Bookmark and Share
My Photo


    Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.


« EWTN series, "Saints of China", offers personal view of Catholicism, Catholic saints in China | Main | "Work is one of the characteristics that distinguish man..." »

Monday, September 05, 2011


LJ means that people are open to arguments based on "medical ethics", but not on ethics that are either overtly philosophical or theological in nature.

That is just bizarre, all too common, but bizarre nevertheless.

Fr. Josh Miller

I was a "pro-life" convert before I ever began taking my Christianity seriously.

The reason? I eventually stumbled upon non-Christian arguments against abortion, which were perfectly rational and sane. Whereas before I was violently opposed to anything that smelled of the "religious right," I was still open to logical discourse.

I often wonder if the pro-life movement is hurt by demonstrations, hurt by those who bring our faith into the fray of the debate. If you can expose people for the non-thinking, impulse-driven, sexually-saturated, misguided individuals they are, with presuppositions they will buy (i.e. non-religious ones), you're likely to win a significant number of converts to the cause who don't feel as if they have to radicalize themselves on the religious question. Though the religious question is, at the closing bell, our end-game goal.

So as far as building a strategy around the propagation of sound "medical ethics," why not? Jesus came into the world to entrench people: Lady Reason is, hopefully, accessible for all.

Carl E. Olson

Thank you, Fr. Miller, for your comment. I completely agree that Christians should use every moral means possible to persuade, convince, and educated about the evils of abortion. As Jesus said, his disciples should be "wise as serpents and innocent as doves." I don't think the pro-life movement is hurt by those who bring their faith into the fray, per se, but it is often hurt by how they bring it into the fray; I'm sure we agree on that. I should have tried to explain my point better; I think it goes hand-in-hand with your remark that "the religious question is, at the closing bell, our end-game goal."

Put as simply as possible: I wonder if the approach described in the article—an approach that is commendable in working to slow the abortion business and in saving lives—will result in a long-term change of culture and behavior, or will it, in the long run, harm the pro-life movement by turning the issue into one of utilitarian means and ends? I'm of two minds on the matter, but don't want in any way to take away from the real progress that is being done. In other words, I don't want to have such a purist, theoretical perspective that I ignore or deny the good that is being done in the trenches. My question, really, is more of a "big picture", long-term one, and as such cannot be easily answered.

Robert Miller

I understand where you are "coming from".
We have to understand the "signs of the times".
Forty years ago, when Roe v. Wade was pronounced, few really understood the profound perversity that had been unleashed upon the world with the propagation of contraception that the 1960s had unfolded.
"Everybody" was young then, and we all had a lot of years left to figure out the consequences.
Pope Paul VI prophetically taught us about those consequences. But he, like all the prophets who went before him, was not without honor except in his own country (in his case, the post-1960s West).
The question posed, at least implicitly, in this thread is whether the sheer ugliness of the abortion industry (with its resemblance, for example, to hanging, drawing and quartering in times of old)will be enough, or even better, than appeals to morality and to faith, to stop at least a lot of infanticides.
Like you, Carl, I'm of divided mind.
But I do believe ( as I know you do)that there are no enemies to the pro-life side.

Viva Cristo Rey!


Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional because our Founding Fathers recognized that our inherent equal Dignity that has been endowed to us from God, exists at the moment of our creation, and that securing our inherent, fundamental, unalienable Rights is good for our posterity as well as our prosperity.

Lauri Friesen

I don't think one need have a "divided mind" about this question. As someone who has always believed that being pro-life is about seeking justice for and loving all human beings as God does, I cannot set that aside because utilitarian means seem more effective. At the same time, I won't deny those whose sense of justice burns less fiercely to use other means to reduce and, perhaps, end abortion. I would ask those who want me to shut up and go away to try to feel empathy for the passion I feel about protecting the defenseless and how this may make me less genteel than you would like in how I express my opposition to killing these unborn children. And for those who personally experienced a pro-life conversion through arguments about medical ethics, remember those who have and are and will experience it through moral apologia.


It can't be about 'health and safety' because, theoretically, you could get the industry 'cleaned up' enough so that the people who might be convinced by such arguments now will find these arguments less compelling in the future.

It has to be about the humanity of the unborn, and frankly, the 'red-tape' approach is disgustingly inadequate. Our political allies either believe that people are mutilated in their mothers' wombs and thrown in a trashbag, or they don't.

Leo Leitch

Here in New Zealand, the anti-abortion fight has been undermined by pro-life organisations which have become so overtly Christian (essentially Protestant) that they have put off good secular anti-abortionists.
The abortion issue is essentially a human rights issue, not a religious issue. There are many in our communities who are pro-life but who are not religious. The anti-abortion movement is weakened by their absence.
Let's state the following, and see who is prepared to publicly disagree:

The comments to this entry are closed.

Ignatius Insight


Ignatius Press

Catholic World Report


Blogs & Sites We Like

June 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad