Author Topic: March for Life  (Read 1729 times)

peter_speckhard

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March for Life
« on: January 24, 2022, 09:18:15 AM »
My brother and nephew were in DC for the March for Life. I've been a few times, but long ago. Concordia High School in Ft. Wayne takes a bus every year. It is a very ecumenical event, but heavily Catholic. A few years ago Concordia was chosen to be the lead of the march with their banner, but that was the year a snowstorm shut it down.

This year pro-choice "Catholics" projected pro-choice slogans onto the outside of the Catholic basilica where the pro-life vigil and Mass was taking place. I thought the response by the archbishop was excellent (emphasis added).

The true voice of the Church was only to be found within The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last evening, the statement read. There, people prayed and offered the Eucharist asking God to restore a true reverence for all human life. Those whose antics projected words on the outside of the church building demonstrated by those pranks that they really are external to the Church and they did so at night John 13:30.

Those are strong words, but apt. The pro choice movement is external to the Church, and that movement masquerading under the auspices of the Church is comparable to Judas.

Dan Fienen

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2022, 10:15:08 AM »
I recently read an online article from a respected news publication that pointed out that many religious people are pro-choice. Our own abortion discussions on this forum provides ample evidence of the split even within Christianity over abortion. The point of the article is that we should not assume that all religious people are pro-life. What the article did not point out and largely ignored was that just as not devout religious people are pro-life, not all non-religious people are pro-choice. Back in November, Ross Douthat penned an op-ed in the New York Times that made a thoroughly secular case against abortion on demand. Characterizing pro-life as exclusively a religious position (and thus inherently suspect in our secular nation) is also a gross distortion of the discussion.
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peter_speckhard

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2022, 10:30:51 AM »
I recently read an online article from a respected news publication that pointed out that many religious people are pro-choice. Our own abortion discussions on this forum provides ample evidence of the split even within Christianity over abortion. The point of the article is that we should not assume that all religious people are pro-life. What the article did not point out and largely ignored was that just as not devout religious people are pro-life, not all non-religious people are pro-choice. Back in November, Ross Douthat penned an op-ed in the New York Times that made a thoroughly secular case against abortion on demand. Characterizing pro-life as exclusively a religious position (and thus inherently suspect in our secular nation) is also a gross distortion of the discussion.
True, the line between pro-choice and pro-life is not the same as the line between religious and irreligious. But Christianity is pro-life. Pro-choice Christians are behaving unfaithfully and/or inconsistently. The Cardinal/Archbishop's words were intended, I think, to counter the "Catholics for Choice" idea that the Catholic Church is of two minds or has a divided opinion on abortion. It doesn't. Catholics are pro-life by Catholic doctrine. Being pro-choice is rejecting the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. It makes one "external to the Church" despite being nominally a part of it, like Judas to the disciples.

Charles Austin

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2022, 11:53:47 AM »
Peter, you and certain Roman Catholics can, if you wish make pro-choice/pro-life absolutism your final litmus test of who is a Christian and who isn't.
    To do so, however, you must appropriate to yourself rules and rights that are not yours and you re-define Christianity down to one issue, that issue having nothing to do with our Creeds or our Confessions.
   Those of us who have considered pacifism as the proper moral stance (I have not yet come fully to that position) and have studied the historic "peace" churches, such as the Amish, the Quakers and the Mennonites have learned that, while unwavering in their commitment to pacifism, they do not de-Christianize all those in Christendom who do not take that position.
   It seems to me that you do.
   Now, you often say I do not understand you. But how am I to take these words? "The pro choice movement is external to the Church, and that movement masquerading under the auspices of the Church is comparable to Judas."
   With those words, I say you have arrogantly and wrongly condemned not only fellow Lutherans in this country, but our colleagues around the world, along with members of dozens of other Christian denominations.
   With that and on other issues - usually relating to sexuality - you denounce and pronounce judgment on millions of us Lutherans and you end any possibility of dialogue.
   Do that if you wish, but if you do, I think you should abandon the ALPB forum and go your own way, for you are in no way representative of the mission of the ALPB.
   The recent issue of Forum letter has some of the history reminding us how your famed uncle seemed to be promoting his personal views through the newsletter. During those days, when I was in the "higher" circles of Lutheran officialdom, I frequently defended him with the label of "loyal opposition" and "strong critic." But I never heard him - either in print or in his evening salons - denounce entire denominations and millions of believers as "Judas."
   You do. And, although I know it is small and symbolic, you are costing ALPB my contributions and vocal support.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

pastorg1@aol.com

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2022, 12:21:05 PM »
The pro-life stance of the RCC is a main reason Im in RCIA.

