How would you know?

This picture haunts me:

nazi video How would you know?
It’s just one of many pictures from a photo album full of pictures of the staff at Auschwitz relaxing and having a great time, sometimes with their children, during on-site retreats. I originally posted it as part of my post about “good people” and “bad people,” but I’ve thought about it many times since then.

For me, this picture symbolizes all average folks who ever lived during times where particularly dark shades of evil gripped societies. It reminds me that though today we can see through the distance of history the thick pall of darkness that overshadowed the world in which these people lived, many of them could not see it themselves when they were in the midst of it. Like being in a city with air pollution, it’s easy to think that the air is clean and fresh when you’re standing in it; it is only when you get some distance and look back that you can see the dark cloud looming over where you were, and know that you were breathing soot all along.

I tend to be an easygoing, optimistic person who focuses more on my little corner of the world than the macro issues of the day. I tend to want to believe the best about people, and guard against buying into hyperbolic rhetoric that makes generalizations about the activities of certain groups of people being particularly heinous — so often, upon reasonable analysis, that type of claim pans out to be nothing more than a lame attempt to vilify people you disagree with.

So I wonder:

If were a 31-year-old woman with three little kids in a busy house in Germany 1941, would I have fully understood the evil that surrounded me? As a woman living in 2008 I can see the horror that was going on there, but at the time there were some awfully sleek lies being told about the situation; it would have been really, really convenient to let myself be persuaded by the lies and just make the nasty little problem go away by telling myself that it wasn’t really a problem at all.

What if I were living in a time and place in India where it was common and accepted for wives to be burned alive on their husband’s funeral pyres? Or living in Rwanda when an entire race of people were murdered by their neighbors? Or a citizen of pagan Rome where newborn girls were frequently “discarded” with hardly a second thought? The people in those times and places had cheery, sunny days, went to birthday parties and get-togethers with friends with lots of yummy food, and had daily lives not terribly different than our own. There are no records in any of these cases that indicate that average people fully comprehended what was going on around them or were as outraged as they should have been at the atrocities in their midst.

It is sobering to realize that the odds are that I would not have been one of the very few people who saw it all for what it was.

Recently I was looking through some genealogy documents and noticed that a distant ancestor of mine owned a slave. My own flesh and blood, people probably not unlike me at all, participated in the horror of slavery. Can I be so sure that I would have seen the truth? Or, if I had lived alongside my ancestor, would I have included a human being on the list of possessions I owned? Even if I didn’t own a slave myself, would I have shooed the distasteful subject from my mind by surrounding myself with the comfort that all my friends seemed to think it was fine and, after all, it was perfectly legal? Evil’s most powerful tool is that it always works through lies; the lure to tell yourself that something bad is not really bad at all is a powerful temptation, and one that I’m not sure I could have resisted.

Sometimes I think about this, and wonder what advice I would pass along to my own descendants to make sure this never happens again; to help future generations guard against being blinded should they find themselves in the midst of a culture where something terrible is taking place.

But the question is: How would you know?

What litmus test could you offer that would apply to all places and all times as a way for a person to look around themselves with completely clear eyes, piercing through even the thickest fog of self-delusion and widespread cultural acceptance, and see that they are surrounded by grave evil? Is there any simple way for a person to immediately undergo an earth-rocking paradigm shift in which they look up and realize that the world around them is not what they thought it was?

One thing that stands out in all these examples is that the victims of the widespread evil were categorized as something less than human. In fact, though the exact level and degree of evil that took place may vary, one thing that unites all of these practices as worthy of a place in the Human Depravity Hall of Fame is not only that innocent people were killed or enslaved, but that their humanity was taken away by the societies around them. The Nazis classified their victims as sub-human, less worthy of life than the better members of the race; wives were burned with their husbands because they were seen as nothing more than property; in the 90’s in Rwanda the media fueled the genocide by assuring citizens over and over again that Tutsis were not fully human, referring to them as insects rather than people; the Romans accepted it as a matter of fact that baby girls inherently had fewer rights to live than baby boys; and in early America enslaved men, women and children were accepted by both government and society at large to be barely above livestock in their dignity and worth.

So here is the advice I would offer to my children, and to my children’s children:

Every decade or so, take a look around the society in which you live, and ask yourself if there is any group of human beings who are seen as something less than human. A big tipoff is if dehumanizing words — terms other than “man,” “woman,” “child,” “baby,” or “person” — are used to describe any category of people.

And if you ever see that going on, you might be in the midst of something gravely evil.

babies in womb How would you know?

UPDATE: A Part II to this post is here: Abortion and Holocaust comparisons

RELATED
:
the Supreme Court documents of Stenberg v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Carhart. Also, how I became pro-life.

New here? Come say hi on Twitter at @jenfulwiler!



Enter the Conversation...

136 Responses to “How would you know?”
  1. Suzanne says:

    Excellent post. Well-written with a poignant kick at the end.

  2. Kingdom Mama says:

    I thought that is where you were headed and I’m so glad I was right. Excellent post!

  3. sara says:

    I linked. Hope that’s OK.

  4. Jenny says:

    Beautifully written post Jen. Thank you.

  5. Sebastian says:

    Thank you.

  6. Hallie says:

    This may be the single best post you’ve ever written. Bravo, my dear friend.

  7. Michelle says:

    Beautiful post. After recently having an argument with a pro choice friend, who really didn’t hear a word I said, I have to wonder if some of those people chose to live in ignorance because it was easier. It certainly seems to be that way for some. We always have to be aware. Otherwise history is apt to repeat itself.

  8. sara says:

    I already commented to say I linked but now I’m commenting to comment.

    A few weeks ago I was telling my sister-in-law about another of your posts. It was one of the quick takes with the story about the meteor shower. I told my sister-in-law that what struck me was that the slave owners’ reactions seemed to indicate that they knew that slavery was wrong. She sort of shrugged and something like, “I think people have always known it was wrong, but maybe they just pushed it down.”

    It wasn’t until a few days ago that I made the connection between that conversation and the issue of abortion and wondered about broaching the subject to my pro-choice sister-in-law.

    So, thank you.

  9. SarahLee08 says:

    What a fabulous post. I real enjoy your blog so much. I hope you don’t mind if I like to this in mine.

  10. KZG says:

    I think this was a beautiful post. Not only are aborted children known as ‘fetuses’, ‘blobs of tissues’ or worse yet, ‘your choice’ but also, physically and mentally challenged people are being called ‘drains on our economy’ (Google the recent case of a doctor denied Australian immigration status b/c of his Down’s syndrome son). As I don’t have to tell you or your readers, 90% of Down’s Syndrome babies are aborted. Because they are different (and some of them are probably misdiagnosed anyway), ‘lesser’, etc. Its funny in an age where we seek to be politcally correct and we praise blacks, Hispanics and other minorities for rising above their challenges (as we rightly should), that we cannot see we are denying the same rights..of life!!. . to other, lesser beings…
    A wonderful post. If I were currently teaching Social Studies, I would link that video about the Holocaust to my middle schoolers. Very powerful stuff.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much-I just finished Viktor Frankl’s riviting account of three years spent in a concentration camp and he mentions only being a number. In the camp, the prisoners were treated as one who had no name, family history or humanity. I guess the Nazis were able to do this by first not calling them what they were human beings.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have any advice for discussing pro-abortion with friends, even with friends at work, who bring up the topic? It’s so difficult for me because I want to maintain the relationship and I want to speak the truth in love.

    Thanks ,Jen, for your post.
    Kathy

  13. AG says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post!

  14. Jess says:

    This is such a provocative and excellent post.

  15. Kimberly says:

    Wow. This is so fabulous. I have shared and emailed it, etc.

    Evil is sneaky. That is the way it works. And it sometimes makes us doubt what that whispery small voice tells us.

  16. Amy says:

    Awesome post. Amazing how desensitized we can become if we don’t stop and look around!

  17. Amanda says:

    Beautiful post. Thank you! I’m emailing the link to friends and family.

  18. Lalycairn says:

    Fabulous post. On a day that leaves me questioning, I needed the clearness of this. Thank you.

  19. chickadee@afamiliarpath says:

    great post. i often think about that too in the time of hitler, what people were really thinking and if they were aware of the evil going on around them. it’s something we should never forget. thanks for posting an enlightening reminder.

  20. Marian says:

    Thank you. So well said.

  21. Agnes Regina says:

    Brava, Jen… what a great post. Thank you!

  22. Isle Dance says:

    Thank you soooooo much for this post. WELL said.

  23. Subvet says:

    I found your blog via Creative Minority Report. This post rocks.

    I’ve linked to it from my own blog. Keep up the good work.

  24. papermoon says:

    so perfectly done. i can’t wait to buy your book.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Great post.

  26. Kylie w Warszawie says:

    Definitely the best anti-abortion argument I have read. You are the only blogger I read that has similar values as mine (I mean, we’re both Catholic and converts, so there’s that) and one day last week I happened upon someone’s blog who had had an abortion and spoke of the horror and hurt from doing it, but DOESN’T regret her decision. I really didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything at all. Perhaps like a German living in Nazi Germany.

  27. Keith says:

    I think about this a lot: How could one know if he is wrong…and the value of questioning one’s beliefs. I recently watched the movie Spartacus and one scene serves as another example that stands beside Nazi Germany, India, Rwanda…ancient Rome and their treatment of the gladiators. The scene involves aristocratic woman selecting men to fight for their death…all for their entertainment.

