Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Some Pro-Life Organizations Are Jumping The Rails Regarding Maddi Runkles

I was hoping that some common sense had again taken root among some pro-life folks with regard to the situation at Heritage Academy and the animosity being ginned up against it by Students For Life.  I have two posts on it already (here and here).  While I'm seeing most of the flap in Facebook, I do see other articles being published outside; the New York Times article was already mentioned and I'll return to that one soon.

Students For Life is quite pleased with the online and network interviews that have drawn attention to this matter - and to them too.  Of course the school administration, themselves Christian, are being portrayed as "Simon Legree" hypocrites: that is to say, they are being slandered.  I just saw that Father Pavone of Priests for Life has unfortunately wafted from the kool-aid dispenser so now I'm going to attempt to bring some balance to the picture.  While there are plenty of common-sense comments on the various Facebook posts, I don't see other blogs taking issue with Runkles and SFL save for this one and the Remnant.  If I've missed any, please advise.

The SFL-led cabal seems to have two main objections:
  1. The shame induced may lead to abortion.
  2. Others in the school undoubtedly committed fornication yet they are participating in the commencement exercises.
Let's address these, dealing with the shame.  As mentioned before, Runkles and SFL have granted interviews with Fox News, New York Times, heaven knows who else.  Who, beset with shame, deliberately makes their plight a national gazing stock?

Speaking of shame, take a look at Runkles' picture in the NYT article.  What do you make of that facial expression, with hands on hips?  It certainly isn't that of shame.  In fact, a reasonable person might call that arrogant.  Now scroll to the very bottom of the article, for a quote from her that will, at the very least, have you scratching your head: "Some pro-life people are against the killing of unborn babies, but they won’t speak out in support of the girl who chooses to keep her baby.  Honestly, that makes me feel like maybe the abortion would have been better. Then they would have just forgiven me, rather than deal with this visible consequence."  I truly hope, for her own sake, that this is just a NYT misquote.  Else, I might have to conclude that this is a cheap attempt to instill guilt trips on those of us who don't fall lock-step in with her badgering of her school.  The fact that she speaks in the present tense of preferring abortion is really quite reprehensible - assuming that is an accurate rendition of something she said.

As for the second objection, whether or not others committed fornication is conjecture.  It may well be very reasonable conjecture, but it's conjecture nonetheless.  My blogging colleague, Steve Skojec who runs the blog One Peter Five, has some very good points about the added element of scandal that would be presented, had Runkles been allowed to walk.  We have to understand "scandal" to mean the enticement of others to sin by example.  I thought of paraphrasing Steve's facebook comments but I think instead that I'll just post the screen shots.  I did get Steve's permission to quote him, but not that of the other people, so I'll redact their names.  I'll also post these after the jump break since this will be a long post.
I'll post them one below the other.  You'll notice Skojec makes some very important distinctions between public and private sins, and how the element of scandal differs between them.  I'll also post a video released today by Remnant TV as Michael Matt touches upon similar considerations.  Both support David Hobbs, the principal of Heritage Academy.  They realize that Hobbs has to consider the impact of his decisions not just upon Maddi Runkles, but upon his entire student body - many of whom are young children.  Please read below the comments and video for there is a bit more discussion.

Now the Remnant video.

Students for Life is the main pro-life group that has partnered with Runkles in an attempt to badger Heritage Academy into doing their bidding. While many are falling lock-step behind them, not everyone is.  Even on the SFL site there have been plenty of comments that bring balance and sanity to the discussion. I frankly suspect this opposition too them by surprise.  On their site, SFL attempts to deflect some of the well-earned criticism.  On that page, they do attempt to maintain some proper courtesy and decorum.  However, in private, the courtesy is quite lacking.  Such was my experience when I posted to a page a link to one of my earlier posts.  See for yourselves.

To date that last question remains unanswered.

I called Heritage Academy today to express my support and to urge them to stand strong against the barrage of meddling nonsense that they are receiving.  They would appreciate hearing from you as well.


  1. I am interested in reading the comment you mentioned by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and cannot find it. Could you please tell me where to find it or post the link?

  2. T'would seem that the pro-life movement has fallen prey to moral relativism. Very sad. It's not entirely surprising though. After volunteering as a chaperone for the local Archdiocesan pilgrimage to the March for Life in D.C twice, I decided against volunteering for a third. I think it a good thing to emphasize the value of a human life; I think it very badly devised to fail to discuss the reason why the March must happen. Looking around the bus, I noticed that roughly half of the bus was populated by teen-age girls; I remember wondering how many of these might suffer a serious crisis of faith and practice within five years, as they might wind up "fooling around", conceiving a child, and being stuck with an ugly choice.
    I suspect the Archdiocese did not wish to discuss sex on the trip because they would want parents to discuss this with their kids instead. Even so, ...considering that such concern is precisely why the March wound up needing to happen in the first place, I thought then--and think now--that we do these kids a grave disservice.
    Unfortunately, it seems that in our modern era, we don't like recognizing the need for tough answers to tough questions. Thus, we wind up with this kind of demand for a young woman's choice to be endorsed, when she should be ashamed of herself.
    Sadly, as I believe you mentioned, ...shame does not appear to be a concern here.

  3. It is not about moral relativism. It is about the fact that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Maddie's sin is just visible for the world to see.

    She is probably not the only student at that school that had premarital sex she got caught.

    She could have had an abortion and no one would be the wiser. Many young Christians choose this. But instead she chose to take responsibility for her choices.

    We don't know she is still being immoral.

    An unplanned pregnancy likes hers comes with so many consequences big ones. Why does she need Christians beating her done as well?

    My understanding is she was suspended and lost her student council Presidentcy surely thay is enough.

    The message it can send to youngsters. We all fall short but there is grace when we repent and take responsibility.

    1. If anyone is being beat down, it would be the school administration. The treatment being meted out to it is most decidedly unchristian. Are you seriously suggesting that no sin should be unpunished simply because its commission by others is yet undetected? That is nonsense.

    2. Unfortunately, we DO know that she is still being immoral. That we're discussing her state of being at all demonstrates how she has begun compounding one sin, fornication, with another, pride. Put simply, she has committed one sin, fornication, and has begun trying to force our tolerance by threatening another sin, murder, if we don't comply. That's not an interest in moral behavior, that's blackmail into tolerance of sin in general. In short, this is, in fact, moral relativism.
      Both sins place her soul at grave risk. Very sad that too many do not wish to admit this.

  4. Being pro-life today is all about celebrating fornication as well as new life.

    Of course it was a Protestant school. No Novus Ordo catholic school would demand students take a vow against pre-marital sex let alone enforce the penalty against it as this school has rightly done.

    Maddi and her supporters should be ashamed of themselves.

    Seattle Kim


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