Author Topic: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement  (Read 422 times)

Offline kmo_9000

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Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« on: October 08, 2020, 12:00:00 PM »
This question came up in a discussion I had with someone really involved in a certain pro-life activist group.

The context of the discussion was to essentially say that a man ought to consider what career path he undertakes to ensure he will be able to provide for his family in a way that allows his wife to stay at home. Being a full time pro-life activist doesn't always pay very much, and so it was asserted emphasizing a traditional family structure with a man working so that the wife can stay at home with the children would hinder needed pro-life activism.

My first point was that if Catholic families were to all live out the Catholic faith, this would be enough to change the culture within a few generations. By live out the faith I mean being open to life, having the father be present to set an example, and so on. Being a stay at home mother and having a large family is a witness in the sense that it is countercultural.

In the Roman Empire, when Constantine converted he made Christianity the official religion of the empire. Thanks to the influence of Christianity, this also meant many of the anti-life practices were put to an end. Fathers no longer had the right to kill their children when they were born and they could no longer divorce their wives for any reason.

In addition to the assertion that this focus on making a traditional family structure work, there was also the idea that the solution to abortion is to convert our nation is somehow off base. Those in the pro-life movement will often downplay religious arguments or language (such as speaking about virtues, etc) out of fear that such language would drive people away or not resonate with secular people.

There was also the impression that Catholics don't do enough to help the pro-life cause (mainly not giving enough money). This coupled with the idea that full time activism is the only real way to influence people and make a change in the culture.

I'm not sure what to think about this. While abortion is a serious problem, in my opinion the best way to combat it is by fostering families where life is welcomed. If people have time to do activism to change the culture, be they single, married, religious, or priest, then that is certainly welcomed. But it seems to me as though our family should come first before worrying about changing the wider culture through activism.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 12:03:40 PM by kmo_9000 »
 
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Offline drummerboy

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2020, 01:22:30 PM »
This question came up in a discussion I had with someone really involved in a certain pro-life activist group.

The context of the discussion was to essentially say that a man ought to consider what career path he undertakes to ensure he will be able to provide for his family in a way that allows his wife to stay at home. Being a full time pro-life activist doesn't always pay very much, and so it was asserted emphasizing a traditional family structure with a man working so that the wife can stay at home with the children would hinder needed pro-life activism.

My first point was that if Catholic families were to all live out the Catholic faith, this would be enough to change the culture within a few generations. By live out the faith I mean being open to life, having the father be present to set an example, and so on. Being a stay at home mother and having a large family is a witness in the sense that it is countercultural.

In the Roman Empire, when Constantine converted he made Christianity the official religion of the empire. Thanks to the influence of Christianity, this also meant many of the anti-life practices were put to an end. Fathers no longer had the right to kill their children when they were born and they could no longer divorce their wives for any reason.

In addition to the assertion that this focus on making a traditional family structure work, there was also the idea that the solution to abortion is to convert our nation is somehow off base. Those in the pro-life movement will often downplay religious arguments or language (such as speaking about virtues, etc) out of fear that such language would drive people away or not resonate with secular people.

There was also the impression that Catholics don't do enough to help the pro-life cause (mainly not giving enough money). This coupled with the idea that full time activism is the only real way to influence people and make a change in the culture.

I'm not sure what to think about this. While abortion is a serious problem, in my opinion the best way to combat it is by fostering families where life is welcomed. If people have time to do activism to change the culture, be they single, married, religious, or priest, then that is certainly welcomed. But it seems to me as though our family should come first before worrying about changing the wider culture through activism.

This is what is needed.  Banning abortion, if it ever happens, will be a hollow victory, since contraception is still almost universally used, and many of them are in fact just chemical, instead of surgical, abortions.
The bee is small among flying things, but her fruit hath the chiefest sweetness - Ecclesiasticus 3:11
 
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Offline Christina_S

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2020, 01:34:21 PM »
There are so many things about the culture that would have to change: men have to go back to being real men and women to real women, schools need to back off and parents need to actually parent for a change, Christianity needs to be accepted and not just tolerated, people need to listen to science when it says that life begins at conception, the Church needs to clean house and speak the truth... there's so much. I'm with you, though: we need to set an example as well as we can. While the Benedict option is dreadfully alluring, I know that I have secular, leftist friends who are influenced by seeing how my family lives and what we prioritize. It may help to win their souls. Soldier on.
"You cannot be a half-saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all." ~St. Therese of Lisieux

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Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2020, 01:35:20 PM »
I agree with your general idea. Just one quibble:

Quote
In the Roman Empire, when Constantine converted he made Christianity the official religion of the empire.

This is a common misconception, but since Christianity was still a minority faith, that wouldn't have been possible even if Constantine tried. Besides, he wasn't actually baptized until he was on his deathbed. Nicene Christianity became the official faith of the Roman Empire much later: in 380 by the Edict of Thessalonica under Emperor Theodosius.
 
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Offline kmo_9000

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 01:46:10 PM »
Constantine made many changes to the law even if there wasn't a mass conversion all at once. And the changes were influenced by his Christian faith.
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2020, 03:15:29 PM »
In my imagination Constantine comes across as a Trump-like character. Then again, I don't know a whole lot about Constantine (or even Trump for that matter).


