Abortion Wars: The Fear of Man or the Fear of God

The Notre Dame scandal is now a matter of history. President Obama has spoken at the university commencement, has been given an honorary degree, and is now back in the White House, pushing more anti-life policies. A number of pro-lifers were arrested at the event, some graduating students boycotted it altogether, and at last count, some 83 Bishops have publically condemned the “Catholic” university for inviting Obama, arguably America’s most pro-death president.

Especially galling were the photos of Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins walking along with Obama, with a smarmy grin on his face. The pictures strongly indicate that Jenkins was far more concerned about the praise of men (‘golly, here I am with President Obama’) than with the fear of God (‘I cannot violate my faith and spurn my God by endorsing this pro-death President’).

As Archbishop Charles Chaput said, “There was no excuse – none, except intellectual vanity – for the university to persist in its course”. He continued, “”We also have the duty to oppose him when he’s wrong on foundational issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research and similar matters. And we also have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue that mask an abdication of our moral witness.”

And Obama’s speech at the occasion was appalling. As Father Jonathan Morris remarked, “During much of his 25 minute speech, President Obama lectured Notre Dame about why some of the Church’s fundamental values don’t really matter that much and why graduates should burn these values at his altar of feigned dialogue. And all the while, students and professors cheered. And Fr. Jenkins took bows.  And Team Obama scored points, moving quickly toward its goal of winning another electoral victory in 2012.”

Paul Kengor wrote, “Barack Obama says he wants abortion to be safe, legal, and rare, while doing everything in his power to advance it. For a long time in America, the Religious Left, Catholics and Protestants alike, have been duped, played like fiddles. It happened again at Notre Dame yesterday.”

Deal W. Hudson noted that this is a bigger problem than just one university: “The scandal of President Barack Obama receiving an honorary degree at Notre Dame yesterday pales in comparison with the ongoing scandal of Catholics in Congress. Of the 161 Catholics presently serving, only 26 have 100 percent pro-life voting records, while 28 have a zero percent rating. Sixty-five have less than a 20 percent pro-life rating and 75 have accepted donations from pro-abortion lobbying groups.”

Or as Jack Sonnemann remarked on Facebook: “Barack Obama is right. ‘The views of the two camps [on the abortion issue] are irreconcilable.’ One view is against the killing of innocent human life, the other is for it. Obama has now shown the entire world that he has such an open mind on this issue that his brain has fallen out!”

But for some final conservative thoughts, the stinging wit of Ann Coulter can’t be beat. She might be on to something when she suggests, “How about for next year’s graduation ceremony Notre Dame have an abortionist perform an abortion live on stage? They could have a partial-birth abortion for the advanced degrees. According to liberals, the right to kill babies was enshrined by the Founding Fathers in our Constitution – and other constitutional rights are celebrated in public.

“The right to bear arms is honored in 21-gun salutes, turkey shoots, Civil War re-enactments, firearms demonstrations and, occasionally, at Phil Spector’s house. The right to petition the government for redress of grievances is celebrated at political rallies, tea parties, marches, protests and whenever Keith Olbermann has a fight with his cat. The free exercise clause is observed in church services, missionary work, peyote-smoking Indian rituals, and for a few days after every time Bill Clinton gets caught having an extramarital affair.

“So instead of inviting a constitutional lawyer to yammer on about this purported constitutional right, why not show it being practiced? How about a 21-vacuum hose (D&C) salute? Maybe have the Notre Dame marching band form a giant skull-piercing fork? How about having the president throw out the ceremonial first fetus, like on opening day in baseball? I’m just brainstorming here, folks — none of this is written in stone.

“Being such a prestigious institution, Notre Dame could probably get famed partial-birth abortion practitioner George Tiller to do the demonstration at next year’s graduation. Obama could help – inasmuch as Tiller the abortionist is a close friend of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. This is a ‘constitutional right’ like no other.

“Even its supporters are embarrassed by the exercise of this right. They won’t practice the right in public – they won’t even call abortion by its name, preferring to use a string of constantly changing euphemisms, such as ‘reproductive health’ and ‘choice.’ It would be as if gun owners refused to use the word ‘gun’ and the NRA’s motto were, ‘Let’s all work together to keep hunting safe, legal and rare.’

“Liberals were awestruck by Obama’s statesmanlike speech at Notre Dame, but whatever he says about abortion is frothy nonsense because we’re not allowed to vote on abortion policy in America. If it’s a ‘constitutional right,’ we can no more vote on abortion than we could vote on free speech….

