure what is going on.

Like the segregated lunch counters which were targeted by the sit-ins of the early 1960s, it is a situation that was made for direct action !  But at a price that many are unwilling or unable to pay.  But some are already paying the price and, every new day, a few more are joining them. 

We have to do everything we can to interfere, whether within the law or outside the law.  The law which allows abortion is not law, no more than the law which allowed slavery.  No more than the Roman law which made it a crime to pick up an infant exposed to die.  Can you let that infant die while you wait to change the law ?  Not if you pretend to be a Christian. 

There is a good argument to be made for not doing it, because you will soon be spending your time in jail instead of in front of the abortuary.  There is a bad argument that you can vote for somebody or something by way of stopping abortion.  There is a very bad argument that all you have to do is pray.  And that is why we must remember the rescuers.  And study the example they set.  And prayerfully consider following it. 

Importance of the Media

Four black bible college students sat in at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro North Carolina on February 1st 1960.  The media gave it front page treatment.  By June, 20,000 people, mostly college students had participated in the lunch counter sit ins.  That launched the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. 


In the fall of 1988, I came across a small item, buried in the newspaper, which said that 200 more had been arrested in a rescue in Atlanta, bringing to 10,000 the number arrested there since the Democratic National Convention began.  I regularly read the newspaper and regularly clipped items about nonviolent direct action campaigns and this was the first I heard of rescues.  It shows how the mainstream media handled the rescue story.  But Randall Terry had gotten national publicity from two Christian programs, Pat Robertson's 700 Club and James Dobson's Focus on the Family.  They helped him launch Operation Rescue into a nation wide rescue organization. 

A major reason for the extreme sentences given to rescuers was the virtual black out in the media.  They can get away with inflicting extreme sentences on peaceful protesters because few are aware of it or concerned about it.  The Catholic diocesan press also paid very little attention to the pro life prisoners.  They are not comfortable with those who go to jail for what they believe. 

In Denver Vern and Susan Kirby were given extreme sentences--two years and $4000--for one sit-in and for once kneeling in the driveway of the Planned Parenthood abortuary here.  A couple of months later, the sentence was cut short after the Register belatedly ran a front page story about them.  The regular news media had ignored the story.  Before that, the media blacked them out.  A Rocky Mountain News reporter who did a sympathetic story on the rescue trials found her story buried in the want ads at the back of the paper. 

The diocesan press was allergic to the rescues or any serious anti abortion effort.  It is not likely that they will stop hiding in the pews any time soon and provide a reliable news source for nonviolent direct action to rescue babies from abortion.  EWTN isn't any better.  They cover the March in Washington as if it was somehow a Great Event for people to take a once a year bus trip to Washington.  Their reporter never heard of the rescue movement. 

Trying to use the mainstream media to deliver the pro life message is useless.  A serious pro life action movement has to proceed without any help from the mainstream media.  You can rely upon them to smear you if they cover you at all.  Even if you water down the message 9 parts water to 1 part message, like the official pro life organizations do, they will find a way to trash it. 

Sometimes I think it may be best that we get no media support.  They are at best a treacherous ally.  They put the Freedom Riders on the front page and then, not long after, put the Watts rioters and the Black Panthers on the front page.  Anything to sell newspapers.  The media spotlight attracts all sorts of people, like moths to the street light, who have vain and shallow motivation.  Who are more of a hindrance than a help.  It attracts all the hustlers who have something to sell or careers to promote.  But we still have our newsletters.  And the internet is creating new ways to communicate that we are only beginning to explore. 

It isn't just a set of tactics.  It implies that we build up the kind of responsible Christian community that we need to keep going, that we take care of one another as Christians should.  It implies that we stop playing soldiers, that we stop grand-standing for the media, and that we instead commit ourselves to a serious nonviolent movement to stop the killing of the unborn. 

One of the best things done in the civil rights movement was the Mississippi Summer campaign of 1964 which sent hundreds of volunteers into a campaign against the strongest fortress of the segregationists.  It cost the lives of three civil rights workers, but it broke the back of the racial segregation establishment.

If we are serious about rescue, we have to go after the hard targets.  We need to concentrate on places like Pittsburgh which have given the worst penalties to rescuers.  If you can once overwhelm the system in the toughest place you can find, other cities will back away from harsh treatment.  Are we tough enough yet to do that ?  I think we are getting a little tougher every day and that the day is coming when we will be ready.

But we need to weaken the other side and wear them down first by a sustained and serious campaign of nonviolent direct action in education.  The amount of public revulsion against abortion and the amount of public sympathy for rescuers directly determines how hard the injustice system


can hit us.  If everyone on the jury panel at the court house plus all their friends and relatives had been handed a picture of Baby David at the shopping mall the month before, their verdict on abortion protesters would have been entirely different.  The main thing defeating us is our own lack of serious and sustained purpose.

Those first Christians did not wait around to be persecuted.  Like Jesus himself, they aggressively challenged the evil of the world which persecuted them.  Jesus warned them they would be taken to court.  The early Christians regularly went to jail as part of their witness against the world.  It was their common experience as described in Acts 4.3,  5.17,  8.3 and  12.6 etc.  Saint Paul's epistles were often written in jail.  That is how they defined themselves.  That experience was central to the growth and development of the Christian community.  Community meant something.  It was not the idle word we use now to describe something that is in no way a real community. 

How else can Christian society be re-established if not by confronting and struggling against the evil of the neo-pagan and pseudo-Christian society which surrounds us ? --this neo-pagan society which now pretends to be Christian.  That struggle renews the Spirit.  The Spirit regenerates the Christian community--the Christian society which will put an end to abortion among ourselves while it sets the example to the nation which is so obviously headed for self-destruction.  We can't keep it from going there.  That is the illusion we have to discard.  But we don't have to go along with it.  And we can thereby rescue at least some of those who will otherwise perish. 

The first Christians were told by Jesus that they must not conform to the world even while they continued to live in the world.  They must be in the world but not of the world.  What did he mean ?   John 14.22   how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us and not unto the world ?   15.19 the world hateth you   16.13  the Spirit will guide you into all truth    17.9  I pray for them;  I pray not for the world, but for them  17.11-18  these are in the world, they are not of the world.   That sharp distinction between the world and his followers is what worldly Christians have erased.  We cannot confront the evil of this world while we conform to the world. 

Friendship  with  the  World  is  Enmity  with  God  ( James 4.4 )

Jesus ends his time of preparation by refusing Satan's offer to make him the ruler of all the kingdoms of the world, a worldly king of kings who would owe his power to his Satanic majesty.  (Mt 4.8 and Lk 4.5)  Then he begins his time of teaching with the proclamation that the kingdom of God is at hand.  (Mt 4.17, Mk 1.15)  He really means it !  It is here and now!  (Luke 10.9-11, 11.20)  And yet it is still to come.  (Lk 21.31) (Rev 12.10)  It is here on this earth (Mt 6.10) but it is not of this world.  (John  18.36)  It is not a political kingdom, established by armed men (John  18.36) rather, the kingdom of God is within you.  (Lk 17.21)  Not until the end, will the kingdoms of this world become part of the kingdom of God.  (I Cor 15.24) (Rev 11.15)

His kingdom is not of this world, that is why his followers do not take up arms.  (John  18.36)  The  world  hates him because I testify of it that its works are evil.  (John   7.7)  Its works are evil and Satan is the prince of this world.  (John  14.30, Lk 4.6)  The world also hates those who follow Jesus because they do not belong to the world.  (John  15.18  1 John  3.13).  I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil.  (John  17.15)  And there they are--in the world, but not of the world.  How are they to do it ?  Christians must rely upon the wisdom of God and not the wisdom of the princes of this world.  (1 Cor 2.6, 3.19)  They must be non-conformists !  They must stop conforming to the world !  (Rom 8:29, 12:2)

It is the Holy Spirit that makes you a Christian and, at the same time, an enemy of the world and the prince who rules it.  It is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.  (John  14.17)  The world lives by lies.  They are the foundation of war; of conventional politics; of business and commerce; of the abortion industry.  They are the characteristic sign of the way the world does business, but we are so accustomed to it, so de-sensitized to it, that we hardly notice it.  The truth is the world's bane, its nemesis, and it naturally hates the man or woman who is animated by this spirit of truth.  Truth is the first casualty in war.


Jesus belongs to us, not to the world.  (John  14.19-27)  He came to deliver us from this present evil world, not to show us how to get along with it.  (Gal 1.4)  He manifests himself to us and dwells with us; he gives us a peace which the restless world lacks.  The prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me.  (John  14.30)  So, if Jesus dwells with us, how often should we entertain the prince of this world as a visitor ?  How much, besides nothing, can we afford to have of that which belongs to the prince of this world ?  What is he the prince of ?  Of war, surely, just as Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  Of wealth, surely.  Why else does Jesus warn us again and again about money ?  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  (Mt 6.24, Lk 16.13, 16.19-25)  Of power, surely--what else can he mean when he rebukes their competitions for place and power by showing them that they must be like children, like servants.  What sort of a prince is it that washed their feet for them ?  (John  13.4-15)   No prince of this world ever did such a thing.

There has to be a fundamental antagonism between the follower of Jesus and the world.  The world is crucified unto me and I unto the world  says Saint Paul.  (Gal 6.14)  He exhorts us to live blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.  (Phil 2.15)  Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  (James 4.4)  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  (1 John  2.15)  Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.   (1 John  3.13)  And we know that we are of God and the whole world lieth in wickedness.  (1 John  5.19)

In the world ye shall have tribulation.  But be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world.  (John  16.33)  Does that mean that the battle is over and done, that all we have to do now is enjoy the good things Jesus has won for us, the spoils of his victory?  That was the false faith of Eusebius and Augustine who thought they had witnessed the final triumph of Jesus over the world.  That false faith persists among the false Christians who have conformed to the world.  That belief  erases the central challenge of the Christian life:  to follow Jesus into the battle with the world. 

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  (John 17.18)  What comes out here, as in every chapter of the New Testament, is the call to the individual Christian to follow the example of Jesus in doing battle against the evil power of the world.  The supreme act of his life is the one on one spiritual battle with the evil one himself, theprince of this world.  (John  12.31, 14.30, 16.11)  But then He calls us to carry on that battle by means of the power of His Spirit inside us.  (John  15.16-20, 16.7-13)  This battle isn't against the natural world, it is against the world of evil men and the prince they serve--against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  (Eph 6.12)  Is this battle over and done ?  No it has only begun !  And it is up to us to fight it !  The spirit of anti-Christ is already in the world, John tells us, but greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  (1 John  4.3,4)   Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.  (1 John  5.4)

Saving the Empire

Christians do not have the call nor the power to save the empire from destroying itself.  It isn't up to us to save the empire from itself.  Or to pretend to ourselves and others that we are doing that while we continue to cling to the power and wealth of the empire--cf working within the system.  It is up to us to preserve our families by re-building the Christian Community, independently of the world and independently of the apostate and worldly church which falsely claims to be Christian.  

It isn't up to us to Save the World or to Save America, which is rightly defined as one of the Empires of This World.  It is up to us to do whatever we can by participating in the saving mission of Jesus Christ--As my Father sent me, even so I send you.  If we can't stop the war, we can refuse to participate in the war.  We can put an end to abortion in our families and we can help to build an abortion free society--help to restore a society which lives by Christian principles.  We have to become the citizens of a very different kingdom if we are to survive-- A new society within the shell of the old, as Peter Maurin put it,  Built with a philosophy so old that it looks new. 

The apostates who made the deal with Constantine in the 4th century launched that worldly Christianity which is still very much with us and which has no good alternative to an aborted America.  But the true Christian community persisted as an outlawed and persecuted church.  It still does.  And it provides a foundation for a society which does not have to practice contraception, backed by abortion, to prevent its privileged position from eroding. 


re building  christian  society  

A Constitution which perpetuated slavery and which now protects abortion is no foundation for a moral society and never will be.  Contra the forlorn faith of those who still cling to a willful and knot-headed belief in the once and future some day righteousness of the American Empire.  But we have another document which is the foundation for a moral society:  the authentic record of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and the society he founded.  Which is supplemented by the documents of the early church.  In the gospel of John, Jesus describes two primary signs of the Christian community: 

1.  John 13.24-35  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.   35  by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  

2.  John 15.18-19   If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you . . . 20  if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;  

Jesus says love the brethren and hate the world--expect to be hated bythe world.  He thereby defines Christian Society pro and con.  Those two signs have disappeared from what still claims to be the Christian community.  Community has long since disappeared and families are going the same way.  They put their unwanted babies in the trash and their unwanted old folks in the nursing home.  Then get divorced. 

Parents hang on to their property and use it to buy what security they can for their old age instead of leaving it to their children, who live so far away and who have no interest in taking care of them when they can no longer care for themselves.  There is no real security for any of us, unlike that first Christian community for whom social security grew out of their commitment to that community. 

The second major sign of real Christians that Jesus describes in those final chapters of the gospel of John is persecution by the world.  If you are comfortable and at ease with the world you live in, how does that square with the faith that you are one of the chosenones who belong to Jesus ? 

Since the time of Constantine and Augustine, worldly Christians have been patriot conformists to the empires of this world.  Now they call it persecution if their wealth and power is threatened or they lose any of their privileges.  If they have long since discarded Christian faith and morals, it is only incidental to maintaining the position they have achieved as citizens of the empire. 

social security

The early Christians took care of their old folks.  The Amish still do in their grandpa houses.  The All Things Common of the primitive Christian Community naturally developed from their attempt to live the Christian life mandated by Jesus Christ.   How can you love one another if you refuse to share with one another ?  There was no such thing as a rich Christian in the early Church.  You were rich or you were a Christian but you could not be both.  Acts 2.44 says  And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.  Acts 4.34   There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands and houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.   

As Acts 5.4 indicates, the early Christian Church did not abolish private property.  But they developed a tradition of voluntary sharing which was incompatible with any of them having a superfluity of goods while others remained in need.  The early Christians could hardly have avoided this whole-hearted sharing, one with another, if they took seriously the new commandment that Jesus gives us to love one another as I have loved you.  They met the needs of their community instead of indulging themselves and their children in an ever more luxurious life style. 


That was in fact the most conspicuous sign of the early church, as a Roman official once exclaimed:  See how they love one another !  Tertullian  writing about 200 AD said:   So we, who are united in mind and soul, have no hesitation about sharing property.  All is common among us--except our wives.  *** . . . What wonder then, if friends so dear have a common meal ?   Apology 39.11 & 14   But the Imperial Church put Christian community in the trash along with Christian pacifism and the other basic disciplines of the early church.  And that is the tradition which modern worldly Christians have inherited.  It has proven to be a fertile soil for the weeds of slavery and every other evil.  Now the most conspicuous of those evils is abortion. 

[ ***  except our wives is a reference to the doctrine found in Plato's Republic.  Plato's abolition of the family was preserved by libertine and fag-friendly secret societies down through the centuries.  Then it re-surfaced in 18th century Freemasonry and 19th century Communism and 20th century radical feminism. [ See the  Governor Bradford essay on the web site. ] 

the Christian community
versus the Kingdom of Israel
and versus the Empire of Rome

The Kingdom of God, as Jesus defined it, was not compatible with the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel, whose king Jesus refuses to become.   ( John 6.15 & 18.36 )  That first Christian community, made up mostly of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem itself, steadily diverged from the nation of Israel, primarily because of relentless persecution.  The captive nation of Israel was doomed by its rejection of Jesus as the Messiah and by its embrace of the warrior messiahs who led it into the rebellion against the Roman Empire in 66 AD.  [ See Render, Not Sur-render Unto Caesar ]  The rebellion ended in the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD.  A million Jews perished from war and starvation and many of the rest were led away into that long exile of the Jewish nation.  By the time that happened, the persecuted Christians had heeded the warning Jesus gives in Luke 21.20  when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies . . .  and they got out of there.  They could not prevent Israel from being destroyed but they could save themselves and their families and they did. 

The new Christian society was entirely incompatible with the Empire of This World.  It could not save the empire from itself nor turn it back from its course of inevitable self destruction.  Idolatry of the Empire, War, looted wealth and slavery were the pillars upon which the Roman Empire was built.  The Kingdom of God established by Jesus and his disciples was built upon an entirely different foundation.  The early Christians built their communities in the moral rubble of the collapsing Roman Empire.  They held their services in graveyards and catacombs--quite literally underground. 

