Friday, April 1, 2011

Immoral Sidewalk Counseling Techniques

Yes, I realize that sounds like an oxymoron, but that is what I must describe below.  In this clip, you'll hear Troy Newman, Mark Crutcher and some other people interview a sidewalk counselor who calls herself "Rachel Smith"; that is a pseudonym.

During the telephone interview, she states that she was discouraged at not being able to talk to abortion-minded women going into the abortuary.  She herself has a number of children, including a baby girl.  She states that the baby is five months old, but because of her birth size, appears to be two-three months old.

She got a "brainstorm" to walk into the abortuary to get a pregnancy test.  Now here comes the morally problematic part.  She took her baby girl with her.  As she was talking with women in the abortuary's waiting room, she passed her baby around to the women.  They held her, and they just kept passing the child along.

In the beginning, the panel asks, "why didn't we think of this sooner/ourselves?"  There might be one simple reason for that.  What the woman did, regardless of her honest motives, was inherently immoral.  I'm not looking at her motives, which I have no business addressing, but the action itself.

Now why is that "baby-passing" action immoral?  Because "Rachel's" FIRST responsibility, before God, is to her own baby.  If "Rachel" is as experienced as she claims to be, she'll realize that some of these women can be very unstable and downright unpredictable.  Some of them can be violent; having been threatened myself, I can bear first-hand witness to that.

Whether or not she wants to admit it, "Rachel" is using her baby as a tool.  But doesn't the baby have inherent rights of her own - such as the right to be protected as opposed to being recklessly endangered?  The video is also posted on a blog called "Hear Their Cries".  It may be on the LDI site as well.  Go to the first site, where I've entered into a bit of a conversation.  Read and ponder Mary's replies closely.  I will elaborate.

She starts by saying "In a war, many sacrfice all."  But not even that is moral.  Consider.  We can sacrifice fortune, jobs, money, reputation.  These are things; they aren't people.  May a person sacrifice him/herself?  Yes, but only under specifically-stated moral criteria, for our lives are not our own to dispose as we see fit; else, we may be admitting to suicide.  It should be obvious that we cannot "sacrifice" the lives and safety of other people; else, we degrade their inherent human dignity and we legitimize murder.

Then she says, "if the mom and dad decide that the child can be USED to save other lives, that is THEIR DECISION."  Emphasis mine, of course.  No person can be "used" by another person.  Some might chime in by saying "God uses whomever He wants."  Well, that's true, but only He is God; we aren't - not even Mom and Dad.  Parents are stewards - custodians of their children's lives.  God has entrusted to them the caring, protection and education of His children.  Parents may not renege on that duty - and then claim to be "trusting God".  That's not true trust - it's a sanctimoneous cop-out.  It's a sin.  Again, I'm not addressing Rachel's motives; not only are we not competent to evaluate them, but the motives are actually quite irrelevant to the kind of action in which she's engaging.

What I also find troubling is the regretable tendency of pro-lifers to suspend their own critical-thinking skills when someone else practices and even advocates hare-brained stunts as this.  Yes, it is an admittedly novel idea, to hand off one's own child to complete strangers - but not all "novel" ideas are good ideas.  Some are downright lousy, as is "Rachel's".  I'm sure I'm not the only one to be displeased by what Rachel is doing.  I truly hope that a misguided sense of "humility" and an equally misguided desire for "unity" will NOT keep us from sounding the alarm when something truly imprudent or even dangerous is being touted as something wonderful.  If we have the guts to speak out when abortionists are causing harm, why do we wimp out when our own are doing incredibly harmful things?

Some might say, "but look at the fruit."  That's not the sole criteria.  That's not even the main criteria, for we know that the ends, be they ever so good, will ever justify the means, if that means is inherently immoral.  For that reason, I am just aghast that Troy, Mark and the others are waxing so lyrical over what this woman is doing.  They affirm this woman in the reckless endangerment of her own baby.

Truth be told, I combatted this very same stupidity in one of our local abortion sites.  Because the people in this clip are holding out "Rachel" as an example to be emulated, I have a moral obligation to cry out, NOT SO!

Click here if you can't see embedded video.


  1. Much as I respect you, Janet, I disgree on this one. I was arrested at an abortion mill sit-in back in '79 with a newborn strapped to my chest. Three of us were there with newborns. My little daughter (Tara) was never in any danger. I've also talked to hundreds of women over the years on the sidewalk. I can't think of a single one I wouldn't have shown or let hold my baby if she wanted to. I certainly wouldn't have walked away, but would have stayed close by talking about her own baby and comparing her little unborn to my newborn.

    By your argument, parents are endangering their children by taking them to the mills at all. The same "unstable" women (and their angry partners) who threatened you may be a threat to any children at the site. So what is the difference? To be consistent you need to ban all children from the mills. After all, there have been acts of violence at several mills including someone throwing a molatav cocktail and someone else brandishing a pistol. These are rare situations.

    That little child is not a "tool" but a tiny witness. And I don't see anything immoral about what Rachel did at all.

  2. What's the difference? Usually at least 50 feet. By and large, the parents are watchful of their children and don't let anyone get near them (much less hand them over). We don't have too many kids there. Truth be told, I think that's just as well, as there is much spiritual peril there, as well as physical.

    Yes, those situations are rare, but not with "Rachel". Listen closely to that clip. She's making a regular practice of handing her baby to total strangers, and this clip is encouraging listeners to do the same. You flirt with danger too much and odds are that it will bite eventually; however, it will probably be the innocent who will get hurt.

    I agree the child is not a tool - that's my point. However, she's being treated as a tool. But no, she is not a witness for the simple reason that she's too young to consent to being a witness; that's no fault of hers, she just hasn't attained the age of reason to be a witness.

    Fortunately for the little girl, she has at most a few months left of this, as she'll eventually grow too big to have that "newborn" appeal. This is not an example to emulate.


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