Peter (Lutherans for Life member) Garrison

PS- Pastor Austin, please dont leave. (Yes, still hate you brother, love, Peter.)
Pete Garrison

peter_speckhard

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2022, 12:51:56 PM »
Charles writes: Peter, you and certain Roman Catholics can, if you wish make pro-choice/pro-life absolutism your final litmus test of who is a Christian and who isn't.

I respond: I do not do that. That would mean calling many pro-life atheists Christian, among other complications.

Charles continues:    To do so, however, you must appropriate to yourself rules and rights that are not yours and you re-define Christianity down to one issue, that issue having nothing to do with our Creeds or our Confessions.

I respond: I don't do anything of the sort. There are many issues/doctrines/practices that define Christianity. Nowhere have I suggested that this issue is the only issue that defines the Church. I have said, along with the Cardinal, the true Church speaks with one mind on this particular issue. And it is simply silly to say that the issue has nothing to do with our Confessions when Luther's Small Catechism is part of our Confessions and includes the 5th Commandment.

 Charles continues:  Those of us who have considered pacifism as the proper moral stance (I have not yet come fully to that position) and have studied the historic "peace" churches, such as the Amish, the Quakers and the Mennonites have learned that, while unwavering in their commitment to pacifism, they do not de-Christianize all those in Christendom who do not take that position.

I respond: No kidding. I, too, have considered and studied those positions and have great sympathy for the position while not finding it completely Scriptural or correct. I do not de-Christianize anyone. There are things Christianity teaches, requires, or forbids that Christians commonly fail at without ceasing to be Christian. But contrary doctrines and teaching are not Christian, and public advocacy of such positions is a betrayal of Christ that requires repentance. You, Charles, should repent of the sin of promoting acceptance of abortion. It is contrary to your vocation as a Servant of the Word.

Charles continues:   It seems to me that you do.

I respond: You are wrong about that.
 
Charles:  Now, you often say I do not understand you. But how am I to take these words? "The pro choice movement is external to the Church, and that movement masquerading under the auspices of the Church is comparable to Judas."

I respond: Take them at face value. The pro-choice movement is external to the Church-- that is, it is not part of and is in fact contrary to the overall Christian mission. I believe in that regard I was simply restating what the Cardinal/Archbishop said in his statement.
 
Charles continues:   With those words, I say you have arrogantly and wrongly condemned not only fellow Lutherans in this country, but our colleagues around the world, along with members of dozens of other Christian denominations.

I respond: Preaching the Law is arrogant? What makes you so certain I do so "wrongly"? You're really that certain the Word of God condones abortion?

Charles continues:   With that and on other issues - usually relating to sexuality - you denounce and pronounce judgment on millions of us Lutherans and you end any possibility of dialogue.

I respond: No I don't. I'm always willing to dialog. But not with the precondition that nobody's position be called un-Christian. That kind of dialog starts with a false assumption and builds on sand. If there is to be meaningful dialog, the views of the people involved must be open and stated, and I think, along with the Didache and the RC Church, that the pro-choice position is not compatible with Christianity.
 
Charles continues:   Do that if you wish, but if you do, I think you should abandon the ALPB forum and go your own way, for you are in no way representative of the mission of the ALPB.

I respond: Nonsense. But think what you like. I suppose if it ever came about that somehow condoning abortion were a mission-critical thing for the ALPB, I'd go my own way. As it is, I moderate a forum where you are perfectly free to post what you've just posted.
   
Charles continues:The recent issue of Forum letter has some of the history reminding us how your famed uncle seemed to be promoting his personal views through the newsletter. During those days, when I was in the "higher" circles of Lutheran officialdom, I frequently defended him with the label of "loyal opposition" and "strong critic." But I never heard him - either in print or in his evening salons - denounce entire denominations and millions of believers as "Judas."

I respond: So? What does that have to do with anything?

Charles continues: You do.

I respond: Actually, a RC Cardinal and Archbishop did, referencing the night and Judas in connection with Catholics for Choice. Take it up with him. And if you're so concerned about what my famed uncle would have said on the topic, I think everyone who knows anything about him can all agree that he would have gladly seconded the Archbishop's words.

Charles continues: And, although I know it is small and symbolic, you are costing ALPB my contributions and vocal support.

I respond: Fair enough. I notice you still hang out here a lot though.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2022, 12:57:05 PM by peter_speckhard »

peterm

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2022, 01:19:38 PM »
Pro life- What does it mean? 