With the help of apostate Christians, Constantine attempted to co-opt Christianity because he recognized the strength of Christian society which stood like a rock in the moral flood carrying away the debris of a disintegrating Roman society.  But the imperial Christianity he established with the help of the apostate bishops could not save the empire from itself.  It soon exhibited the same rot.   [ See The Church of the Empire  Chapter VI ]  In The City of God, after the sack of Rome by the Vandals,  Augustine offers a lame apology for the failure of Christianity, as the new state religion, to save the Roman Empire from itself.  The empire continued to disintegrate.  The Vandals conquered Roman North Africa and laid siege to Hippo while Augustine lay dying.  A century later there was little left of the western empire except the beleaguered city of Rome, protected by its walls and surrounded by the barbarians with whom they had to make a deal.  The Roman Empire launched 1500 years earlier from the City of Rome had come full circle.  It's criminal career was finally finished. 




Imperial Christianity

The marks of the early church disappeared from the Imperial Church established by Constantine.  He began to herd the entire pagan population into it.  That was the beginning of that mass church on a minimal basis which is with us still.  ( see The Church of the Empire, Chapter XIII  Everybody's Church:  wheat  & tares )  There was no room for Christian Community in that Church.  It perpetuated the class structure of the Empire in which half the people were the slaves of the aristocracy and half the rest were soldiers.  It perpetuated the unjust society. 

The fundamental heresy and apostasy of the Imperial Church of Eusebius and Augustine is the doctrine that the antagonism between the  followers of Jesus and The World--the Great Empire of This World--was ended by the pseudo conversion of the Emperor Constantine. 

The transcendent faith of the early Christians was an antidote to that obsession with the pursuit of material goods which is characteristic of worldly Christians.  Their trust in God and their confidence in one another insulated them from that gnawing fear which pushes people to store up treasure here in pursuit of the illusion of security.  Which pushes them into the kind of feverish and runaway speculations that always end in crashes, like the crash of the American housing market in 2008.  

The Imperial Christianity which appeared in the time of Constantine and Augustine replaced the original definition of Christian Society with an apostate Church that joined the Imperial Bureaucracy and which sanctified war, wealth and slavery.  The old patriotic faith in the Roman Empire was recycled as faith in the Christian Roman Empire.  These apostates celebrated the merger of The Church and The World.  Eusebius hailed the Court of Constantine as the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God on earth. 

The anti-church which depended upon the military power of the Roman Empire was circumscribed by the limits of that power.  When the empire  was divided, it was divided.  When rival "Christian" armies took the field, the perpetual civil wars of the empire became a perpetual feature of Christendom.  The disintegrating empire soon produced a diversity of Christian churches and rival armies.  The Christian armies that pillaged Rome in Augustine's time and that were knocking on the gates of Hippo, while he lay on his death bed, were the bitter fruit borne by that union of ecclesiastical and military power which was begun by Constantine and which was justified in all his works by Augustine.  Having learned Roman military tactics and the theology of  military  christianity from the Imperial government and the Imperial church,  the barbarian tribes came to teach a gospel lesson to their old masters:  they who take up the sword shall perish with it. 

And that kind of Worldly Christianity--of Secular Christianity properly so called--is what we have been stuck with ever since.  Even while the original Christian community has persisted as a persecuted church and an underground church down through the centuries, where it is often found under the heretic label. 

faith in the empire

G.K. Chesterton observed that a faith in the British Empire was the real religion of many men of his time.  And men also meld their worldly Christian faith with their faith in the empire to produce that patriotic idolatry which is characteristic of the American Cult.  It is a false faith which cannot withstand a real fire--it cannot protect us from the moral fire which is now consuming American society. German Christians, Catholics and Lutherans, intoxicated with the grand vision of the restoration of the German Empire in a Thousand Year Reich, followed Hitler to glory land--followed him over the cliff which all empires go over sooner or later.  [ see:  Hitler Deploys the Patriot Pastors  ]  That faith in the Christian Kingdom and the Christian Empire and the Christian State is the blindness of worldly Christians.  The god of this world has blinded them as St. Paul says.    [ see:  Heresy of the Christian State ]  It is Conformist Christianity which allows so-called Christians to conform to this world in violation of the plain injunctions of the gospel.  The worldly Christians of America are captive to this false faith.  They are their own jailors.  They can find no way out of an aborted America.  We have a wealth-pursuing anti family economy.  How can we escape from it ? 


An abortion free society must have a family friendly economy.  How do we get there ?   The false faith of worldly Christians prevents them from undertaking the serious effort which is necessary to build an honest economy in the moral ruins of the American empire.  But those who have the eyes to see it can do it, regardless of the blindness of those others with whom they must part company when they get serious about doing it.  cf. 2 Corinthians 6.17:   come out from among them, and be ye separate.

A Christian Society--a moral society--must be built upon the foundation of a just economy.  Which means that it must somehow escape from being intertwined with and dependent upon the unjust economy of the world.  It must escape from dependence upon the government and it must escape from dependence upon the corporations.  It must issue a   declaration  of  moral  and  spiritual   independence  from the empire and the imperial economy.  And then live up to it.  It is easier said than done.  But it has to be done.  And it can be done.  Those first Christians showed us the way. 

Millions of Christian families now home school their children to avoid exposing them to the eroded morals of the public schools--sex and drugs and rock and roll.  Contraception and abortion provided by Planned Parenthood.  Celebration of perversity  diversity.  But the logic of providing your children with an alternative to the public schools is that you also need to help them find an alternative to that amoral and anti family economy which young adults are confronted with when they finish high school.  In fact, you have put them at a serious disadvantage by teaching them non conformity to the society and the economy upon which we are in fact dependent.  Now they must find that narrow and difficult path which leads to independence, which will keep them from the evil of this world.

The Unjust Economy

America is an unjust society which is built upon an unjust economy.  That is its foundation.  Like every other worldly empire.  It isn't that Americans are worse than other people.  Americans areother people.  They are a representative cross section of the human race.  And they exhibit the same fallen nature.  And the empire brings out the worst in us.  One of the grand illusions which belongs to the false faith of the American Cult is that America is somehow unique and exceptional--our turds don't stink, unlike the rest of the world.  Once you arrive in America--assuming you are here legally--you begin to produce a pure white product like ivory soap which has a faint lilac fragrance.  

As John Henry Newman once said:   Earthly kingdoms are founded, not in justice, but in injustice.  They are created by the sword, by robbery, cruelty, perjury, craft and fraud.  There never was a kingdom, except Christ's, which was not conceived and born, nurtured and educated, in sin.  There never was a state, but was committed to acts and maxims, which it is its crime to maintain and its ruin to abandon.  What monarchy is there but began in invasion or usurpation ?  What revolution has been effected without self-will, violence or hypocrisy ?  What popular government but is blown about by every wind, as if it had no conscience and no responsibilities ?  What dominion of the few but is selfish and unscrupulous ?  Where is military strength without the passion for war ?  Where is trade without the love of filthy lucre, which is the root of all evil ?   (from:  "Sanctity the Token of the Christian Empire" in Sermons on Subjects of the Day  p. 273)

From an earlier period we have the classic statement of brutal realism with which John Fitzgibbon, Lord Clare, tried to quieten the liberal posturing of his fellow Ango-Irish landowners in 1789: The Act by which most of us hold our estates was an Act of violence--an Act subverting the first principles of the Common Law.  The essay on IRELAND in the 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica describes the effect upon Ireland of the English occupation: 

The poor squatted where they could, receiving starvation wages, and paying exorbitant rents for their cabins, partly with their own labor.  Unable to rise, the wretched people multiplied on their potato plots with perfect recklessness.  During the famine which began in the winter of 1739 one-fifth of the population is supposed to have perished; yet it is hardly noticed in literature, and seems not to have touched the conscience of that English public which in 1755 subscribed 100,000 pounds for the sufferers by the Lisbon earthquake.  As might be expected where men were allowed to smuggle and forbidden to work, redress was sought in illegal combinations and secret societies. 


In the 1840s a million Irish starved and a million more were driven into exile, basically because of the oppression of the English aristocracy.  They didn't starve because of the potato blight but because they had no money to buy any of the other food raised in Ireland, which the landlords continued to export.  What the English did in Ireland, they did again in America.  And it was often the same English Lords who did it.  The American Founding Freemasons, circa 1776, did not remove that injustice.  Rather, they compounded the felony. 

original crimes

The taking of the American continent away from its original inhabitants by force and fraud--by armed robbery and indiscriminate slaughter--is that crime to which America was committed--which it is its crime to maintain and its ruin to abandon.  Slavery was the second major crime to which the original colonists and founding fathers committed us.  It began in 1620 and persisted well into the 20th century, long after the end of legal slavery.  The present crime to which American society is stubbornly committed and upon which its waning prosperity is founded is the crime of abortion.  The continuing pursuit of the American Dream of wealth depends upon putting our children in the trash, just as we once put the lives of native Americans and African slaves in the trash. 

Was the original American economy a just economy ?  The large estates of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and James Madison came to their fathers and grandfathers as gifts from the corrupt legislature of Virginia.  It was land from which the Indians had been driven by military force.  It was worked by slaves.  A fellow from the Ayn Rand Institute quotes Thomas Jefferson re: keeping the fruit of your own labor.  He neglects to explain how that squares with Jefferson appropriating the labor of 200 slaves as his own income.  They worked that 10,000 acre plantation that his father Peter Jefferson had received as his share of an 800,000 acre grant to the Loyal Company described as a present that the leaders of the legislature, with the governor participating, made to themselves.  It wasn't different in New England where the Puritans systematically wiped out the natives in the process of taking their land.  See the Governor Bradford essay.  What was it but armed robbery ?   See  The  Great  Land  Hunt  page 41 on in The Roots of Abortion. 

And those are only the most conspicuous of the gross injustices which have been an integral part of the American economy.  For every rags to riches story of the immigrants there were 100 others who found no good fortune in America.  Who were welcomed as cheap labor and then used up and discarded.   Some 1300 Chinese laborers were killed in accidents when the railroad was blasted through the Sierras.  Some 2000 laborers, mostly Irish, died building the right of way across southern Pennsylvania which later became the Pennsylvania Turnpike. 

Many thousands of Irishmen, fleeing the famine in Ireland, were conscripted into the Union and Confederate armies and are numbered among the 740,000 killed in that war.  Many more wound up crippled for life.  Meanwhile, Morgan and Carnegie bought their way out of the draft and made fortunes from the Civil War.  Carnegie paid  $ 850 to get an Irish immigrant to take his place in the war.  The prosperity of the capitalists was tied to corrupt government and to war.  The uniforms worn by the soldiers came apart on the battle field because they were made of shoddy--rags mashed into a pulp and reprocessed. 

After the Civil War, the Congress gave vast tracts of land to the railroad companies which gave stock to the Congressmen who passed the bills.  The army rounded up the Indians to clear the right of way.  One fifth of the territory of the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota and Montana and vast stretches of land in Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, California and Louisiana were given to railroad promoters and financiers.  [ Capital City 100 ]  These railroad corporations did in effect share the wealth with the immigrants who homesteaded or who bought cheap land from the railroads, which were given every alternate section ( 640 acres )  all the way across the continent. 



Huge tracts of western land were given to timber companies.  By the time Teddy Roosevelt became President less than a fourth of the original 800 million acres of American virgin forest remained.  Four-fifths of the timber was in private hands, and ten per cent of this was owned by the Southern Pacific, the Northern Pacific, and the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company.  It is silly to talk about corporations being adversarial to government.  They have always been partners--co-conspirators. 

capitalism versus competition

Healthy capitalism is supposed to be based upon competition but the big 19th century capitalists like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan were the enemies of competition.  They believed in competition like the mafia believes in competition.  Instead they used the power of capital to establish monopolies--cartels  and trusts controlled by bankers and led by corporate lawyers. 

"Wall Street converted an economic system theoretically committed to laissez-faire to a market dominated by corporate conglomerates.  Absorbing competitors and swallowing up suppliers of raw materials, as well as producers and distributors, these giant monopolies supplanted the competitive market to control production, set prices, and cast industrial policy." ( Capital City xvii )  "Morgan . . . and the other financial barons  . . . transformed American industry from modest privately held firms into publicly owned corporate monopolies " ( CC  272 ) 

Like the modern agribusiness corporations, they used the power of their capital to achieve vertical integration--establish a network of suppliers and distributors.  When the elephant is free to roam, your fences and your crops are at risk.  Similarly, the freedom of the great corporation severely restricts the economic freedom of others.  You are free to work for the Coal Company or join the army. 

John D. Rockefeller admired the Emperor Napoleon and did his best to imitate him when he set up Standard Oil in Cleveland.  He did in fact establish an Empire of Oil.  His multinational oil conglomerate became the pattern for the giant cartels which still dominate the world economy.  Which have no connection to free enterprise by any sensible definition of that term.  He started off by bringing together five refineries to unite our skill and capital . . . in place of the small business that each separately had heretofore carried on.  ( CC 41 ) 

In 1932 Herbert Hoover identified capitalism with Rugged Individualism but Rockefeller had no time for such silliness.  He said the day of the combination is here to stay.  Individualism has gone, never to return.   ( CC 234 )  He believed in collectivized capitalism, multi corporation capitalism.   "When the 1873 depression sent oil values into a tailspin, he pressed forward, annexing desperate competitors.  Through methods benign, callous, and even criminal, he wove his refining empire.  We wanted the old struggle to cease. . . . We wanted these men to pull together . . . to join us, . . . and thus work together.  Rockefeller and Standard Oil were known for  ruthless annexations . . . how to fix a price so that it stays fixed . . . consolidating control over prices and markets." 

Standard Oil controlled four dozen American companies plus an English subsidiary.  It was a corporation of corporations.  It had joint ventures in Germany, Holland, Italy, and Denmark.  It had a huge export business to Latin America and the Far East.  It  owned 4000 miles of pipe lines, a railroad tank car fleet, and a small navy of transoceanic tankers.  By 1881 the Standard Oil cartel had 40 affiliates and controlled almost 90 per cent of the nation's oil-refining capacity. "   ( CC 228 )  A similar consolidation of the railroads was carried out by J.P. Morgan who went on to buy out Andrew Carnegie and establish U.S. Steel.  The doctrine proclaimed by corporate lawyer and presidential candidate  Samuel J Tilden was that labor unions violate free enterprise but corporate combinations were somehow natural.  Supposedly, legislation for farmer or labor interests was class legislation while legislation for manufacturing, banking, railroad, and shipping interests served the national interest.  Bailing out the big banks is good for all of us, isn't it ?  I am still waiting for the trickle down effect.  


President Teddy Roosevelt made a belated and half-hearted and not very successful effort to break up these trusts.  Which eventually included a sugar trust and a cigarette trust as well as cartels or trusts in most major commodities.  J.P. Morgan used the power of capital to morganize the railroads.   Then bought out Carnegie Steel and established U.S. Steel with corporate lawyer Elbert H. Gary at the head of it.  ( After whom Gary Indiana is named. )  Domination by bankers and corporate lawyers has been characteristic of American capitalism ever since.  First to last they relied upon the law--upon their ability to manipulate the law.  Morgan was a regular visitor in Washington and rewarded those who co-operated with him.  Just like they do now.  The government relied upon him to sell its bonds in England and France.  Morgan even bankrolled the U.S. Army in one episode.  He would have winked at the rhetoric about business being independent of the government.  The real question, the one raised by Adam Smith, is whether government can ever be independent of business--the Merchants and Manufacturers and bankers and corporate lawyers etc.  The answer is no.  It isn't going to happen.  They have too much money.  And Congressmen are always in need of money. 

There was a time when the king had to raise taxes to launch a war and / or to pay for an unsuccessful war.  That is what forced Louis XVI to summon the estates general.  But then they refused to dis-assemble and the king lost his head in the ensuing revolution.  Other governments learned from that and it led to the establishment of national banks which could loan the government the money it needed to carry on the war.  Instead of having to pay heavier taxes to finance the war, the wealthy could make money on the money they had in the bank, and the king could put up the whole country for collateral.  There has always been an intimate tie between the Government and the Bank.  The early resistance in America to the establishment of a National Bank now seems quaint. 

There is a remarkable book by Augustus Myers [ aka Gustavus Myers ] which documents How the Great American Fortunes Were Made [ aka History of the Great American Fortunes.  ]  No doubt it took nerve and skill to survive in the New York City financial jungle, but the only bears they fought were bear markets on Wall Street.  It was a cut throat competition.  Seven of 100 traders survived and the rest went under.  cf. Survival of the Fittest.  Which tended to be  survival of the meanest.  As witness how Carnegie dealt with his ex partners.  People admire power.  They worship it.  The crimes of Alexander and Caesar and Napoleon are brushed aside by their votaries.  So it is not surprising that the titans of industry enjoy the same adulation.