“Showing his open-mindedness, Obama asked, ‘How does each of us remain firm in our principles … without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?’ (What do I have to do to get you murderers and you non-murderers to shake hands and be friends?) A good start would be letting us vote.

“Liberals can be all sweet reason as long as their preference for abortion on demand is lyingly called a ‘constitutional right,’ immutable to the tiniest alteration by the voters.”

She concludes, “Here’s my idea for how we can ‘live together as one human family,’ as Obama proposed at Notre Dame: Go ahead, demonize pro-lifers, Obama – call us ‘right-wing ideologues.’ But just once, support one little policy that will save a single unborn child.”

May 17 was a dark day in American history, a dark day for Notre Dame, and a dark day for many Catholics. Things will only get darker unless Christians of all stripes band together and fight one of the most important battles of our time. We can do no less for the unborn.


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11 Replies to “Abortion Wars: The Fear of Man or the Fear of God”

  1. The media and non-catholic christians have seen abortion as being a Catholic issue, and then nicely washed their hands, whilst getting on with preaching the Gospel. Notice the inconsistency!! It was the Presbyterian theologian and philosopher Francis Schaeffer who said that abortion is an issue for all Christians.
    Wayne Pelling

  2. One thing that is beginning to hearten me about this battle is that some youth, historically known in most generations to question what their parents did, are beginning to identify abortion as one of the old things to be critiqued. And given that science and ultrasounds clearly give lie to the message of the murder-advocates and profiteers, it’s a lot easier for the new generations to get upset about it.

    This writer, Gingi Edmonds, is just one example: (she was at Notre Dame for the protests)


    And during the recent Victorian law ‘reform’ of abortion, it was a bunch a young people that got very active (including shouting down parliament when the legislation passed) and formed themselves into a new organization, Youth For Life.

    This is speculation, but I can’t help but wonder if abortion ends up being supported by many people after they become sexually active and find themselves having to unexpectedly deal with the realities of human life. Only they make the wrong decision, and later facing up to the truth is too much for them to bear. Perhaps the pro-life cause could do some massive long-term damage to the pro-death-ites by a sustained campaign educating adolescents and pre-teens (not sure how young you would go) simply on the development of the human being in the womb from conception. It’s a thought…

    As for Obama – here’s a quote I got in an email from Family Research Council:

    Cardinal Francis George of Chicago gave us another view of the President’s empathy after the two met in March. Cardinal George said, ‘It’s hard to disagree with [President Obama] because he’ll always tell you he agrees with you. Maybe that’s political. I think he sincerely wants to agree with you. You have to say, again and again, “No, Mr. President, we don’t agree.”

    Good on you, Francis. By their fruit you shall know them. BHO wants to give the impression in his speeches he is looking for so-called middle ground, but his track record speaks for itself. It’s pretty clear what Obama stands for, and it’s the killing of defenceless human beings and protecting the industry that makes money from it. It’s getting difficult to imagine how he could actually be worse. He is the personification of evil and it is totally despicable that he was even allowed into Notre Dame, let alone honoured. People who care were right to protest.

    Mark Rabich

  3. The news you bring is appalling Bill but it does inspire me to do something about it. I am studying ethics at university and an assignment was given for a powerpoint presentation. We were apparently allowed to formulate our any ethical dilemma in medicine for the presentation except for on the topic of abortion. Go figure.

    I have been trying real hard to get my Christian friends to become more engaged in the world, and your articles are forever an encouragement (if not sheer warning) for me to do so.

    Thanks for bringing news that is actually important. Keep it up.

    Keith Jarrett

  4. Many thanks Keith

    Yes I hope to keep it up until I am finally silenced – and that may not be too far off, the way things are going. I hope you do well with your assignment. Thanks for your concern and involvement.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. It’s quite easy to answer Obama’s question of, ‘How does each of us [for abortion and against] remain firm in our principles … without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?’ If the bloody atrocities perpetrated by the Hitlers and Stalins of this world can be called demonic, so too can the bloody killing of unborn babies be called demonic.

    No doubt, Obama (like Hitler and Stalin) has convinced himself that by reaffirming the murdering of society’s most innocent and vulnerable, he is somehow rendering a humanitarian service to the world. At least there are some who are prepared to tell him he’s wrong.

