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The Myth of the Personally Pro-Life Catholic

09/28/2011 Comments (40)

I was wondering something tonight in light of the news that Congress will be investigating Planned Parenthood. Are there really Catholics who are personally pro-life and publicly pro-choice? Is that an honest opinion? The answer, if you can call it that, came to me in the form of a question. Have I ever seen or heard of personally pro-life Catholics praying in front of abortion clinics?

Nope.

Have I seen personally pro-life Catholics pushing to hold Planned Parenthood or other abortionists to higher safety standards?

Nope.

But the truth is that to be pro-anything it can not be a passive stance. It must be active or it can’t be described as “pro,” can it?

In the political sphere, there’s plenty of so-called personally pro-life Catholics like Rudy Giuliani. He’s so personally pro-life that he’s donated to Planned Parenthood.

But it ain’t just Rudy. These names ring a bell? Kerry, Schwarzenegger, Dodd, Durban, Leahy, Mikulski, Pelosi, Delahunt, Capuano, Markey, Murkowski, Casey, Collins, McGovern, Meehan, Granholm, Sebelius, Pataki, Pelosi, Richardson, Cellucci, Cuomo, Kucinich, Rangel, and Biden. All “personally pro-life Catholics.” And there’s lots more. You ever hear any of them talk at length about abortion being the taking of a human life? Any of them? We see plenty of evidence for the publicly pro-choice part but little to back up the personally pro-life part.

Cardinal Arinze was quoted as saying:

“Some…say I am personally not in favor of abortion, but I will not impose my views on others.  It is like saying, I am personally not in favor of killing you….But since some people want to shoot all of you in the Senate and the House of Representatives, I won’t impose my views on them, it is pro-choice!

“You are not serious!  This is Divine Law, it’s not a tennis club regulation.”

The personally pro-life but publicly pro-choice argument, as far as I can make out, is there’s a tiny human being in the womb but don’t want to tell you that you can’t kill that tiny human being because you don’t believe it’s a human being. Or something.

They seem to love classifying abortion as a religious issue and insist they can’t force their religion on others because of the separation of church and state (a pretend benchmark). But of course that’s a bunch of hooey.

The fact is that life begins at conception. That’s science folks. The pro-aborts are the ones who want everyone to come up with their own timeline as far as this yet another pretend benchmark they call “personhood.” So to them, the right of individual personhood granting ability supersedes any right to life.

Here’s the thing - I don’t believe in “personally pro-life.” Not anymore. It just strains credulity. Either you believe it’s the taking of a human life or you don’t. There’s no middle ground. Either you believe in the right to life or you don’t.

Personally pro-life is a tactic, not a position. And it should be called out. When the next 40 Days for Life rolls around, call some personally pro-life Catholics you know and ask them to come with you because you know how strong their “personal” commitment is. Or offer them a pro-life bumber sticker saying something like “Abortion stops a beating heart” for their personal hybrid car. Watch their lips curl and react as if you just handed them a rodent.

Personally pro-life is, at best, neutral about life, in which case you just don’t care about protecting life. As Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel wrote, “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” If you’re making a distinction between personally pro-life and publicly pro-choice you’re indistinguishable from the oppressors.

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About Matthew Archbold

Matthew Archbold
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Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph's University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.