Public Works, Private Profit

Carnegie complained of paying his steel workers $ 2 a day and tried to reduce it to 60c a day.  Contra the supposition that these capitalists operated independently of the government, the steel industry was built by public works contracts which produced private profit.  Steel for the railroads, steel for the Brooklyn Bridge.  Steel for war.  Carnegie was some sort of pacifist who opposed the Spanish-American war.  So, to satisfy his conscience, he charged the government a 200 percent profit on the steel he supplied for that war. 

U.S. Steel and its stock holders made a very large fortune out of World War I, producing battle ships and barbed wire and benzol, a by product of coke manufacture, which is made into explosives and  poison gas.  The anti trust suit against U.S. Steel was dropped after the U.S. got into the war in April 1917. 

The steel industry was built by American wars and declined after the big wars came to an end.  It pined away without the big government contracts.  The extreme wages of the steel workers after World War II came from the extreme profits of a steel industry which depended upon government and which depended upon war.  The Roosevelt Administration in effect dictated the recognition of the Steelworkers Union by the Steel companies who were compensated with government military contracts from which they made large profits in return for their patriotism.  The downside was the inevitable disappearance of the American steel industry once American wars became smaller and less frequent.  When they had to compete with foreign made steel there was no way they could do it. 


Jay Gould testified before Congress in 1883 that A corporation is only another name for the means which we have discovered of allowing a poor man to invest his income in a great enterprise.  At that time he was bringing in Chinese laborers who brought wages down from $ 52 to $ 27 a month.  Meanwhile Union Pacific stock had risen to $ 78 a share.  How long would it take this Chinese coolie to save enough to buy a share of UP stock ?  cf.  if I didn't eat, I'd have money to burn !  He'd get one of those track side graves first. 

wealth without work

But the American Dream proclaimed by Jay Gould and others--we can all get rich without work by investing !--has become the prevailing false faith of all the people.  Just before the 1929 crash, every shoeshine boy and waitress was buying stocks.  The runaway speculation of the American housing market which led to the 2009 crash was driven by a similar fever.  Everybody and his brother flipping real estate while the price of a house doubled and tripled for those that actually needed a house to live in.  Who were allowed to sign mortgages they could not afford to facilitate the production of bundled mortgage securities sold to European banks.  

Jay Gould didn't invent leverage but he gave a conspicuous example of it when he was manipulating the gold market.  If you have $ 10,000 in the bank, how much can you invest in this or that ?  If you are Jay Gould or some other financial industry sharpie you can invest as much as 30 times $ 10,000 while using it for collateral.  He had $ 300,000 deposited in the Tenth National Bank in which he had a controlling interest.  But got the bank to issue him $ 8 million in certified checks which he used to buy gold.  He would drive up the price, then dump his gold to make a profit and drive the price down again.  Then buy back in at the lower price.  His one fear was that President Grant would allow the Treasury to release some of the gold reserves and take the air out of the inflated gold market.  To head that off, he set up a gold investment for the President's brother in law and made expensive gifts to the Grants.

making money off money

When the banker J.P. Morgan put together U.S. Steel, he bought the Mesabi iron ore range from John D. Rockefeller.  How does one man get hold of a 120 mile mountain range ?  File a mining and homestead claim ?  He did though.  Needless to say, neither Morgan nor Rockefeller nor Carnegie did any of the prospecting for iron ore in northern Minnesota, especially in mid winter.  The rugged characters who did were paid something for their claims.  A fraction of what the arm chair investors of Paris and London made from buying stock in U.S. Steel.  They did no prospecting either.  That defines capitalism properly so called:  making money off money.  Your money works for you, it is said.  That formula camouflages the fact that you are making money from someone else's labor.  Which is how Jesus defines usury:  reaping where you did not sow. 

Later in life, Carnegie became a great philanthropist.  Morgan, Carnegie, and Rockefeller ushered in an era of philanthropy on a monumental scale.  But most of the capitalists took their money with them if they could.  Vanderbilt gave the city of New York a nice bronze frieze commemorating the achievements of Cornelius Vanderbilt.  And charity is no substitute for justice.  Is it admirable to endow a museum with the profits made by keeping families poor ?  When the kids grow up--if they do--they can visit the museum.  The establishment of libraries by Andrew Carnegie was laudable, regardless of how he got all that surplus money.   Our modern billionaire philanthropists endow Planned Parenthood because they are enthusiastic about its dedication to getting rid of lower class humanity by contraception and abortion.  They believe in raising buffalo in spacious surroundings rather than encouraging the proliferation of lower class people on those garbage dumps that are already over crowded.  Where else can they live ?  There is no room for them on the buffalo ranch. 

No doubt Capital benefits some.  So does war.  Fortunes are made, millions find jobs.  World War II ended the Great Depression.  The side effect of World War II was 60 million killed.  But World War II and its aftermath boomed the American economy for a generation.  Which illustrates the fact that the foundation of the American economy is militarism.  Which is the most ancient form of socialism, if by that we mean the government owning and controlling everything.  The Federal Government spent 5 times as much money on World War II as it spent on the socialist New Deal.


The handing out of the 2.25 billion acres of the U.S. main land by the national government which was established in 1787 is what made America the Land of Opportunity.  That land was acquired by the army--who else ?  But now that the land has all been taken, where can we look for opportunity ?  America has become the land of steadily shrinking opportunity.  Of lost jobs and reduced wages. 

creating welfare dependents

A Christian Society has to be built upon a just economy.  A master who is kind to his slaves is still guilty of the injustice of keeping them as slaves.  Government welfare programs do not cancel the injustice of people being denied the opportunity to make a living.  Giving the Indians a reservation and a ration of cattle does not atone for depriving them of the range where they lived and hunted the buffalo.  They were deliberately made to be dependent upon the government by systematically destroying their way of life and forcing them onto reservations.  The extermination of 75 million buffalo from the Great Plains was a deliberate policy of the U.S. Government and the Army to force the Plains Indians onto reservations.  It opened the way for the railroads and the white settlers.  It came at the expense of the original inhabitants.  Who have remained government dependents ever since. 

We have a large population of welfare dependent American Negroes because of the long history of slavery and racial segregation which made them dependent.  They make up a disproportionate share of the slum population and the prison population for the same reasons.  Virginia passed laws making it a crime to educate slaves.  Under Jim Crow laws they were denied the opportunities which made America the Land of Opportunity for others.  Several centuries of slavery and racial discrimination have created the situation we have.  Which is not going to disappear overnight.  

Of course they are dependent upon the federal government.  cf.  In the black part of town, the federal government is God.  Many of them would not have survived without the welfare measures of the New Deal.  The federal government was the first to extend job opportunities to American Negroes.  When World War II began,  FDR decreed that they should be hired in war plants even while racial segregation continued.  President Truman finally desegregated the army during the Korean War.  The military has provided opportunities they could not find elsewhere.  

The military creates dependency.  It is silly to pretend that you oppose big government while you support a big military.  As if there was no connection between the two.  A basic fact about the American economy is that The Great Depression was only ended by American entry into World War II.  Those who didn't join the military went to work in war factories.  After the war, Veterans' programs like housing and college loans readily morphed into similar programs for non veterans.  Now the army has taken the place of the old welfare system.  Single moms sign up for the army to get health care for their kids.

But it isn't just big government that robs people of the chance to be independent.  Big corporations do the same thing.  The Company Town is just as incompatible with individual free enterprise and personal freedom as the army.  St. Peter, don't you call me, cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store. 

capitalism versus free enterprise   

Capital is often the nemesis of free enterprise.  Agribusiness gobbles up small farms much like empires gobble up little countries.  Archer, Daniels and Midland own the farms and their stockholders live in Manhattan and other places where they never get mud on their boots or hear a rooster crow.  The power of Capital concentrated in Investment Funds is a financial tidal wave that carries away anything and anyone in its path.  These investment funds and mutual funds and hedge funds collect the capital from all over--sovereign wealth funds from China and Russia and the oil sheikdoms of the Middle East; public school teachers retirement funds; college endowments.  Not to mention the funds from drug cartels and corrupt African ruling parties which get laundered that way.   All of them are committed to making money off their money any way the hedge fund managers can do it.  


Collectivized Capital devours individually owned businesses.  How many free enterprises have been put out of business by Wal Mart ?  Independent hardware stores cannot match the prices of Lowes and Home Depot.  Individually owned restaurants are displaced by restaurant chains created by investor capital.  These stock holders never wash a dish.  They don't work for a living, they own for a living.  Giant grocery store chains put little grocery stores out of business.  Now the profit goes to the investors, the owners of stock, not to the people who work there. 

When I was growing up, there was a variety of small stores in the neighborhood.  Individually owned stores which reflected the character of the proprietor.  Now I have a choice of that 7-11 store or the other 7-11 store or the new 7-11 store.  There used to be a variety of coffee shops.  Now there are endless Starbucks.  In the Curtis Park area of old Denver there are blocks where every old house is different, each one designed and built by the original owner.  In the later developments all the houses are built on two or three plans by big developers who make deals with local governments. 

The army takes a million individual men and then does everything it can to erase individuality.  They emerge from the induction process with the same haircut and the same uniform and marching in lockstep.  And that is what the power of collectivized capital does to individual enterprise.  That is how we become dependent upon the corporations or dependent upon the government.  Those are the two choices:   capitalism or socialism.  How can we escape from that dependence ?  By rhetorical declarations on behalf of free enterprise ?  You have to fight for freedom.  More often, you have to work hard to achieve it.  And lose the illusions in which phony Christians are trapped.  If you have given up on finding your place in the government bureaucracy or the corporate bureaucracy, that is the challenge. 

investing versus speculating

Most so called investing is speculating--gambling and rigged gambling.  A lot of it is short-selling--betting against something.  It has nothing in common with investing if that means putting money into productive enterprises.  Warren Buffett made a lot of money betting on the Brazilian currency.  George Soros made a lot of money betting against the Thai currency and the British pound.  And did what he could to manipulate the market.  That is what commodity and oil traders do--drive the price up and then cash in.  Like Jay Gould manipulating the gold market.  Most of the international banks got sucked into buying bundled mortgage securities and credit default swaps--financial instruments tied to the American housing market.  Then the whole house of cards collapsed circa 2008.  The banks lost money, but, before that happened, they did serious damage to the American housing market, and especially to people who need homes, by greatly inflating the price of houses.  You can live without gold but you can't live without a home.  The inflated and manipulated price of oil takes gas money from all of us to enrich the speculators. 

A similar thing happened a few years earlier with internet stocks which boomed and then busted in a wave of speculation.  Before that, it was the Savings and Loan industry that went belly up.  George Bailey's Savings and Loan in Beford Falls invested money in homes and businesses.  But the Savings and Loan companies which went bankrupt in the 1980s were recklessly speculating far from home.  Then the taxpayers had to bail them out. 

Day Trading has now been replaced by High Speed Trading:  computers programmed to buy and sell in less than a second to capture a profit.  This is investing ?   Investing, properly so called, is when you put your money and your work into a farm or a business.  Or give someone else a loan at a moderate rate of interest to do it.  What has replaced it in the modern financial market isn't even honest gambling.  It is rigged gambling.  Betting against a horse and then bribing the jockey to dope the horse.

What is now called Capitalism is often more destructive than constructive--a form of legalized looting.  Instead of putting money into businesses, they squeeze it out of them.  Run up debts and then declare bankruptcy.  Take the profit out and leave the debts and liabilities behind.  They take the stock holders snipe hunting and leave them holding an empty bag.   Venture Capitalism has been largely displaced by Vulture Capitalism and Vampire Capitalism.  


Faith in Capitalism

For many Americans, their faith in the American empire is joined to a faith in something called Capitalism.  Which supposedly means free enterprise system and free market economy etc.   Capitalism is the answer to all our economic woes.  Or it would be if it had not ceased to exist after Franklin Roosevelt launched the New Deal.  But maybe letting the rich keep their tax break will revive it again.  On October 16th 2012, in the second debate, President Barack Obama said:  the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity that the world has ever known.  See !  And you thought he was a socialist ! 

Capitalism or something like it has now appeared in China and Russia after they halfway abandoned Communism.  One of the questions raised by this is how you can have free enterprise in a place which has very little freedom of any kind.  Can you use the word free in the same sentence with China or Russia or Saudi Arabia ?  But it seems like Capitalism is quite compatible with repressive government.  The late Milton Friedman, the modern apostle of free enterprise, took a team to Chile where he persuaded the dictator Auguste Pinochet to substitute free enterprise and / or Capitalism for the broken down Socialist economy of the government he overthrew.  And they all lived happily ever after.  Or at least the economy improved.  So somehow free enterprise can flourish even when it is decreed by a dictator.  Even though Pinochet continued to torture prisoners in the back room ( cf. Operation Condor )  like they do in China, there was a measure of economic freedom.  They made money.  Which is of course the main thing.  

Andrew Carnegie and Herbert Spencer

Andrew Carnegie became a convert to an updated  version of the Capitalist Faith promoted by the English philosopher Herbert Spencer.  Spencer had published a theory of Evolution before Darwin did but then he amalgamated Darwin's scientific findings into his own theory to arrive at a doctrine of Survival of the Fittest  in the human economy which is now called Social Darwinism. 

"Andrew Carnegie's first encounter with Spencer left him overwhelmed:  Light came as in a flood and all was clear.  Spencer was grandly received upon his visit to New York in the 1873 panic year . . . Businessmen, who had paid little attention to formal philosophy before, lionized the English social theorist, devouring his books, which popularized the notion of survival of the fittest.  What some have labeled his magnificent exegesis transformed Darwin's biological hypothesis into a social imperative, declaring that in social (and especially economic) life as in biology, survival was a competition in which the strong succeeded (opened corporations and grew rich), and natural (social) processes eliminated the unfit (the hapless poor).  In the same unmediated way that natural selection drove the evolution of the species, free competition balanced the economy, maximized its productivity, and propelled economic progress.  It was as perilous and futile to tamper with the workings of the market as it was to try to turn back biological evolution.  Endowing cupidity with high moral purpose, Spencer's social Darwinism provided Carnegie and much of Wall Street with a rationale for laissez-faire and unbounded profit lust."  ( Capital City 172) 

The Laissez-faire theory was developed in the 19th century by John Stuart Mill and David Ricardo, a stock broker whose writings became popular when he reversed Adam Smith's doctrine contra the Merchants and Manufacturers.  His positive attitude towards businessmen was usually included in later writings.   Herbert Spencer's extreme and unrealistic anti government doctrine is still a basic part of Capitalist ideology, part of the fiction about corporations making it on their own.  They make it on their own with the help of the Congressmen they bribe and the public lands they are given.  Aside from their land grants, oil leases, subsidies and bail outs, they wish to be free from any government regulation. 

Like Smith, Spencer was unable to recognize that the foundation of the British Empire was militarism--the success of the army and the navy.  All of the land of England became the property of King William after the Normans defeated the Saxons in 1066.  The king claimed the lands of England as his own by right of conquest and leased it to his barons and knights in return for military service.  William divided the land into 60,000 military allotments to be held under tenure of knight's


service of 40 days a year.  Later, taxes replaced the obligation of military service.   William was the legal  owner of the deer in the forest and the fish in the sea.  If you wanted to catch fish, you needed a license from the King.  The basic structure of the economy of England copied the structure of the army.  It is properly called militarism.  If you want to escape from socialism you first have to escape from militarism, because it is basically the same thing:  the government owns everything and controls everyone.  The basic reason the Communists found it easy to establish a totalitarian state was that Czarist Russia was already a totally militarized state and also a failed state whose corrupt and inept military structure had all but collapsed by the end of World War I.  See Alan Moorehead The Russian Revolution and Edward Crankshaw The Shadow of the Winter Palace.   They didn't even know how many Russian peasant soldiers had been killed--was it 5 million or 8 million ?  Doesn't matter. 

The British Empire at its zenith in the 18th and 19th century, an empire upon which the sun never set, provided enormous opportunities for the better off class of England, so long as the British army and the British navy were successful--  Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves !   Just furnishing the fleet was good business.   And it wasn't different in America where the new U.S. government circa 1787 replaced the colonial legislatures in giving away the continent after the army secured it.  [ see Christian Economy versus Capitalism and versus Socialism  aka  Adam Smith in the Dock ] 

These 18th and 19th century philosophers promulgated the untenable dogmas which still circulate such as the primitive social contract and the sovereignty of the people.  Did you sign a social contract ?  For some reason I was not invited to the meeting.  In the economic sphere they promulgated the doctrines of the natural rights of buying and selling, and the sufficiency of enlightened selfishness.  In theory, they consecrated the spirit of individualism, and the state of non-government.  In practice, they justified that unlimited property right which the giant corporations exemplify just like the Dukes of Adam Smith's time. 