  28. Keith says:

    If anyone wants to enjoy a wonderful story of a young girl and her family that refused to go along during the Nazi era in Germany, I highly recommend the the life of Sophie Scholl. The movie is great, but treats only her adult life. The biography by Hermann Vinke shows how her parents’ formation rendered her capable as a youngster to critically evaluate the culture at large…and think/act contrary to her peers.

  29. Francisco says:

    Excellent post, Jen. You’re blooming into quite the moral philosopher.

    I’ve just one little quibble on the subject of “sati” (wife burning): the dehumanization did not seem to stem from a possessive objectification of the spouse per se, but rather from a subordination of the wife’s dignity in deference to custom and holy (though this was debated) tradition.

  30. Sara says:

    You’re so inspiring that you make me post things I would normally shy away from!

  31. Lerin says:

    Thank you for posting this.

  32. Tara Sz. says:

    Excellent, excellent post. I just finished reading “Left to Tell,” an autobiographical account of the genocide in Rwanda. (Breathtaking read if anyone is interested).

    I can’t WAIT for the day when we get to look back on this scourge of abortion as a smear in our country’s history. No doubt it will take longer, because unlike the Tutsis, the Jews and the Africans, unborn babies do not have a voice. Hey everyone – be the voice!

    Thanks Jen – God bless you.

  33. littlesanctuary (kim) says:

    great post! I linked it up last night.

  34. Griff says:

    Very interesting. I think there’s a good deal of truth here. I came to some similar conclusions in this post:

    http://traditioetvirtus.blogspot.com/2008/10/complicity.html

  35. penny says:

    Great post, but I do have to wonder – even if abortion is made illegal – will it end? It went on prior to Roe v. Wade, and as you have pointed out, similar practices have always gone on- isn’t education a better way? Isn’t providing care and support for surprise pregnancies – (not everyone, unfortunately, welcomes these precious unplanned babies – and they *do* happen, just ask Sarah Palin’s daughter) better than a dangerous abortion for a girl/woman who may feel she has no other option? Wouldn’t it be better to educate ALL people about the options other than abortions, whether those abortions be legal or illegal, safe or unsafe?

    Such a complicated issue, one not solved by legal and illegal, but maybe one that can be solved in our own homes with education of right from wrong (in the case of abortion), and good choices from bad (in the case of premarital sex).

    It really isn’t up to the government. It’s up to us, as parents and Catholics/Christians, to bring abortion to it’s close. Our responsibility. Not our politicians.

    Education and the teaching of welcoming new life will end an ill-perceived need for abortion, and the politicians can’t do that. Only we can, in our families.

  36. Anonymous says:

    It was either Belloc or Chesterton who said something to the effect that it is easy to be blind to an evil as long as it’s big enough.

    Judy

  37. JPieters says:

    Profound post. I still have chills. Written so humbly and honestly. It’s this kind of thoughtfulness that will change hearts. God bless you!

  38. SuburbanCorrespondent says:

    I’m with penney up there. Through individual example, through an outpouring of money into crisis pregnancy centers, through raising our children prolife, we can beat back this scourge of abortion. The tactics used up until now by the prolife movement have been counterproductive and polarizing.

    For the person who asked how best to communicate prolife sentiments to proabortion people, emphasize the mother-to-be. You can proclaim until you are blue in the face that what they call a fetus is a baby, and you will not convince them. They base their arguments on the rights of the pregnant woman. So go where they are. Speak about the right of the pregnant woman not to be violated physically by an abortion; speak about her right to be treated as valuable even when pregnant; speak of her right to decent medical care and housing. And act on that. Make sure that everyone in this country has access to decent health care, make sure that everyone who is working 40 hours a week is being paid a living wage, make sure that a woman raising a baby alone can support herself. That will prevent more abortions than all the “life begins at conception” rhetoric that prolifers throw at them.

    And, although I understand the similarities you are trying to illustrate by using the Holocaust as an example, you are alienating every single liberal Jew in the US by doing so. Granted, life is life, in the womb or out of it. No argument there. But you will never convince me that a 6-week baby killed in the womb suffers as much as a mother watching her children shot to death in front of her, or a mother who led her children into the gas chamber with her. Don’t even try to compare that suffering. It doesn’t work; and even as a prolifer, I am pissed off when I see it.

    It’s not just you, of course, Jennifer; I’ve seen it everywhere in the past few weeks. It’s awful. And it doesn’t convert the people who need to be converted.

    And lastly, as always, I love your blog.

  39. Anne Marie says:

    To be able to educate with out preaching is such a gift. Your writing will resonate for generations in one way or another. Thank you for sharing this gift of the Holy Spirit that’s been poured out in you in such abundance!

  40. Jennifer F. says:

    SC -

    But you will never convince me that a 6-week baby killed in the womb suffers as much as a mother watching her children shot to death in front of her, or a mother who led her children into the gas chamber with her. Don’t even try to compare that suffering. It doesn’t work; and even as a prolifer, I am pissed off when I see it.

    My point was not that abortion is the exact same thing as the Holocaust, but that both are in a special category of evil that you only see when a group of people are considered less than human.

    And thanks for your suggestions about how to evangelize the pro-life position!

  41. Someone Being Me says:

    What an incredible post. I was just telling my friend the other day how sad it makes me that I live in a society where whether or not killing your baby should be legal is one of the top issues dividing the country.

  42. a square peg says:

    suburbancorrespondent,

    I just want to say thank you for your comment. Your response has given me courage to post a comment here (I originally just emailed Jen with my thoughts).

    You wrote:

    And, although I understand the similarities you are trying to illustrate by using the Holocaust as an example, you are alienating every single liberal Jew in the US by doing so. Granted, life is life, in the womb or out of it. No argument there. But you will never convince me that a 6-week baby killed in the womb suffers as much as a mother watching her children shot to death in front of her, or a mother who led her children into the gas chamber with her. Don’t even try to compare that suffering. It doesn’t work; and even as a prolifer, I am pissed off when I see it.

    It’s not just you, of course, Jennifer; I’ve seen it everywhere in the past few weeks. It’s awful. And it doesn’t convert the people who need to be converted.

    Not only liberal Jews, but just plain liberals (me) who sympathize with what Jews endured in the Holocaust. I am pro-life and voted for Obama for similar reasons as you. As someone struggling with the Christian faith, I always find it a turn-off to see abortion compared with the Holocaust and those who vote for Democrats compared to Nazis. I’m not accusing Jen of this, but it is happening. I’m seeing it a lot in the Catholic blogosphere, where I often go looking for encouragement and insight. I desperately want to believe the Christian faith, but stuff like this does more to push me away than draw me toward Christ.

  43. Frances says:

    Phenomenal post. Thank you.

  44. Rich says:

    “The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his own age.”
    G.K. Chesterton

    Re-read Humanae Vitae. Things have pretty much played out the way Paul VI predicted.

    “Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”

  45. Jill says:

    I am pro-life. I also believe that similiar to prohibition in the 1920’s, making abortion illegal does not make something go away. It mearly drives it underground, back alley and dangerous.

    The best way to stop abortions? Education. Education. Education.

  46. TRS says:

    SC -

    But you will never convince me that a 6-week baby killed in the womb suffers as much as a mother watching her children shot to death in front of her, or a mother who led her children into the gas chamber with her. Don’t even try to compare that suffering. It doesn’t work; and even as a prolifer, I am pissed off when I see it.

    Perhaps the child doesn’t suffer as much…. but the mother does.
    Killing your child or seeing your child killed seem to me to hit equally hard and be equally evil.

    I agree with Jen though, the point is about the evils we as a society excuse.

    Evil is evil – there are not varying degrees.
    Just like you can’t be kinda pregnant.

  47. Liam says:

    This is why gay and lesbian people are actually natural allies of the prolife movement, btw. And I know not a few prolife gay and lesbian people.

    The specific argumentative problem with abortion, in my experience, is that one is really arguing over assumptions (that is, the assumption about where human life begins – in terms of argument, it more clearly fits the role of assumption than conclusion). And assumptions are notoriously difficult to argue about. My general recommendation is to save provocative overheated rhetoric for intimate one-on-one conversations, rather than general broadcasting, where the rhetorical overkill tends to subvert the goal of persuasion. Most people have the exact opposite tendency – they soft sell in person and shout at strangers, as it were. This has been the Achilles heel of most advocacy movements, and the prolife movement is not a notable exception in that regard.

  48. Flexo says:

    They knew it.

    At least by 1941 they knew it. Perhaps not in 1933, but increasingly over the years it became clear.

    Of course, there were true believers — remember, National Socialism was called “nothing but applied biology” — who very much believed that extermination was, not only ethically justified, but a moral imperative because, in their twisted minds, Jews, handicapped, et al. are not “real” human beings, but parasitic vermin who are poisoning and threatening society, and so must be eliminated. The true believer National Socialist thought that what they were doing was “good,” not evil. It bears remembering that the origin and main impetus behind what ultimately became the Holocaust was not nationalist or racist philosophies, but instead came from the medical profession. That is, the racist Nazi monsters got many of their ideas from doctors.

    Of course, most of the National Socialists recognized that such was not a universally-agreed morality. But they thought themselves to be superior to “traditional morality,” they thought themselves to be “beyond good and evil” as traditionally held. Still, few of them believed that what they were doing was an evil for which they would burn in hell for — otherwise, they clearly would not have done it.

