Every social evil can be traced to a lie. In its infamous 1973 decision, the Supreme Court imposed a rather radical lie upon the United States. This lie states that pre-born children were to be considered non-persons under constitutional law; they therefore have no basic inalienable human rights. Stepping well outside the boundaries of civil law, this decision also promulgated a second equally heinous lie by aggregating to the government a new atheistic “Caesar” status.

Like Roman emperors of the past, our government now claims the authority to exercise arbitrary judgment over the life and death of innocent human beings.

How can the pro-life movement correct this?

Well, when truth is imparted, grace accompanies it. After having primary recourse to prayer, the movement needs to clearly represent the authentic truth with consistency in word and deed as a means of educating and converting the American people.

This truth is called the Personhood Principle: “all human beings are human persons from conception and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable human rights — first and foremost, the right to life.” All human rights come, not from the whim of Caesar, but with our human nature itself.

Therefore, personhood stands as the sole determining factor in defining whether or not legislation or candidates are truly pro-life. When, for example, a candidate for public office clearly acknowledges the legal personhood of the preborn from conception, he or she stands in conformity with objective truth. If this principle is denied, even implicitly, then the lie of Roe v. Wade becomes the standard, offering only the plague of moral relativism and no real protection for preborn children.

Our current political environment provides many examples of rhetorical deception, words that camouflage or distort the real issues. “Choice” is a perfect example that needs no explanation in these pages.

Or this: “pro-life with exceptions?”

When political candidates classify themselves as such, where do they stand in relation to the real issue of personhood and the lies of Roe v. Wade? If a preborn child can be directly killed in “exceptional” circumstances, then these preborns cannot be considered persons in the legal sense.

But isn't that the entire issue? Even if these politicians do actually intend to provide protection for all the children, barring those innocents who fall under their unethical “exceptions,” what argument can they use to press their case?

They have already subscribed to the fundamental lie of Roe v. Wade and are thereby neutralized from providing any persuasive arguments for the protection of any “non-persons.” The truth of personhood is gone and the unrestricted slaughter of children continues.

Only unity in the truth can provide the grace and power to shatter the lies and violence enveloping our country.

As we can see, Caesar is back, but arrayed in some stunning new “pro-life” clothing. In the final analysis, whether its applied to legislation or candidates, “pro-life with exceptions” means “nonpersonhood for preborn children,” conformity with Roe v. Wade, and therefore unrestricted abortion through nine months of pregnancy. This rhetorical diversion has sadly worked just as effectively on pro-lifers as “choice” has on the general public.

In her April 27 column, Colleen Parro, Executive Director of the Republican National Coalition for Life, exposes this problem in reference to our most recent and prominent pro-life capitulation. She states “the idea [President] Bush was going to be a ‘pro-life President’ was solely the creation of certain national pro-life and religious leaders … [Bush] never said he intended to do anything to end abortion.”

For many years now, elements of the pro-life leadership, primarily the National Right to Life Committee, have sincerely thought it prudent to drastically compromise fundamental truth.

Heralding a supposedly clever, yet intrinsically flawed, pragmatic strategy, they have unapologetically promoted ethically questionable legislative proposals, expressed indifference on abortion-causing “contraceptives,” voiced “no objection” to federally imposed population control measures, and run interference for pro-abortion Republican candidates (with some generous financial help from the GOP, of course).

Retreats and defeats have characterized this “pragmatic” approach for the last 27 years.

The cornerstone pro-life principle of personhood has been increasingly removed from the consciousness of America; moral absolutes have become a relic of our public life, leaving our pre-born children exposed to the wiles of fuzzy, self-centered opinion.

The debate over abortion has “incrementally” digressed over time from whether it is ethical to kill preborn children, to when such a murder can take place, to how the children can be killed, and beyond. Though the moral grounds for such pragmatism are only questionable, prudentially, such an approach should be clearly rejected as counterproductive.

It is time for a new approach. Only unity in the truth, in word and deed, as an end and a means, can provide the grace and power to shatter the lies and violence enveloping our country.

This is not an “all or nothing” approach, but one where “regular consecutive advances do not contradict or detract from the personhood principle.”

Recognizing that the truth, and not any particular political party, is a permanent entity instituted by God, it is only natural that, should a political party refuse to recognize fundamental truth, such a party has no right to exist.

Our allegiance is to the Truth, who is ultimately Jesus Christ, who instructs us that only “the truth will set you free.”

Patrick Delaney is director of public policy for the American Life League in Stafford, Virginia.