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Shouting With Al Garcia
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real agenda of PP
PRICEY HOUSE NO KIDS
Zionism versus Judaism
More Pictures

 

 

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 27 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 of 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. ] 

***   Jo halfway won this appeal when the District Judge reversed the harassment convictions.  But the impeding conviction based upon an invisible touch was upheld.  Since the careers of these Judges depend upon a Democratic Party which is subservient to NARAL and Planned Parenthood, they are pushed to these irrational anti First Amendment rulings so as to avoid offending Planned Parenthood and its supporters.  We subsequently tried to appeal to the Supreme Court but they declined to hear the case. 

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.  And amother for painting 3 crosses on the street. 

We have 20 years of experience with finding the line of our First Amendment and Colorado Second Amendment rights.  [ 27 years now ]  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

Cliff Powell and Ken Scott are at the driveway Tuesday through Saturday mornings, handing leaflets to customers.  I now show up Thursday, Friday and Saturday and put out two dozen signs and props.  Leslie Hanks and Susan Sutherland have become regular Ladder Day Saints--speaking to abortion customers over the high fence from ladders on the sidewalk.  

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 Roosevelt dime--or a Lincoln penny--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.

June 22 2016  postscript  The Archdiocese of Denver now operates The Lighthouse Center at 39th and Pontiac where we can take the customers we turn away from Planned Parenthood for a free ultrasound.  Two months ago the Archbishop led a couple of thousand Catholics in a Jericho March around Planned Parenthood.  And there are regularly groups of Catholics who at least come out and pray.  Some of them will go so far as to show a sign aimed at the abortion customers.  It's a start. 

[ the original of this is pages 6 to 21 of Letter to the Bishops