    Most Germans, of course, were not such true believers. Many knew in their hearts the evil they participated in, but they deceived themselves in order to be able to continue doing it. They willingly went along with the lie, knowing it to be a lie.

    And then there were those who knew it was evil, and did not want to go along, but who also did not want to end up in a concentration camp or dead themselves. So, out of fear, they kept quiet.

    And finally, there were those who did not go along, but who actively opposed the evil. Many of them became victims themselves – martyrs. Being the film buff that I am, there are a couple of good true history movies to consider -

    Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (2005), about the White Rose opposition movement

    The Hiding Place (1975), about the Dutch ten Boom sisters who helped hide Jews in a kind of underground railroad, and ended up in a concentration camp themselve.

  49. Miss Kelly and Miss Andrea says:

    Thank you for the post and link. God Bless,
    Kelly

  50. gina says:

    Well written post. Here’s my thought process as someone who calls herself prochoice. Do I believe a baby is a “baby” from the moment of conception? Absolutely. Do I believe in abortion? No. Would I choose it for myself? Never. Do I understand woman who use it like birth control(and I have known a few)- no WAY. Does making abortion illegal STOP abortions? – NO. Therein lies the problem. History has shown us that on top of aborted babies whose lives were NOT saved by the fact abortion was illegal- we had a whole other layer of people who died or were maimed by these illegal procedures. I think the problem needs to be solved another way. Three fold- better counseling and pro adoption efforts as options for pregnant women, better sex ed and contraception availability for high risk women, and finally focus on the children whose parents did choose life- and then ruined it for them. I worked for many years as a counselor to mentally ill teenagers and let me tell you- the abuse these living members of society have endured most times at the hands of relatives or foster parents is unthinkable. They are here and they are hurting and focusing some of this pro life energy into pro- quality life could make a huge difference- help break the cycle. A cycle that could end in abortion otherwise.

  51. lana says:

    about the language used to dehumanize others, may I add to conversation these terms: “illegals” and “illegal aliens.”
    I recently heard a Holocaust survivor speak about his experiences and lessons learned. He has resided in the US pretty much since he was liberated from the last of 7 camps he spent time in.
    He loves America and talks about this being a place where racial hatreds do not exist and where such a genocide could never occur. I would like to agree, but I think at some time in the future, if we continue along this path, we might arrive at that point. Certainly we are not close to that now, but if the seeds are there, they can be sown.
    Though this is not on the level of the truly horrific evil of abortion, this post reminded me of the gravity of this other social evil that we cannot afford to ignore.

  52. clara says:

    This post makes me think of other dehumanizing terms such as “illegals” or “illegal aliens.”
    not as horrifically evil as abortion, but a social evil we cannot afford to ignore.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Liam,
    Explain to me EXACTLY how the gay/lesbian rights movement is a natural ally with the pro-life movement.

    Gays and lesbians got a shot at life. Aborted babies didn’t.

    Gays and lesbians who are militant about gay rights want to tear down family, claiming that natural parents and natural family structure are about as important as what brand of breakfast cereal one chooses. Militant pro-lifers want to build family up and place proper value on parenthood, especially motherhood.
    Charlotte

  54. Aramis says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    I linked on the The Four Mass’keteers. Great post.

  55. Aubrey says:

    Excellent, excellent post. I’ve always noticed the language used to by those who are pro-abortion and its attempt to euphemistically deny the humanity of unborn children. It was used by southerners to justify slavery, it was used by the nazis to justify the holocaust, and now these same techniques are being used by the pro-abortion (anti-life?) campaigns. And it is also being used by those who think that killing people with certain disabilities is acceptable and even good. Language itself can be a powerful method to prevent people from thinking about the truth.

  56. A New Life says:

    Jen, This was an amazing post. So well written.

    Gina,
    You are very correct in saying that making abortion illegal, won’t stop it. I think most people can agree with that. No law ever stops any crime. We still have murder, and rape, and child abuse, and neglect, and stealing. We still have many horrible things. But, by making abortion legal, we as a society have said that this act is okay. Abortion is not ok. Having babies torn apart is not okay.

    We live in a civil society, and if we recognize something as evil, we need to be truthful about it. Keeping abortion legal, and thus accepted within society, is not being truthful. It is a false witness to all of its citizens to say an act is evil, but at the same time condone it.

    We need lawmakers and politicians to recognize evil for what it is, and speak against it through their words and their actions.

    I, along with many others, do care about women who may obtain illegal abortions, and I would do anything to make it stop. But, we cannot condone the practice as a society.

    So many people say they are pro-choice, and that they would never want abortion for themselves, or anyone else, but don’t want it to be made illegal. This position is confusing.

    Can I make the same argument if I say “Parents shouldn’t abuse their children, but I support their choice to.” This is a false argument and illogical argument.

    We need to call evil for what it is. Abortion is evil. There are multiple ways to deal with it, but by keeping it legal, we have made statement that it is allowed and it
    is perfectly okay.

    Aisha

  57. Nicole says:

    Excellent post. We recently had Randall Terry speak at our Right to Life banquet and he made the same comparisons using slavery, the women’s sufferage movement, and child labor. When you compare the atrocity of abortion to horrific events of the past, it puts it into perspective for those who may not already see it.

  58. Jon says:

    It is said that some of the monks of Scetis once went looking for Abba Anthony, the father of all monks, to tell him about some visions they had had, to find out whether they were true or came from demons. As it happened the donkey they had carrying their few supplies died while they were traveling. When they arrived at Abba Anthony’s cell, Abba Anthony asked them, “How did the donkey which was carrying your supplies die?” The brothers were amazed and asked him how he knew that their donkey had died. Abba Anthony replied that the demons had shown him what had happened. The brothers were amazed and said, “This is what we were coming to ask about, because we have been having visions which often proved true.”

    One lesson I take from this story, which is a paraphrase of the 12th saying of Anthony the Great in Benedicta Ward’s The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, is that demons prefer truth to lies. I suspect that only the weakest of demons use mostly lies, and even they stick close to natural human tendencies like our trust of friends. The Father of lies, on the other hand, may just cosy up to us, put a hand around our shoulder, whisper in our ear the true costs of discipleship in detail, and finish by telling us how profoundly we are lost. Then he lets us give birth to whatever lie we think will let us avoid effectively confronting the truth about ourselves and our society. After all, if we despair (and despair is a comprehensible response to the difficult issues of our day), we are his, and if we cling to a lie, we are still his. While exposing the lies to which we have given birth is a worthwhile endeavor, it becomes a waste of time when we don’t follow it up by doing everything we can to alter the reality that led us to give birth to the lie in the first place.

    You asked what sort of litmus test could be provided to determine whether one is surrounded by grave evil. Your suggestion that where we see human beings being described as something less than human (something which is done regularly to glbt folks in other parts of the world) grave moral evil is probably present is a good one, but I think one might be as well served by praying daily (especially praying the psalms), avoiding unneccesary talking (although chatting has its place), listening a great deal, and focusing on showing others how they might live better in detail preferably by example while avoiding accusing them whether they are guilty or not.

    Jon

  59. Spring says:

    May I add that I believe the same evil to be true of the word orphan?

    Orphan is a neat and tidy word that we use to help us bypass the ugly, grim reality that there are 5 million souls roaming the earth with no one to care for them. Less than 1% are in orphanages. The others must fend for themselves (according to Unicef).

    Let’s also stop using the word orphan and instead say child. Person. Human.

  60. Jeanne says:

    Hi Jennifer and everyone else,
    I just saw this from New York’s Cardinal Egan and wanted to pass it on.

    http://www.archny.org/news-events/columns-and-blogs/cardinals-monthly-column/index.cfm?i=9314

  61. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing dehumanizing about calling “Illegal Aliens” Illegal Aliens. This is a status, not dehumanization, and it’s no more dehumanizing than calling some people criminals if they violate the law. The Church states that governments have a right to control immigration, and to limit migration flows, so long as this is done humanely. Those seeking to enter our country, especially Christians, have a duty to obey our laws while doing so, and if they do not, they have committed an illegal act, and they are aliens. So where is the dehumanization in describing them as such?

    Deporting people who enter our country illegally is NOT evil, if done properly and humanely. Can we please have a moratorium on describing every policy we don’t agree with as “evil”? It cheapens the term, and makes real evil harder to spot and combat.

    Tschafer

  62. gina says:

    Aisha intersting. Your statement about parent who abust their children -stopped me in my tracks. I guess that’s because it’s not considered by society as their choice- it’s considered wrong by society- which i guess is the whole point this post was trying to make. wow. I never thought of it that way.

    So what pro-life is saying is let’s call this evil, make it illegal, and then together find a way to solve the problems having it illegal will create?

    I have never heard that thought process- and frankly, it makes sense- that is something I could stand behind- a movement with a willingness to solve the problems not just throw opinions around- which is how I had always viewed “pro-lifers”.

  63. lyrl says:

    This post made me think of the psychological phenomenon called the “uncanny valley”. A post that explores the uncanny valley in relation to racism is here.

  64. A New Life says:

    Gina-

    Yes. I would do anything to help women, but at the same time we need to acknowledge evil for what it is.

    I want to help as many women as I can. There are various reasons why women get abortions, and various solutions. We need to come together and try to find solutions to these problems. I have such a huge heart for any and all pregnant women out there.

    We, women, are so blessed to be able to carry new life. :-)

    Aisha

  65. Mary says:

    Thank you for the great post.