It's always good to be a witness, but I'll point out that the overall situation is quite different. Back in Constantine's day the world was not yet de-paganized and Christendom was not yet established. God used Constantine in order to do that. But we live at a much later point in the story. Christendom has come and gone; the world has been thoroughly re-paganized, and if I had to take a guess I'd say that the world will soon be coming to its end. At this stage I think the battle is more about holding onto the little we still have, and keeping the ship afloat. Is God really planning on building up Christendom a second time? Does He really want us to launch a cultural counterattack while the Church is in the midst of a crisis? It doesn't really look like it if you ask me, but you never know what might happen. Meanwhile, I kind of agree with you. By getting our family life in order, setting a good example for others, and praying for others' conversions, we can potentially do some good on a small scale. But I don't see much hope for the pro-life movement or the return of Christian civilization overall.

Quote
Those in the pro-life movement will often downplay religious arguments or language (such as speaking about virtues, etc) out of fear that such language would drive people away or not resonate with secular people.

If you're referring to the pro-life movement in general, I disagree. What I'd say is that some pro-life groups emphasize politics, lobbying, debating, etc. And if you're going to go that route, it kind of makes sense to use non-religious language so as not to alienate people. Though, I really don't think these groups accomplish much. They generally seem to be sincere and well-intentioned, but I've come to realize that what they're doing is little more than an exercise in vanity. Good political change, if it's going to happen at all, will happen through prayer and penance, not through arguments and lobbying and other purely human efforts. Arguments are pretty much worthless anyway. People do whatever they want and use arguments only to justify it.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 03:29:10 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Greg

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2020, 05:46:40 PM »
There are so many things about the culture that would have to change: men have to go back to being real men and women to real women, schools need to back off and parents need to actually parent for a change, Christianity needs to be accepted and not just tolerated, people need to listen to science when it says that life begins at conception, the Church needs to clean house and speak the truth... there's so much. I'm with you, though: we need to set an example as well as we can. While the Benedict option is dreadfully alluring, I know that I have secular, leftist friends who are influenced by seeing how my family lives and what we prioritize. It may help to win their souls. Soldier on.

I think a huge number of people have to die.  The cancer is too deep.
 
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2020, 06:52:15 PM »
There are so many things about the culture that would have to change: men have to go back to being real men and women to real women, schools need to back off and parents need to actually parent for a change, Christianity needs to be accepted and not just tolerated, people need to listen to science when it says that life begins at conception, the Church needs to clean house and speak the truth... there's so much. I'm with you, though: we need to set an example as well as we can. While the Benedict option is dreadfully alluring, I know that I have secular, leftist friends who are influenced by seeing how my family lives and what we prioritize. It may help to win their souls. Soldier on.

I think a huge number of people have to die.  The cancer is too deep.

There are an inordinate amount of people who don't even seem like humans to me, like they are soulless husks of flesh that are walking around. They are the kind of people who would not hestitate killing me if it was legal and if they wouldn't be socially shunned for it. Like minimal sociopaths who put on this extremely positive and artificially empathetic energy, but you can just tell from how artificial they are that they are incredibly dangerous people.

Those people and the generations of people they produce do probably need to die off.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 06:58:20 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 
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Offline Geremia

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2020, 07:39:15 PM »
Banning abortion will be a hollow victory
The goal of the pro-life movement is to make baby killing illegal.
Most people are law-abiding citizens, so it will dramatically reduce the number of abortions.

Offline drummerboy

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2020, 01:39:32 AM »
Banning abortion will be a hollow victory
The goal of the pro-life movement is to make baby killing illegal.
Most people are law-abiding citizens, so it will dramatically reduce the number of abortions.

My point is they will, and already are, finding other ways of killing babies, namely contraception.
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Offline Geremia

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2020, 12:18:30 AM »
My point is they will, and already are, finding other ways of killing babies, namely contraception.
Contraception should be made illegal again, too. It was illegal up until the 1960s in the U.S.

Offline drummerboy

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2020, 09:50:34 PM »
My point is they will, and already are, finding other ways of killing babies, namely contraception.
Contraception should be made illegal again, too. It was illegal up until the 1960s in the U.S.

Exactly, but this will never happen short of a miracle, so again, a hollow victory. 
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Offline Geremia

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2020, 05:40:00 PM »
a miracle, so again, a hollow victory.
Was the victory at the Battle of Lepanto a "hollow victory", too?

Offline drummerboy

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Re: Mixed feelings about the "pro-life" movement
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2020, 11:25:42 AM »
a miracle, so again, a hollow victory.
Was the victory at the Battle of Lepanto a "hollow victory", too?

Lepanto was a military victory, it has little relevance to the discussion.  The fact is Americans were contracepting decades before Roe v. Wade, and the contraceptive mentality led to an acceptance of abortion.  Overturning RvW will still allow women the "right" to choose, they will just go the pharmacy instead of the abortionist, as indeed they already are, hence the seeming decline in abortion.
The bee is small among flying things, but her fruit hath the chiefest sweetness - Ecclesiasticus 3:11