Thursday, February 4, 2010

"lying pro-lifers"

Darrell Dow's blog with news and commentary on a highly regrettable move by American Right to Life Action-- entitled "Lying Pro-Lifers"...

My run-in with Right to Life groups came when they were unwilling to talk about Republican votes for Planned Parenthood in the federal budget.

But sadly, sometimes there's truth-- and then, there's politics.

There is an important issue to debate here-- federalism and whether abortion should be handled, politically, at the federal or state level. But demagoguery and lying? C'mon...

A gaggle of stunningly ill-informed malcontents and misfits called American Right To Life Action has published a slanderous “profile” of Congressman Ron Paul. According to ARTL, Paul is “is pro-choice state by state and therefore rejects the personhood of the unborn child.” If Paul runs for the presidency in 2012 ARTL intends to smear him as a solider for the forces of darkness and a merchant of death. "Pro-lifers will be alerted in advance to his pro-choice record," said Darrell Birkey, ARTL research director. "In the last election voters thought Ron Paul was pro-life. We want folks to know the truth."

“The truth”? Here ostensibly is a group of self-conscious Christians claiming to wage a culture war on behalf of the God of Truth (John 14:6), a God who cannot lie (Num. 25:6). Yet their language is full of falsehoods and distortions, and their tongues drip with slander and lies of the most outrageous sort.

Ron Paul has been a pro-life activist since he was in medical school, where he witnessed the horror of a late abortion. “It was pretty dramatic for me,” he says, “to see a two-and-a-half-pound baby taken out crying and breathing and put in a bucket.”

Over the ensuing years as an OBGYN, Dr. Paul delivered 4,000 babies, counseled many women out of murdering their children and often delivered their babies for free. He also has written two books about abortion.

Dr. Paul has said that granting rights to the unborn is the "greatest moral issue of our time." He wrote that the life of the fetus deserves legal protection and has repeatedly introduced legislation to define unborn children as persons under the law and to remove abortion from the appellate jurisdiction of the federal courts, per Article III of the Constitution, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade and returning the issue to the states where restrictions could be imposed without the oversight of black-robed tyrants. While Paul was attempting to put feet to his beliefs, professional pro-lifers were supporting the likes of Fred Thompson and pining for an implausible amendment to the Constitution.

None of this is good enough for the folks at ARTL who want nothing short of a federal imposition to "solve" the abortion tragedy....

ARTL cites Revelation 21:8 in calling Dr. Paul a "coward." If you are unfamiliar, here is the text: "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." Hmm, apparently Dr. Paul is on the highway to hell for not seeking the federalization of every crime under the sun.

The fool is one who does not fear God, His law and His judgment. The good people at ARTL, if their website is any indication, are staying quite busy violating the 9th commandment. We should pray for their repentance.


At February 4, 2010 at 2:59 PM , Blogger Jenna said...

I understand what Darrell Dow is saying but I also understand why this organization is upset. It is something that honestly has frustrated me about Libertarians (although I like them!) and keeps me from "pledging alleigance". They seem to have certain lines drawn in the wrong places.

This is a good example. I applaud Dr. Paul's efforts, I respect him, I wish more politicians would be like him in a lot of ways. But, if abortion, like slavery for example, is the major civil rights violation of our time - if tiny babies are being ripped out of their mothers - how does it make sense to just kick this back to the states?

That's like what we had pre-Civil War - some states allowed slavery and some didn't.

I could be misinterpreting something? Feel free to elaborate.

At February 4, 2010 at 4:42 PM , Blogger Darrell said...


When I was working for Pat Buchanan during his ill-fated 2000 run on the Reform Party ticket, I had the "pleasure" of contacting the state chair of Indiana Right to Life.

Having come from Michigan, I was used to a RTL organization that was honest, forthright and very fair in their handling of the issue.

In any event, Buchanan's position on the issue was conspicuously absent from the voter guides published by IRTL. It was as though he didn't even exist. When I called the state chair to inquire why a staunch pro-lifer was being neglected he hung up on me. I wasn't belligerent and was acting on behalf of the campaign, yet was treated with utter contempt.

Regrettably this is not an isolated experience. As you say, there is truth and their is politics.

I'll try to respond to Jenna's question later.

At February 5, 2010 at 6:52 AM , Blogger Darrell said...