  66. a square peg says:

    Aisha,

    I agree with gina, your statement about abusive parents was a powerful one, and gave me another way of looking at the issue, so thank you for weighing in.

    this conversation leads me to something i have been wondering about for some time, related to stem cell research as it relates to in vitro fertilization. (these questions are directed toward anyone here who might have the knowledge, not Aisha in particular). i understand the Church as being against stem cell research, is that correct? is the Church also against in vitro fertilization, knowing that some of the embryos will not survive the implantation process? and would the fact that embryos are frozen and in a state of suspended animation be considered child abuse? are there certain fertility treatments the Church approves of and others it does not? or are all fertility treatments seen as contrary to the Church’s teachings on marriage, procreation, and the dignity of life?

    i know it’s off the original topic, i’m just curious.

  67. Toby says:

    How is it possible to put this? I think that it is true that, deep-down, we know abortion is anti-human, but dire situations remain. What do we do with women who have abortions? Are they criminals like the Nazis? Like slave owners? If abortion is murder, aren’t these women murderers?

    Is it wrong to ask this question?

  68. lana says:

    No, the proper term is “undocumented immigrants.” or “persons with no legal status.” The semantic difference is huge because of the very argument you make about breaking the law: it is not a moral issue. But turning away a stranger probably is.
    At the moment, for many such persons, the difference between being a lawful permanent resident (=greencard holder) and an undocumented immigrant is simply time. The backlog of eligible people who are just waiting to have their paperwork processed is years long. For others, it is a (heavy) penalty fee. According to our laws, you are only deportable IF you do not qualify for a green card on grounds of family, an asylum case, a domestic violence case, and so on. Or if you have committed a serious crime. Not for simply being here without the proper paperwork. And the law also guarantees the rights of these individuals to proper hearings. These are OUR laws.
    It is also against our laws to drive above the speed limit and is no doubt the cause of more innocent deaths than unlawfully present individuals, by their mere presence.

  69. Jennifer F. says:

    Toby –

    You bring up a good and important issue, and one that the pro-life movement absolutely must address head-on. I think that Darwin hosted a good discussion of it here if you have any interest.

  70. Jon says:

    Charlotte, the current Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria has very publicly stated that they are lower than dogs because of how they express their sexuality. Very few of his collegues in Africa and South East Asia have shown any interest in either repudiating his words or in trying to get him to change his rhetoric. He also has supporters in the US who used to be part of TEC. In fact one of the major reasons he began trying to take over from the current Anglican church in the US is because we don’t beat up gay folks often enough for him.

    Aisha, I’m generally against doing things primarily to make a statement, especially when the symbolic action is making something illegal, because it doesn’t seem to take the problem seriously enough. It also opens to door to unintended consequences. If one wants to make a statement it seems to me to be better to stick mostly with words, and when using actions stick to trying to effectively solve the problem. For example I saw some research probably a year or two ago which suggested that Americans have a low opinion of giving kids up for adoption (it gets compared to abandonment IIRC) and also suggested that ads suggesting that single mothers could maintain a solidly middle class or upper middle class lifestyle were very effective at getting people to be pro-life. At the time my only complaint against the ad I saw described in that study was that it seemed to be lying to folks about the very real challenges facing single mothers.

    I think it’s also worth noting in passing that, while everyone is against child abuse, folks mean radically different things by the term. For example some feel that striking a child is never appropriate while others will make a kid go cut his own switch. This can make laws on child abuse difficult to write well.

    Jon

  71. Karen E. says:

    Jen, I’ve prayed at Carhart’s clinic. It’s a sad, desperate, and horrible place.

    A beautiful, powerful post.

    Toby, no, you’re not wrong to ask that question. Levels of culpability vary … abortion is far more often about coercion, fear and desperation than it is about wanting to take a life. But the truth is that many women who are currently able to seek out a legal abortion would never pursue the twisted machinations it would take to achieve an illegal one. We should at least be able to say, as a civilized society, that this is wrong, that we do not sanction this.

    Another good outlet for learning more about post-abortive options and about helping the mothers is the Eliot Institute, at After Abortion.

  72. Kylie w Warszawie says:

    It’s interesting that many of the commenters have compared Nazi Germany and explained that the people had to know that evil was going on. I live in Warsaw, and much of the history we learn is about the people who fought back against the Nazis. I think it was much easier for the Poles to fight because they were all oppressed. One of my language teachers had her brother shot (along with all the boys in the neighborhood) on a street corner, and they were all ethnic Poles. So when that sort of thing is happening, it’s easy to determine what is evil. For the Germans in Germany it wasn’t as easy.

    Auschwitz is in Poland (it was Poland at the time too, since the borders have changed since then). Sure, there were concentration camps in Germany (Dachau being the most well known), and there were horrors going on there, but the real horror was exported to other countries. And those people living around Auschwitz (which is a pretty small town even today) were doing what they could to help out, because they knew that no matter what they did, they could just as easily become victims.

    I guess, when you are faced with evil, it’s very easy to fall into cognitive dissonance – “what should I do? This doesn’t go along with what I think is right.” So you wish it away. “It’s not as bad as all that.” And that’s where the non-human aspect comes in. A person convinces themselves that that being is less than human or somehow deserves it. The mind is very powerful.

  73. Liam says:

    Charlotte

    Um, gay and lesbian people are among the many groups of people whose lives are often treated by others as less than human, even to the point of lethal violence (it's not a fiction, and if you think it's a thing of the past you are quite mistaken). Anyone who does not fit "normal" is liable to that.

    Now, many gay & lesbian people have been deluded into buying into that idea that, because any legal protections they get have typically come under the civil law rubric of personal privacy – which was vastly expanded initially for contraception and abortion but actually has a long and less bedevilled history before that time – they should be "pro-choice".

    But, with patient and persistent one-on-one conversation, one can engage them in seeing past that delusion into how their own dignity is much more firmly grounded in a pro-life perspective (albeit of a progressive sort) rather than a privacy perspective.

    It does work. But in order for prolifers to have any chance of success, we have to get over assuming gay and lesbian people are natural enemies of the prolife movement.

    And that itself takes a lot of work with some prolifers. So it's no surprise why gay folk might be wary of us in turn.

  74. Jeana says:

    But you will never convince me that a 6-week baby killed in the womb suffers as much as a mother watching her children shot to death in front of her, or a mother who led her children into the gas chamber with her. Don’t even try to compare that suffering. It doesn’t work; and even as a prolifer, I am pissed off when I see it.

    You’re right; they don’t compare. The one mother suffers as her child is killed in front of her very eyes. The other mother is so deceived by the lies her society has been telling her for years that she willingly chooses to kill her own child. Maybe the second mother or her child doesn’t suffer as much, but what it says about our society is infinitely worse.

    And yes, abortions happened before they were legalized, but nowhere near the amount that happen post-Roe v Wade. By this logic, we should also legalize rape, murder, and child abuse because “they’re happening anyway, and some of the criminals are being hurt in the process”.

  75. Meta says:

    A Square Peg,

    i understand the Church as being against stem cell research, is that correct? is the Church also against in vitro fertilization, knowing that some of the embryos will not survive the implantation process? and would the fact that embryos are frozen and in a state of suspended animation be considered child abuse? are there certain fertility treatments the Church approves of and others it does not? or are all fertility treatments seen as contrary to the Church’s teachings on marriage, procreation, and the dignity of life?

    Your question is very close to me as my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2.5 years, but submit ourselves to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

    First, the Church only opposes embryonic stem cell research, as in order to do that, embryos must be destroyed. Adult stem cell research, however, is morally permissible (stem cells are taken from the umbilical cord, etc.), highly encouraged and has actually had far more success in finding cures than embryonic.

    Yes, the Church adamantly opposes in-vitro fertilization for precisely the reasons you named–in order to have one or two embryos successfully implanted, numerous more are created and frozen, left in test tubes in some lab somewhere. NOT an acceptable casualty for bringing that other child or two into the world (beside the Church’s rejection of any act that takes sex out of the procreative act, but that’s a topic for another post).

    The Church is not opposed to fertility drugs, such as clomid, so long as the couple is willing to accept all of the children that could possibly be conceived from taking it (triplets or more and such). What the Church emphasizes, over and over again (and this includes weighing out the decision to adopt) is that children are a GIFT, not a RIGHT. So the fact that my spouse and I desperately want children is not reason enough for us to go out and adopt. We have to have set the priorities of the child higher than satisfying our own desires. It is a beautiful teaching, but very hard to live sometimes.

    We have also looked at the moral permissibility of adopting frozen embryos (having embryos that were already created by others for in-vitro or what-have-you implanted into my uterus to give them a shot at life). Again, this boiled down to our motives for doing so (as far as I know, that Church has not come out against this practice–I’m not even sure that many people have tried doing it).

    So some thoughts to consider as you reflect on the Church’s full pro-life stance.

    Jen–awesome post!

  76. 'Becca says:

    Kathy wrote:
    Does anyone have any advice for discussing pro-abortion with friends, even with friends at work, who bring up the topic?

    As a pro-choice person, my advice is: Never assume that a person who favors legal abortion is actually PRO-ABORTION. Less than 1% of the pro-choice people I have ever met thought that abortion was a good thing or the rate of abortions should increase. The vast majority of pro-choice people believe that abortion should be available for those who feel it is the best choice, but that it would be much better if those pregnancies were welcomed or avoided.