Like Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer was a camouflaged anti Christian who believed in monism  or Pantheism--the Harmonious Natural Universe of the Stoics.  That is the basis of the false faith in the Natural economy of human society.  An economy which does not require any moral principles so long as it is left natural and free. 

The question as to whether the economy needs morality is different from the question as to whether it needs legality--whether we should rely upon the government to establish a just economy by its endless laws.  It is similar to the question as to whether we can look to the government to out law abortion versus trying to establish social morality independently of the police power.  Which once neglected to enforce the laws against abortion and which now protects abortion.   Government is good at pretending to do things.  And people are easily fooled by that pretence because they wish to be fooled.  It gives them their excuse for ducking the fight via vote and pray. 

Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged 

A peculiar modern variant of the faith in Capitalism has been promoted by Atlas Shrugged, a 1957 novel by Ayn Rand that romanticizes and idealizes Capitalism.  The novel presents a handful of Capitalist heroes who go on strike--who abandon their essential role in creating a prosperous economy after they become disgusted with the Welfare State voted in by the dependent masses.  So they move to a Capitalist Shangri La hidden away in a valley of the Rocky Mountains, leaving those foolish masses to perish.  It is an end times scenario which offers no hope to all the moist-mouthed weaklings who vote themselves benefits at the expense of the heroic few who create the wealth.  There is also one heroine modeled on Ayn Rand herself.  She was an atheist as well as a believer in Capitalism.  She also believed in free love, abortion and cigarettes. 

She was a childless woman, either because she did not want children, or because she was not able to have a child.  She may have been sterile because of abortions.  Which were common in post revolution Leningrad, where she was a student, and in the Hollywood of the 1920s where she was a screenwriter.  That would explain the peculiar and extreme pro selfishness dogma in her novel contra refusing to sacrifice yourself or your career for dependent moist-mouthed weaklings--a phrase that keeps recurring in the novel. 


She began making notes for Atlas Shrugged a month before her 40th birthday.  And went into a prolonged post partum depression after finishing it.  Judging from the novel and her later behavior, she was mad at the world.  Post abortion stress disorder would help explain the hostility to humanity which drives the plot and creates an ideology in which everyone is despicable except for a handful of heroes.  The novel is nominally pro business but nearly all of the businessmen in it are as despicable as everyone else.  Like the radical feminists, she defined female freedom as an absolute and unlimited right which requires abortion.  Put your baby in the trash and be free !  Cf. freedom's just another word for nothin left to lose.  She also acquired a severe case of lung cancer from smoking.  The title of Milton Friedman's Free to Choose video plays off the Freedom of Choice slogan used to justify abortion. 

In reality, the economy depends far more upon the chicken and egg farmers, the dairy farmers, the butchers and bakers etc. than it does upon these government subsidized builders of railroads and steel mills.  Upon which the industrial might of America depends--its capacity to wage war on the other side of the world.  Without it, the Empire may Crumble, but, so long as the chicken farmer still shows up in the morning, we can still eat. 

The reason Ayn Rand and her novel have to be noticed is that she has influenced many of those who have promoted the faith in Capitalism in the last 50 years.  Alan Greenspan, the former long time chairman of the Federal Reserve, is a disciple of Ayn Rand.  Milton Friedman was a fan.  And Ronald Reagan, George Bush junior, Rush Limbaugh and Mike Rosen et al, have been greatly influenced by her and / or by Milton Friedman.  Her attempt to promote a Very Peculiar Faith in Capitalism has had a substantial success.  Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for vice president, admits that Ayn Rand's novel was a major influence on his economic convictions.  Meanwhile, neither he nor Joe Biden had anything to say about Catholic Social Teaching in their debate on how to fix the economy. 

Alan Greenspan visited Kirkcaldy Scotland, Adam Smith's birth place, on February 6th 2005 and spoke there in praise of Smith's  demonstration of the inherent stability and growth of what we now term free-market capitalism. . . .  One could hardly imagine that today's awesome array of international transactions would produce the relative economic stability that we experience daily if they were not led by some international version of Smith's invisible hand.  It was three years later that the international economy fell into the excavation in which we now find ourselves.  It may be relatively stable at the level of the bankers who have easy access to the Federal Reserve but half the young people of Italy and Spain can find no jobs and it is almost as bad here.  Thousands of people are being evicted from their homes here and there.  The whole of Africa languishes in poverty and misery because of the gross corruption of the governing class which is facilitated by the international financial system.  It is the same story in most of Asia and South America.  A large part of the population of the Philippines, America's former colony, depend upon the garbage dump for their livelihood. 

Greenspan's successor at the Federal Reserve is desperately trying to do something--anything--to revive the economy.  Mr. Bernanke's latest move is to pledge that the Reserve will buy another $ 40 billion worth of mortgage backed securities every month indefinitely until the employment rate goes down--it is up to 85 billion a month now.  Thank god it is still short of 100 billion a month.  That would be a lot of money !  Give the banks even more money to pile on top of the money they already have.  And, hopefully, they will do something with it.  Loan it to those who will launch free enterprises which will hire American workers.  Unless they buy machines instead, lay off workers, and start up factories some where in Asia.   Where is he getting this money ?  In effect, the Federal Reserve has issued itself a no limit credit card.  They didn't even go to the trouble to print the money.  Well, it would use up a lot of expensive paper.  Plastic is much cheaper and just as good.  Isn't plastic as good as gold ?  That seems to be the modern doctrine. 

Adam Smith's original faith in a System of Natural Liberty in respect to the economy had a backstairs connection to a faith in a System of Natural Liberty in respect to sexuality.  Most of the 18th century intellectuals were closet anti Christians who had to outwardly conform to the Christian establishment before it was undermined and overthrown by the American Revolution and the French Revolution.  Many of them were disguised atheists or Deists or pantheists.  And their


hostility to the Christian Church was often rooted in sexual rebellion.  The English public school system which took boys away from their mothers and sisters and put them in all male boarding schools at a very young age was almost scientifically designed to produce sexual and emotional stunting and to promote homosexuality. 

A lot of people pick up on atheism because it provides an intellectually respectable position which is much easier to discuss than their reasons for being unable or unwilling to conform to the strict standard of sexual morality which has always been part of the Christian religion.  That tends to be a much more embarrassing subject.  

The sexual rebellion component of natural and free  came out in the open during the French Revolution.  The faith in free love was part of the secret ideology of the 18th century Freemasons.  And it turns up again in the Communist movement of the 19th century and in the Socialist movement--aside from the Christian socialists--and in the feminist movement.  It relies upon arguments which are basically similar to those used on behalf of a free economy:   we don't need regulators or chaperones;  you can Trust Nature.  The insistence upon free love as an absolute right which includes the right to abortion shows up in the philosophy of Ayn Rand and in the Women's Liberation Movement of the 1960s.  Which is still around in various guises.  Ayn Rand's private life--which has long since become public--is a good illustration of the basic fallacy of free love--that no harm comes from it.  (see The Ayn Rand Cult  Jeff Walker ) 

The primary fallacy of the faith in Capitalism is the silly assumption that there is a  natural  system  in the human economy which does not require moral self-discipline and spiritual faith in the individuals who belong to that economy.  All they have to do is act naturally--pursue their self interest--while nature does the rest.  There is a further assumption that this system can be fixed when it breaks down, as it did during the Great Depression of the 1930s--or that it will naturally fix itself.  Then there is an endless argument as to how to fix it, whether by the government pumping money into the economy or by lowering taxes to unleash private enterprise--turn the corporations loose. 

Last time, it was World War II that finally fixed the broken down economy.  So is World War III now our best hope ?  Let us hope not.  And try to find a better hope. 

The Land of Shrinking Opportunities

What made America the land of opportunity was the dropping of barriers to immigrants and the Homestead Act which allowed them to come here and claim 160 acres of the American prairie.  What an extraordinary time !  Not only was a poor immigrant free to move to America, he could claim a country estate once he got here !  A 19th century ballad celebrated it:  Uncle Sam is rich enough to give us all a farm ! 

Of course it happened because the transcontinental railroads wanted settlers.   But all the same it happened.  Now there is a high fence to keep the immigrants out and the farm land belongs to the corporations and the speculators. 

The land was given to anyone willing to try and live out there and make a go of it.  Millions of poor people came here to pursue a bright future in a new land.  The American definition of freedom and opportunity was forged by this great land giveaway, this great opportunity to escape from the stratified societies of Europe in which those born poor had little chance to avoid dying poor. 

It seemed like a recipe for paradise.  But the homesteader who found himself to be the proud owner of 160 acres of North Dakota prairie--the squatter in residence anyway--soon discovered that the reality of being a land owner in America was substantially Different from the Dream. 

Between 1860 and 1910 the number of farms in the United States increased from 2 million to 6 million.  Many of these new farmers were homesteaders, immigrants from Europe.  The acreage under cultivation increased from 400 million to 900 million acres.   The production  of wheat rose from 173 to 635 million bushels. 


But when farmers began to raise grain for distant markets they put themselves at the mercy of powerful and predatory forces.  Producing for the world market made the farmer dependent upon the railroads and the commodities traders.  Most of what he got for his grain went for freight charges.  The boom times created by World War I pushed farmers to mortgage their farms and expand production.  But many of them went bankrupt when the price of wheat fell.  They lost the farm or went from being owners to being tenants. 

The bubble of Civil War prosperity burst in 1868 as did that of the World War in 1920.  Farm income fell by half in the 1920s and farmers were already hurting before the Great Depression hit the rest of the country.  The reason the prosperity continued for a while after World War II is that Europe and Asia were so devastated.  While they were recovering, American farming and manufacturing had a big market with little competition.  But times have changed.  

After World War I, they had to compete with the great expansion of farming in Canada as well as Argentina, Brazil, Australia and even Russia.  And most of this farming was investor driven instead of being the old fashioned kind of farming in which the farmer mainly raised food for his own family or the nearby town.  While most American industry was still protected by a tariff wall, the farmer who competed in the world market had no such protection. 

Disappearance of Independent Farmers 

The struggles of these pioneers is described by Rolvaag Giants in the Earth  Mari Sandoz Old Jules and Hamlin Garland A Son of the Middle Border.  In which Garland describes the experience of his homesteading family in the songs they sang--

When we've wood and prairie land,
Won by our toil,
We'll reign like kings in fairy land
Lords of the soil

But after the railroads, banks, commodities brokers and mortgage companies got hold of them, they went from being independent farmers to being tenants, and they sang instead--

There's a dear old homestead on Nebraska's fertile plain
There I toiled my manhood's strength away:
All that labor now is lost to me, but it is Shylock's gain
For that dear old home he claims today.

In 1880 three fourths of the farmers owned their own farms.  That dropped to two thirds by 1900.  By 1930 only half were owners and the other half were tenants.  In Nebraska the percentage of tenant farmers increased from 18 to 47 percent in the period from 1880 to 1930.  It was similar to what happened in other states.  Tenant farmers--sharecroppers--became the norm in much of the rural South.  Long before the Capitalism label came into use, the system whereby the owner of the land reaps where he did not sow was common.  The tenant works to earn his share.  The owner earns his by owning.  Adam Smith believed it to be the natural order of things when the Dukes owned the land and leased it to the Farmers who employed the laborers.  The Duke received most of the income while the laborer did all the work.  It wasn't long before this order was established in America with the bank or the Corporation taking the place of the Duke. 

The depression in American agriculture in the 1920s pushed farm people into the cities.  Where they were caught by the depression of the 1930s.  During the Great Depression, many tried to escape from the bread lines and the high rents in the city and go back to the farm.  Organizations like the Catholic Worker launched a back to the land movement which encouraged people to establish communities in rural areas.  The National Catholic Rural Life Conference sponsored a back-to-the-farm movement which gave people 10 acres on easy terms.  It was subsistence farming, not market farming, but it gave people a place to live and the chance to raise a lot of what they ate. 


World War II put an end to most of these experiments.  The men wound up in the military and the women wound up working in the war factories.  10 acres appealed to people standing in soup lines in the city.  But scratching a living out of a subsistence homestead lost its appeal when the war time economy started booming.  They lacked the morality which would have encouraged them to refuse military service and to reject the pursuit of the high wages offered by the tank factories.  They lacked the theological perspective whereby they might have remained faithful to a Christian community.  The Whole State theology of the Worldly Church teaches us to accept the nation as the central focus of society.  And there is no understanding that Christians have to avoid the temptations of boom times and the appetite for luxurious living. 

The Hebrews who escaped from slavery in Egypt were not all that happy with their new freedom in the desert and especially they were not satisfied with manna from heaven.  They sighed for the flesh pots of Egypt.  It is hard for people to accept a simple life unless they have been taught to believe in it.  They can't be content with a home and a livelihood which would be the envy of much of the world.  A dream of wealth pushed them to gamble away what they had.  The kids want to go to town and buy candy.  Ma wants to go  shopping.   The old man wants to visit the tavern.  

Three generations from shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves describes the pattern whereby grandpa's success encouraged his son to buy a new Ford and a house in town while raising grain for a market boomed by the war.  When boom led to bust, the grandson wound up back on the farm with a mortgage to pay off. 

There is something similar in the way that so many homes have been lost because people used them to raise money via equity loans and then got stuck with mortgage payments they could not afford.  Instead of putting the priority upon securing a home, and recognizing that the runaway inflation was being driven by speculators, they used its inflated value to cash in.  Then they got cashed in. 

People can never be content with enough unless they have a solid spiritual foundation which insulates them from these restless material aspirations.  Leaving the spiritual life unexplored and neglected pushes us into that endless trip into the wonderful world of material things. 

You have to resist the urge to keep up with the Joneses  and the mandate to stay abreast of the latest technology.  Technology is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.  Do you control it ?  Or does it control you ?  Does it make our work easier ?  Or put us out of work ?  For millions of people, new technology controlled by the corporations for the benefit of the stockholders has meant the end of their employment.  The process was controlled by the people with the money, not the people who were doing the work. 

There is something to be said for efficiency which makes things cheaper.  But, more often than not, the main effect is to make the rich even richer. 

25 families . . . one family 

A story in the paper describes how one family farms 8900 acres which used to be home to 25 families.  The population of the nearby town is half what it was 40 years ago.  Is this more efficient ?  Of course it is more efficient in producing those grain surpluses which governments have to keep off the market to keep the price up.  But it is 1/25th as efficient at providing a place to live and a livelihood for families.  Who now must live in the city and compete for jobs with the government or jobs with the downsizing corporations. 

A major cause and symptom of the collapse of the old Roman Empire was the ruin of agriculture and the forcing of country people into the large cities where they became dependent upon government welfare--upon bread and circuses. The concentration of a pauper population in the towns,  was accompanied by the denudation and desolation of the country districts.


The farmer began by using machinery which displaced the farm laborer.  He ended by being displaced himself.  The horse was replaced by the tractor.  The tractor has been replaced by a giant combine that can harvest 1000 acres in a day.  Meanwhile, the farmer and his family have been replaced by a giant corporation.  It is owned by distant stockholders who never did a day's work on a farm.  The sovereign wealth funds of Russia and China and Saudi Arabia are invested in American agriculture via stock in these agribusiness corporations.  A major goal of the Bolshevik revolution was to entirely displace small farmers with giant farm factories.  Which is what is being done here in America by the runaway power of money.  All the people who once lived and worked on those farms are gone, pushed out to crowd into gigantic cities. 

Not so long ago, horses still shared our labors and our lives on those farms and ranches where our grandparents lived.  They were friends.  Now we spend our lives estranged from horses and living in exile from those quiet country places which were not paradise but a lot better than these giant cities with bad air where you line up for government welfare benefits or join the fierce competition for a dwindling number of job opportunities. 

The small towns of America are deserted and dying.  The old ranch society is gone and the  community dance hall is boarded up.  Governor Bradford lamented the disappearance of the original Plymouth community.  It has happened again and for the same basic reasons.  [ See the Governor Bradford essay ]  Because we are easily seduced by the lure of big wages in boom times, in war times, we leave behind something that money can't buy.  When we don't really believe in a life beyond this one, we are determined to make the best of this one.  Which means lots of money and lots of things--an endless shopping trip.  

Around the world, corrupt economic forces relentlessly push people out of the country and into enormous cities clogged by traffic and plagued by every kind of  crime.  Much of what made the old cities good places to live has been destroyed by the tidal wave of money belonging to speculators and profiteers.  Mideast oil billionaires and Russian and Chinese Communist Capitalists speculate in American real estate. 