Though I don’t want to be pulled into a debate over the Civil War, let me stipulate at the beginning that Lincoln’s invasion and the subsequent conquest of the South represented the end of the American Republic and a triumph of a New England commercial elite, which had been the great beneficiaries of slavery in the first place. By Christian standards of Just War, the Northern aggression was morally indefensible. AND my comments in no way imply that the practice of slavery in the Confederacy was morally defensible. However, slavery would have disappeared quite quickly without the deaths of 600,000 soldiers, the destruction of property and the shredding of the Constitution.

The problem is that far too many pro-lifers don’t think that the solution to the abortion problem is primarily religious, i.e, about persuasion, education, or counseling and the propagation of Christian presuppositions. Rather they say the answer is the wielding of power and prefer more centralization in the hands of the same federal government who asserted supremacy when it overturned the abortion laws of the states in Roe v. Wade. For more on how this happened, read my essay at Dave Black Online….

Second, a practical problem is that there is no chance the Constitution can be amended to define life from conception, and do we really want the Federal government defining life anyway? Paul’s strategy has the virtue of being able to begin rolling back the abortion regime in real and practical ways.

It is also the case that as Christians we are called to obedience rather than perfectionism. Daniel, Joseph, Obadiah and Mordecai all became advisors to powerful leaders in pagan cultures, lands that in many ways hated God far more than contemporary Americans. They were not condemned for failure to stamp out any and all sin in their midst using civil power. Rather they were faithful to do what they could. The fact is that no political victory can salvage a degraded culture. A pro-life culture must arise from the bottom up, and be a product of religious revival, rather than imposed by the edict of an amoral federal government.

Finally, the logic of ARTL leads to warmongering nihilism. Here is one quote from their attack on Dr. Paul:

“God gives no country, no state, no county, no city, nor any subdivision of government permission to authorize or even to tolerate the intentional killing of the innocent. The federal and state relationship is irrelevant to the ‘legalization’ of abortion. If a neighboring country legalized the killing of Christians, Jews, children, or any class of person not convicted of a capital crime, it thereby commits an act of war that would justify invasion.”

ARTL believes rightly that an unborn child is as much (perhaps more of) a human being as, say, Randall Terry. By the “logic” above any nation that allows abortion, and certainly a country like China that has mandated it, would be on the (already too long ) list of countries that merit invasion.

At February 5, 2010 at 10:05 AM , Blogger Jenna said...


I appreciate the time you put into that response.

A few things I have noticed as I have tried to learn with an open mind:

It seems all war efforts are unjustified "power grabs" when Libertarians look at history. While I have no doubt about American imperialsim in the 20th century and I do think most wars are wrongfully instigated, I can't come to the conclusion that "Lincoln's invasion" was unnecessary or that the slavery would have dissipated on its own. As you stated, the South fought pretty hard and 600,000 people died. Libertarian ideology plays into the particular view of history you present.

Secondly, the Constitution speaks to all injustice that involves taking human life. Dr. Paul did state that his view of the Constitution is that it does not speak on abortion and so the RTL is upset. I agree that too much emphasis is placed on legal remedies, but this in no way means they should be simply abandoned because they lack practicality -i.e. "let the states decide"
Parallel: Illegalizing slavery did not take care of civil rights abuse overnight, but the law still should have been changed to afford protection and freedom at a basic level. Illegalization of abortion at the federal level is perfectly Constitutional.

Adoption, pregnancy care center (with ultrasound machines), education and support at the community level are just as important as a Constitutionl amendment.

Finally, abortion is a difficult topic because a little less than half of society accepts it as a necessary evil, and it involves mothers (with the help of a "doctor") killing their own children. Therefore, although it is a Holocaust of biblical proportions, it is not possible to handle it in the same way as other ewually offensive human rights violations, like genocide (where war might be indicated)

The RTL did go overboard and they were wrong for that but I do understand what they are saying.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

At February 5, 2010 at 10:30 AM , Blogger Jenna said...

To clarify, the reason we don't got to war over abortion or kill abortion doctors, is not because the dying are less human, it is because enough people do not *see* the unborn child as completely human, like Randall Terry is human, and also because the practice is culturally acceptable.

At February 6, 2010 at 7:07 AM , Blogger Darrell said...


A few quick comments:

First, I am not a libertarian (big L or small). I am an old fashioned conservative. I rarely make the claim because conservatism has been hijacked by a group of people that isn’t the least bit conservative. But if I call myself a “paleoconservative” people generally do not know what I mean.

