Matt C. Abbott
Pro-life 'compromise': dancing with the devil; E-mails from Christian-bashers, detractors
By Matt C. Abbott
November 22, 2008

USA Today has published an online editorialtheir view — praising "longtime abortion foes" (ahem) Douglas Kmiec and Joel Hunter, and other (unnamed) sell-outs, for "working with old enemies in the pro-abortion rights camp to push a new agenda passage of measures to provide low-income, pregnant women with the kind of services and education that could discourage them from seeking abortions."

I thought I'd respond to a couple of the editorial's silly assertions.

First: "No matter how sincere the beliefs of abortion foes, banning or severely curtailing access to abortions would impose one group's religious beliefs on others."

Would they have said the same thing about those who opposed slavery? The right to life is not just a religious issue; it's also a civil rights issue. It's about protecting unborn human beings — persons in the womb, if you will. As for the "imposing religious beliefs" argument, to quote Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke:

    'If any religious philosophy has been imposed upon a nation, it is Secular Humanism. The U.S. Supreme Court has defined Humanism as a religion. The officer corps of the pro-abortion movement is almost entirely made up of secular humanists who have imposed their beliefs upon our nation. I have the right to swing my fist, but that right stops at your nose. A woman has certain (not total) rights to her own body, but not over another living human's body just because he or she still happens to live inside her. The Ten Commandments forbad murder and stealing. So do the laws of every civilized nation. Do those laws impose religious morality? Hardly!'

Second: "We hope they [the sell-outs] can do even more, particularly in finding ways to make contraceptives more widely obtainable and in improving sex education."

Ah, the popular Planned Parenthood myth — more contraception and "comprehensive" sex education (read: promotion of contraception and illicit sexual activity) will reduce the number of abortions. In reality, some of the so-called contraceptives can, and do, cause early abortions by preventing implantation. And such chemical abortions far exceed the number of surgical abortions! Not to mention that, morally speaking, contraception, like abortion, is an intrinsic evil.

Thankfully, veteran pro-life activist Joe Scheidler (one of my former employers, incidentally) was asked to write the "opposing view" to the oh-so-predictable USA Today editorial. It's a good one; check it out.

Writes Mr. Scheidler:

"We see the effort to combine pro-life and pro-choice forces as a betrayal on the part of the pro-lifers. Besides, it has been tried, several times. And it always fails. You can't compromise with evil. And abortion is an intrinsic evil."

I agree wholeheartedly.

Bottom line: I may enjoy a bit of ballroom dancing...but I certainly don't want to dance with the devil.

While I receive many positive e-mails from readers — which, of course, I deeply appreciate — I also receive some not-so-nice ones. I've decided to occasionally print my "favorites" of the latter, complete with names and/or e-mail addresses (which are hyperlinked in blue).

Phil Alotta wrote:

    'You sir, are an idiot. And I want to thank you for sealing my decision to leave the Catholic church. Like many struggling with the dichotomy and contradictions between personal belief,.e. (dare I say it?) reason and the medieval nonsense passing for 'magisterium' I clung tenaciously to the Faith until this election. Single issue voting is absurd and negates all the rest of the Church's social teachings. That aside, imagine a scenario in which Gov Palin assumed the Presidency — as would have been likely given the unimaginable stress of the presidency — though speculative, I am convinced that Palin, that opportunist amateur, would fumble and bring about thermonuclear war resulting in unimaginable death and destruction. So, from my perspective, being pro-life is a lot different than trying to overturn the law of the land; it means being life affirming and hopeful. My friend, if masturbation is a mortal sin, your mental masturbation will find you roasting for a very long time (though with you it is a habit, so you may get a lighter sentence).'

"P.C." wrote:

    'I read your article in 'Renew America' from October 25. From a personal point of view, I find your intolerance of others to be sad. However if you are offended by 'homosexual behavior and cross dressing' then so be it — and if I am offended by groundless religious nonsense and its associated 'behavior' then so be it. But this is certainly no basis for legislation — just as it is wrong to fine or imprison priests and pastors who speak against homosexuality (or mixed race marriages, or hate of immigrants, or the danger of Muslims, or any other fear-based garbage). If you want to ban a gay pride parade, then shouldn't we ban any religious gathering in a public place because it offends 'common decency'? Why fight over values rather than just agree to keep out of each other's business?

    'Lastly, I find it interesting that you flaunt your academic credentials in your author's biography. If you simply distrusted education or logic because it weakens blind faith, then I would have to accept it, if totally disrespect it. But if you are flaunting those credentials, don't you invite the charge that you come from two objectively low-ranked, 3rd rate institutions? As an 'academic,' don't you worry that your social conservative movement is filled with so many others who have failed to succeed when faced with academic rigour or intellectual challenge? Do you think that is a coincidence?'

Minerva Figueroa wrote:

    'I am copying you on a letter I wrote to the OC Catholic Church Office of Govt. Affairs. As you will surmise in reading the letter, since yesterday I no longer associated with the Catholic Church. After 23 years of attending SJN I finally decided I no longer want to be a silent participant in your appalling public policy positions. I cannot support an organization that lies and spreads hate as it supports discrimination and stands by injustice and abuses my loved ones.

    'Sir and Madam, please forward this letter to your Superiors. I am appalled at the Robophone call I received a few minutes ago from Bishop Sanchez. I speak Spanish but do not kid yourselves; I also have a brain, a college education, a passion for Justice, and Equality.

    'What are you doing? You are supposed to stand for Truth and the teachings of Jesus. I would have never believed that my church would stoop so low and join in a cause that is abominable. You are spreading lies and half truths and in doing so you are joining the forces of intolerance. You are exhorting us Latinos to discriminate against other groups? How dare you call yourselves Christians or pretend to speak for God? How dare you tell people who or what to vote for? How dare you call yourself righteous while condemning a large group of our society to discrimination? What is Christian about your actions? Please tell me, explain to me your actions with respect to Proposition 8.

    'The Robocall on Prop 8 is the last straw for me. Until today whenever asked, I would state being a Catholic. From now on I will not call myself a catholic; and I will make it my goal to stir more likeminded Catholics to call you and likeminded people HYPOCRITES and liars who stood by and accepted the disenfranchisement of millions of people. Oh, wait a minute! This is not the first time you stand by while others are persecuted, locked up, slaughtered (Germany) or sexually abused (Remember?). Do you think I or others will take your apologies seriously? You are part of the disease of religious intolerance that has taken over my country. And I for one will not be a silent participant of yet another of the Church's decisions to join the crowds stoking the fire of hate and intolerance. How dare you...'

Caminos Flamencos wrote:

    'What do you have against the next President, Barack Obama? Are you a believer in racial hatred, or is your opposition just about the abortion issue? Last question: do you believe George Bush really did great things for the American people apart from being an anti-abortion President? Did you know that we have more poverty, hunger and desperate families now than we did 8 years ago? Why do you place a higher moral value on fighting the 'evil' of pro-choice supporters, in lieu of fighting battles against those who would harm and hurt the children that are ALREADY here on Earth? These are questions to ask your conscience, and those who follow your cause.'

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if they're marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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