"America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion"

Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010


George Offerman

I had some people point out how it seems I am doing the same behaviors I am accusing many of the other pro life organizations of, and that is attacking and being hypercritical of ‘our own’. I believe I have covered this point in several postings in the past, but because I do not want this to be a stumbling block for some, I will address this the best way that I can.

The first point has to be: understanding the difference between constructive criticism and personal attacks. I have always attempted to practice issue driven postings that make their point on their own merits. I don’t think anyone can look at any of the postings and find personal attacks in them, in which I drag in perceived ‘weaknesses’ or trash family members, or bring out old sins and hang them out to dry. I have posted and called people out on their unchristian behaviors and cited what their behaviors were, but this is not a personal attack. It is addressing the merits of the issues, and not directed at the individual’s character, faith, family or other ad hominen attacks that many of my so called critics have engaged in.

Then there is the issue of what the pro life movement is about. It seems the majority in the pro life movement would describe the pro life movement as existing to: change hearts, educate the masses, conversion of many to the faith, and to the culture of life, and to end abortion. (The reason I put ending abortion last, is many in their own mission statements will discuss education and changing hearts as the main goal). The true nature of the pro life agenda (not movement) is: to end legalized child killing from conception to birth. Based upon 38 years of experience, education and changing hearts has not worked and babies continue to die, unabated 3,500 per day. To call out those who embrace this strategy that has not worked is not hate speech, nor is it a personal attack; it is issue driven. Just because the majority may not agree with this, does not make it wrong, nor does it disallow me to openly speak about it.

When I have attempted to engage many of the ‘leaders’ in dialogue, and ask the tough questions, it has generally been them who then use belittling language, or want to call me out on my ‘status’ in this movement, and then will go onto question my beliefs and faith. What is generally not covered during this process is an open and honest look at the issues brought forth, and communication is effectively cut off with some snippety comment like “You are not Christian”, “Babies will die now”, “you have an anger issue”, “and your mother wears combat boots ”, “ you, you, you….” There is no looking at the behaviors or attitudes called on, but a sense of “I’m on a mission from God, and don’t you DARE SAY ANYTHING to me that I may not like”. These people then make themselves sole arbiters of right and wrong, a position only God Almighty Himself can claim.

A case in point was a recent email exchange between Randall Terry and Steven Ertelt of life news. In this exchange was an opportunity to look at the pro life strategy and analyze whether it is working or not. Mr. Eltert took the position that the new media is the new way to get things done, while Mr. Terry advocated good old fashioned protests, and having eyeball to eyeball contact instead of depending on warfare from a distance. The disturbing part of what Mr. Ertelt embraced in his retorts to Mr. Terry are unfortunately too mainstreamed in the common consciousness of the pro life movement, and that is not needing to get ones hands dirty, and forgetting or neglecting the victories of old, all throughout history. Mr. Ertelt seemed to be belittling the historical aspects of war and conquest, and it is actually his loss for it. There is no such thing as a clean war, or an unbloody war. It will NEVER be won from a computer keyboard, living room or Church. It will be won in the battlefield by soldiers properly trained in combat, and there will be a price to be paid and there will be casualties. Anyone or any organization that states otherwise is delusional.

So, while many of these groups want to cry ‘foul’ and want to wimp out when in comes to criticism, seem to have no problem ‘heaping it onto their critics’. Seems very hypocritical, doesn’t it? We grow when our weaknesses and mistakes are pointed out. We grow when we have the humility and grace to hear things that are unpleasant, and sometimes hurt. But without this information, ultimately we will die, and most likely take others with us. Jesus warned us that his way is taking up the cross daily. Jesus never said to get on a party boat, or that once becoming a Christian, things will go your way all of the time. We have to be willing to give and take constructive criticism, and we need to be able to grow by obtaining feedback from those in the fight regardless of how it feels.

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