The speculators fleeing the stock market drive up the price of farm land far beyond what it is worth as crop producing land, just as they drove up the price of houses far beyond what they were worth as homes where people could live.  There are a dozen middle men who somehow insert themselves into the exchange between someone selling a home and someone trying to buy one. 

The suitcase farmers who cared about money and who did not care about the land had a major role in ruining the land and turning the great American prairie into the dust bowl of the 1930s.  Speculators and money farmers destroyed farm land.  Absentee owners neglected the land and tenants had not the means or the motive to take care of it.  By the 1930s a large part of American farm land had been eroded to where it could produce little or nothing.  If your farm is your permanent home, you care about it and take care of it.  But if the enterprise is driven by the need to Make Money and Move On the land gets sacrificed. 

They turned a great blessing into a curse because of loving money more than they loved the land.  There was a large class of men who had no interest in a farm home where they could raise a family.  They had no spiritual center except money.  Speculators who did not know the difference between summer and winter wheat drove up the price of farm land while other speculators drove down the price of wheat.  Even if you were a very good farmer, your crop was devoured by that vast tribe of middle men who are a worse plague than the locusts. 

The Jefferson model 

Thomas Jefferson had a vision of America as a nation of independent farmers.  Meanwhile, his family lived on a 10,000 acre estate worked by 200 slaves.  If the Jefferson model had prevailed and spread over the 2.25 billion acres of the American mainland, America would now have 225,000 white families living on estates worked by 45 million negro slaves.  The Jefferson model did not prevail but the spirit of get all you can, any way you can get it  did prevail. 


Like the great estates of the founding fathers, a lot of farming gets pushed into raising cash crops like tobacco and cotton for a distant market.  The model of a small farm which raised food to feed the family that lived there had to compete with the inflated price of farm land pegged at the price of what it could produce by way of a cash crop.  Now speculators fleeing a collapsed stock market or a devastated real estate market push the price of farm land far beyond it's value even as a production unit of the world market. 

People have to have strict principles to protect themselves from those with no spiritual values who are animated by the love of money.  Paul tells us to have no communion with such people  don't eat with extortioners.  That advice is still relevant.  But that love of money tends to get into all of us, unless we are vigilant to keep it out. 

It makes sense for people to try and move back to farms and ranches and back to small towns, despite the difficulty.  A good house in a small town in Kansas or Wyoming sells for a tenth of what that same house would sell for in a big city.  Of course the challenge is how to make a living in such places.  Farming which depends upon national and international markets puts you in competition with Archer, Daniels and Midland.  But most of the existing communal groups have found other things they can produce and sell to make ends meet.  The old Shakers produced quality craftsmanship which is still cherished. 

Christian communal groups like the Amish and the Hutterites have persisted because they did believe in keeping apart from the world.  They might be criticized for withdrawing too much from the world, for not challenging the evil of the world, for making an implicit deal with the world:  we'll leave you alone if you leave us alone.  The Amish are more of a tourist attraction than a serious challenge to the evil of the world around them.  But they are at least a kind of museum of Christian Community and they illustrate the possibility of escaping from the ruined economies and the bad air of our gigantic cities into which millions have now moved leaving the rural areas and the small towns deserted.  

Jumping into a communal experiment requires that you look before you leap.  But the hazards of trying to survive in the big city are arguably as bad.  There are communities which have grown up in the inner city.  People plant gardens on the vacant lots.  There is a new frontier in the abandoned inner cities. 

A Nation of Immigrants 

America has been rightly described  as a nation of immigrants.   Immigrants began arriving in America in 1607 and there was a river of immigration, interrupted by wars and other events, until it was shut down to a trickle by laws passed in 1921 and 1924.  Between 1820 and 1930 some 38 million immigrants arrived in America, although a substantial number of them went back to where they came from after they found their fortunes in America or failed to find them.  Contra the myth, not everyone who came to America got rich. 

Some of these immigrants took up free farms under the Homestead Act, but most of them wound up in the cities working for the rapidly expanding industries of America.  The owners of industry wanted all the cheap labor they could get and the wages of those already here were constantly undercut by new waves of half starved immigrants willing to work for less.  That is one of the things that drove the later restrictions on immigration. 

In 1883 Emma Lazarus wrote a poem which celebrated the Statue of Liberty then being built in New York Harbor as symbolizing America's open door policy to immigration: 


The New Colossus  by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp !" cries she
With silent lips.  "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door !"   

In fact, the Statue of Liberty had nothing to do with welcoming immigrants.  When it was dedicated in 1886 no one said anything about welcoming the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  A plaque with the Emma Lazarus poem on it was not installed in the Statue until 1903--without any ceremony.  The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World actually represents Isis the Egyptian Sun Goddess and it was a gift from the Freemasons of France to the Freemasons of America to commemorate the twin revolutions in 18th century France and America which overthrew the old social order and introduced the new world order which has been with us in one guise or another ever since.  The liberty represented by Isis includes especially the sexual liberty which was the half concealed agenda of the 18th century Freemasons. Now it has become the norm in modern America and modern France--free love is out in the open.  The bath houses are in business and the abortion mills are rolling. 

Emma Lazarus had served on a committee which assisted Jewish refugees from Russia who came here in large numbers after the Czar Alexander was assassinated in 1881 by left wing radicals including some from Jewish backgrounds.  The Jews of Russia were indiscriminately attacked and persecuted as a result even though most of them had nothing to do with it.  Just as we blame the Moslems in general for acts of terrorism by radical Moslems. 

Your Invitation Has Been Canceled

By the time she wrote her poem, immigration to America had already been curtailed by the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.  Which was pushed primarily by organized labor.  Samuel Gompers of the American Federation of Labor had once been fired from a cigar factory along with everyone else after Chinese workers had been brought in to take their jobs.  When the Irish gold seekers participating in the 1849 California gold rush declined the low wages and dangerous conditions of working on the new railroad through the Sierras, the railroad owners brought in Chinese workers who were happy to escape from the violent chaos in China. 

The restrictive laws which were passed in 1917, 1921 and 1924 were especially aimed at immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, including the Jews of Russia, whose arrival in America Emma Lazarus had celebrated.   The case made against the Russian Jews is that they were all anarchists and Communists and socialists.  Which wasn't even half true, although there was some truth to the caricature.  In the 19th century many European Jews left Judaism behind and a substantial number of them embraced the new socialist faith in its various forms. 

The severe restrictions on immigration which America had passed in 1924 remained in place thereafter.  In 1942 Americans refused to allow the immigration of Jews from Europe who were desperately trying to escape from the Nazi persecution.  The golden door stayed shut.  The policy of Hitler's government was to push the Jews into exile.  It was only after America and Britain blocked the emigration that Hitler launched the Final Solution. 


Since then Americans have refused refuge to the Vietnamese boat people for whom America was responsible.  As well as trying to stop the flow of refugees from Cuba and Haiti.  Now the national priority is to somehow reverse the flow of immigrants fleeing the poverty and violence of Mexico.  Americans really don't have the right to repeat the claim of world-wide welcome which is still found on that plaque inside the Statue of Liberty.  It is one of the self deceptions that belong to our national self worship.  Honesty requires us to draw a line through it.  We took in that welcome mat a long time ago.  We still welcome the well-educated and the affluent, yearning to become more affluent, but the huddled masses can go back where they came from.  They aren't going to breathe our air if we can help it !

When World War I broke out, the Statue of Liberty was used as a symbol for military recruitment.  So Liberty meant being conscripted into the army and sent off to France in that war which was supposed to make the world safe for democracy.  Actually it opened the way for the Bolsheviks and the Nazis to strut their stuff on the world stage and launch another World War which killed 60 million.  Meanwhile, 10,000 Americans who had no enthusiasm for the war were arrested under the Patriot Act of 1917.  That is how Freedom was defined.  You are free to go to jail if you don't go along with the war.

In the 19th century, the government, at the behest of the corporations,  allowed a mass of immigrants to drive down wages.  Between 1820 and 1860 more than 5 million Europeans migrated to the United States.  Three million came between 1865 and 1873 when the economy crashed and put 3 million out of work.  In New York City 5000 businesses went out of business.  By 1874 New York City had 100,000 unemployed out of a population of one million.  "Thousands were evicted from their homes, and over the winter more than 90,000 citizens were lodged at one time or another in the city's police stations.   Hundreds wander, homeless, in this great city through the winter storm . . . in the midst of plenty they starve.   ( CC 161 )   This depression lasted most of the 1870s.  Another depression came in 1893.  There was a post World War I recession which led to 4 million unemployed in 1921, nine years before the Great Depression hit.  It hit the farmers hard and pushed them into the cities just in time for the Depression.  

There is a Real Question as to how many of the world's poor people can or should be accommodated in an America which already has a very large population of poor people for whom the American Dream has been long deferred.   A major reason for the shutting down of immigration was the growing power of American workers whose wages were undercut by a constant influx of immigrants happy to work for anything they could get.  We have now solved that problem--the Capitalists have solved it--by shipping the factories to where the cheap labor can be found.  The Chinese are still excluded but they get the jobs anyway. 

The  downsizing  of  America   

The question they ask in the election is:  are you better off now than you were four years ago ?  Which is a short sighted perspective.  A better question is whether the American economy provides as much opportunity as it did 50 years ago.  And the answer is that it does not.  America has lost 50 million family wage jobs in that time because of corporations downsizing and outsourcing.  The jobs that have replaced them are subsistence wage jobs in fast food restaurants.  Servant wage jobs which allow a single person to get by, so long as you make no attempt to raise a family.  We have built an anti family economy. 

The steady disappearance of American manufacturing has put millions of men out of work.  Men are disproportionately unemployed in the current recession.  Women hold most of the jobs in many sectors of the economy, especially the large government bureaucracies.  Which leads to stay at home dads at best.  More often, it leads to families without fathers and women with no children. 

There really is no great mystery about what has happened to American jobs.  Both political parties have gone along with a policy of global free trade which has destroyed American jobs.  The American people have gone along with it because of their short sighted pursuit of entry into the privileged class. 


In 1962, when Congress and the Kennedy Administration passed the Trade Expansion Act, Glenn Cunningham, a Republican congressman from Nebraska said:   I am convinced that we can never compete favorably with foreign countries, even when all trade and tariff barriers are removed.  The cheap labor used in foreign plants means that their products can be shipped here and sold at less cost than comparable American-made products.  Whenever this happens, thousands and perhaps millions of workers will be laid off and become unemployed.  That is just what happened.  Whether or not this gentleman was a prophet, he nailed it.  And for the obvious reason that American workers who expect to be paid $ 5 an hour or $ 10 an hour or even $ 20 an hour can simply not compete in the same market with those impoverished millions all over the world who jump at the chance to work for $ 1 an hour or less.

Ross Perot warned of what NAFTA would do--giant sucking sound of American jobs going to central America--but both major party candidates continued to support NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has in fact led to thousands of jobs being moved to factories in central America at the expense of U.S. workers.  This is supposedly a free market--capital flows freely across the border, cheap shirts flow back, while labor has to swim the Rio Grande or walk through the desert at night and climb a high fence.  

Can all those American workers displaced by downsizing,  outsourcing, and automation move up to salaried positions in the privileged class via investing $ 100,000 in a college education ?  That is the Big Illusion and the propaganda lie  that has distracted Americans from realizing that the American Economy has been pulled out from under them while they were distracted by the American Dream.  From which they will have a rude awakening.  GATT and NAFTA have accelerated the policy of shipping American jobs out of America. 

American Illusions 

Why has there been so little resistance to this Downsizing of America ?  One reason is that more than half of Americans are invested in the stock market either directly or indirectly through 401ks or IRAs or pension funds etc.  When General Electric laid off 272,000 workers the value of its stock soared.  While some Americans were losing their jobs, many other Americans saw the value of their investments increase.  The Texas school teachers pension fund--$ 100 billion or so--is invested in the stock market and they expect to get 8 percent on their money.  Or at least they need that kind of a return to meet their obligations.  Same is true of Calpers the California public employees retirement fund.  The same is true of these other pension funds. 

The unions which sometimes offered a half-hearted resistance to the mass lay offs, were preoccupied with preserving the wages and benefits of senior union members.  It was not hard to persuade them to sell out, not just workers in general but even the junior members of their own unions.  Runaway automation continues to replace bank tellers with ATMs and grocery store clerks with self scanners.  The labor unions carry out a rear guard action which protects senior workers by sacrificing the new hires. 

American consumers have benefited from the low prices for electronic goods imported from Asia.  And prefer the cars made in Germany or Japan to the cars made in Detroit which were made as cheaply as possible to compensate for the extreme wages and benefits the auto makers had to pay to the United Auto Workers.  A similar thing happened to the American Steel Industry which priced itself out of existence after the big American wars ended and the military contracts upon which it depended came to an end.  Should we care about our fellow American workers ?  How much did they care about us when they pursued these rip off contracts ? 

The basic characteristic of early Christian society is that they really did care about one another.  The basic characteristic of American society, as of every secular society, is that Americans do not care about other Americans--not if there is money to be made by selling them out.  When you stick a pin in the hot air balloon of patriotic rhetoric, that is the reality which appears.  Millions of Americans continue to pursue wealth without work while millions of other Americans sink deeper into the poverty which results.  Americans invoke verbal blessings upon other Americans in the way that James 2.15-16 describes, but it is only words. 


The basic reason there has been so little resistance to the wholesale erosion of American jobs is that Faith in the American Dream which is the grand illusion of so many.  When you expect to become a rock star or have a career in the NBA, or at least find a comfortable position in the privileged class via a college education, you are not likely to become alarmed when Hanes and Fruit of the Loom move all the underwear manufacturing jobs from places like Mississippi to places like Vietnam. 

No one will admit that his American dream is a $ 12 an hour job in an underwear factory.  And it makes perfect sense to the underwear manufacturers to move their factories to places where people are glad to get $ 1 an hour.  Their stock holders applaud as well.  And the number of Americans who own stock outnumbers those who worked in these factories.  We have now reached the point where the entire American garment industry has been shipped overseas.  So now we can all be lawyers and doctors or other high salaried professionals, or get a job with the government.  Some of us can, anyway.  The other 250 million can get food stamps and section 8 housing and shop at the Good Will.  Where there are racks full of clothes made in Asia or Central America. 

Aside from all the people who are willing to take our underwear manufacturing jobs for $ 1 an hour, there are a large number of highly educated people in places like India who are qualified for those high tech jobs and who will do them for a third of what a college educated American expects to get.   

I am not arguing that America can insulate its prosperity from the poverty of the rest of the world.  It is obviously too late for that.  But that means we have to deal with the fact of the terrible poverty of the rest of the world which relentlessly undermines our prosperity.  We have to deal with the poverty in Mexico which drives so many millions to come here in a desperate quest for survival, while the flashing red light on the Statue of Liberty says  go home !   

Supposedly the prosperity of our free enterprise system was going to be shared with the rest of the world.  The opposite has happened.  What we actually exported was a system of legalized looting which enriches the corrupt governing classes at the expense of the rest of the people who languish in the most wretched poverty.  As in Mexico, where all the wealth has been stolen by the revolutionary ruling party. 

Subsidizing the World

American prosperity has steadily eroded while American manufacturing has been shut down and shipped abroad.  A major reason for that is the global imperial view of those at the apex of the federal government, who have to maintain that world dominance which otherwise depends upon 800 air bases and naval bases and army bases in 39 countries all over the world.  It is cheaper to subsidize foreign armies than to ship one over seas.  And even cheaper to allow most favored nation trade deals.  It makes sense, from the imperial point of view, to distribute billions of American dollars in military subsidies to half the nations on the planet.  Waning empires prefer bribery to war.  It is cheaper and a lot less trouble.  The Egyptian army gets a billion a year in return for keeping the peace with Israel.  Mubarak accumulated a couple of billion while he was President.  Who knows how many billions Israel has received.  And all those other nations are client states also.  And everywhere there is corruption. 

International aid has been defined as the process by which poor people in rich countries give money to rich people in poor countries.  In 1981 Prime Minister Begin of Israel asked angrily Are we a vassal state of yours ?  Are we a banana republic ?   The answer to that is yes.  Between 1966 and 1991 Israel received more than $ 75 billion in American aid. 

From the perspective of the imperial White House, sacrificing the lives of soldiers to maintain America's position in the world is acceptable.  So neither do they balk at policies which lead to thousands of laid off workers in America.  The extension of most favored nation status to China may put a lot of Americans out of work and cost America a lot of money, but it is arguably cheaper than doubling the military establishment in that part of the world to meet the threat of a hostile China. 