    Trevor Grace

    PS Keith Jarrett, you mention your uni lecturers won’t let you do an ethics assignment on abortion. What about an assignment on ‘research on “medical waste” ‘?

  6. Thanks Trevor but I was assigned a topic in the end and I am not sure what you mean by ‘research on “medical waste”.

    I like the point you make in the post above, what is wrong with demonizing a party that is clearly in the wrong?

    Also it is amazing how often Obama in his speeches aims at rectifiying right and left agendas…. I cannot see how he thinks that he can do this with regard to abortion.

    I thought the quote below from the article humorously illustrates what Obama is trying to do.

    “What do I have to do to get you murderers and you non-murderers to shake hands and be friends?”

    Keith Jarrett

  7. Thanks Keith

    Trevor was engaging in some humour, even with such a tragic topic. Disposing of medical waste is a basic health concern, and of course much of the medical community would consider aborted babies to be nothing other than medical waste.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  8. Cheers Bill, I thought there was something in the comment I wasn’t picking up. I really am doing a disservice to Trevor for being so slow on the up-take!

    It isn’t a laughing matter the issue of abortion, but it is laughable how inconsistent the rights based people can be. Bill your aptly-titled article “Killing Babies to Improve Their Health” highlights this inconsistency and shows just how lost people are…

    Ok, no more comments from me. Better get back to the 4,000 word essay we have in ethics explaining why Peter Singer’s views are right. I have never before in my life felt more like the devil’s advocate.

    Keith Jarrett

  9. Sorry, Keith, for not being clear regarding my comment “What about an assignment on ‘research on “medical waste”?’ I wasn’t meaning to be frivolous or demeaning to the unborn here, but simply suggesting a possible abortion assignment alternative.

    In South Australia (and no doubt in other states) the term “medical waste” is employed by the abortion clinics and hospitals in an attempt to further screen the public from the truth of what abortion does to unborn babies. “Medical waste” is easier to dispose of than “bodies of unborn babies”.

    Of course, we are not meant to seriously consider what really happens to the unborn babies once they are aborted; it is very much a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. And this leads me to the other point I was also refrring to: rather than being incinerated, some of these tiny infants are/have been used for research, which raises further ethical concerns.

    For example, in 2003, the Medical Journal of Australia printed an article: Use of human foetal tissue for biomedical research in Australia, 1994-2002 (MJA 2003, 179(10):547-550), which admits to the practice of foetal research in Australia. It states:

    From 1994 to 2002, 19 separate biomedical researchers at 12 separate Australian institutions (four universities, six major teaching hospitals and two research institutes) used human foetal tissue in their research. … There was an increase in the use of bone/cartilage during 1996-2001, kidneys during 1996-1999, and liver and spinal cord over the past 4 years.

    And so the insanity goes on … here, in Australia; in the US, and around the world. So when someone as influential as Obama says ‘Yes’ to the killing of the unborn (and all that goes with it), and the crowds cheer and applaud, we know God’s grace can only be held out for so long.

    Trevor Grace

  10. I agree with you Bill, May 17 was a dark day in American history, a dark day for Notre Dame, and a dark day for many Catholics. Things will only get darker unless Christians of all
    stripes band together and fight one of the most important battles of our time. We can do no less for the unborn. It is true. But what the Church is going to do?
    The Church must stand against the evil of abortion. The Christian writers through the fourth century consistently opposed all abortion without distinctions or exceptions. The Fathers of the Church of the East and of the West emphasized the sanctity of unborn life. Their statements give a many-faceted opposition to abortion. Athenagoras wrote to Emperor Marcus Aurelius in 177 said that ‘all who use abortifacient are homicides and will account to God for their abortion as for the killing of men. For the fetus in the womb is not an animal, and it is God’s providence that he exist. Clement of Alexandria, the Father of Theologians, wrote in 215 that abortions and abortifacient drugs ‘destroy utterly the embryo and, with it, the love of man.
    The Eastern Church, strangely enough first introduced into ecclesiastical literature the notion of the formed and unformed fetus. The apostolic constitution in 400 condemned the killing of a ‘formed fetus’. Despite the name, these apocryphal Syrian canons were not of apostolic origin. Moreover, the work was not very influential on this point in the
    East. The early Church took form decision to honor God and not afraid of men. But now as Christians, we have the resources and courage and above all the strength of God
    with us. Are we going to sit in silence?
    Queenie Ratnajeya

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