Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Pro Life Movement = Seamless Garment Regurgitation

Michael Hichborn, formerly of American Life League, runs a site called Lepantoinstitute.org.  It is a well-run site that is quite informative and faithful to Catholic teaching.  Recently he ran an article regarding the attempts by John Carr to insinuate himself into the pro-life movement.  Recall that while he was at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Carr oversaw the office that was in charge of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  He did absolutely nothing to address the scandals regarding that collection.

The main focus of this article is not John Carr.  We are looking at the attempts of others to couple the pro-life movement with the now-discredited “seamless garment” theory that was championed by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.  In his article, Hichborn made mention of a series of articles found in the summer edition of Human Life Review.  Here is the site for your perusal   Many of the authors understand the perils of the seamless garment theory under its many disguises.  Among them, Ann Hendershott, Kevin Williamson and Kristin Hawkins see the danger of diluting our focus on ending baby-killing.  On the other hand, there are people like Aimee Murphy, director of Rehumanize International.  I previously did some research on this group and found them to be at serious variance with Catholic moral teaching.   Their “new media coordinator” supports homosexual conduct and may herself be embroiled in that sin.  Murphy herself evinced racism as she supported the violent “Black Lives Matter” on her facebook page.

But the seamless garment poses an even greater threat to the authentic pro-life cause than mere dilution.  In many, if not most, cases, its adherents ascribe to “seamless garment” tenets moral authority that belongs only to those matters to which the Church has placed special emphasis: abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexual conduct, abuse of embryos.  Even worse, some “seamless garment” adherents will go so far as to transgress against the Church’s teachings on the aforementioned intrinsic evils in order to promote the progressive positions on lesser matters (such as immigration or capital punishment).  We’ll now expound on these threats.

Some of the articles made mention of a group that dubs itself the “The New Pro-life Movement” – rather pretentious, that!  Its site is thenewprolifemovement.com .   Right on its homepage we see a problem.   John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe was a highly-respected pro-life leader approximately 25 years ago.  He helped spearhead the clinic rescue aspect of the movement.  Recently, some seamless garment pet causes – in his case, amnesty for illegal immigrants – clouded his perspective to the extent that he supported the unapologetically pro-abortion Hillary Clinton during the last presidential election.  I won’t go into the evils of that or this article would take up the entire magazine.  Look at the “contributors” page.  One of the other contributors is Rebecca Bratten Weiss.  Rather than go into another lengthy explanation, I refer you to this piece by LifeSiteNews. 

Let’s look at its “organizations we support” page.  We see listed “Obria Medical Clinics”.  Going to that site, we see their page on abortion.  While they don’t speak glowingly of abortion, they think that it could be “the right choice” for someone.  What???   They seem to be fine with contraception.  Another supported organization is “All Our Lives”.  Not only is it “informed” by the “consistent life ethic”, but also “the reproductive justice movement”.  They advocate for gay rights.

This “new pro-life movement” organization is not unique in having serious moral problems.  We’ve always known that those enamored with the “seamless garment” have flirted either with mortal sins themselves or have allied themselves with others embroiled in those sins.  An example of that was brought to my attention during the controversies over DACA.  A friend of mine, perhaps in an attempt to justify amnesty for Illegal aliens, posted an article about a priest in Georgia, Fr. Rey Pineda, who is himself an illegal alien.  To bring his “plight” to national attention, he relayed his story to Senator Dick Durbin, who then took it to the Senate floor last November.  Of course Durbin did this while advocating for illegal amnesty.  Dick Durbin’s name recently came up during Senate judicial hearings, when he and Senator Dianne Feinstein grilled judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett regarding her Catholic faith, mocking her in the process.  So on the one hand, Dick Durbin (a “Catholic” who has always been pro-abortion) takes up Fr. Pineda’s case for his own end, but on the other hand he openly takes aim at a judicial nominee for living out her Catholic faith.  Pineda, a priest, lent moral credibility to a politician who displays anti-Catholic bigotry in order to facilitate his own sinful disregard for his host nation’s laws.  This is just another instance of moral compromise when Catholics get entangled in the seamless garment embrace of progressive causes.

The gains that the pro-life movement has made in recent years have been due in large measure to the movement’s laser-like focus on defending innocent life and the sanctity of marriage.  We are soon coming up on the centennial anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun that culminated Our Lady of Fatima’s appearances to the three children.  During these apparitions, she warned the children that the leading cause of souls going to hell was sins of the flesh.  Let us focus on eradicating these sins and not allow other matters disguising themselves as “social justice issues” to distract us and even seduce us to sin.

5 comments:

  1. The Seamless Garment argument ("try it on!") has been discredited. So now they slap another name on it. The New Pro-Life Movement is neither new nor pro-life. I suppose it might be called a "movement," if that's the right word for a project supported by a few marginal academics and Patheos bloggers who don't have much grassroots Catholic support.

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  2. Whatever the merits of the New Prolife movement, it sounds like Lifesite news was not exactly truthful in its portrayal of RBW.

    https://scottericalt.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/lifesitenews-falsely-acuses-new-pro-life-movement-of-liberal-boilerplate/

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    1. I read that piece. It offers no evidence to disprove what LSN wrote of RBW. Rather, it is a screed attempting to justify the New Pro-Life Movement. In doing so, Alt's piece is a prime example of what I've written above: placing environmentalism, etc on a par with matters pertaining to the Fifth and Sixth Commandments. By the way - in regards to capital punishment, I wrote in other posts how total abolition of the death penalty would be sinful in and of itself. I challenge other readers to take a look at Alt's piece.

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  3. We have seen throughout history that if a title doesn't get the desired effects you just change its name! Those in power want " social justice mentality" to rule so, they just change a few names; ProLife movement to the "New ProLife movement!" Remember when it was just the Campaign for Human Development? They thought if they changed its name to "The Catholic Campaign for Human Development" it would bring in more $$ and "sound" like the Emperor put on new clothes while all the time they were still sullied and polluted.

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  4. Now I can add to this: National(not) Catholic(not) Reporter(not) with

    New(not) Prolife(not) Movement (not)

    what it is is Old Seamless Inertia

    Guy McClung, Texas

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