Along with subsidies to the military, America is committed to allowing all these client states to sell whatever they have to sell in the U.S.  In effect the federal government subsidizes and encourages all that so-called free trade which tips the balance of trade away from America.  Germany and Japan, Taiwan and Korea are all in effect client states of the American Empire.  As are the nations of Latin America.  The American Government has dependents all over the world.  And can't really take care of them all without neglecting its home populace. 

Iraq and Afghanistan have absorbed billions of American dollars.  And exhibit that wholesale corruption which invariably accompanies such largesse.  Pakistan gets more billions for supposedly helping us, even while they seem to be helping the other side with our money.  Like a gal that takes your money and gives it to another man.  America was the landlord of the Philippines for 50 years.  And left behind one of the most thoroughly corrupt nations you could find any where.  As aptly symbolized by the 20,000 pairs of shoes that Imelda Marcos left behind when she and her husband took their billions and got out of there, headed for a luxurious exile.  Meanwhile, a large part of the population lives out at the dump. 

The money paid to Egypt goes to the Egyptian army which is corrupted by it--although it was already corrupt.  The billions given to Pakistan go to the army of course.  And the generals transfer the money to off shore bank accounts.  The same story is repeated in other places.  Wherever the Marines have landed they have left behind nations ruled by wealthy and corrupt establishments while most of the people remain mired in poverty and ready to join drug dealing organizations or terrorist groups.  How else can they get any respect or any money ? 

epidemic  corruption

There is in fact an international economic system which can correctly be called legalized looting.  The rip off system of economy and government.  Calling it corruption is misleading because it implies that wholesomeness and integrity is the norm.  In fact, corruption is the norm. 

A 2005 book by Ronald W. Baker, Capitalism's Achilles Heel   Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System, documents the whole sale corruption which has impoverished all of Africa, Asia and South America.  Mr. Baker went to Nigeria in the 1960s and started a business there immediately after he graduated from the Harvard Business School.  And encountered that system of bribery and corruption which has engulfed the whole of Africa in the wake of liberation.  Corrupt governing groups deal drugs, steal mineral wealth and then launder the money through the international banking system.  They steal the money loaned by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, stash it in Swiss bank accounts or the Cayman Islands and leave the wretched people of the country owing the money. 

Mr. Baker still believes in Capitalism.  He did anyway when he first went to Nigeria as a dewy-eyed graduate of Harvard Business School.  In fact he still has a somewhat naive faith in it.  It seems to be all he has by way of a religion.  At the end of the book he argues that Adam Smith envisioned Capitalism as a moral system but that it was corrupted by the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham.  And he believes it can be Reformed.  Somehow. 

Whatever that argument is worth, Baker admits that the international capitalist system has been entirely corrupted and produced a terrible poverty all over the world.  He documents how much dirty money from looted mineral wealth, businesses which rely upon the bribery of corrupt officials and drug cartels is routinely laundered by American and European banks and stashed in secret off shore accounts.  And he shows how much poverty and misery has engulfed the looted countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America as a consequence.

That is the value of his book.  He went to the trouble to research the corruption found in some 60 countries all over the world and the ways by which money from it is laundered by western banks along with the money from drug cartels.  Trillions of dollars from sovereign wealth funds, oil revenues, public pension funds, officials who loot the treasury and drug cartels etc. find their way into investment funds where stolen paper wealth can be converted into gold.   


The basic characteristic of economies and governments all over the world is wholesale corruption. The Transparency International web site has Global Corruption Reports documenting the billions which have been pocketed by the governing parties of Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, Pakistan, Gabon, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Congo.  With the help of Western banks and corporations.   I came, I saw, I looted is the motto of international free market capitalism. 

Nigeria, where Mr. Baker tried to do business, ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.  But the whole of Africa has descended into desperate poverty and violent chaos because of the looting of the elites who are assisted by Western corporations and banks.  A BBC 10-23-12 story about Nigeria describes the daily theft of 180,000 barrels of oil.  They can't figure out how the thieves are getting away with it.  Inspector Closeau is on the job with a trained dolphin to track the oil tankers.  Well, it would be funny if the terrible poverty of the people of Nigeria were funny. 

the poverty of Africa

The hopeless poverty and rampant violent crime which now afflicts South Africa is as bad as anything they suffered under apartheid.  It is worse really, because the rest of the world has lost interest in their plight.  They have fallen out of fashion now that it is blacks mistreating blacks.  African Liberation is supposed to have ended the miseries of Africa instead of making them worse.  So their situation no longer fits western ideologies.  Bishop Tutu has moved on to global warming as his main cause.  As elsewhere, a corrupt governing party lives in luxury while most of the people don't have clean water or electricity or safety or enough food. 

Nairobi, Kenya features Kibera--the largest slum in Africa, where children trade sex for food.  Kibera now has one nurse to serve the population.  They don't even have clean drinking water.  Meanwhile, Members of Parliament are paid 9300 pounds a month.  Hundreds of millions in British foreign aid has been stolen. 

It was the backing of the American CIA that allowed Joseph Mobutu to hang on to power in the Congo.  He and his supporters went on to steal $ 5 billion.  And plunged the Congo into endless civil wars which have killed 5 million and caused 5 million rapes.   There seems to be no country in Africa which does not have 1. a wholly corrupt governing party  2. a mass of poor people  3. who are often the victims of criminal and military violence directly connected to the looting. 

As Baker shows, this relentless looting is facilitated by Western corporations and by the policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which persist in making loans to notoriously corrupt governments.  The money gets stolen and those who never received it are liable for it.   The British bank HSBC has agreed to pay a $ 1.9 billion fine for laundering money for drug cartels like the Sinaloa Cartel of Mexico.  For years this bank has been laundering money for one of the cartels which is responsible for the violence in Mexico which, along with the poverty, drives the Mexicans to escape any way they can.   The Mexican bail out back in 1995 cost the U.S. $  50 billion.  It was the international corporations who were saved, not the poor people of Mexico.  The opening of a giant new oil field in Mexico in the 1970s was supposed to alleviate the poverty of Mexico.  It did the opposite.  All the money went into the pockets of the governing party and their supporters. 

America cannot insulate its prosperity from the poverty of the rest of the world.  Historically, the U.S. has had a major share of the responsibility for the poverty of Mexico.  And will never stop the flow of desperately poor migrants coming north until it finds a way to address poverty in Mexico.  Of course that was the false promise of NAFTA.  All they need is so-called free market capitalism.  The American Coast Guard turns back those who try to escape from Haiti.  The relentless and hopeless poverty of Haiti is the result of perennially corrupt government. 

The entrenched corruption of Spain and Italy and Greece is the major reason for the collapse of those economies, which offer no future for the young people of those countries.  The usual partnership of unscrupulous corporations and larcenous politicians has systematically diverted the wealth of the country.  See the New York Times of Feb 16 2013  A4  In Spain, Graft Inquiry is Widening re: traditions of institutionalized graft exposed by the downturn in Europe's economy. 


But it isn't just the people at the top who are dishonest.  Dishonesty pervades the population.  Dishonesty has long since reached epidemic proportions in most of the world's economy.  Anyone who tries to stay honest is surrounded by those who will take advantage.  Everybody does it is the universal motto. 

Communist and Capitalist Corruption

Russia under the Czars had a large and corrupt bureaucracy and military establishment.  Under the Communists, the bureaucracy grew larger and more corrupt.  Now that the Communists no longer run things, old fashioned Capitalist Corruption has re-emerged.  The arguments about systems are irrelevant when there is a universal system of looting which persists regardless of prevailing ideology.

The primary feature of Communist China has been a large corrupt bureaucracy, facilitated by totalitarian control and the absence of an independent press.  Now that capitalism has returned, the old restrictions have been thrown off and the corruption has been multiplied.  An article in the New York Times for October 26th 2012 shows how Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and his family have made billions via free enterprises facilitated by government connections.  Although he has done it under protest as it were--In the winter of 2007, just before he began his second term as prime minister, Wen Jiabao called for new measures to fight corruption, particularly among high-ranking officials.  Which will leave more for himself and his relatives. 

In America we have less corruption because we have more lawyers.  The corporation lawyers and lobbyists go to Washington, sit down with the Congressmen and work out deals which make that legal which before was not legal.  If it is even half way legal, the corporations can take it from there.  They expect to be in court suing and being sued and they have legal establishments already set up to take care of it. 

American cities

There is more scrutiny of the corruption in America because of an independent press.  The muckrakers of the 19th century exposed the graft of New York and Chicago and other American cities where political establishments systematically looted the public treasury in what was accurately described as a spoils system.  Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed.  But as soon as the media spotlight is switched off, the mice come out again.  In the late 1980s, during the third term of Mayor Ed Koch, a whole series of trials showed how corruption pervades various departments.   City workers have long since mastered the art of ripping off the taxpayers by exploiting the vices of the politicians. 

Even when the Mayor does not personally enrich himself, which was true of Mayor Daley in Chicago and Ed Koch in New York, corruption pervades the municipal bureaucracies he supposedly supervises.  The legendary stories like that of Huey Long in Louisiana distract us from the less flamboyant and routine corruption of our cities. 

When I was in New York in the 1970s the garbage men would head for the dump with half a load and call it a day.  The social workers would sit upstairs reading the Racing Form while their clients waited in long lines.  The police officers would report for duty and then park some place and take a nap.  The city clerical staff would come late, leave early and take two hours for lunch. 

Americans are not all that shocked and indignant when they read of municipal corruption.   The reaction of the average person is 1. mild indignation  2. a shrug--I'd probably do the same if I got the chance   3.  a question:  how can I get in on it ?  That is why the spirit of easy money and the rip off shows up at every level of the American economy.  Auto mechanics and plumbers, roofers and repair men are only as honest as they are made to be.  If Diogenes went looking for an honest workman his lantern would run out of kerosene before he found one.   Under the new health care system, doctors have become as larcenous as lawyers.   At the higher levels of the bureaucracy, where there isn't the same self-interested scrutiny, the rip off is destroying the system.  The runaway cost of health care and health insurance is the result of fraud and rip offs at every level.  Billions are being stolen from Medicare and it is on the way to bankruptcy. 


the doctrine of 99 per cent righteous

We are indebted to the late Occupy Wall Street movement for a definition of what is wrong with the U.S. economy.  Even if it is the wrong definition, it helps to bring into focus the question as to who or what is to blame for the half collapsed economy. 

That definition says in effect that the one per cent richest are to blame while the other 99 per cent of us are not to blame--we are the victims.  1 per cent of us are rich but not righteous.  The remaining 99 per cent of us are righteous because we don't belong to the 1 per cent. 

Suppose that you are beat up by the gang of 9 on your way home.  You have a just claim to be a martyr.  But suppose that your group of nine is beat up by the gang of 1 on your way home from school.  Wouldn't you be embarrassed to mention it ? 

If 99 per cent of the population have allowed themselves to be mugged by the wealthiest 1 per cent of the population, what can anybody do about it ?  If they did it once, they'll do it twice !  We're Doomed ! 

On the other hand, if the 99 per cent of us who are righteous but not rich can arrive at a show down with the 1 per cent who are rich but not righteous, why can't we make them share the wealth  ?  We hardly need to vote-- Resolved:  that Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods and Lebron James should divvy up with the rest of us . . .     motion carried by acclamation !   Instead of occupying the park, we will camp out on Oprah's estate until she brings us all barbecue.  Then move on to the next estate. 

Since the 99 per cent could easily pass a total tax on the 1 per cent and then live happily ever after, an explanation is wanting as to why we haven't already done it.  The most recent tax increase on the top 2 per cent seems to imply that only 98 per cent of us are righteous. 

In fact the list of those who are to blame for our broken down economy should include a much larger percentage.   Those who make a living by honest work in America are not 99 per cent of the population.  More like 9 per cent.  Those who participate in parasite practices and the rip off make up the other 91 per cent. 

In the past 150 years Wall Street has evolved 1001 ways to cheat and they still come up with something new every week.  But everybody and his brother wants a piece of the action if he can get it.  Most Americans are invested in the stock market directly or indirectly.  They all share the Wall Street faith of wealth without work via investing.  Jeremiah 6.13 says For from the least to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for unjust gain.  That accurately describes our society and largely explains the major cause of the recent financial crash.  

We are still stuck with the simple minded Marxist dictum that society is divided into two classes, one of which exploits the other.  In fact there are more like 20 classes in society.  All of which pursue their interest as best they can by seeking favors from the government. And as individuals, we all rip off the best we can.  The 65 per cent on the top rip off the 35 per cent on the bottom.  Who rip them off when they get the chance.  We have reached the point where everyone gets a government check.  Some checks are larger than others, that's the difference.  And the day is coming when the checks will bounce. 

It is true that people with a lot of money take advantage of those with less money.  It is also true that those with  less money take advantage of those with more when they get the chance.  At street level, the fellows with no money will rob or steal from whomever. 

The reality is that those who are poor prey upon other poor people and prey upon those who have more than they do--if they get the chance.  Those at the bottom are just as predatory as those at the top, or more so--they have to be.  It is just that their opportunities to rip off their fellows produce less revenue. 


Except in the comics, it isn't the billionaire who steals the cans of the can collector.  A rival can collector does that.  The billionaire pursues bigger prey.  Or spends it on philanthropy.  When there is nothing left you want to buy, you can still buy respect. 

Adam Smith says that  Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.   [  WN 674 ]   The rich have always defended themselves from revolution by buying off those who seriously threaten their position.  Most people have some property to protect.  And have no confidence that they could expropriate the property of the rich without the risk of having their own property expropriated.  Adam Smith was bought off by the Duke with a life time pension and an easy money sinecure in the government bureaucracy. 

In Adam Smith's time there were only 3000 voters in England.  The franchise was limited to white men with a lot of property.  In America, everyone gets to vote.  In Chicago, even the ghosts get to vote.  Which means that the welfare state will inevitably expand beyond the Merchants and Manufacturers of Adam Smith's day who extorted protections and subsidies from Parliament.  But why be indignant when the masses do what the Merchants do ?  The result is smaller checks but a lot more of them

Wars lead to pay offs for soldiers who survive.  The class of those who have some property has become a very large category in America.  Most of the population.  The expectation that the Middle Class is ready to join the revolution is silly. 

We live in a rip off society.  A society which is structured to facilitate the rip off.  The rip off gets built into business practices.  It defines the housing market.  It gets written into union contracts and out of court settlements.  Federal, State and City governments operate on what is basically bribery even though it isn't called that.  It ceases to be bribery when it becomes standard politics. 

The Occupy Wall Street movement camped out in city park to push the millionaires to agree to disgorge their ill-gotten gains.  They didn't realize that millionaires don't hang out in city parks and were therefore free from any pressure to disgorge.  The media propped it up as best they could but it succumbed to natural causes like inept rabble rousing and silly ideology. 

They failed to recognize that the unions are part of the rip off, not the alternative to it.  What is really wanted is a way to pressure the 91 per cent to somehow give up the rip off and the easy money.  Which is not likely to happen.  But there is a small percentage of society which could find the way to an honest economy when they understand what they are up against. 

What's wrong with the American economy is Americans--it's us.  It's what we do and what we don't do.  We don't do honest and useful work.  Instead we get hold of positions, safe sinecures in the bureaucracy.  We make money off money--we try to and go broke trying.  We are all like the farmer going into the tavern and losing his crop money at the poker table.  You can't cheat an honest man.  We get cheated by trying to cheat others. 

A society in which people insisted upon doing an honest day's work at a socially useful trade in return for fair wages would be a revolutionary society.  Which is why those who are serious about having an honest economy have to build one.  Not from scratch because there are honest workers and honest businesses which provide some foundation.  But there has to be as much independence as possible from most of the hopelessly corrupt establishment we now have.   cf. in the world but notofit.  

the lottery economy

Can anyone succeed in America ?  Yes !  And we have numerous stories which illustrate that proposition.  Parallel Question:  Can anyone win the lottery ?  Yes !  And we have numerous stories which illustrate that proposition.  The follow up question is:  can everyone succeed in America ?  The parallel follow up question is:   can everyone win the lottery ?  And the answer is no.  For everyone who wins a million there have to be about two million who lose a dollar, because half the money stays with the sponsor of the lottery. 


The question about America is harder to answer, because it is a more complex sort of lottery.  It isn't just luck.  There is a lot of room for using influence etc.  And it isn't just a zero sum game like the poker table.   But the obvious fact is this:  the more people there are who get rich without working, the more people there will be whose wages are in effect substantially reduced.  It is a kind of poker table economy in which those who win do so at the expense of those who lose. 

college  illusions   

A basic part of the false faith in the American Economy is that we can all get ahead via college.  We can all become members of the affluent society via 6 years of college while embracing free trade with a world in which millions of people are eager to work for a third of what we expect to get. 