    So, aim for common ground, then explain how your different views grow out of the same concerns. Suburban Correspondent posted some good ideas about this.

    Penny wrote:
    It really isn’t up to the government. It’s up to us, as parents and Catholics/Christians, to bring abortion to it’s close. Our responsibility. Not our politicians.

    Education and the teaching of welcoming new life will end an ill-perceived need for abortion, and the politicians can’t do that. Only we can, in our families.

    Very, very well said!!

    If anybody is making a list of terms that dehumanize groups of people, please add “illegitimate child.”

  77. A New Life says:

    Penny, Jon,

    Both of you had great suggestions, and it is up to us Christians to bring back the culture of life. I totally agree that it is first, up to us.

    But what role do politicians and lawmakers have? Do we recognize abortion as evil? Is the only reason we’re keeping it legal because we’re afraid that women will get back alley abortions?

    I want to do everything in my power to help any woman in need. But is it fair as a society that we condone the act of abortion under the label of “choice.”

    Becca,
    I realize that many pro-choice people are not actually for abortion. However, coming from a pro-life perspective, your argument seems confusing. You don’t like abortion, you think its bad and unfortunate, but yet you still want to keep it legal?

    Are you trying to say abortion is a necessary evil?

    I think the first step is to recognize abortion for what it is. If we can’t, as a society, first accept abortion as an evil act, than we cannot move forward.

    I’m really worried about the FOCA. This may repeal almost every law or restriction on abortion, including the partial abortion act.

    I can’t be the only one who is beyond confused. By making it even more legal, and condoning even the most heinous of abortion methods, this is somehow good??

    Aisha

  78. Aramis says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    Going back to your suggestion on helping our children identify evil:

    “Every decade or so, take a look around the society in which you live, and ask yourself if there is any group of human beings who are seen as something less than human.”

    This is the ‘unveiling’ of the scapegoat formula that has bound all cultures together at one time and then another since the beginning.

    You might check out Rene Girard in the following link:
    An Interview with Rene Girard. Girard is not someone who can be condensed into a short interview for there is a lot to mimetic theory and the scapegoat formula. With that said though, what makes Girard interesting is how he has come to realize the importance of the Judeo-Christian religion to human existence/history. Hope you find some interest in this article.

    Again Girard explains evil as the scapegoat formula somewhat like you so well elaborated in your post and how it is and must be veiled for it to work. It is the Judeo-Christian religion that is slowly breaking in on us and exposing human violence for what we humans have used it for since the beginning of lies.

    You will find many more links on our site the Four Mass’keteers.

  79. Maggie45 says:

    This is SO powerful. Thank you so much.

  80. Saoirse says:

    Like how gays are called faggots and are denied the right to marry and have a family with the people they love.

  81. Flexo says:

    is the Church also against in vitro fertilization, knowing that some of the embryos will not survive the implantation process? and would the fact that embryos are frozen and in a state of suspended animation be considered child abuse? are there certain fertility treatments the Church approves of and others it does not? or are all fertility treatments seen as contrary to the Church’s teachings on marriage, procreation, and the dignity of life?

    square peg – all of these things are authoritatively covered in the document Domum Vitae – Instruction on respect for human life in its origin and on the dignity of procreation (1987), Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect

    Cardinal Ratzinger is, of course, now Pope Benedict, who is an expert teacher. Space does not allow for excerpting all the good parts, but here are some preliminary remarks explaining that the Church’s teachings here are based on the same thing as all the Church’s teachings — Love and Truth –

    “The Church’s Magisterium does not intervene on the basis of a particular competence in the area of the experimental sciences; but having taken account of the data of research and technology, it intends to put forward, by virtue of its evangelical mission and apostolic duty, the moral teaching corresponding to the dignity of the person and to his or her integral vocation. It intends to do so by expounding the criteria of moral judgment as regards the applications of scientific research and technology, especially in relation to human life and its beginnings. These criteria are the respect, defence and promotion of man, his “primary and fundamental right” to life, his dignity as a person who is endowed with a spiritual soul and with moral responsibility and who is called to beatific communion with God. The Church’s intervention in this field is inspired also by the Love which she owes to man, helping him to recognize and respect his rights and duties. This love draws from the fount of Christ’s love: as she contemplates the mystery of the Incarnate Word, the Church also comes to understand the “mystery of man”; by proclaiming the Gospel of salvation, she reveals to man his dignity and invites him to discover fully the truth of his own being. Thus the Church once more puts forward the divine law in order to accomplish the work of truth and liberation. . . .

    God created man in his own image and likeness: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27), entrusting to them the task of “having dominion over the earth” (Gen 1:28). Basic scientific research and applied research constitute a significant expression of this dominion of man over creation. Science and technology are valuable resources for man when placed at his service and when they promote his integral development for the benefit of all; but they cannot of themselves show the meaning of existence and of human progress. Being ordered to man, who initiates and develops them, they draw from the person and his moral values the indication of their purpose and the awareness of their limits.

    It would on the one hand be illusory to claim that scientific research and its applications are morally neutral; on the other hand one cannot derive criteria for guidance from mere technical efficiency, from research’s possible usefulness to some at the expense of others, or, worse still, from prevailing ideologies. Thus science and technology require, for their own intrinsic meaning, an unconditional respect for the fundamental criteria of the moral law: that is to say, they must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights and his true and integral good according to the design and will of God. The rapid development of technological discoveries gives greater urgency to this need to respect the criteria just mentioned: science without conscience can only lead to man’s ruin.

  82. Hilary Castles says:

    Love this post. I am really Pro-Life and this is one of the best arguments/philosophies I have heard.

  83. Dan and Janet Brungardt says:

    If anyone wants to see how it feels to be torn apart from limb to limb, google The Silent Scream and you can watch a video of a 1st trimester abortion. You can see the baby screaming in agony and trying desperately to move away from the abortionists deadly instruments. I watched it in college and I will never forget it. (Warning, it is obviously very graphic, so do not let any children see it!) It has been documented that fetuses feel pain as early as 6 or 7 weeks!

    I’m not going to compare who’s pain is worse, a baby being torn apart by abortion or a child being gassed in a gas chamber, but to me they are equally painful and horrendous. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

    And how do you think it feels as a mother to realize that you killed your child? I have worked in a crisis pregnancy center and seen such women and the guilt and pain can destroy their lives.

    And Jen, that is a great post!

    Janet

  84. a square peg says:

    meta and flexo,

    thank you both.

  85. Becky says:

    I agree with you completely, however, abortion is a symptom, not the problem. As a society we have failed to support our women. We don’t prevent unwanted pregnancy. We don’t support unmarried mothers. We apply incredible social pressure for women to behave and show little forgiveness when they “slip up”. Adoption is unregulated, confusing, emotionally wrenching and incredibly expensive (averages 35K* for domestic child). If any business was run like adoption it would not be around very long. Kids have few programs to help keep them out of trouble because funding is nearly zero and charities have not picked up the slack. There are a few crisis pregnancy centers around the country that don’t preach and offer real solutions, but there should be one in every town. The foster care system is woefully underfunded and damages children more than it helps in many cases. Mental health issues are addressed by the criminal justice system because there is no other option for many people. Shall I continue?

    So yes, abortion is evil, but it is the evil result of an unforgiving and uncaring society and making it illegal will NOT make it go away. It will only add the deaths of women to the deaths of the unborn. Don’t be against abortion. Be for women. For unwanted children. For making abortion unnecessary.

    *And don’t say adoption tax credit. You have to make lots of money to take full advantage, and if you leave work to be a stay at home mom, your income decreases and you can’t get the tax credit. We are middle class and will only get half of it.

  86. Flexo says:

    square peg –

    sorry, but apparently I messed up the link to Domum Vitae, which can be found at the Vatican website if I mess it up again.

  87. Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin says:

    The story of how I became fully, comlpetely, and unreservedly pro-life is told here: http://arkanabar.blogspot.com/2008/10/first-principles.html

  88. Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin says:

    additionally:
    the demand for abortion is driven by the failure rates of contraception. I wish I had readily available the link to a study (by the Guttmacher Institute) showing that of unmarried women, 20 & under, poor and living with their boyfriends, using the Pill for contraception, over 48% get pregnant EVERY YEAR.

    The "99.9% effective" thing is a lie. Real women in the real world do NOT use contraceptives as directed.

  89. Lizz says:

    Thank you so much for your voice. It speaks true. When my little girl was consoling me about my broken heart after the elections, I tried to explain why I was crying -the horrifying loneliness of feeling that so many people just don’t care, even friends who are very close. All my children and I tried hard to meditate on Jesus’ words on the cross, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” But my little girl needed an explanation. When she asked, “But how do they kill the babies?”, my answer was, “They pretend they are not babies.” “But how, mommy, how?” “They pretend, that’s all, they just pretend.”

  90. Right Said Red says:

    Excellent Post. I linked at Building Cathedrals. God Bless you.

  91. Jon says:

    Aisha, Actually US society seems to generally agree that abortion is a bad thing, the problem is coming to a consensus on how to eradicate it. Becky has partially addressed the economic side of the problem; I would only add that the economics of supporting a child as a single mother get ugly. This could be ameliorated by increasing the availablility of high quality afordable childcare for the before school age years, since at the moment we leave the eonomic burden of taking care of herself and the child on the family.