For many it is an absolute that means doing away with all abortions, period.

Others would say they are Pro Life with a more nuanced perspective of "safe, Legal, and rare"

Others argue that to be truly Pro Life/ anti abortion, you need to fund the appropriate support services that help improve the quality of life for children; services which all too often these days are put on the chopping block, or woefully underfunded.

like so many issues these days, this is not clear cut, or absolute and, in my opinion, which along with $1.75 will buy a good cup of coffee at the local bakery, there is too much talk from the extreme ends on both sides and not enough talk about the practical realities of life and legislation.  Are we willing and able to provide adequate child care funding, school funding, WIC and foodstamp funding, foster care system funding?  Again, just my opinion, but I feel these MUST be part of the conversation for us to truly be Pro Life.
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Charles Austin

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2022, 01:21:36 PM »
Peter:
The pro-choice movement is external to the Church-- that is, it is not part of and is in fact contrary to the overall Christian mission. I believe in that regard I was simply restating what the Cardinal/Archbishop said in his statement.

Me:
Newsflash: the Cardinal/Archbishop does not speak for the whole church or the overall Christian mission.
If you think he does, then its time for you to get wet in the Tiber.
There is indeed a pro-choice movement within Lutheranism. But in your opinion anybody who has anything to do with it is no longer part of the church. And is a Judas.
You can make your apologia pro vita sua here as many times as you wish. I think it disqualifies you from holding a position as moderator in this inter-Lutheran forum.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

peter_speckhard

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2022, 01:49:43 PM »
Peter:
The pro-choice movement is external to the Church-- that is, it is not part of and is in fact contrary to the overall Christian mission. I believe in that regard I was simply restating what the Cardinal/Archbishop said in his statement.

Me:
Newsflash: the Cardinal/Archbishop does not speak for the whole church or the overall Christian mission.
If you think he does, then its time for you to get wet in the Tiber.
There is indeed a pro-choice movement within Lutheranism. But in your opinion anybody who has anything to do with it is no longer part of the church. And is a Judas.
You can make your apologia pro vita sua here as many times as you wish. I think it disqualifies you from holding a position as moderator in this inter-Lutheran forum.
The Cardinal speaks for his archdiocese and on this issue also speaks for countless non-Roman Catholics. I linked to them and agreed with them. The March for Life is probably the single biggest coming together of Evangelicals and Catholics in America every year. This is an evangelical catholic enterprise. Were allowed to agree with them when they come together. 

Pastor Ken Kimball

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2022, 01:50:18 PM »
  PASTOR AUSTIN (to Pastor Speckhard): Do that if you wish, but if you do, I think you should abandon the ALPB forum and go your own way, for you are in no way representative of the mission of the ALPB.
   The recent issue of Forum letter has some of the history reminding us how your famed uncle seemed to be promoting his personal views through the newsletter. During those days, when I was in the "higher" circles of Lutheran officialdom, I frequently defended him with the label of "loyal opposition" and "strong critic." But I never heard him - either in print or in his evening salons - denounce entire denominations and millions of believers as "Judas."
   You do. And, although I know it is small and symbolic, you are costing ALPB my contributions and vocal support.

PASTOR KIMBALL:  This has all the hallmarks of cancel culture.  And Pastor Austin has done this repeatedly in attacking Pr. Speckhard and calling for his removal from his position in ALPB.   I have been reticent in renewing my subscription to Lutheran Forum/Forum Online in part because I wanted to see how this was playing out.  I wasn't sure how President Benke and others on the ALPB Board were going to respond (I'm still not).  If Pastor Speckhard were to be pushed out of ALPB, then I would be done with ALPB.  (The same goes were Mr. Happy, Pastor Johnson who has been a friend and brother in the STS and former colleague still in the ELCA were to be pushed out in response to those who don't like his moderating).  I don't agree with Pastor Speckhard on some things--I'm NALC, not LCMS--but I agree with him on more things than I do with Pastor Austin; I still respect Pr. Austin but my level of respect for him takes a hit every time he calls for Pr. Speckhard to leave ALPB.  Since Pr. Austin is withholding his support for ALPB, financial and otherwise, I will step up and renew my subscriptions and send a gift over and above that.  Disagree with Pr. Speckhard all you want Pr. Austin but please have done with your calls for his leaving/removal.  Support or don't support ALPB, you're free to do so.  But please stop your efforts to cancel Pr. Speckhard--similar to that employed to remove Bari Weiss and others.  It's pure and simple bullying.  Unable to make a persuasive argument against the evidence that supports the historic orthodox Christian faith's pro-life position, you resort to bullying and attempting to silence the voices of those who uphold that historic orthodox faith.  Stop it.   