This is the current version of The American Dream.   It is the false faith of much of the rest of the world also.  We can all join the privileged class by investing a small fortune in getting a college degree.  It did halfway work 60 years ago.  And it still works for some.  But it is a bad investment for most people. 

In Spain and Italy and Greece more than half of the college graduates have no jobs.  Have moved back in with their parents.  The chance for these young people to start a family has been put on hold indefinitely.  They only have enough money for the beer garden.  It encourages irresponsibility and that what the hell lifestyle which is so conspicuous among modern young people.  A lifestyle which absolutely requires contraception and abortion. 

Fifty years ago, a college degree was a ticket which admitted you to the privileged class.  Now it is more of a lottery ticket.  You might get there but the privileged class is steadily shrinking while the competition keeps growing.  So you wind up thousands of dollars in debt with no realistic prospect of paying it off any time soon.  And the money could have bought a house or launched a business.  Getting into the privileged class via a College diploma is part of that American Dream--that big illusion--in which so many Americans, and so many Europeans are now trapped.  

Many people are suckered by the deceptive advertising of these for-profit vocational colleges which rely upon government loans.  After running into debt, their graduates discover that they are no closer to a job than they were when they started.  Having wasted all that time, they now have a debt to pay. 

The fact is that we can't all join the privileged class.  We can't all be high salaried professionals or find a life time sinecure some where in the government bureaucracy.  Those government bureaucracies are also currently down-sizing.  Putting your faith in this system is the equivalent of putting your faith in your lottery ticket.  Except that it only takes a week to become disillusioned with the lottery ticket.  Years of your life may go by before you are forced to give up your faith in the system. 

They cite statistics showing how much more you will make in a life time if you have a college degree versus if you don't.  But those figures compare apples and onions--compare those who hang out in college dormitories smoking dope and fornicating versus those who hang out on street corners smoking dope and trying to fornicate. 

If you take the money you would have spent on college and invest it in a farm or a business or a house, you have a much better chance at making a living then if you try to meet the increasingly tough competition of the down-sizing bureaucracies.  If you work at making a living for yourself instead of hanging out at one of those high class flop houses called colleges for 4 years, you have a head start on life. 

Young people have been sold the illusion that, despite mass poverty all over the world,  we can all find a position in one of the bureaucracies or arrive at wealth with very little labor in the great world of international capitalism. 


College:  the road to no where 

College has increasingly become a road to no where in the modern economy.  In fact it is often a road to ruin.  Young people saddled with heavy debt which will take them years to pay, even if they find a job.  Increasingly, many of them cannot. 

In the 19th century there was a privileged class which went to college at Daddy's expense and which then had easy access to good jobs.  There was a brief period in the 20th century when admission to an expanding privileged class was granted to those not born into it via going to college.   The modern faith is that we can all get good jobs after going to college at government expense.  We can all join the privileged class.  It is a false faith which is rapidly eroding.  We have to find an alternative--create an alternative economy which is independent of this bankrupt system upon which we are now so dependent. 

It is true that you have to work three times as hard to succeed if you give up on finding an easy money sinecure.  But, if you are serious about making a success of your life, you are better off quitting that road which has been blocked by a bad accident and a miles long back up.  That describes the modern economy. 

Education versus College

College has to do with getting a job credential.  It is a great waste of time and money and youth if there is no job waiting.  It has no real connection with learning or education properly so-called.  College mainly produces a lot of sophmores--which means wise fools--who have the illusion that they are educated because they went to college.  What they study in college is of no value if it does not provide a usable job credential. 

I am all in favor of continuing education and free education for all.  Get a library card and take out some books.  Read War and Peace.  Read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  Read A Terrible Glory by James Donovan, a first rate history of Custer and the battle of the Little Big Horn.  The endless time-wasting and expensive pursuit of pseudo-learning at college, of job credentials that do not lead to a job, especially when you have to borrow the money to pay for it, is  a fool's errand.   Down With College  !  and   Down With Borrowing !  Up With Learning !  and  Up with the Library !   should be our slogans.  Borrow books, Not money will fit on a picket sign.  

the right to life and property

The Declaration of Independence says that every man has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The original Virginia version said life, liberty and property.  A more precise formulation which avoids silly assumptions about how happy people can be working on the railroad for $ 1 a day, or singing while they slave in the tobacco fields of Mr. Jefferson or General Washington. 

The right to property--to some property--is a necessary corollary of the right to life.  By property, I do not mean a 10,000 acre plantation and 200 slaves like Thomas Jefferson had.  I mean rather sufficient stuff, whether by way of land or stock or tools, so that you can make a living without depending upon the government--joining the army--or having no other option except to work for the Coal Company.  cf. I owe my soul to the Company store. 

Obviously, the right to property has to be limited.  The limit comes from the fact that other people have the right to life and the right to property.  Jefferson's property in slaves violated the rights of those people to their lives.  His occupying of a 10,000 acre estate which was the gift of a corrupt legislature to his father, a tract of land that he could not even begin to work himself, is also an obvious violation of the right to property of other men who were landless because of it.  The great estates into which much of Virginia was divided were patterned upon the great estates into which most of England was divided, which were also originally grants from the royal government.  The Dukes did no work and received most of the revenue.  The laborers did the work and received a subsistence wage. 


As G.K. Chesterton argued in   the  outline  of  sanity:   One would think, to hear people talk, that the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers were on the side of property.  But obviously they are the enemies of property because they are enemies of their own limitations.  They do not want their own land; but other people's . . . It is the negation of property that the Duke of Sutherland should have all the farms in one estate; just as it would be the negation of marriage if he had all our wives in one harem.   Chesterton also argued that  what we call Capitalism ought to be called Proletarianism.  The point of it is not that some people have capital, but that most people only have wages because they do not have capital.   

Contra Capitalism and Socialism, Chesterton argued for Distributism:  we all have a basic right as individuals to the property we need to live.  A right which was effectively negated by the Duke who owned half the County or the Texas Cattle King who claimed a million acres and used his hired gunmen to run off the Homesteaders.  You had the right to work for him or find another County.  Now many of the world's young people are seeking another Country, just as so many have had to do in the past.  If you don't have access to the corrupt governing class, you have no future in the Country of your birth. [ The Duke of Sutherland  cleared 15,000 tenants off his estate in the Highlands of Scotland to make way for deer forests and grouse moors. ]

There is no mandate for equality in Nature.  The mandate for equality in the French Revolution led to chopping off the heads of the aristocrats who had lived in luxury while the peasants starved.  No one demands equality with the rag picker or the can collector.  We want equality with the Duke.  The only valid mandate comes from a parent who at least pretends not to play favorites and thereby makes herself liable to the charge of unequal treatment: Jimmy got to go, why can't I go ?  But when we try that argument on the Senator, he may justly respond: He gave me a nice fat envelope.  What did you give me ?

But when one man owns half the county and other landless men work as laborers on his estate--if they are lucky--there is a denial of natural justice in this situation.  One man owns 100 houses and 100 families pay him rent--or a monthly mortgage payment.  How did that come about from a time when each family owned its own tepee or thatched hut or sod house  ? 

limited right

Fidel Castro delivers a 6 hour speech while everyone gathered in the square listens attentively.  You better listen since informers are every where and under cover police circulate through the crowd.   It is best not to yawn or smirk.  Is this a wonderful example of The Right of Free Speech ?  Obviously, Mr. Castro's excessive assertion of his right of free speech effectively negates the free speech right of everyone else.  You have the right to remain silent--to Shut Up and Listen ! 

Ayn Rand insisted upon the absolute and unlimited right to property.  And insisted upon the right to abortion as a woman's absolute right.  But there is an obvious fallacy in the argument that a woman has the right to do what she wants with her own body.  Because there are two bodies involved in an abortion.  Whether or not the embryo child has a soul and whether or not she is a citizen, she has a live body which will cease to live when the abortion is finished. 

The principle in common law is that your right to swing your arm freely ends where someone else's face begins.  My right to do what I want with my body is limited by the presence of someone else's body.  I have the right to drive my car down the road.  But I don't have the right to run over other people trying to use the road.  I have a limited right, not an absolute right.  Limited by the rights of others. 

fundamental principles

The basic premises of Christian society are that a person is a person no matter how small and that everyone has the right to a birthday.  An embryo child is a small person who has the right to a birthday.  A society which does not respect that right has abandoned any claim to be a just society. 

And, beyond that, the right to life must necessarily include the right to make a living.   Unless that means the right to a government job or a job with the great corporation it has to mean the right to a share of the stuff which God and Nature have provided--some minimum of land and stock which will allow you to support a family.  It doesn't just mean the right to a minimum wage job.  The right


to live implies the right to work at something and the right to have something to work with.  Instead of being a wage slave forever dependent upon the government or the corporation or the plantation owner. The right to property is necessarily connected to the right to life. 

Every new mouth that comes into the world brings with it a pair of hands which can feed that mouth   if  those hands can get hold of a share of what God put here as His providence for all of us. 

If you have the right to be here, you have the right to what you need to go on living here.  Which means something beyond a packing crate at the edge of the dump and the right to scavenge for your dinner. 

the right to have a family

Beyond the right to life, there is the right to have a family.  Which requires much more than a subsistence wage job or a government welfare check.  A man has a right to make a living for his family.  A family has a right to a house.  We have some obligation to see that they get it, or at least that we are not the cause of them losing it. 

It isn't so much that we have an obligation in charity to provide a family with a house, but we do have an obligation in justice to avoid depriving them of their house.  Which is just what these complex wealth pursuing systems bring about.  In much of the world people have been pushed out of their villages and wind up living in a packing crate at the garbage dump of some giant city. 

In America, thousands of people are losing their homes.  Which may be partly at least their own fault, since they kept borrowing against the inflated equity created by runaway speculation.  But when we participate in these wealth without work schemes we also become complicit in the process which puts families out on the street. 

In the primitive human community, no one had to pay a mortgage on his tepee or thatched hut or sod house.  In fact your neighbors have a traditional obligation to help you build it.  That obligation does not fall upon the government.  It falls upon us as individuals, especially if we claim to be Christians.  

The test of any society, whether it is a just society or not, is how far it facilitates the right of the common man to support a family.  When he is stuck at a subsistence wage job which allows a single person to survive, when his one good alternative is to join the army and hazard life and limb in some foreign conflict, he has been effectively deprived of his basic right. 

There was a time 60 years ago when most Americans had the chance to get a family wage.  It still excluded a substantial part of the population, including much of the black population.  But, unlike today, it wasn't that hard for anyone willing to work to find a family wage which would allow him to support a family by working a 40 hour week.  Otherwise his wife has to work or he has to work double shifts and never see his kids. 

That opportunity has steadily eroded over the past 60 years.  It is now the case that only a minority of Americans can expect to find a family wage.  We can blame the government for that and we can blame the corporations for that but first we have to blame ourselves--have to take responsibility for the erosion of the foundations of family life by our pursuit of wealth and luxury.  

In a de facto way we have to rely upon one another to acknowledge our right.  Your life and your property are only as safe as your neighbors' willingness to respect them.  Those who acknowledge that responsibility have to find a way to establish a society which is independent of all those others who do not.  We cannot put our trust in the government, or in the corporation, or in the Capitalist System.  We have rather to find those in whom we can trust, because they share our values, the values that were once found in the original Christian community--whether they call themselves Christians or not. 


a fool's faith

Campaigning in 1928, President Herbert Hoover proclaimed that We in America are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land.  We have not reached the goal, but, given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, we shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation.   He won by an overwhelming majority.  The stock market boomed.  Then it collapsed and there ensued the 10 year long Great Depression which was only ended by the runaway spending and the exportation of manpower of World War II. 

The next President to promise an end to poverty was Lyndon Johnson who declared a War on Poverty after he was elected by a landslide in 1964.  He continued the War in Vietnam anyway.  That prevented a lot of unemployment. 

Faith in the American economy, which now means a faith in the world economy to which it is tied by a thousand chains, is a fool's faith.  There has only been one society which actually abolished poverty:  Acts 4.34   There was not a needy person among them.  They proved it could be done. 

usury defined:  wealth without work

Adam Smith used stock as a synonym for capital.  And it brings out the idea that a few chickens, or a sack of wheat seed, or canned goods with which you can stock the shelves of your store are a necessary foundation for making a living on your own.  Instead of using money to make money, you get hold of some stock and use it to make your labor fruitful.  You invest in your own labor instead of trying to make a profit off the labor of others.  Which is the definition of usury:  reaping where you did not sow, and taking up what you did not lay down.  Luke 19.21  

This definition of stock has nothing in common with the stock market where money changes hands in the same way it does in a gambling casino.  On Wall Street, work is just another 4 letter word to be avoided.  The common feature of the financial system is a super structure of executives and board members who meet in air conditioned rooms and never work up a sweat.  Plus stock holders who don't even bother to attend the meeting. 

There is a common progression in the economic system whereby moneyed men  go on from  1. making or producing or building something   to   2. owning factories or organizing enterprises in which others do the actual productive work  to  3. shipping and trading goods made by others  to  4. loaning the money  to  5.  buying stock in enterprises launched by others and financed by others.  Beyond investing, there is day trading and speculating, and beyond that there is betting on something to fail--all the varieties of short-selling and vampire capitalism.  

And that enables those who never did any of this to begin at the end, as it were, by investing their money.  Or, more often, turning it over to a hedge fund manager to invest.  They still take the risk, it is said, but that is what insurance is for--credit default swaps.  Leading to an ideal world in which you make lots of money with no work and no risk.  You don't even have to think about it, unless you made a mistake when you selected the hedge fund. 

There are 1001 ways to make money without working for it--without doing much of anything that could be described as useful work.  There are all those positions where putting in your time is euphemistically called work.  And then there is real useful work which is extravagantly over paid for one reason or another. 

Socialism soon arrives at the same old place as capitalism where those who do the most work get the smallest reward and those who do little or no work are compensated just because of the positions they occupy.  In a world in which so many people are so desperately poor, it isn't that hard to trace a connection between the one thing and the other.  And the obvious label for it is injustice. 

Proverbs defines usury as  unjust gain and shows the connection with poverty:   28.8 He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. 


Psalm 15 asks:    Who shall dwell in thy holy hill ? . . .  He that putteth not out his money to usury.  

Jeremiah 6.13 does not limit his indictment to the few.  He says rather   For from the least to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for unjust gain.  He could be describing modern America instead of ancient Israel.  If the rip off were the work of the few, it could soon be remedied.  When so many are engaged in it or waiting for the chance to jump in, there is no easy way to fix it.  That is where the necessity for building an alternate economy comes from. 

Isaiah 16.4 prophesies:    the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.  A good prophecy but when will it come true ?    

Ezekiel 22.12 says thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God.    

Extortion is used in the gospels and the epistles as the label for those who get money from money instead of working for it.  Matthew 23.25  for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess    

Paul tells us not to keep company . . . with an extortioner, with such an one no not to eat   1 Co 5.10-11  and in  6.10  says  nor extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God. 

It was a point of pride for Paul that he continued to work at his tent making trade instead of asking the various Christian communities to support him.  Paul insisted upon work as the necessary foundation of the Christian community--Ephesians 4.28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing that is good  1 Thessalonians  4.11  work with your own hands, as we commanded you;  12  That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.   2 Thessalonians 3.10 If any one will not work, let him not eat.  For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work.  Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living.   In 3.14 he tells them to have nothing to do with such people.  Which re-inforces what he says about no fellowship with extortioners.  It is a necessary condition for building an alternate economy which is based upon honest work and which shuns usury and those who live by it.  


There is more about America's unjust economy and what Christians can do about it on the web site.  See #  Christian Economy versus Capitalism and versus Socialism.   # Governor Bradford Discovers the Folly of Communism and the Wisdom of Piece Work.   #  What's Wrong With the Economy ?   #  there is a lot about the original American economy in The Roots of Abortion


the challenge of the churches 

People who are serious about stopping abortion have to target the churches, not the states.  If you cannot abolish abortion in the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church and the Baptist Church you are never going to abolish it in Colorado or in America.  At least these churches pretend to be pro life.  That offers a foot hold.  A toe hold anyway.   

Is the Catholic Church pro life ?  On paper, it is.  But Catholics voted for Obama just like they vote for other pro abortion politicians.  They tolerate Joe Biden who proudly proclaimed his pro choice position in the Vice Presidential debate.  Since the Catholic bishops do not have the Courage to ex communicate the prominent Catholics like Biden and Nancy Pelosi who proudly proclaim their support for choice, the Bishops themselves deserve to be excommunicated by the real Christian church.  What can you say about shepherds who sit there and pretend not to notice the wolf walking boldly through the gate and into the sheep fold ? 