Second, war is indeed the health of the state, as Randolph Bourne said. From Lincoln to McKinley, Wilson to Roosevelt, Johnson to Bush, war has gone hand-in-glove with the burgeoning welfare state, or what Murray Rothbard called the Welfare-Warfare state.

Third, we’ll have to disagree about the slavery issue. Slave labor is by nature not efficient and its end was quite clearly in sight. As for the resilience of Southerners during the Civil War, yes, they did fight bravely. After all their homes, family and property were attacked. They were defending their lives and property from an invading and, in the case of General Sherman, marauding, raping and pillaging army.

Finally, Jenna, in your last comment I think you make my point. Yes, the law is a teacher, and it can be a tool to effect culture. However, in general it is the reverse that is true. Law is a product of religion and culture, and that is where we need to cultivate a reverence for life. Change hearts and the law will follow. Should we attempt to criminalize abortion? You bet. In fact, I have no problem saying that capital punishment is the divinely sanctioned punishment for those who commit murder, and make no mistake that abortion is murder. However, murder is a crime punished by states, not the national government.

At February 6, 2010 at 12:42 PM , Blogger Jenna said...

We will have to disagree on the cause of the Civil War. Looking at history, it was a conflict that began about 90 years prior and became increasingly hostile the South attacked Fort Sumter with the Confederacy firing the first shots? This was not an "invasion" mission to rape, pillage and plunder - I do think that's a little ridiculous and shows a libertarian bias.
Do you think Hitler would have eventually gone his own way as well?

People like to say the Civil War was about "state's rights" but it was really about the state's right to own other human beings (the South was indeed protecting their "way of life").
But states do not have this "right" - nor do they have the "right" to allow the killing of innocent human life. RTL says libertarians believe "state's rights" trump human rights, and I guess they are correct. Libertarians, or paleoconservatives as the case may be, believe abortion to be murder but claim it's a state's rights issue?
I still don't get it.

We are one country, one nation, one people group -- made up of states; not a bunch of little countries on the same region of the map. As a nation, freedom - which includes the right of an individual to their "life" - has always been one of our core values. The right to life is specifically guaranteed by the Constitution

Yes, cultural neutrality is a myth. Laws reflect the values (religious and non-religious) of the collective people group so that is where real change will take place and I do think it is happening. At some point the law will need to change to reflect the shift.

At February 6, 2010 at 8:01 PM , Blogger Darrell said...

As I said in my initial comments, I wasn’t hankering for a debate over the Civil War because sooner or later I’m accused of...being an apologist for Hitler, one who would stand aside looking askance at the slaughter. I like to call this the reductio ad absurdum ad Hitlerum. Let’s not disscuss WWII. You may not like my thoughts about Roosevelt and Churchill, not to mention Uncle Joe, Mussolini and Adolph. I will say, however, that the best way to have prevented the rise of Hitler would have involved the U.S. staying out of WWI. But there’s that “libertarian bias” again.

I’ll try once more. Is theft wrong? Yes, God has declared it so in His Law. He’s also proscribed restitution as the means of restoration, but that’s another matter. Does that mean the federal government should prosecute every burglary? Perish the thought.

So is abortion murder? Yes. What is the Biblical punishment for murder? Capital punishment. Which entity, under our system of government created by the Constitution, is sanctioned to define such crimes, proscribe and carry out punishment? The various states.

Who stepped into the middle of this fray, overturning the laws of every state in the land? Well, it was the federal government via those guys in the black robes. Who is the one politician that has crafted serious legislation to restore the rule of law and put judges in their place? Ron Paul.

At February 6, 2010 at 8:40 PM , Blogger Jenna said...

We live in a "Fallen World"
Some wars will be well-intentioned, necessary and unavoidable. Libertarian ideology doesn't seem to allow for that.

Let me also communicate, once again, that saying abortion is murder and also that it is not a Constitutional issue, is - how shall I put this (I'm not as clever or as good at Latin as you are) - so I'll just say what I always do - "Ridiculous"

Quoting from your article, Ron Paul's legislation would put the issue back in state jurisdiction. The states decide whether or not abortion is murder -- but I thought the right to Life is a Constitutional freedom?
...And round and round we go, where we'll stop, I guess nobody knows?
We could "debate this into importance" if we're not careful


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