Is Abortion a Political or a Spiritual Matter?
I ask our regular supporters to bear with me for a few moments. As one will quickly see, this message is addressed to pro-life allies whose views differ from my own. It is intended to be frank, fair, and I hope, fruitful – I mean no disrespect to anyone. God gives the gift of confrontation to some and not to others. But the gift of confrontation, like the gift of salvation, comes with a price tag. Many who have it feel driven to use it. They perceive reality differently and often see the error or disorder quicker and with more precision. Not only do these individuals feel compelled to point out truth, but they also want to see truth prevail and disorder corrected.
As another anniversary of Roe vs. Wade approaches, it is obvious that our efforts to stop this genocide are at a critical stage. Much like the blunders of the financial, automotive, and many other businesses and institutions, the pro-life movement has also made some grievous miscalculations, and God knows I have made my share. But, although those other groups have admitted their mistakes, experience tells me that we pro-lifers will not be as forthright.
Sixteen years ago I was asked to accept the duties of the presidency of Wisconsin Right to Life, Dane County (WRLDC), in addition to overseeing the tasks of Alliance for Life Ministries. The local chapter of WRL was faltering, and no one would accept leadership. I agreed to this move, but only if I would be free to make changes that were obviously necessary. Three abortion mills were operating in Madison and Clinton had just been elected president for his first term. Our faithful constituency was in a state of shock.
In an address at St. Raphael’s Cathedral on January 23, 1993, I stated, “Brothers and sisters, we have a problem. Although much credit must be given to the many dedicated pro-life people who have stood in the gap during these past twenty years, it is totally unrealistic to believe we will win this battle if we continue to address these issues by the same methods we addressed them in the past. If this high a percentage of so-called Christian people are voting for pro-abortion candidates, we’re simply going in the wrong direction. To believe otherwise is insanity! Abortion has actually become part of our culture, a culture of death, and it will not change unless we change.” Note: This was stated sixteen years ago!
In the months thereafter a new direction began. WRLDC (later known as Dane County Right to Life), along with Alliance for Life Ministries, orchestrated campaigns to get Christians out of the pews and into the streets and to do more than to rely on an annual Rally for Life, and a Mother’s Day Rose Sale fund raiser, or a “get out the vote” effort every four years. We preached the need for education, biologically and spiritually. Door-to-door literature distributions, Life-Chains, billboards and television and newspaper ads began.
Fetal models of pre-born babies were delivered to schools and libraries, and doctors were mailed certified letters to determine their views on abortion. The homes of abortionists were picketed, and, with help of the American Family Association, hospitals that allowed abortion and insurance companies that included abortion coverage were boycotted.
Discovering that the homosexual movement was associated with their pro-abortion allies, common sense told us that one issue could not be successfully addressed without the other. As a result, newspapers printed front page articles of our battles, and television stations used our aggressive approaches as their lead story on the 10 O’clock news. We cannot estimate how many lives may have been saved as a result of these actions, nor can any other organization claim a figure of babies saved by their efforts. But we do know there is unbiased confirmation of our success, because an editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal stated, “One thing we can be certain of is that this group has succeeded in bringing the issue of abortion to the forefront for debate unlike no other in the past.”
Missionaries to the Pre-born and Wisconsin Christians United displayed large pictures of aborted babies along city streets, and abortion mills were the scene of blockades and protests. Our office received more than 15,000 telephone calls in less than twelve months. But feeling uncomfortable as a result of my confrontational views, the state office of WRL saw fit to remove me from my position, and even threatened to invade my Alliance for Life Ministries headquarters until faced with illegal trespass on private property.
Shortly after this, people began to organize and distance themselves from parent organizations that existed primarily to perpetuate themselves. Without politically correct shackles to hinder them, they commenced to activate outside the antiquated mentality that relied on legislators to designate morality. Although abortion is as legal as it was sixteen years ago, the numbers of abortions in Wisconsin have decreased to half of what they were in 1993, and in Madison, two abortion mills have closed.
Last year Reverend Richard Neuhaus addressed the National Right to Life annual convention. In his message he stated that “we have been at this a long time, and are just getting started,” and that “we go from this convention refreshed in our resolve to fight the good fight.” Wow, now isn’t that encouraging or what? But this annual patriotic rallying call is all too familiar to be meaningful, because it is the same “woo is me” rhetoric that is poured forth from the pro-life movement every year. Is there any plan for success, or the possible need to do something different? No – not at all!
