Monday, February 14, 2011

Ethics Debate Around Lila Rose Stings of Planned Pimpdom

Within the past week, some debate has surfaced, among people whom I'm sure are well-intentioined on both sides (see here and here, for instance).  There are some who are concerned about the tactics employed by the Live Action team.  They argue, rightly, that the ends (exposing Planned Parenthood) do not justify the means (lying, sins against the Eighth Commandment).  I agree that the ends do not justify the means, but somewhere in that statement is an unspoken assumption that the means are inherently evil.  Of that I'm not at all certain.  I urge you to read the above links (and the material to which those articles link) for a taste of the thoughts expressed.

The main concern seems to be with the Eighth Commandment, and what the Catechism teaches about truth and our obligation to abide by it, as well as topics dealing with "mental reservation".  As I look in my copy of the Catechism, section 2483, it reads (and I'll add italics for emphasis), "Lying is the most direct offense against the truth.  To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth."  In the Live Action stings, we can ask who is that "someone" and what is the "truth" that they have a "right to know"?  I presume that the Live-Action naysayers are thinking of the Planned Parenthood workers as having this "right".  Why?  Now let's get real.  The actors were not leading the PP staff into error; those staffers were already in error by virtue of their voluntary employment with the largest abortion perpetrator around.  Now how exactly does the Eighth Commandment read?   It is Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.  That is the precise language of the commandment.  To my unlearned brain, that implies that in order for a violation of this command, that someone (thy neighbor) must be injured by this "false witness".  In the Live Action stings, precisely whom was being injured?

Here's an interesting little debate point, that I saw on Jill's blog regarding this topic.  For that you'll have to open your Bibles to the Book of Tobit.  It's the only book that features Saint Raphael the archangel.  Some may know that he was sent to assist the young Tobiah on his perilous errands.  So how does Raphael introduce himself to Tobiah and Tobit?  Look at Tobit 5:18, where Raphael says that he is "Azarias, the son of Ananias."  Obviously that is false - but did Raphael commit a sin by telling a falsehood?  Remember - Raphael is an angel!

I'm not going to rehash all the arguments here.  But I will raise two other points.  First, those criticising Live Action are doing only that - criticising.  They are suggesting no alternative courses of action.

The second, but more important point I raise is this.  Live Action has been engaged in this "undercover" work for some time.  So have other pro-life organizaions.  For instance, Mark Crutcher and his Life Dynamics have engaged in similar endeavors over the years.  However, it is only now, when Live Action has hit real paydirt, that all these theologians are getting their undies bunched over this.  Now I truly believe that their commitments to God and to the babies are impeccable - but could it be that they are being manipulated in ways unbeknownst to them?  Has anyone else noticed a strange, amazing coincidence?  And what might that be?  Well, the same time as these moral concerns are now just blowing up out of the woodwork, George Soros and his minions are rallying to Planned Parenthood's aid, lest the latter lose governmental funding.  What better way for someone like Soros to work - to slyly start some infighting, and all he has to do is sit back and snicker over the debacle.

Live Action, I stand with you.

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