    I think the Desert Fathers provide an interesting counterpoint on condoning evil. For example in the tenth saying of Abba Ammonas in Benidicta Ward’s book it is said that one time when Abba Ammonas, who was also a bishop of the Church by then, was visiting a place in which an evil monk was living, the brothers there asked Bishop Ammonas to come with them to accuse the evil brother of bringing a woman into his cell and drive him from that place. When the evil brother heard this he hid the woman in the only place he could, a large cask in his cell. Abba Ammonas arrived at the cell first, and, seeing the only place a woman could be hid, sat on the cask and told the brothers to search the cell. When the brothers couldn’t find the woman Abba Ammonas chastized them for accusing a brother, prayed that they might be forgiven and sent them away. Before Abba Ammonas left the evil monks cell Abba Ammonas told him to be on his guard against sin.

    While the monk’s sin wasn’t any where near as grave as abortion, it was serious enough that he would appropriately have been driven from the monastery by force if the woman had been found in his cell. Perhaps the Fathers were mistaken in how literally they took our Lord’s command not to judge, but I think it might be worthwhile for us to ponder in our hearts whether in driving to make abortion illegal we haven’t slipped into the position of the accusative monks. The eigth saying of Abba Ammonas might also be worth pondering in connection with this matter as well. It says in part that Abba Ammonas advanced in goodness so much that he took no notice of wickedness.

    Jon

  92. Vanillabean says:

    You are very right. They can’t speak up for themselves or lead a protest.

  93. Lourdes says:

    Thanks, Jen for a beautiful post. I ,too, believe that we need to promote the culture of life in our homes. We need to educate our children about the physical and emotional dangers of premarital sex.
    I feel we are at war with popular culture for the hearts and minds of our children. As parents, we need to make sure that we, along with our christian values, are their primary influence.

  94. Toby says:

    Jennifer,

    Thank you for responding, and I did read Darwin’s post; but I think that it avoids (evades) the issue.

    If abortion is really murder, shouldn’t women be prosecuted? We readily do so for infanticide. What is the difference?

    This, I think, is the real reason why abortion will not be outlawed: even pro-life advocates don’t see women who obtain abortions as criminals.

    Let me say that I am a handicapped man who hates abortion, especially since a much higher percentage of babies like me are aborted, but do I want women prosecuted…?

    God bless,

    Toby

  95. Jennifer F. says:

    If abortion is really murder, shouldn’t women be prosecuted? We readily do so for infanticide. What is the difference?

    Thanks for your comments, Toby! Actually, we don’t prosecute women for infanticide. It is legal to kill babies old enough to live outside the womb. The recent case of Shanice Osbourne is a good example – her mom was not prosecuted.

    I think that, legally, you could handle abortion differently than the killing of an adult because most women honestly don’t know what they’re doing. Many of my close friends have had abortions, and all of them bought the line, given to them by respected doctors, that “it’s just a clump of tissue.”

  96. Jennifer F. says:

    Oops! I mean to say, “we don’t prosecute women for infanticide as long as they’re in a clinic and have scheduled an abortion.” Oddly, if a woman were to induce labor herself and kill the infant after it was born she’d probably be prosecuted, but if it’s done in a clinic it’s legal.

    A side note: a close friend of my family found out two weeks ago that her baby has a disability, but we relieved to find out that it’s most likely easily correctable with surgery and the child won’t have a lasting disability. Her doctor keeps pushing her to terminate, though, just so she doesn’t have to deal with it. When she put her foot down and said no, he assured her that she had plenty of time to think about it since he can do abortions up to 18 weeks, and could easily refer her to doctors who do it well later than that. Scary.

  97. Elizabeth says:

    Becky:

    You wrote: “Abortion…is the evil result of an unforgiving and uncaring society.” And also, “Abortion is the symptom, not the problem.”

    I agree that abortion is the symptom. The problem is a society that has forsaken God.

    That is why it is uncaring and unforgiving.

    The most cruel and unforgiving societies of history have always murdered their children. If you really want to support women, you can do no better than to support ALL living women–whether born or unborn.

  98. Toby says:

    Jennifer,

    I don’t want to bother you, but please think about what you wrote:

    “because most women honestly don’t know what they’re doing”

    This is amazing to me (and you may not want to say it too loudly). But if this is true (and I know you mean it only in terms of abortion) how can we allow them to make any decisions at all?

    And, if it is true that women don’t understand, wouldn’t education and outreach be our most important strategies, rather than criminalization?

    I pray daily that abortion will end and I support several centers that care for pregnant young women so that they will have their children. It seems to me that if the time, effort and resources we use to overturn Roe v. Wade were used to take care of women instead we would see the abortion rate begin to fall.

    Sometimes it seems that our desire to be “right” (and righteous, perhaps) hobbles the good that we can do.

    Abortion is a societal sin, not only because we kill babies, but because we don’t care about their mothers.

    God bless, Jennifer, and thank you for your blog. I am a convert as well and it’s good to read someone who has embraced their faith with such an open heart.

    Toby

  99. Anne Marie says:

    Toby:

    In terms of women “not knowing what they are doing”, I think it’s important to not globalize the statement. In the context of abortion it is clear that most of those who support abortion don’t “know” that they are killing another human being, nor do those couples that allow their excess IVF embryos be experimented upon “know” that they are killing their children. The not knowing is the result of improperly or incompletely formed consciences on the topic rather than a global ignorance.

    Ultimatly many of our societal ills in this area can be directly linked to not knowing the impact of sexual sin in general. Abortion, child abuse, pornography, adultery are all symptoms of our culture’s “not knowing” that sex, by God’s design, is intended exclusively for a man and a woman in the context of the covenant of marriage. Once that which God has designed for our good is treated as sport our understanding is clouded and we no longer “know what we are doing” nor can we see right from wrong.

    The fruits of our ignorance are tearing apart the fabric of our culture and hurting many, many people along the way.

  100. Meta says:

    Toby said:

    And, if it is true that women don’t understand, wouldn’t education and outreach be our most important strategies, rather than criminalization?

    In response to Jen’s comment about most women not knowing what they’re really doing in an abortion, this comment makes me think of one word: ultrasound. However, the pro-choice side has said that showing live images of the baby that’s about to die is not really “education,” but rather an “emotional burden.” I think the problem is that when the woman realizes the truth, the doctor tends not to get paid. Sorry if that’s a bit crass, but that’s just what I’ve seen.

  101. TRS says:

    Meta,
    I have a question regarding this: children are a GIFT, not a RIGHT. So the fact that my spouse and I desperately want children is not reason enough for us to go out and adopt. statement in one of your comments.

    What does that mean? That Adoption is selfish?

    I’ve been trying to wrap my head around your meaning and I’m just not rectifying it.
    Is adoption more expensive than fertility treatments? I honestly don’t know and I’m asking from a very pure place.

    I was adopted in 1970 and I know that my parents felt that all three of their adoptions were GIFTS – just as a pregnancy would have been.

  102. edie+steve says:

    Brillian post. I am smitten by your writing…and your story….and your thoughts on blogging. WOW!

  103. Shakespeare's Cobbler says:

    That’s some serious good advice, there. Also, the discussion here in the combox prompted me to think out some grounds/guidelines/peace-treaty-terms for having a workable discussion about abortion between people who disagree, which I wrote out on one of the blogs I write at, “Three Anachronisms”. Thank you all, so much. I hadn’t thought this honestly and gently about all this for far too long a time.

  104. Anne Marie says:

    TRS:

    I don’t want to speak for Meta, but as someone who has wrestled with the topic of fertility treatments, and all of the various types of adoption, I’m familiar with the territory.

    What the Church teaches is that my desire, to have a child if it is exclusively self interested is not in itself an acceptable motivation to adopt. My desire to adopt is only correctly motivated if it also includes the best interests of the child in a measure equal to or greater than my interests in fulfilling my own desire to have a child.

    In short, a child (or anyone for that matter) is not an object and can’t be treated as such to fill my needs or desires.

  105. aimee says:

    Great post.

    Responding to the point of view of a few comments here: I don’t agree with the idea that we should leave abortion legal and just educate instead, because even if illegal there will still be abortions. Sure there will, but not as many – probably not even a fraction of how many there are now. And as for “endangering the lives of women”, the numbers of deaths prior to Roe due to back-allay abortions were vastly inflated by the lawyers trying to overturn abortion restrictions. They knowingly supplied false numbers to the Supreme Court, because the real numbers were hardly enough to justify allowing unrestricted abortion to everyone.

    The reason why feminists wanted abortion legal back then wasn’t because of all the women dying of illegal abortion, it was because they wanted sexual freedom. The illegal abortion death rate was a red herring. I was growing up in those years, became a pro-choice feminist myself for a long time, and well remember the two-faced arguments: about all the poor women dying of illegal abortions when talking to the world, about sexual freedom and sexual techniques and how to have the big O when talking to each other – and how great it was that we could have abortions if we got pregnant by accident while seeking sexual fun.

    Someone did an interesting study awhile back, I forget where I read about it, on the effect of law on how people view things. They found that when something was illegal, most people viewed it as a bad thing. It something was legal, most people thought it was good. If the law changed, most people changed their minds, according to the law.

    The conclusion: law has a powerful educative effect on people’s understanding of right and wrong, because it not only educates on right and wrong, it also delivers consequences for wrong.

    I do think we should educate now – but so that more people will be willing to change the law. As long as abortion is legal, the temptation to have sex just for fun, and then abort when an unintended pregnancy almost inevitably happens, for most will always be greater, and easier, than the willingness to do what is right.