Dan Fienen

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2022, 01:59:02 PM »
A couple of comments.


In my contacts with pro-life people and organizations, I have rarely if ever heard them argue against abortion in cases where continuing the pregnancy poses a significant threat to the life of the mother. Can anyone point me to pro-life statements saying that abortion should be forbidden even to save the life of the mother?


I agree that structures need to be in place to support mothers, children, and families. Having a baby born is not the end of the matter. However, supporting mothers, children, and families does not necessarily mean fully supporting the entire Democratic social welfare agenda.


Christians disagree on a great many things. They even will consider some positions that Christians take unChristian in that they are outside of what the Bible teaches on the topic. That does not always mean that they consider those who hold those positions to not be Christians, but erring brothers and sisters. Must we insist that in order to take part in cross denominational fora every participant must accept all the positions taken by other participants as being good Christian positions? Is to say that a position that someone takes on a topic is unChristian necessarily indicates that person is to be considered not a Christian?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Dan Fienen

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2022, 02:03:42 PM »
If the argument for a pro-choice position is that abortion must be kept legal in all cases so that those who are facing a crisis pregnancy in which the life of the mother is in danger can be assured of getting the lifesaving abortion, then an argument for removing gun laws to make obtaining and having a gun to defend against attackers easy would be in order.


Abortion to save the life of a mother to be can be preserved without making abortion on demand for every and any reason the law of the land.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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peterm

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2022, 02:25:24 PM »
Even a cursory glance at proposed legislation in many states that would outlaw abortion shows that most do not include any exceptions at all
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Dan Fienen

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2022, 02:31:01 PM »
Even a cursory glance at proposed legislation in many states that would outlaw abortion shows that most do not include any exceptions at all
As someone who is pro-life I would oppose no exceptions for saving the life of the mother.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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David Garner

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Re: March for Life
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2022, 03:01:46 PM »
A reasonable enough measure to determine if one is, by one's actions, placing one's self external to the Church would be how the issue is dealt with.  As one example, let's say my bishop began teaching that there was a time when the Son was not, i.e., Arianism.  He doesn't, and wouldn't, but just for the sake of argument let's say he did.  First, his brother bishops would admonish him, the admonishment's publicity being similar to the pronouncement's publicity (in other words, if he wrote an op-ed, a press release or opposing op-ed or open letter might be in order; if he told a group of Seminarians, perhaps it would be dealt with more privately).  Priests and parishioners would speak out against it.  Second, the admonishment would be in line with what the Church has done before.  That is, the First Ecumenical Council would be invoked. The writings of St. Athanasius would be invoked.  The Church's historic teaching on the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son would be laid out.  Third, the goal would be to bring the errant bishop to repentance.

Contrast that with what is going on here.  A very, very public protest against an ongoing Church service was done.  Their objections, if this article can be believed (https://www.ncronline.org/news/people/catholic-pro-choice-activists-project-messages-dc-basilica-protest), were secular in nature.  They implored the Church to "listen to" those who have had abortions, and those who provide them.  They said "my body, my choice."  They said "pro choice Catholics, you are not alone" (imagine someone projecting "Unitarian Catholics, you are not alone" on the Church's walls).  They said "1 in 4 abortion patients is Catholic."  They said "obstructions to abortion can disproportionately impact the poor, people of color, LGBTQ people, people who are already vulnerable or in states of profound powerlessness," and "they're going to suffer more the poor will get poorer; the sick will get sicker."  They said they wanted those gathered inside to "hear abortion stories."  According to a National Review article, the organizer said "I know that my faith teaches Catholics to honor personal conscience. And yet, the Catholic hierarchy seeks to polarize pro-choice Catholics and villainize people who make the moral choice to have abortions. 

Well, okay.  Where is the theological dispute here?  The answer is there isn't one.  They didn't even try.  They simply ticked off a checkbox of woke victim classes and assumed that would suffice.  They invoked a nebulous "personal conscience" standard that would excuse literally anything one said pricked their personal conscience.  They called abortion a "moral choice," but did not even try to state why or how it is moral.

Just watch what they do.  They aren't trying to reform the Church. They're trying to change it, and they're using worldly standards to do it.  That is, by definition, external to the Church.  The Church did not receive the faith once handed down from the Apostles and then subject it to personal conscience.  The Church's role is to reform society, not to reform itself to fit society's mores and norms.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).