The fact of the matter is that this past November, 65,431,955 Americans cast their ballot for the most ‘abortion-rights’ presidential candidate since Roe vs. Wade. Obviously the 65 million people voting for this man didn't know about his record, didn't believe abortion was the deliberate killing of another human being, or what’s even worse – didn't care. In any case, abortion was not close to being the main issue for anyone in our last election.
From a culture of life perspective, all pro-life bills that were presented for approval in states across our country failed, while all anti-life initiatives passed. As a result, Democrats in Wisconsin intend to reintroduce a bill to repeal a state law criminalizing abortion that dates as far back as the 19th Century. These facts prompted Wisconsin’s largest pro-life groups to bemoan that after the new administration has been sworn in, Congress would act quickly on the “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA), which would nullify any state or federal law that interferes with access to abortion, and would make abortion a fundamental right like freedom of speech – so much for politics!
What does this all mean? It means that abortion will remain every bit as legal as it always has been, and that nothing has changed since my message at St. Raphael’s 16 years ago except, of course, the deaths of millions of pre-born babies, and the mega millions of dollars from sincere people who deserve to receive more than a definition for insanity. Throughout his four to eight year tenure, our new president will likely nominate three young pro-choice Supreme Court justices to ensure the continued legality of abortion. Maybe now we’ll stop pretending like we’ll get a pro-life Supreme Court in our lifetime. This also means that Roe vs. Wade has been taken off the table of debate for at least the next 20 to 30 years. So the “holy grail” most pro-life organizations have used to perpetuate their groups is now gone – but I am certain few will admit it, or have the courage to do anything different. The Holocaust will continue to go unabated by speeches, calls to Congressman, and of course, more and more fundraisers.
Regular readers of these newsletters know that one of my chief frustrations is the way Christians are so easily deceived by those in authority. No matter what some of these leaders do (and in most cases what they fail to do), Christians continue to pump money into these groups, and robotically accept failure, or look the other way. So we now have a president and vice-president, a governor, two state senators, and, in my district, a congresswoman who promotes Partial Birth Abortion.
Of course, none of this would have happened had we not lost touch with reality, and held people in leadership positions accountable in the same manner we would expect from any other business to which our money is paid for services. If a college football team went 0 for 35, their funding would be revoked.
Although pro-lifers have proposed, and state legislatures have passed some temporary restrictions on abortion, the major reason that the number of abortions has shown a decline over the past few years, has very little to do with any legal maneuver. Abortion has declined because there are fewer doctors willing to kill babies, less abortion facilities, and the fact that our nation has been educated as to what an abortion really is.
David Bereit, National Campaign Director of 40 Days for Life, issued a statement recently that three abortion locations where vigils were held have since closed their doors, but added, “We suspect it is because no abortionist is available.” Bingo!
Additional endorsements for biological and spiritual education and activism come from two of our nation's most influential pro-abortion leaders. They acknowledge that the strategy of showing photos of the gruesome reality of abortion is working, despite the fact that it is controversial among some pro-lifers. Frances Kissling, former leader of “Catholics for a Free Choice,” and Kate Michelman, past president of the “National Abortion Rights Action League,” write, “The pro-life focus on the unborn child and its attempts to limit access to abortion have worked. The anti-abortion movement successfully put the nitty-gritty details of abortion on public display, increasing the belief that abortion is serious business and that some societal involvement is appropriate.” Bingo!
Politics is a valid calling, but let’s consider the persecuted Church in the Roman Empire. Infanticide, to take one example, was not only widespread, but also legal. Did the Church, in response, decide on a strategy of electing senators and seating judges to undermine a culture of death? Or voting for a new emperor? No they did not. We must be politically active, but Christianity becomes credible only when believing communities preach and live the Gospel as saboteurs of the status quo. Politics can never free us from this necessary responsibility.
I would hope that the majority of pro-life leaders are dedicated to the cause to end abortion. Some put in long hours with little or no compensation. But I believe most of these people simply do not know how to address the tough issue of baby-killing in any other method than what they are currently doing. Most of these poor souls shy away from confrontation and the hard-core activities that are necessary to win a bloody war of this magnitude. The current pro-life movement isn't going to change, it’s too ego driven to do that. It's old and tired and too ingrained in not rocking the boat. It needs to be just left behind. We can only win back our society with a whole new approach and attitude. This isn't a convention or a dinner party to swoon over a key-note speaker – it's a counter-revolution.