  106. 'Becca says:

    Meta wrote:
    The Church is not opposed to fertility drugs, such as clomid, so long as the couple is willing to accept all of the children that could possibly be conceived from taking it (triplets or more and such). What the Church emphasizes, over and over again (and this includes weighing out the decision to adopt) is that children are a GIFT, not a RIGHT.

    I am a Clomid baby myself, and I struggled with infertility myself. I hope you will take what I am about to say not as a personal attack but as the thoughts of someone who has agonized over this topic for many years.

    To me, it seems inconsistent and illogical to say that it’s wrong to take drugs to prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs (hormonal contraceptives) but it’s okay to take drugs to make your ovaries release a bunch of eggs at once. If it’s wrong to interfere with God’s plan for how many children you will have, then it’s wrong. If children are a gift, not a right, then taking Clomid is like breaking into someone’s house and swiping the contents of his “things to give as gifts” box. I don’t understand how this teaching fits in with other Catholic principles.

    I’m not Catholic. I’m pro-choice and believe that most types of assisted reproduction should be legal. That doesn’t mean I think they’re all good choices.

    Were my parents wrong to take Clomid? Well, they were too trusting of their doctors, who said they’d never conceive naturally but must use contraception until they were ready for a child (???), and it’s not their fault they got bad advice…but they could’ve questioned it more and could’ve taken more time “trying” before resorting to drugs. I’m glad I was born at all; I’m glad I was born when I was born. But that doesn’t mean Clomid really was the RIGHT thing to do.

    I was more inclined to argue with doctors than my mother, partly because they started prescribing me fake hormones for infrequent menstruation years before I was sexually active (whereas she’d been told not to worry about it until marriage) and that taught me all about side effects and how little doctors know about how our bodies work. I really did not like the idea of taking drugs to conceive, for a number of reasons.

    One of these was faith. After years of struggling to be “normal” with drugs, I had come to believe that God made me the way I was for a reason, though I may never know what that reason is. It was really, really, really hard to wait nearly 2 years to release 5 eggs and to have 4 of them not turn into pregnancies. But when our son did come to us, it was “perfect timing” in every way, and we felt certain that God meant for us to have him.

    I don’t mean to discourage you or to say, “Obviously it’s God’s will for you not to have a child!” Just…think about whether Clomid really is consistent with your beliefs, and whether you may need to put things more into God’s hands. I’ll pray that God grants you the same joy and peace He has given me.

    Natural Family Planning was immensely helpful to me not only in conceiving but in developing respect for and understanding of my body, which gave me courage to stand up to doctors who wanted to drug those delicate processes into conformity. I’m forever grateful to Catholics for supporting NFP research and publicity! (That’s another way to help prevent abortions.)

    Aisha wrote:
    You don’t like abortion, you think its bad and unfortunate, but yet you still want to keep it legal?
    Are you trying to say abortion is a necessary evil?

    I think that between pure good and pure evil lies a continuum with many gradations. Different people draw the line for what’s acceptable in different places. The Catholic Church, for example, teaches that it is okay to avoid pregnancy by abstaining from all sex at fertile times, but that it is not okay to do this by using any object for contraception or by having orgasms in any other way. Many evangelical groups believe that it is okay to use contraception and enjoy other types of sexual activity, but if you do get pregnant it is not okay to have an abortion.

    Like many other pro-choice people, I believe that it is BETTER to make choices that prevent unwanted pregnancy. Once a pregnancy has begun, it is BETTER to choose responsible parenthood, and it is a horrible shame that our world is running in such a way that many women feel it is impossible for them to make that choice and be able to carry it through. Abortion is a WORSE choice in an overarching sense but sometimes the best choice available to a woman who decides (and I believe she has to be the one to make the final call) that she can’t raise a(nother) child and either can’t bear to give away her child or can’t safely get through pregnancy and birth. A worse choice is not EVIL. It’s sad and unfortunate.

    So, no, not a necessary evil. It’s not evil, but it ought to be a lot less necessary.

  107. Jon says:

    I think it is a mistake to insist that folks don’t know that abortion kills babies. It seems to me to be more like the “not knowing” of the folks who lived near Auschwitz. The stupid lie that a fetus isn’t a baby seems to me to exist only as a way to cope with doing what the economics suggests is one of the few ways to avoid poverty. That’s why poverty and the threat of poverty is the major hurdle for the pro-life movement; if pro-choice folks could be convinced that single mothers were getting enough support to raise their children without all of them being trapped in the cycle of poverty it would all of a sudden become much easier to outlaw abortion. Honestly, if we aren’t willing to stand with those who choose abortion deeply enough to understand their hopes and fears abortion will never be effectively opposed.

    The stuff about purity of purpose in adopting sounds a lot like the excessively romantized theories of marriage that have been damaging the institution of marriage over the past decade or two. Having less than pure motives doesn’t mean one shouldn’t do a thing. It means that one won’t be entirely satisfied with the results.

    Jon

  108. Veronica Mitchell says:

    I haven’t read through all the comments, so maybe this has already been addressed here, but the standard you are proposing – look for evil any time victims are portrayed as “less than human” – would satisfy the demands of many animal rights activists. Animals are used for medical testing or medical procedures to save the lives of humans precisely because they are considered “less than human.” Yet I do not believe it is actually evil to take the life fo an animal to save the life of a person.

  109. Anne Marie says:

    Jon:

    “That’s why poverty and the threat of poverty is the major hurdle for the pro-life movement; if pro-choice folks could be convinced that single mothers were getting enough support to raise their children without all of them being trapped in the cycle of poverty it would all of a sudden become much easier to outlaw abortion.”

    Another effective way to avoid poverty is to exercize the self control necessary to refrain from the activity which produces children until one has selected and married a mate with which to raise the children.

    It’s no coincidence that the sexual revolution preceded legalized abortion. The poverty that must first be addressed is a poverty of the spirit which assumes people are unable to control themselves and the segments of our culture that reinforce that assumption daily.

    There is selfishness inherent in the assumption that sex can exist with out consequence that underlies the entire discussion of abortion. That bottom line is frequently brushed aside as if the assumption of “free sex” is so sacrosanct as to not be open to question.

  110. Jon says:

    Anne Marie, So pregnancy is the God ordained punishment for the sexual sins of single mothers and we need to make sure they get punished to the fullest? You can hold to that position if you want; I’ll stick with the Fathers. For example the eight saying attributed to Abba Amonas which I mentioned earlier in this thread is very much to the point. In the second half of that saying it is said that once during his episcopate a young girl who had gotten pregnant was brought to him with the request that he assign her a penance. He responded by marking her womb with the sign of the cross and ordering 6 fine linen sheets be given to her in case she or the child died. When her accusers howled that the bishop ought to give her a punishment for her sin the bishop rebuked them for the hardness of their hearts.

    It may well be that the sexual revolution has led folks to foolishly assume that they ought to be able to engage in sex without consequences, but if we give in to the desire to punish them for their sins then we have slid into a sin against charity. Besides, as Christians we have a responsibilty to care for the poor regardless of what sins caused the person to become poor. If working against poverty will decrease abortions or make it easier to make them illegal we should rejoice and push harder in those endeavors even if it means some won’t suffer as much for their sins as they might have.

    Jon

  111. Anne Marie says:

    Jon:

    Pregnancy is not a God ordained punishment; it is simply the natural consequence of sex. I’m not following you on the punishment issue. Are you suggesting that refusal of the option to abort is a punishment, or that the child is a punishment? Where ya goin with the punishment thing and what’s that got to do with poverty? I’m not following the relationship of the two.

  112. Gombojav Tribe says:

    I just read your post and then clicked over to watched the video. There are no words. But, I’m sure some will come, because I’ve been planning to blog about this topic. This picture just hammered it in my heart.

    Thank you for being willing to ask the tough questions.

  113. Jon says:

    You said “Another effective way to avoid poverty is to exercize the self control necessary to refrain from the activity which produces children until one has selected and married a mate with which to raise the children.” You also said “It’s no coincidence that the sexual revolution preceded legalized abortion. The poverty that must first be addressed is a poverty of the spirit which assumes people are unable to control themselves and the segments of our culture that reinforce that assumption daily.”

    Are you familiar with the reported outcomes for single mothers, especially those who have their first child before getting a college degree? Last I heard from the defense of marriage folks there is a strong correlation between being a single parent, especially one without a college degree, and living in poverty. You are certainly right about abstaining until after marriage being the best way to avoid being a single parent, but do you not realize that even those folks who have always been taught to control themselves frequently fail to follow this sound advice? What precisely are those people who foolishly choose to have sex outside marriage with the predictable consequences to do? Just suffer those consequences while pro-lifers run off to go save another unborn baby? Incidentally I’m not in favor of them getting abortions; I’m in favor of breaking the correlation between being a single parent and living in poverty and doing so sufficiently publicly to undermine those who argue that abortion is the least bad option for teenage mothers.

    Jon

  114. another Jon says:

    Suburbancorrespondent said, “But you will never convince me that a 6-week baby killed in the womb suffers as much as a mother watching her children shot to death in front of her, or a mother who led her children into the gas chamber with her. Don’t even try to compare that suffering. It doesn’t work; and even as a prolifer, I am pissed off when I see it.”

