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The Armchair Pro-Life

Sunday, March 06, 2011 9:09 PM Comments (121)

It should not surprise that I hold in low esteem a particular breed of man who, while claiming the name Catholic, supports openly and actively that wretched party of death. They fret over a folly, which they basely baptize as “social justice”, which inexplicably counsels the right of broadband internet access and condoms for the poor, while innocent life is extinguished by the millions at the cruel hands of the federally subsidized. In so doing, they weave for themselves a seamless garment as a shroud, befitting the whitewashed tombs they gaily inhabit.

Still, another breed of man occupies a rung on my ladder of loathing barely an amoeba’s head above the aforementioned—the armchair pro-life.

The armchair pro-life oppose abortion much in the same way that I oppose cannibalism in Papua New Guinea—in theory. Their active opposition to abortion, usually restricted to tut-tutting the occasional article on African-American abortion rates, underwhelms.

But the moral lethargy of the armchair pro-life does not raise my ire so, rather it’s my conclusion that their disdain for abortion barely eclipses their evident contempt for the activist pro-life.

We find ourselves at the commencement of perhaps the great pro-life battle of this generation, de-funding the racist eugenics organization Planned Parenthood.

Yet, in even the skirmishes leading to the looming battle, the armchair pro-life have attempted to cede the moral high-ground while excitedly preparing their “I told you so” speeches anticipating, perhaps even hoping for, defeat.

Much of this armchair defeatism stems from the choice of political bedfellows by the activist pro-life, Republicans.

In a two-party system, legislative advances require activists to sometimes pick sides. Given that the Democrat party sold its soul years ago and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of big abortion, we are left with the Republicans. Pro-life advocates have for years tried to work with and through the mechanisms of the Republican Party. While they have had moderate successes on the local level, little has been accomplished on the federal level, but momentum is on their side.

Just in the last year there has been a sea change thanks to Republicans elected to State houses and Governorships nationwide and a young woman who didn’t take no for answer.

In Virginia, state legislators have passed one of the most sweeping reforms of the abortion industry ever voting to regulate abortion clinics the same way as hospitals. This may very well shut down abortion clinics around the state. You know who did that? Republicans did that.

A young woman by the name of Lila Rose took on the abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood in a continuing video series exposing the organization for what it is. This young woman has almost single-handedly has brought Planned Parenthood to its knees. All the while, the armchair pro-life sniffed at her tactics and offered ex cathedra pronouncements from the comfort of their la-z-boys decrying the unseemliness of it all.

And while the armchair pro-life argued about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, the Republican governor of New Jersey, armed with a fiscal crisis and the embarrassing sting videos, vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood. Who? The Republican governor, that’s who.

And now the Republican House put forth a plan to defund Planned Parenthood as well, setting up the looming battle with the Democrat Senate and the promised veto of the Democrat President.

Yet, the armchair pro-life continue to gripe. They point to the two-week continuing resolution, which did not defund Planned Parenthood, as all the evidence they need that alliance with Republicans gains us nothing. That the Republicans have already turned their backs on the pro-life movement and they retreat to their default position of “a pox on both their houses”.

The wonderful SBA List spoke out against that continuing resolution, but does not mistake a battle for the war. The real war is on the long-term budget, not the short term continuing resolutions. But the armchair pro-life throw up their hands in feigned exasperation when politics shockingly involves politicians. These tactics are certainly debatable, but the debate on tactics is better left to those engaged in battle. Those shouting from the cheap seats don’t have much to offer.

The battle lines have been drawn setting up the potential for one of the greatest pro-life victories ever, but the armchair pro-life have already given up. They are not calling their Congressman or Senator, they are preparing five thousand word missives to say, “I told you the Republicans were no good” in case the effort fails.

They sit idly by, preferring not to soil themselves by working with and for Republicans, smugly claiming some imaginary purist position. “I don’t support either party,” they claim “because neither party is as pure as me.” A pox on both their houses, they say. There is no difference between the parties, they contend.

When was the last time a Democrat Governor defunded Planned Parenthood or a Democrat controlled legislature enacted a game-changing reform that might be the death blow to the abortion industry in that State? The answer is never.

Being a broad-based political party, Republicans have and will often disappoint, but in order to win political victories you need to be involved in politics. In a two-party system, Republicans are all we have.  You don’t have to like it, but there is no avoiding it.

But the armchair pro-life, mistaking tepidness for wisdom, steadfastly maintain that there is no difference between the parties. Instead of getting in the game, they sit on the sidelines complaining about how muddy the players get.

With limited compassion and unlimited hubris, the armchair pro-life swell with repellent pride over their self-supposed Solomonic wisdom, blithely nattering on while the baby is cleaved in half.

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About Pat Archbold

Pat Archbold
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Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company. Patrick, his wife Terri, and their five children reside in Long Island, N.Y.