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
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.
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. [ A first rate history of the Abolition
Movement, which gives Clarkson the credit he deserves, was published in 2005 by
Adam Hochschild: Bury the Chains. ]
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 ?
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.
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
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 ]
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 ?
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
breached the dike in the first place.
The pursuit of wealth needs
contraception backed by abortion.
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.
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.
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.
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 !
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
holding on to privilege
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.
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
[ this is pages 30 to
38 of Letter to the Bishops