But the acceptance of abortion is not limited to errors within the pro-life movement. At the core of the problem is a much greater spiritual matter that has swept across our nation. Abortion is ingrained in our society because the tenets that spawned abortion are ignored. Pro-life groups have been hobbled by a worldly mindset that abortion is more of a legal matter than a spiritual matter. But the facts are that the Abortion Holocaust could not have continued without the aid of America’s Christian leaders, who have traded the lives of God’s little children for a tax exempt compromise. They are like the Jewish betrayers who shoved fellow Jews into the ovens in exchange for extra rations from Nazi rulers. As a result, the church is completely reliant on pro-life groups and their friends in the legislature, to handle the gravest human atrocity in all of history. Judging from the track record of our government leaders, can you imagine trusting that group of scoundrels to legislate morality?
More than half of those who voted in the State of Wisconsin during the last election, and referred to themselves as Christians, cast their ballots for a candidate who supports abortion and gay marriage. Christian people live in terms of what they know. What they know concerning spiritual directives against abortion comes from what they’re taught. John 8:32 states, “and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” The majority of Christians do not know the truth because they are not taught the truth.
Most pulpits are occupied by humanistic clergy who spend their time culling God’s promises from His Word and relaying them to their followers. They preach a truncated Gospel vague on personal behavior with promises of benefits without obligations. Few relate the Biblical narrative to specific behavior or to the ubiquitous sin in our current society. Laymen are given large portions of Biblical doctrine that is never translated into specific behavior.
One can learn to love God’s Laws, memorize them, and teach them to the family, but if the connection between these Laws and the conduct of the social order is not clearly understood, voters become robots of the media. If only we would draw a line in the sand where God’s Word draws it, but instead we continue to move the line further and further to the left, until we now dine with the devil.
Christians have forgotten God’s role in all of this. Instead of worshiping God, people now worship false idols of government, the marketplace, feel good churches, and selfishness. The pro-life movement has been deceived and lured into this position because God’s legislators (the shepherds of our churches), have been influenced by God’s advisory who is Satan. We have been fighting baby-killing by man’s methods, through the agonistic courts of our land, rather than by God’s wisdom.
Abortion is not about a woman’s right to choose, or a baby’s right to life. Abortion is about God. To leave God out of the picture of abortion is to trivialize it. All reality has no meaning without reference to God. Abortion is the moral issue of our time because our strength comes from realizing God’s supremacy over all things including His work in the womb. Abortion is an assault on the person-forming work of God. Children are a gift from God. To reject them through abortion is to reject Him.
It is much easier to educate morality than to legislate morality. We should not need to lobby a politician to vote against murder. These people are not stupid; they know a fetus is a human being, and what’s more, most claim to be Christian or Jewish. What they should be made aware of is that the salvation of their soul is at stake and that they have a responsibility before Almighty God to uphold His law – or else!
The same can be said for the shepherds of our churches. Any church that makes rationalized excuses, and is too cowardly to teach that abortion is a mortal sin, is not Christian, but pagan, and is not worthy of our attendance – and definitely not our support.
The pro-life movement is aware that they are engaged in a war, but they have not accessed the armory God has provided for fighting it. Unlike the Left, most pro-life organizations want to appear nice, decent, polite, and respectable. They spend time complaining, fundraising for salaried employees, sending press releases, delivering roses to and pussyfooting politicians, sending signature petitions and mass mailing of pre-printed postcards to officials, giving speeches, holding conferences, going on bus trips to Washington and marches, awarding scholarships to kids and awards to clergy – but not confronting.
During the course of the next sixteen years there will be four more presidential elections, and the same issues will be there to consider. If our past is any indicator for the future, where most pro-life groups stand regarding methods to end or limit abortion won't matter, and neither will they be held responsible for a lack of progress. All that will matter is that they have “fought the good fight,” that alone will justify enough money to perpetuate their existence.
But Christians are supposed to be different. We are supposed to think differently. We are commanded to do things God’s way – not the way of the politician. It’s no longer good enough to simply conduct business as usual. My advice to pro-life friends is to stop depending on these “businesses” to get the job done. If you’re looking for someone to lead, you’ll probably not find one.
It’s interesting that Jesus chose Peter as a leader of His new movement. Maybe it’s because Peter wasn’t comfortable with being “safe?” One minute he’s a fisherman, next, he’s approached by an unknown carpenter who invites him to join His band of radicals, next, he’s jumping out of a boat to meet Christ walking on the water during a fearful storm. Peter didn’t look at things as they were and say “we’ve never done that before.” Why can’t we do the same? Why not trust Christ rather than the courts? Rather than using all our efforts to make abortion illegal, why not work to make it – unthinkable?
Perhaps it is time for each one of us to act as individual leaders, and jump out of the boat as Peter did. Perhaps it’s time to meet Christ walking on the rough and uncertain waters of this fearful storm that threatens our very existence. Perhaps it’s time to see what Christ will do, through us – if we trust Him!
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