    Is the amount of suffering the point? How about we compare the degree of innocence? the vulnerability? the violation by the steward or one in authority? the amount of guilt before God? Since when has the degree of suffering become the measure of violence?

  115. island breezes says:

    der children on ‘facebook’ so that they have some material for their friends to think about.

    Its not enough to be comfy ourselves, and have a vague idea that something is difficult elsewhere. We have to ask the tough questions – like, what is RIGHT. Is it RIGHT to sweep the ‘problem’ of single mothers under the rug by quietly encouraging abortion as a solution, or is it RIGHT to help them 1) not make that mistake of uncommitted sex
    2) deal with that resulting child by accepting both mother and child as neighbours we care about.

  116. Anonymous says:

    becca,

    “To me, it seems inconsistent and illogical to say that it’s wrong to take drugs to prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs (hormonal contraceptives) but it’s okay to take drugs to make your ovaries release a bunch of eggs at once. If it’s wrong to interfere with God’s plan for how many children you will have, then it’s wrong. If children are a gift, not a right, then taking Clomid is like breaking into someone’s house and swiping the contents of his “things to give as gifts” box. I don’t understand how this teaching fits in with other Catholic principles.”

    The difference between taking birth control and something like Clomid is that bc artifically seperates the two purposes of sex, creative and unitive. Clomid is trying to fix a faulty reproductive system suffering from infertility. Birth control is trying to surpress a healthy reproductive system from doing its intended purpose.

    Faith

  117. 'Becca says:

    Faith wrote: Clomid is trying to fix a faulty reproductive system suffering from infertility.

    Yeah, I thought of that and tried really hard to believe it because it would have been convenient. But there are two flaws:
    1. Clomid is not a therapeutic treatment that helps a “suffering” reproductive system and improves the user’s health and happens to have a side effect of increasing the odds of pregnancy. It’s a jolt to the ovaries intended to increase the odds of pregnancy, there is no other reason to do that, and although the health effects tend not to be horrible, they are there–possibly for the Clomid-conceived baby as well as the mother.
    2. It’s still interfering with God’s plan. God made me a woman who ovulates infrequently. This means I may have to wait a while to get a baby even when I think I’m completely ready. It’s not that I CANNOT conceive without Clomid but that it will TAKE LONGER and it won’t be so obvious exactly when the window of opportunity is open. Perhaps I should accept God’s timing rather than fight it.

    It seems to me that the Catholic Church is so uncomfortable with the idea of separating the creative and unitive aspects of sex that it is casting women who are less likely to create as “faulty” and needing treatment. In my own experience, the assumption that my body was defective and wrong was very damaging psychologically and accomplished nothing physically.

    Also, in my experience, the use of ANY method to increase the creative potential of sex tends to damage the unitive aspect. NFP, when you are desperate to have a baby, makes certain days the time to have sex that easily can become very impregnation-oriented and not so loving. (Clomid could only have a stronger effect, since it puts you under doctor’s orders to have sex on certain days. How sexy is that?) Earlier this year, beofish.blogspot.com hosted a discussion that opened my eyes to the effect of NFP on the unitive sexuality of couples who use it as their only method of birth control, do not engage in alternative sexual practices, and are highly fertile. Although I understand the Catholic Church’s logic in allowing NFP but not “artificial” contraception, it seems to me that NFP can place a lot of “artificial” hurdles in a couple’s unitive relationship.

  118. Gramma 2 Many says:

    Just found you and all I can say is Oh My Gosh you are so right on!!
    Washington State just passed the “Death with Dignty law.”
    My mother is terrified of going to the Dr because she thinks someone can now determine that she is to old to continue to live and give her a shot. I have told her that that is not the case, but think of older people who have no one to help or intercede for them. They will chose to not get medical attention now because of fear.
    I pray constantly for God to have mercy on us just a little longer.

  119. Doug Pruner says:

    A little searching will get one to a site for the full photo album, taken by one of the ‘banally evil’ German officers assigned there. Worth the time.

    Can you identify any in the picture as Catholic? Lutheran?
    Not by looking, of course, but the odds are that all are one or the other; that was Germany’s demographic at the time.
    By religion, the prisoners would have been Jews, Catholic/Lutheran criminals or subversives, in decreasing order, then a mix of Jehovah’s Witnesses and atheistic Communists. Any Poles- imprisioned for being Slavic and therefore ‘subhuman’ per Goebbels- would have been Catholic.
    Ukrainians were often used as trusties; they would have been U. Orthodox with some Catholics.

    What programs did the any of these churches have in place to teach against the behavior that went on there?
    Having experienced it once, what preventive programs have they developed since?
    Doug

  120. Gina says:

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned here yet (I didn’t see it, but I only did a quick search). But there’s a new Holocaust film out called “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” that tells the story of a fictional commandant at a concentration camp and what happens to him and his family. The film is shocking and deeply disturbing; I was haunted by it for days. It starts out pleasantly builds very slowly, but then it snowballs into something horrifying. For those who can stand it (not much violence, just psychological horror), it provides some very good food for thought on this subject.

  121. Kylie w Warszawie says:

    I’ve just been told that I need to cover abortion (and other moral topics) with my Confirmation class. Would you mind if I used your post for them to read?

  122. Beck says:

    this is an amazing post. I got here from the link from Making Home. Thank for this.. I am sending it along to several friends.
    blessings!

  123. Leah says:

    oh, this was good. I’m vehemently pro-life, but a Christian blog I frequent has taken to really over-bashing the abortion issue and, I hate to say it, I’ve been getting sick of it. You know, preaching to the converted the same thing over and over, musing about how painful certain methods of abortion must be, etc etc. Nothing we don’t already know and isn’t really doing anything.

    But this, this was good. It goes beyond abortion itself but includes it at the same time. It’s not about convincing people of the evils of abortion (I’m sure most of your readers are already full convinced) or about how much God hates abortion or any of that, it’s about how we, as a society and as people, are possibly doing the exact same thing as normal German citizens during the Nazi reign, or normal Roman citizens during the Roman empire. Knowing there is something awful happening, but not really knowing what to do about it and so not doing anything.

  124. Binkyboy says:

    One of my lesbian friends just had her 13th abortion. Do you think 13 is an unlucky number, and if so, should she really try for her 14th?

  125. Michael Ortner says:

    Great post. Thought you may enjoy my open letter to Obama – http://www.apleaforreason.com/2008/11/why-i-could-not-vote-for-barack-obama.html

  126. LauraAnne says:

    There is a news article out now that is talking about this very thing and using the same pictures. Here is the link: http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/11/25/sbm.perpetrators/index.html

    Have a great weekend!

  127. Mitch says:

    The truth is you can’t ever really know. What is important is that we all try to know. I see the Pro-life movement, I see that they work to oppose what they see as the evil surrounding them. I respect that, they are trying to do good.

    I say this even as a supporter of the “pro-choice” crowd (I resent the label however).

    Just as an example of how one can never know what tomorrows society will deem evil or immoral, read “A Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley (a chilling and thought provoking read) where the society of the future deems monogamy immoral because “everybody belongs to everyone”.

  128. Anonymous says:

    "But you will never convince me that a 6-week baby killed in the womb suffers as much as a mother watching her children shot to death in front of her, or a mother who led her children into the gas chamber with her. Don't even try to compare that suffering. It doesn't work; and even as a prolifer, I am pissed off when I see it."

    I have not seen my child shot to death in front of my eyes, so I cannot attest to how much I would suffer in that instance – although I'm sure it would be crippling to me. I can attest to the pain suffered with abortion. I had an abortion 24 years ago, and I suffered physically on that day and have suffered mentally and emotionally every day since! There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about my unborn child or mourn his destruction at my hand. Yes, I said "his." I have no confirmation either way, but I feel in my heart my unborn child was a boy. It was a baby, a child, NOT a "fetus." As the tears stream down my face, and my heart is aching, I can tell you that you do suffer!

    As pointed out earlier, there are always people that disregard law, but let me tell you, had abortion been illegal when I was faced with the choice, I would NOT have chosen to have an illegal abortion. Abortion should be illegal and our children should be well educated on the LEGAL options – abstinance being the first and foremost!

  129. Sarah says:

    I wish just caught a commercial for a some TV show about pregnancy and childbirth and it said something about how the pregnant mother was afraid of losing her 24 week much-awaited baby. And I thought, "How come when it's WANTED it's referred to as a baby, but when it's not, it's referred to as a fetus?" You'll see it everywhere…on pregnancy sites…when they calculate the due dates…they all say, "Watch your baby grow! Sign up to see what your baby is doing this week!"

    HOW can a state of mind of someone CHANGE whether someone is a baby or a bunch of tissues not even worthy of life? How can being too poor to have a baby, too stressed to have a baby, too busy to have a baby, too afraid to have a baby, too young or too old to have a baby, make THE BABY not a baby anymore?

    Excellent post.

  130. Calah says:

    I’ve never read this one before, Jen, but it is fantastic. Really haunting and true.

  131. JohnR says:

    What about the fire bombing of innocent men women and children in Germany ? Was that not EVIL ? What about the Judeo Bolshevik Communists starving over 10 million people during the winter of 32/33 ? Is that not considered Evil in your eyes ? It always is sickening when people think that what the United States did was justified. Utterly disgusting.

  132. Diane says:

    Thank-you for a very thought provoking article. Very much appreciated by myself and many of my friends. You have once again brought to my attention the horror and mass scale of abortion. So quickly I become complacent.

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