One of the main speakers on Tuesday September 4th 2012, the first night of the Democratic National Convention, was the President of NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League.  She proudly proclaimed the support of President Obama and the Democratic Party for abortion.  On Wednesday, the second night of the Democratic National Convention, one of the main speakers was the President of Planned Parenthood, who avoided using the word abortion while she proudly proclaimed the support of President Obama and the Democratic Party for choice and women's reproductive health.  What is the National Conference of Catholic Bishops going to proclaim in respect to this political party to which so many Catholics belong ?  In which there are so many prominent Catholic politicians who echo the party line on abortion ? 

Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student who testified before Congress, also addressed the DNC.  She is indignant that the Catholic institution she attends  won't pay for the contraception she needs as a single woman trying to get through law school.  And she is perfectly right isn't she, going by modern de facto Catholic standards ?  Yes, there is still that piece of paper which says that the Catholic Church is opposed to contraception.  Does anyone know in what file drawer it has been buried ? 

When President Obama was invited to speak at Notre Dame, some Catholics protested.  But most Catholics have no problem with a pro abortion President being an honored speaker at a Catholic institution.  That illustrates the challenge which the Church has flunked.  Has not even tried to meet.  

Social, Not Political

The real followers of Jesus are social, but not political.  They do not depend upon the government to sponsor us.  Christian society cannot be established by the army or by the lawyers in the legislature.  It does not rely upon the power of the people--that phantom moral majority.  It does not attempt to conscript the pagans to help build a Christian society.  Or plead with them to vote the right way.  It does not follow the lead of those pseudo Christians who are obsessed with the pursuit of political power. 

The belief that we can go along with the crowd without departing from Christian morality is contrary to the gospel which tells us that many are called but few are chosen.  Strait is the gate and narrow the path which leads to salvation.  We have to part company with those who insist upon following that broad road which goes some where else.  Of course most people believe in that broad road because they don't have the Courage to take a stand in opposition to the crowd. 

The church itself--if it really was the Christian Church--is the Christian Society we need.  It is the church we need to fix, not the State.  The State can't be fixed.  In trying to make it Christian we only de-Christian ourselves.  We only fool ourselves thinking that we can fool others, that we can somehow trick false Christians and anti Christians into voting for Christian morality.  

If Christians themselves--all those who take the name Christian in vain--would live up to the Christian faith they pretend to believe and the Christian morals they pretend to have, we would not have to beg the Immoral Majority to pass laws which force us to do what we won't do because the church has lost all of its internal discipline.  They used to shun apostate Christians and excommunicate them--refuse to eat with them.  Just as the Quakers of 1776 excommunicated slave owners and slave traders.  Our spiritual impotence pushes us into a vain attempt to acquire the political power to re-establish Christian morality in the law.  

We are still stuck with this ancient illusion that The Law can be Just and that it can be effectively enforced.  There is no justice in the law and it cannot be enforced unless most of those affected keep it voluntarily.  The essential problem with the Law is that good people don't need it and bad people won't heed it.  It didn't work for Israel and it won't work for us.  When America had strict laws against abortion, abortion was common in America.  It was kept out of sight.  


Passing laws produces a foolish complacency.  Marijuana is against the law so you don't have to worry about your kid using it.  The law does not allow people to come to the United States unless they have gone through the proper procedures.  So you need not notice the 20 million illegal immigrants.  Legally, they do not exist, so why worry about them ? 

I do not believe that Mitt Romney could have fixed the economy relying upon his experience with Bain Capital.  No more do I believe that Barack Obama can fix it, relying upon a flood of federal money. 

The main benefit of Romney's failure to win is that it will force all the nominal pro lifers to abandon the illusion that abortion is going to get stopped by the man in the White House.  If Romney had been elected they would all have taken a moral vacation for another four years.  I did my duty.  I voted.  Now it is up to God and the President.  We're back where we should be.  It is up to Christians--real Christians, not fake Christians--to stop abortion.  

the killings in Connecticut

The whole country expressed horror and grief when 28 persons, including 20 small children were shot and killed in Connecticut on December 14th 2012.  It was front page news of course and now there will be a national debate on how to prevent such terrible things in the future, by gun control or better mental health programs.  Meanwhile, every day, far more than 20 pre born children are killed by abortion in America.  The newspaper doesn't mention it and there is no discussion how to prevent it.  Because abortion is an integral part of the American lifestyle.  And it is a national madness which perpetuates it.  Where could we find asylum room for all the Americans who are crazy enough to put their own babies in the trash ? 

Huck Finn says:  It warn't the grounding--that didn't keep us back but a little.  We blowed out a cylinder-head.   Aunt Sally says:   Good gracious !  Anybody hurt ?    No'm.  Killed a nigger.   Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt.  Mark Twain satirizes the attitudes of slavery times.  Only a non person was killed.  It isn't different today when we dehumanize the preborn child.   Half of black pregnancies end in the trash at Planned Parenthood.  It is their specialty. 

The children killed in the Connecticut school produce national hand-wringing.  But the daily toll of embryo children dismembered and thrown in the trash bucket at Planned Parenthood are billed as Reproductive Health Care.  President Obama addressed the nation with genuine tears for the murdered children.  A few months earlier, the President of Planned Parenthood addressed the Democratic National Convention as an honored guest.  If the shooter had survived, would he have been invited to address the next Democratic National Convention as an honored guest ?  Why the difference ?  What sense does it make ?

There is nothing we will not do to shield our children from harm  the President said in his 12-16-12 address.  And also nothing his administration will not do to protect abortion rights.  We can't accept such events as routine he said.  But the nation now accepts as routine the daily toll of abortion.

When they were led out of the school, the teachers and their students were told to close their eyes so they would not have to see the carnage.  Supposing the shooter had survived and been captured inside the school,  would he have been given the same consideration--close your eyes so you don't have to see the children you killed ?  That is what most of the nation does now in respect to abortion.  Supposedly it is reprehensible on our part to present people with the graphic truth of what they have done--what they fully intend to keep on doing. 

Just as people hang the flag in front of the grisly realities of war, they now hang the Reproductive Health Care and Freedom of Choice banners in front of the grisly reality of what takes place inside the abortuary.  But, as Shakespeare said, Murder Will Out, though all the world conspire to conceal it.  They do conspire to conceal it behind a fog of lying sophistry.  We must rely upon the Spirit of Truth to blow away that fog and tear down that lying banner. 


Building an Abortion Free Society   

We are commanded to love one another as I have loved you and we are commanded to love thy neighbor as thyself.  We are even commanded to love your enemies, do good to those that hate you.  And all of those injunctions mandate a Christian Society.  None of those injunctions square with doing a deal with The World so we can get hold of the police power and impose Christian morality by force of Law upon the recalcitrant pagans.  When pseudo Christians get hold of that power, it gets hold of them.  They have never yet succeeded in imposing Christian morality by The Law.  What they arrive at instead is hypocrisy, the legal pretence of morality. 

There is not always a simple and obvious answer as to how we can live in the World while we refuse to conform to the World.  But it is obvious that Worldly Christians have betrayed Christian Society.  Have tried to replace it with Christendom--a society which pretends to be Christian while it persists in pursuing wealth and political power, which depends upon the Empire to enforce Christian morality.   That is how we arrived at this morally helpless version of Christianity which waits for the Government to bail us out.  It is not going to do it.  Because it can't do it.  Until we learn that lesson, the effort to establish a Christian Society in America--a truly pro life society--is doomed to failure.

We can build a Christian society which is free from abortion.  But those who are obsessed with law and politics, whose own ambitions constantly push them back into conventional politics lead us in the wrong direction.  It is futile to try and impose Christian morality upon a society which is not Christian.  The false faith of the Worldly Christians blinds them to this basic fact.  It would be Satanic to try and do it by military power--if we had military power.  To try and do it by popular vote is silly.  The whole enterprise has been a Ship of Fools first to last.  

The pro life movement is never going to get any where until we acknowledge that The People  are  not  on our side.  That the Immoral Majority must be confronted by the Courageous Minority--that minority of real Christians who have the Spirit of Courage.  And they must be confronted by the Spirit of Truth.  The faith that it can be done some other way is a false faith, is a morally fatal illusion.  We have to forget about voting and start fighting!  We have to fight the way that Jesus taught us.  [  see The Spiritual Warfare of Jesus Christ  ]  We need to escape from that fantasy land of the American Cult where the Worldly Christians wander while they avoid the realities of our present situation and their complicity in creating it.

clones of Jesus

We are supposed to be clones of Jesus Christ.  What else can it mean in the gospel of John 20.21-22:  Receive the Holy Spirit . . . As my Father sent me, even so I send you ?  The same doctrine was stated in John 17.18:  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  We are supposed to be clones of Jesus and animated by His Holy Spirit.  If we do not have that Spirit, we have no business calling ourselves Christians. 

If we do have that Spirit, we have every reason to believe that we can replicate that first Christian society which grew up around his followers.  We don't need a blue print.  We are promised that the Spirit will guide us into all truth. ( John 16.13 )

After James the head of the church in Jerusalem was martyred by the sword, the early Christians began to take seriously the warning that Jesus had given and they moved away from the nation which had doomed itself by its patriotic and worldly faith.  Most of the church was still Jewish but they left Israel, taking their new faith with them to all parts of the empire and well beyond it.  They escaped from the destruction of Jerusalem. 

In the gathering gloom of a waning empire they kept alive the bright hope of the Kingdom of God on earth.  They built a truly Christian society in the moral and spiritual ruins of the great empire of this world.  So can we. 

66450 words

Terry  Sullivan



pro  life  nonviolent  action    1526 East 35th Ave. Denver  Colo.  80205

web site:

Open  your  mouth  for  the  speechless,  In  the  cause  of  all  who  are  appointed  to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
  Proverbs   31.8-9   (nKJ)

For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  John  18.37

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  Matthew  25.40

Pope Francis
Vatican City
Rome, Italy


Thursday, March 14th 2013

Congratulations on your election.  It's a tough job but you can do it, with God's help. 

I enclose a copy of Los Primeros Nueve Meses, which is the best pro life leaflet.  It was published in several European languages.  The Russian version and the English version are posted on my web site,, on the page called The First Nine Months. 

Sidewalk Counsellors are well aware that getting a woman to go to an alternatives center for a free ultrasound can be the clincher in turning her away from having the abortion.  But it is sometimes hit or miss as to whether we can find a free ultrasound on that particular day.  They aren't open, or they don't have an operator etc.  the first nine months is in effect a generic ultrasound--in color !  It costs 25c.  It is portable.  You can hand it to someone. 

We have had a daily pro life witness and Sidewalk Counseling effort in front of the Planned Parenthood abortuary here in Denver since 1989.  There is an account of it in the first 16 pages of my Letter to the Bishops posted on the web site.  Standing out there watching teen aged customers roll into the abortuary,  I figured out after a while that, along with the last minute effort to head them off, it made sense to try and give her an alternatives flyer and a copy of The First Nine Months  before  she made the abortion appointment and even before she found out she was pregnant. 

It is a major moral disgrace that what pretends to be a pro life movement has never yet carried out a mass distribution,  person to person, of The First Nine Months  /  Los Primeros Nueve Meses.  That is one of the obvious things we could and should do when and if we ever get serious about stopping abortion.  It is the 14-18 year old girls, and their boy friends, and their parents who need to get it.  All those who vote for abortion with their feet by walking into Planned Parenthood. 

This leaflet is the best because of the Lennart Nilsson fiber optic photographs reprinted from  A Child Is Born.  ( They were also printed in Life Magazine years ago. )  You can't argue with them.  They simply show that an embryo at 8 weeks gestation already looks suspiciously like a baby--A person's a person, no matter how small.   It has 7 pictures which chart the development of the embryo child.  And each one is worth 1000 words.  The only change I would make in this leaflet is to impose a picture of a Roosevelt dime on the page 8 photo of the 8 week old embryo as is done on the Human Life International before and after card so that it clearly shows the actual size.   

Unfortunately, Focus on the Family stopped printing it in this handy format, which is perfect for handing out on the sidewalk to abortion customers, to high school students etc.  And you can mail it in a standard envelope for one stamp.  They still produce a larger version for Alternative Pregnancy Centers which is too large and expensive and clumsy for general distribution. 

The Catholic Church should lead the way in reprinting and distributing The First Nine Months   /  Los Primeros Nueve Meses  to Catholics through schools and churches, to non Catholics by cooperative arrangements with other churches, and to the general public by volunteers getting out there on the sidewalk in front of high schools, grocery stores and at shopping malls.  It is basic bearing witness to the truth person to person.  When people find the courage to undertake such witness, it regenerates the Spirit of Courage and renews the church.  

Good Luck to You in your New Job                       Terry  Sullivan 



pro  life  nonviolent  action    1526 East 35th Ave. Denver  Colo.  80205

Terry Sullivan    web site:

Open  your  mouth  for  the  speechless,  In  the  cause  of  all  who  are  appointed  to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
  Proverbs   31.8-9   (nKJ)

For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  John  18.37

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  Matthew  25.40

Denver Catholic Register
1300 S. Steele St.
Denver CO 80210 


March 17th 2013

Abby Johnson still thinks it is wrong for anti abortion protestors to use horrible graphics even though she admits that it was looking at an abortion on ultrasound which made her quit the abortion business.  Without that horrible graphic, she would still be working at Planned Parenthood, despite all the prayers aimed at her. 

Christians have a serious moral obligation to Bear Witness to the horrible truth about abortion by bringing it out on  the public sidewalk.  It is the concealment of the truth about abortion which keeps Planned Parenthood in business--it's just fetal tissue.  Abby Johnson was part of that concealment and still does not recognize that abortion bound women need to see just what she saw.  If all you do is pray, you are complicit with that concealment.  

David Bereit claims that 40 Days for Life has prevented 7000 abortions by people just praying.  A nice round number.  How about an illustration or two as to how this is supposed to work--I was on my way into Planned Parenthood to have an abortion when I heard someone 300 yards away quietly praying.  That is when I knew I couldn't do it  . . .  2. Mary was standing right in front of me with signs saying   Don't Do It !   Let Your Baby Live !   conjured up by all the prayers . . .   

sidewalk counselling is the effective way to turn women away from abortion, as we have proven over the 24 years of our daily effort in front of the Planned Parenthood abortuary here in Denver.  At 20th and Vine we averaged two babies a week saved by using graphic displays, handing out Alternatives leaflets, talking quietly to customers, when we got the chance, and calling out to them when that was the only way to communicate.  We have the pictures to prove it.  On December 26th 1999, three babies were born on the same day to three different women we had Sidewalk Counselled at 20th and Vine. 

It is wonderful, I suppose that people who never came out before are actually coming out in front of the abortuary on one of those special 80 days a year, even if they won't do anything except pray.  What is supposed to happen on the other 285 days of the year ?  The abortion bound babies are on their own ?  How about passing out pro life leaflets and Alternatives leaflets on some of those days ?  Does that violate the rule of All You Should Do is Pray ?  Even if you balk at handing out graphic abortion leaflets, there are positivegraphic leaflets like The First Nine Months  [ the Spanish language version is Los Primeros Nueve Meses ] which simply show the reality of the developing embryo child by the wonderful Lennart Nilsson fiber optic photographs. 

sidewalk counsellors are well aware that getting a woman to go to an alternatives center for a free ultrasound can be the clincher in turning her away from having the abortion.  But it is sometimes hit or miss as to whether we can find a free ultrasound on that particular day.  They aren't open, or they don't have an operator etc.  the first nine months is in effect a generic ultrasound--in color !  It costs 25c.  It is portable.  And you don't have to wait until they are on the way into the abortuary.  You can hand it out in front of high schools and other places  before they even make that appointment.  

Jesus calls us to Bear Witness to the truth about abortion and gives us his Spirit and his Mission.  John 20.21-22 and 18.37.  We have no right to reverse that by calling upon Him to do what we are too chicken to do.  There is no power of prayer in idle words used as the excuse for refusing to Bear Witness.   Just Pray gives people the excuse for their lack of that Holy  Spirit of Courage which is necessary to confront abortion.  It is superstitious silliness, a doctrine born of Quietism.  It cripples what pretends to be a serious pro life effort.  As James 2.17 tells us. Faith without works is dead. 


Terry  Sullivan


For some reason the rest of this letter turned into italic type;   I have been calling Microsoft to try and get it fixed. 

you can read the rest of it in the document version: