How Do Prolife Christians Respond to the Colorado Shooting?

How Do Prolife Christians Respond to the Colorado Shooting? November 30, 2015

We say, loudly and repeatedly, “All truly prolife people denounce this wanton act of cold-blooded murder, re-affirm the right to life for *all* human beings, pray for the victims, demand swift judgement for the shooter, and offer ourselves in service to all those suffering from this crime.” That’s it. That’s all. Get into a culture war fight, or try to pretend the victims of this crime are not victims, or that the perp was a secret abortion supporter on a false flag operation to make the prolife movement look bad and we *lose*.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • prince

    Who am i to jugde the shooter?

    • MarylandBill

      We don’t need to judge the shooter, but we do need to judge his actions. By any reasonable standard or interpretation of both civil and divine law, his action constitutes assault and murder. Ultimately, the point of the pro-life movement (as opposed to simply those who are opposed to abortion) is that ALL human life is sacred and no person has the right to take a human life, not if the life taken is of a preborn child, an abortion doctor, a murder or even one’s own life.

  • Fawkes

    Cruz also said the murder rampage was “horrific, it was evil, and we’ll find out more out about the facts, but I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”

    • MarylandBill

      Perhaps, but if you are not going to jump to conclusions, then don’t suggest conclusions until more is known.

    • chezami

      And then he jumped to the obviously false conclusion, because he is stupidly trying to pretend that the murderer was a lefty and not, as he obviously was, a gun nut with a twisted anti-abortion-but-not-prolife rationale.

      • LFM

        I do no think that most of the people to whom you assign the label “anti-abortion but not pro-life” – among whom I count, sort of, according to you on some occasions, because I oppose certain social reforms like an across-the-board increase in minimum wages – would support gunning down people in a Planned Parenthood Clinic, no matter what their reason was for being there.

        I do not support it. I do not condone it. I do not in my heart of hearts feel pleased by it.

      • Sue Korlan

        He may not have been much different from any of the other mass murderers like the one in Oregon. He sounds like there is really something wrong inside. He might not be all that anti-abortion, even though he hit up an abortion clinic.

        • Neko

          You wrote:

          He might not be all that anti-abortion, even though he hit up an abortion clinic.

          Reportedly not the case.

          One person who spoke with him extensively about his religious views said Mr. Dear, who is 57, had praised people who attacked abortion providers, saying they were doing “God’s work.” In 2009, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of concerns for the privacy of the family, Mr. Dear described as “heroes” members of the Army of God, a loosely organized group of anti-abortion extremists that has claimed responsibility for a number of killings and bombings.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/us/robert-dear-planned-parenthood-shooting.html?_r=0

  • 3vil5triker .

    Or they can just say “screw it”, and take it upon themselves to praise the shooter on social media. Or heavily imply that his actions could, should and would be considered heroic, under slightly different circumstances, like one of your fellow Patheos Catholic writers did:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/janetheactuary/2015/11/robert-dear-john-brown.html

    • chezami

      This was murder plain and simple.

      • 3vil5triker .

        Is it really so plain and simple?

        If we start of with: “Planned Parenthood kills people. That’s perfectly true.”

        then we easily arrive at:
        “Planned Parenthood intentionally and systematically kills people by the millions without suffering any repercussions from our legal justice system. We are trying to fight this battle in the legal arena, but in the meantime, people are dying now, unless we do something now”.

        How far of a logical leap is it then, to invoke some variation of a just war doctrine, to justify violent means to put an end to the practice of abortion?

        I’m playing devil’s advocate here; I neither hold that position or think that you do. But that kind of mentality is out there, lurking just beneath the surface, which probably explains the “ends justify the means” attitude that’s prevalent throughout pro-life politics, media and tactics.

        • MarylandBill

          This is so far away from any reasonable application of just war theory that no reasonable person can link them up. Just War theory requires that the war be waged by a competent authority (i.e., a government), that it be the last resort, that the damage caused is proportional to the good hoped to be achieved and that there is a reasonable chance of success. At the absolute best, violence against abortion doctors and clinics meets the third criteria, but there is no way it can possibly meet the other three.

          • 3vil5triker .

            All the more reason to bring it up. Many people, to varying degrees are using some notion of a just war theory to justify these acts of violence.

            I think Mark does a pretty good job addressing, analyzing and deconstructing such arguments in quite a precise and concise manner in the next article.

        • Sue Korlan

          Rather than call on just war theory, I would refer to the Church’s statement on when armed revolt against the government is acceptable, because it seems to me that shooting an abortionist is a form of armed revolt against the state. And as long as there is a peaceful way to change the government, as there always is in a democracy, then we are required to use those peaceful means. Vote pro-life.

          • 3vil5triker .

            Or I could just read the next article posted by the author.

  • AquinasMan

    If only he had shouted “Allahu Akhbar”, we’d be discussing the lack of employment opportunities and the scourge of loneliness.

  • niknac

    People should speak out about this and say what they believe. When you adopt a common strategy, you become part of the mob.

  • ahermit

    Maybe you could stop spreading lies about Planned Parenthood too. That would be nice…

    • chezami

      Planned Parenthood kills people. That’s perfectly true.

      • ahermit

        No, a very small part of what PP does is provide abortion services to women who need it. Now you might disagree with that, you might think abortion is immoral or even that it should be illegal, but they are not “killing people” and when you frame it that way you are feeding the hate that leads to acts of terror like this one.

        Or do you think this was a justifiable act?

        • LFM

          Planned Parenthood DOES kill people. And no, we are not feeding the hate. Even when some people kill others, we are very seldom justified, in a civil society with other modes of addressing right and wrong, in taking the law into our own hands to address the problem.

          • ahermit

            When you mislabel abortion as murder or as “killing people” you are feeding the hate and demonizing those who hold a belief contrary to yours.

            And there will always be people who will take that as justification for violence.

            In fact, I take it as evidence that most pro-lifers don’t really equate abortion with the murder of a fully formed person that we don’t see a lot more of this kind of thing.

            You can still make an argument against the morality of abortion without resorting to that kind of inflammatory rhetoric.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              Hate, unlike fetuses, has no metabolism.

              Peddle your stupid rhetoric elsewhere.

            • LFM

              Damned if we do and damned if we don’t, eh? If we call abortion murder and something bad happens, we’re feeding the hate; if we call it murder and don’t do anything about it, we don’t really believe it.

              B.S. I’ve heard that one before, so please don’t think you’re startling me with your insightful analysis.

              I assure you that I do equate abortion with murder and yet I absolutely do not think that shooting is the way to rescue its victims. For one thing, even more than most murderers, the victim and the perpetrator are so closely connected that it is impossible to “help” the one without injuring the other. Abortion is murder but it isn’t like other forms of murder, so we can’t, and don’t, respond to it in exactly the same way.

              And even if you can’t wrap your mind around the idea of killing a 2 month embryo as murder, which I understand can be difficult for the imaginatively challenged, why the HELL is it so difficult for your side to see that killing a 7-month fetus is infanticide? Because it is, you know. There’s no way around it. If you can’t grasp that, you don’t have the moral right to discuss the issue with us.

              But perhaps you’ve adopted the Peter Singer view, that infanticide is acceptable up to a certain age (even with, you know, “born” children), if the child is damaged in some way?

              • ahermit

                Abortion is murder but it isn’t like other forms of murder, so we can’t, and don’t, respond to it in exactly the same way.

                So you agree with me that it isn’t murder in the same sense that other forms of killing are. So does it make sense to use the word “murder” to describe it, or would it be better to moderate the language you’re using?

                I’m not here to debate the morality of abortion, I’m asking you to consider whether the language you’re using accurately reflects the argument you’re making and whether it inflames things to the point where instead of having an honest debate about the morality of abortion you’re demonizing people and exposing them to violence at the hands of those who take your rhetoric more literally than you yourself seem to.

                • Reader Yesterday

                  If I believe that an abortion ends a human life, what should I call it that doesn’t “demonize people” and “expose them to violence?” What language can I use that would engage people who think differently so that we can have that honest debate?

                  • ahermit

                    Call it what it is; an abortion.

                    • Reader Yesterday

                      Okay, that’s a start. Now, how should I explain why I believe abortion is a grave wrong, in a way that will further the discussion?

                    • ahermit

                      Well that’s up to you isn’t it? But be clear about what you’re arguing; if you are saying that abortion is murder than you’ll have to explain why you don’t think women who have abortions should go to jail, or why violence against those who perform abortions is not justified. (or maybe you do think that?)

                      You really can’t have it both ways.

                    • Reader Yesterday

                      Well, to continue using your rules of engagement, I would explain that I think that abortion ends a unique human life. In fact, in most cases it stops a beating human heart.
                      .
                      However, murder is a legal term, and current law permits such actions. While trying to change the law is a goal, it is not in the purview of this particular conversation.
                      .
                      I do not think that women who have abortions should go to jail. I think they should receive the support of society so that they can have and rear their children in safety and plenty. I would like to see the law change so that doctors would face jail time for committing abortions, and would dearly love to see changes in society so that women would stop playing men’s games when it comes to sex and reproduction.
                      .
                      I don’t see that I must support the idea that violence against those who perform abortions must be justified if I think abortion is murder. It is possible to believe that violence is unjustified in most situations, even at the expense of one’s own life, you know. But perhaps that’s another conversation.

                    • LFM

                      Why not? The intimacy of the relationship between the woman and her unborn child is of such a nature that she may very well feel threatened by the continued development and birth of that child. In a sense, of course, she IS threatened by those processes, because whether she raises the child or gives it up for adoption, her life will not be the same. Out of the compassion which you refuse to concede to us, some pro-life people are willing to take that woman’s sense of threat into consideration and to treat her differently from other murderers. Even infanticide as such – a special category of crime in English common law when the death of a child was caused by his mother – always tended to provoke mixed feelings in the public, although it was clearly murder of an innocent victim in a way that the unimaginative and/or illogical cannot grasp when the victim is as yet unborn.

                    • ahermit

                      So there’s an argument for moderating the language of the anti-abortion side of the debate. You recognize that there is a moral difference between abortion and outright murder. SO don’t call it murder, don’t resort to the hateful, inflammatory language that drives someone like Dear to do what he did. Use compassionate language; recognize the humanity of the women who find themselves in a position where terminating pregnancy seems the best option for their own well being, or whose physical health is actually threatened by a pregnancy.

                      No one “likes” abortion, no one sees abortion as a good thing. We could work together to reduce the number of abortions by providing more options for women, better education, better health care. Calling them murderers and accusing them of being baby killing monsters does nothing to further that goal.

                    • antigon

                      Again see Beadgirl’s distinctions about different sorts of murder that nonetheless qualify as murder. And again, start with imprisoning the monstrous abortionists who eat their dinners off the blood of innocents.

                    • ahermit

                      Congratulations, that’s a good example of exactly the kind of demonizing language that leads some to think that violence is an appropriate response to women being able to decide what happens inside their own bodies.

                    • antigon

                      Also accurate language, snowflake.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      So you oppose the abolitionist movement of the 19th century? You proslavery racists need to go hide back under your rocks.

                    • Neko

                      Nice work, ahermit! You’re a model of composure.

                    • antigon

                      A model of third-rate tendentiousness anyhow, pleasing as hallelujahs from the amen corner doubtless are for such tripe.

                    • LFM

                      Not true. Plenty of people like, celebrate and consider abortion a good thing.

                      You are not listening, btw. I have already explained why I consider it to be perfectly legitimate to label abortion as murder but to treat it differently from (some) other categories of murder. After all, as another writer here pointed out, not all murders of the non-abortion type are treated the same way either. Not all of them carry mandatory prison sentences.

                      And as for the word “murder” being too inflammatory, that is not true. We could call it anything at all and there could still be people out there who, unless restrained, will take the law into their own hands. American progressives really must get over their fixation on inflammatory language. Words are powerful, but not quite so powerful as all that.

                    • ahermit

                      I think you’re wrong, of course. I think you’re trying to have it both ways. I think as long as the anti-abortion movement continues to use such inflammatory language we will continue to see violence against clinics and doctors. Words have consequences.

                      But I think we’ve said all we can say to one another for now, I do want to thank you for being courteous and civil in this conversation. It was a refreshing change…

                    • LFM

                      Thank you. I thought indeed that I was somewhat rougher with you than usual, but I tried to argue as if you were a reasonable person.

                      Having said that, I must ask you what movement does not use inflammatory language to make its point? I don’t see anyone blaming animal rights rhetoric for the occasional violence that their loonier associates perform. I mean, I just got a “change.org” petition telling me about animal abuse in the dairy industry, including cows getting “raped”! (Bovine intercourse always looks rather rape-like to me anyway, but leave that aside.) When I see such words, I don’t think “Wow, we’d better watch out for outbreaks of violence against farmers”, although these no doubt occur from time to time. I think, “Boy, what lunatics!” (If George Bush had been shot by any of the numerous victims of Bush Derangement Syndrome, would you, as a good progressive, have felt responsible for it?)

                      But wooden-headed support for abortion under any and all circumstances is not the same thing as believing that cows can be raped: it’s a far more serious issue, and it must be fought with words that preserve its gravitas. It’s a risk we’ll all have to take – and I say that while refusing to support any kind of violence to injure abortionists or the women who turn to them.

                      p.s. You’ve dodged the issue of the 7+ months baby who is treated as if there is no moral distinction between him and an embryo of 2 months, a distinction that ought to matter to you, by your lights. Again I ask you, why are YOU not calling that murder?

                    • ahermit

                      I really don’t want to get into the whole debate here, it’s unlikely either of us will change our minds, but I will respond to the question about the 7 month old. First of all it’s dishonest to trot that out as an argument against abortion in general since the vast majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester, 99% before the 20th week.

                      So a woman having an abortion at 7 month isn’t doing so becasue she’s been “deceived by society” as another commenter here put it, or for convenience or because she’s frivolously decided she doesn’t want to be a mother anymore. It’s because her physical well being, her long term health even her very life are at stake, or becasue that fetus is so badly damaged that it cannot possibly survive.

                      In those circumstances I don;’t think you or I or the State have any business passing judgement on whatever decision the individual woman might make about what’s best.

                      And again, if you think that’s murder, what sort of legal sanction would you impose on that woman for saving her own life?

                    • MarylandBill

                      If it is dishonest to trot out the 7 month old, then it is also dishonest to trot out the special cases you trot out. Lets be honest, most (Indeed, I expect the vast majority) abortions are had by woman for reasons other than their health or safety or because the child has no prospect of survival (Though it is amazing how often doctors are wrong about those things).

                    • ahermit

                      I was talking specifically about those late term cases. I wasn’t the one who brought them up…

                    • MarylandBill

                      By the time we get to late term, I am not at all convinced that abortion would be less traumatic to the mother than actually giving birth. Nor would a natural death be worse for the child than what an abortionist would do to it.

                    • ahermit

                      I wouldn’t be so sure about that:

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anencephaly

                      Would you force a woman to continue through weeks of futile pregnancy, risking her future fertility I might add, just to watch her baby slowly suffocate…

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Of course you can have both. Your failures of imagination concern us not a bit.

                    • MarylandBill

                      Its actually quite simple… Going to jail is a legal penalty, and being pro-life, we believe that violence, even in the cause of good is not justified, especially by private individuals.

                    • ahermit

                      So you don’t believe we should put murderers in jail?

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Are all the kids at your trailer park window lickers, or is it just you?

                    • MarylandBill

                      Whether we put abortionists in jail or not is up to the state. If God willing abortion is ever outlawed in this country, I would favor putting doctors and others who provide abortion in jail, mothers, I believe often turn to abortion in desperation and should therefore be treated with mercy.

                    • antigon

                      Sure you can – see Beadgirl – once the abortionists themselves get locked away.

                    • antigon

                      Would execution of an innocent do?

                • LFM

                  I know what you’re asking. I have told you that I do not agree with you.

                  If you think it is possible to have such a discussion without debating the morality of abortion, you are mistaken.

                  • ahermit

                    I think I just said the opposite though; if you think abortion is different from murder should be able to have a reasonable discussion about the morality of abortion without resorting to calling it murder.

                    • LFM

                      I didn’t say that I didn’t believe abortion was murder. I said that it was a different kind of murder – different because of the nature of the relationship between the murderer and her victim, the fetus who depends on her, not different because of the essential inhumanity of the victim, as you appear to believe.

                    • You do realize that “murder” itself is a broad term and covers lots of different scenarios, some more sympathetic than others? It’s why our criminal justice system distinguishes between different categories (1st degree, 2nd degree, manslaughter, negligent homicide, felony murder, etc.) and takes into account lots of factors when deciding what charges to bring and what sentence to seek, such as mens rea, age, intent, provocation, self-defense, temporary insanity, cognitive development, mental health, etc. Abortion is just one more type of murder, with its own considerations and unique factors.

                    • ahermit

                      So what should the legal consequence be for a woman who has an abortion? Life in prison?

                    • antigon

                      Let’s start with life imprisonment for the abortionists. Once that’s established, distinctions of the sort Beadgirl proposed could be addressed, tho very likely no longer even necessary.

                    • You keep asking one of us to agree that a woman who gets an abortion should go to jail for the rest of her life, and yet as far as I can tell none of us thinks that. Like most, I would focus the criminal penalties on the medical professionals, not the women themselves. Perhaps you would be willing to concede there is quite a bit of room between “Let’s not do anything about abortion!” and “jail them all for life!”

                      If you want me to come up with a detailed sentencing guideline based on both Federal and state sentencing recommendations and the moral teachings of the Church, I will have to decline, unless you pay me for my time. I’ll even give you my billing rate from when I last practiced law — quite a bit cheaper than if I were still practicing!

                    • marcpuck

                      Why does ‘murder’ so inflame sensibilities, I wonder, whereas, apparently, I can refer to PP’s slaughter of unborn children and that doesn’t? But the fact is that we all aren’t as morally compromised as those who defend the civil legality of the practice and/or its ethical liceity. I suspect it is a psychological defense mechanism, really, this worry that some people have about using the term ‘murder’, inexact though it is vis-a-vis the civil law– I can’t off the top of my head think of other instances (‘stop murdering those Palestinians!’) when the arbiters of rhetoric are so careful.

                    • ahermit

                      No, I’d say “slaughter” is equally, if not more, inflammatory that “murder.”

                    • antigon

                      How about mass murder? Will that do?

                • Sue Korlan

                  I think you are misreading what LFM said. What is different in this type of murder is the closeness of the murderer and the victim, since the first is the mother and the second is the child she is carrying. So we can’t respond to it in the way we do other murders. Killing the perpetrator would also kill the victim if the original murder attempt had failed. And it’s only when we are honest about what is happening that we will succeed in putting an end to this legal murder. The ends don’t justify the means.

            • Artevelde

              Would you be willing to suggest a moral argument against abortion, based on the fifth commandment and yet not seen as inflammatory by you?

              • ahermit

                No, I’ll leave that to you. But unless you believe that women who get abortions should be treated as murderers you should reconsider using the term “murder” to describe abortion.

                • Artevelde

                  This is not about the semantics of the word ”murder”. We believe that human life must be protected from the moment of conception. We also believe that the law should provide appropriate sanctions for those who violate the rights of that life.

                  • ahermit

                    Does that mean that you consider abortion equivalent to murder, and you would imprison women who have abortions?

                    • Artevelde

                      Yes, I consider abortion as morally equivalent to murder. I would certainly advocate imprisoning a doctor performing abortions, in order to meet an immediate need to safeguard society. For the woman in question, I would prefer counseling.
                      For a more elaborate version of my position, you might wish to read this:
                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/on-punishing-women-if-abortion-were-illegal.html
                      I am trying to answer your question regarding imprisonment as directly as possible. There are of course many different cases imaginable. See Beadgirl’s post below.

                    • ahermit

                      Why not prison for the woman having the abortion? If what she’s done is murder…

                      I think you’re trying to have it both ways.

                      But I’m not here to get into a deep debate; jut to ask for a consideration of the language being brought to the debate and how it may distort and derail that debate. If your goal is to persuade you should try to avoid language that alienates your audience.

                    • antigon

                      Your tendentious pretenses aren’t exactly obscure here, a, if standard for proponents of mass murder.

                    • AquinasMan

                      It would take several generations to truly impose a law that criminalizes the mother receiving the abortion. What we’re divided on is the very fact that the law of the land is in opposition to the Natural Law, thereby immoral. But those who seek abortions typically don’t think they’re committing murder, perhaps due to the descriptions they’re given, denial, or flat out being lied to by PP, politicians, various Christian denominations, and other advocates. Much like the average slave owner in the south didn’t think of his culture’s inhumanity to blacks as a “moral” issue, but simply protected by law and worth going to war over, I would guess that most people who support abortion are in the same camp. And that’s why we have the conflict we have. Ending one’s own pregnancy — regardless of whether you think it’s a human being yet, or not — violates natural instinct, the Natural Law, and the overwhelming norm of behavior among not only human beings, but all species (minus the outliers that eat their young). It’s abhorrent from a moral standpoint, and a law that contradicts something so foundational to the propagation of life and generations to come — the instinct a mother has to nurture, not destroy her developing baby — is especially heinous.

                      I hope that helps explain why pro-lifers are so passionate about our position. We don’t hate women. We’re not trying to ruin your life. The greatest good is always the greatest good — in any circumstance — even when a child presents a perceived inconvenience or threatens hardship. There’s nothing that can replace a unique human being. Nothing. Every life snuffed out in abortion is another chink in the armor of society. And in case you haven’t noticed, we’re reaping what we’ve sown.

                      Peace

                • marcpuck

                  Because ‘murder’ has rather precise definitions in civil law, I always stick with ‘kill’ and ‘slaughter’ and ‘destroy’ and ‘annihilate’ when referring to PP’s abortion business.

            • MarylandBill

              No, the central argument against abortion is predicated on the idea that abortion is the deliberate killing of a human life.

              The fact that most pro-lifers don’t kill to stop abortions is simply evidence that they understand that deliberately taking a human life can never be justified by a private individual.

            • antigon

              If one may borrow thy logic, dear a, if you’re against shooting abortionists, then don’t shoot one.

            • Sue Korlan

              If unborn children aren’t people, what species do you think they belong to?

            • antigon

              ‘When you mislabel abortion as murder or as “killing people” you are feeding the hate and demonizing those who hold a belief contrary to yours.’
              *
              But since abortion is killing people & t’is but false mislabeling to pretend otherwise, the demonizing hate belongs only to those who support this mass murder.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Peddle your bigotry elsewhere.

          • ahermit

            Is it bigotry to make a plea for reason and compassion?

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              It is bigotry to deny a human being personhood based on developmental stage.

              Add to that your repeated defense of racist organizations like PP, and it looks like we’ve found ourselves a duck.

            • LFM

              Compassion for whom?

            • antigon

              No, but arguably is to befoul genuine reason & compassion by pretending tendentious horsedrop upholds them.

        • You appear to have a very weird and restrictive idea of what a human being is. What definition are you using?

          • ahermit

            I don’t think there’s a clear line of demarcation between a human in potential and a human being. There is clearly a progression from an unfertilized egg to a fetus to a newborn infant where the former can’t reasonably be called a “person” but the latter certainly is.

            As is the woman carrying that fetus. That’s the person who too often gets overlooked in anti-choice rhetoric.

            Somewhere in that process, around the time the neurological structures that give rise to independent cognitive thought it might be reasonable to start thinking of the fetus as a person. At which point you have to start balancing the needs of the fetus against the needs of the person carrying it.

            I don’t think this is a simple issue or a clear one. So I don’t think it’s appropriate to couch it in terms of murder.

            • In the matter of public policy, such a gray area is unworkable and cruel. Imagine a world where a planned parenthood doctor goes home every day not quite sure whether he just committed a number of felonies and will be spending a few decades in prison for that day’s work. It’s impossible but it is the world that you advocate.

              Today, neither of the two extremes of thought, represented by bioethicists like Peter Singer who wish legalized infanticide and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church who advocate the right to life from conception have their policy preferences enshrined in law. Strangely, they both agree on one point, that the middle ground that *is* current law is unsustainable because it is incoherent.

              I am a Catholic. I think that the bishops have the right of it, that where there is doubt, it should be resolved against killing and for life. You sound like a squeamish fellow traveller of the Singerites who also speak about emerging neurological structures and the emergence of cognition. The difference there being that the Singerites have the balls to actually research and measure what those structures are and when they actually emerge. The fellow travelers never do because they cannot face holding a baby and saying “not human” and “can be killed at convenience”. That squeamishness is morally a large step up from the committed Singerites who openly advocate infanticide. There is some sense of wrongness in infanticide that is not dead in you. Good.

            • MarylandBill

              Actually there is a clear line of demarcation between a human in potential and a human being. That point is conception. It has all of its genes, and it simply needs to grow and change…. but that is true of humans at any point in its life. The sort of argument you are making essentially is a cop out. At least have the courage to own the idea that a mother has the right to kill her child while it is still in utero. Of course you could also adopt the Peter Singer argument and essentially argue that until a person can express a preference not to die, it has no right to life… but be aware that that argument is also used to justify infanticide and euthanasia.

              • ahermit

                Why conception? Define conception…At what precise moment does that occur?

                • MarylandBill

                  Conception occurs at the moment the sperm and the egg join together. This is not a controversial definition. One can quibble when pregnancy actually begins (conception or implantation), but pregnancy and conception are not the same thing.

                • Reader Yesterday

                  Conception, or perhaps more properly fertilization, because it is at that moment when a unique individual comes into being. When sperm enters egg, changes begin immediately and the new individual has his own unique set of genes and DNA. This is basic biology.

                  • ahermit

                    “Unique DNA” also describes a cancerous tumor; surely there;s more to being a human person than that? Is the presence of unique DNA really enough to give that tiny cluster of cells more rights than the person in which it is growing?

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      If you can’t distinguish between an organism and cancer, maybe you should be studying instead of policing the rhetoric of others?

                      I wonder sometimes if abortion supporters really are as intellectually challenged as they portray themselves.

                    • Has a cancerous tumor ever developed a brain? Become a fully-formed human?

                    • ahermit

                      So you acknowledge that there is a difference between a fertilized egg and a “fully formed human?”

                    • Sure. And there is a difference between a toddler and an adult, between a man and a woman, between a blonde and a brunette, between a person with 46 chromosomes and one with 47, and so on. Some of those differences are more significant than others, but the commonality is humanity.

                    • MarylandBill

                      There is more to it than the DNA, but certainly for those whose thinking is rooted in modernism and materialism, it is an objective standard.

                    • Reader Yesterday

                      I was trying to use the most basic terminology. Scientifically there is, as you are no doubt aware, a difference between a cancerous tumor and a fertilized egg. Tumors lack the ability to differentiate, for one; they also don’t have their own sex. This is an old objection: that a fertilized egg is no more a person than a strand of hair or a clipped nail. The problem is that, from the point of view of science, it’s just not true. A fertilized egg is a new being; a fertilized human egg is a new *human* being. And yes, human being have rights. Not *more* rights than someone on whom he or she is dependent, but human rights none the less.

                    • ahermit

                      And consciousness, cognition, the ability to think, to feel…none of this is of any consequence? And I’m sorry, but if you’re taking away the right of the mother to decide what happens in her own body you are granting more rights to a couple of cells than to that living, breathing, thinking feeling person.

                      I find it hard to believe you see no difference between a fertilized egg and a person. If you were in a situation where you had to choose between saving one month old infant or a container of a hundred frozen embryos, which would you save?

                      But I didn’t come here to get into an in depth technical debate; I;m asking if abortion opponents can’t consider that the people on the other side aren;t monsters and stop describing them in such terms. The women who seek abortions aren;t murderers, the doctors who, out of compassion for their patients, agree to help them aren’;t monsters.

                    • No right is completely unrestricted. Women have the right to decide what happens to their bodies, but not if exercising that right means killing an innocent person. Just like you have the right to free speech, but not to yell “fire” in a crowded theatre.

                      “I find it hard to believe you see no difference between a fertilized egg
                      and a person. If you were in a situation where you had to choose
                      between saving one month old infant or a container of a hundred frozen
                      embryos, which would you save?”
                      This again. If I choose to save my child over that of another’s, does that mean my child is more of a human than the other? Could there be other reasons to choose the infant over the container, such as weight, or whether the containment has been breached, or not knowing what the container is? Or heck, just emotion? The subjective value we place (or don’t) on a particular human life does not change its objective value.

                    • Reader Yesterday

                      I think Beadgirl answered most of your points very well below. I want to address your last plea, that abortion opponents can’t consider that people on the other side aren’t monsters or murderers.
                      .
                      I can only speak for myself and my experiences, of course, but I do assure you that those I know who are pro-life, and I don’t think this way. What we see are women who are in horrible positions being deceived and abused by a system that has objectivized them for most of their lives. We see women who don’t want to have abortions being told that it is their best choice, or even that it is their *only* choice. We see those “compassionate” doctors and clinic workers lying to women about their own bodies and how pregnancy affects them, and compassionately taking money from women who have little enough to begin with.
                      .
                      What’s monstrous is that women haven’t figured out that abortion is another form of enslavement and oppression against women. What’s monstrous is that corporations are making millions on this mug’s game. What’s monstrous is that people who care about the most vulnerable in society are scolded for a lack of compassion.

                    • ahermit

                      So you think women are idiots who don’t know what’s best for themselves?

                    • It’s funny, you keep lecturing us to be more compassionate and use less inflammatory language, and then you make a comment like this.

                    • ahermit

                      It’s really the only conclusion I can reach from that comment, Reader is literally saying that women can’t be trusted to make their own decisions about what can happen inside their own bodies.

                      That’s nowhere near as inflammatory as calling someone a murderer for making that decision.

                    • Reader Yesterday

                      Ahh, the good old “you don’t trust women” argument. The NRA makes the same argument (“you don’t trust gun owners to be good responsible citizens”) every time somebody talks about gun control, and its just as silly when they do it.
                      .
                      I trust women to make “their own decisions about what can happen inside their own bodies” if they have the facts, are not abused or coerced, and have the backing of a just society that welcomes children and supports their mothers.
                      .
                      What I don’t trust is the abortion industry, the constant societal objectification of women, ignorance and lies masquerading as compassion.

                    • That’s completely disingenuous, and you know it. Another conclusion would be that women don’t have the right to kill a baby, no matter where it is located. Moreover, you are ignoring the fact that many women are, in fact, pressured to have abortions by parents, husbands, boyfriends, pimps, and society in general. That’s what Reader was addressing.

                    • ahermit

                      Well there’s a good argument there for providing better health care and more support to women in general (which is most of what Planned Parenthood does…), but to generalize that occasional circumstance to all women is disingenuous at best.

                    • MarylandBill

                      Okay, lets remember this is a Catholic forum. One of the foundational truths of Catholicism is that we live in a fallen world where our abilities to make moral decisions is fundamentally impaired. I don’t trust the moral decision making of anyone who claims that taking human life is acceptable.

                    • MarylandBill

                      I don’t believe that Reader thinks that, nor do most people in the pro-life movement. What we do believe is that all people, men and women can be strongly influenced by the culture and are prone to accept the word of someone they see as an expert (A form of the Argument from Authority fallacy).

                      Further of course these “compassionate” experts have spent years trying to convince people that the unborn are not human beings (A statement you have made repeatedly in this thread) despite the fact that there is no philosophical or scientific basis for that position.

                      Now here is the other aspect. Lets, for the sake of the argument, lets say that a woman’s life would be better without a child… that doesn’t change the moral calculus in the slightest because two lives, not one are under consideration. Life being a precondition to all other moral goods must take precedent over any other consideration. No good that can come to the woman can outweigh the harm that would be done to the child. Our society doesn’t like that calculus because it restricts our autonomy, but it is the truth.

                    • Reader Yesterday

                      I think women are human and as likely to be swayed, or even coerced, by the prevailing winds like anybody else.
                      .
                      So you think that black slaves in the South before the Civil War who didn’t rebel or try to escape were idiots who didn’t know what was best for them?

                    • AquinasMan

                      I think men or women in stressful situations tend to make terrible decisions. The equivalent is where some guy in debt gets fired from his job and decides to kill his family. Bad decision, not his to make, by anyone’s estimation. But we allow women to sell their children to the local butcher, often due to external pressures. It’s not their decision to make, but SCOTUS says it is. Pretty f’d up.

                    • antigon

                      Perhaps not, if we can nonetheless agree that were you to reach the level of an idiot some day, Mr. A, t’would be a vast improvement over thy present condition.

                    • antigon

                      Je suis d’accorde. While monsters are foul, they don’t deserve being degraded to the level of abortionists whose dinners are consumed from the blood of the innocents they murder daily.

            • AquinasMan

              There’s no such thing as a “human in potential”, unless you are talking about the sperm in the man and the egg in the woman and the potential they might somehow get together given the right set of actions. Potential indicates power not yet realized, yet the embryo develops on its own, clearly indicating it indeed has power, not potential. The embryo is indeed supported and nourished by the mother, but the biological processes are occurring by its own power, not hers. Therefore, there is no such thing as a “potential” human being. The biological processes and the organs and skeletal composition in development are distinctly human, not potentially human.

        • AquinasMan

          Since it’s a “very small part”, why is Planned Parenthood sacrificing its funding in numerous states just to save “a very small part” of its operation? That’s a pretty stupid business model.

        • antigon

          Murder is always a very small part of what murderers do, & yet…

  • Dave G.

    I agree. And yet, saying we shouldn’t engage in the culture war is, in its own weird way, engaging in the culture war. A new manifestation of the culture war. But the culture war nonetheless. Best now just to pray. Mourn for the victims. Leave it at that.

  • KarenJo12
  • As americans, it’s all of our responsibilities to look at any shooting that comes to our attention and seek lessons that would make things better. Pro-lifers are not exempt. Was he one of ours? So far the police aren’t sure. No mainstream pro-life groups recognize this guy as one of their adherents. When the police do come to a conclusion, the verdict may just be bat guano crazy. And then what?

    No matter what the police determine as to the killer’s motivations, pro-lifers should stand ready and willing to do what is needed to reduce future carnage. That stands in good contrast with the people who only are interested in shootings when their narrative is advanced by the perpetrator and/or victims.

  • Eve Fisher

    Actually, the fairly obvious thing about the shooter and the crimes that he committed is that he was very, very fortunate to be a white male, because if he’d been black (and we all know this) and killed 3 people (one of them a cop), and wounded nine, he would be dead. And if he had been a Muslim, he would also be dead, and certain circles (we all know who) would be screaming that it’s time to round up all the Muslims in America and lock them away, kick them out, etc. I’m not sure whether Robert Dear or Cliven Bundy should be the poster child for White Privilege, but they both rank high.

    • MarylandBill

      Actually we don’t really know that. And I think trying to turn this discussion towards a different political agenda is just plain wrong.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Yeah, he only surrendered due to white privilege.

      Some crap you just can’t make up.

      • A J MacDonald Jr

        SWAT standoff ends with black shooting suspect in custody – https://shar.es/1cjPV0

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Quit intruding on Eve’s racist fantasies with counterexamples.

        • Eve Fisher

          Didn’t kill a cop, did he?

      • Eve Fisher

        The point is that he was allowed to surrender.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Yeah, Islamic terrorists put on suicide vests because they know Peckerwoods aren’t going to allow them to surrender.

          Something has gone horribly wrong i America this last century. How else can one explain your ancestors’ eventual domination of my people?

          • Eve Fisher

            Speaking as an old white woman, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              I mean that if the first revolting Americans were as craven and unthinking as their progeny demonstrate themselves to be, I doubt my people would be running casinos today.

              Do you have examples of black or Muslim gunmen trying to surrender?

              • Eve Fisher

                Well, it certainly helps if you’re given time to surrender. Notice the amount of time that Tamir Rice, a 12 year old black boy playing with a toy gun in a park, was given to surrender: answer, none. The police shot him within 2 seconds of arrival, and offered no first aid as he died. Mr. Dear got more time than that.

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  So you’re just plain racist?

                  Dear holed himself up in a defensive position. I can only assume from your rheotric you don’t believe blacks and Muslims are capable of strategic thinking.

                  • Eve Fisher

                    I never realized that wanting a 12 year old boy to have the ability to play in a park with his toy gun and survive the experience is racist. Thank you for pointing that out to me.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Oh honey, no, not at all. We all want that. I’m sorry, I didn’t realise you were calling for letting children be children.

                      Mostly because of your disjointed ramblings about race. I’m more than happy to team up with even the most prejudiced old white women to let children be children.

                    • Eve Fisher

                      Any time.

                • Dave G.

                  So you’re saying that the cop who was killed may well have been killed because instead of just charging in with guns blazing, he probably tried to give this fellow a chance since he had white skin, as opposed to others the dead cop might have come up against? I don’t know. That seems a pretty harsh way of interpreting the events.

                  • Eve Fisher

                    That’s your interpretation, not mine.

                    • Dave G

                      Based on your observations and assumptions it seems an acceptable interpretation.

                    • Eve Fisher

                      I’m sorry you see it that way.

                    • Dave G

                      Putting faces on the stereotypes doesn’t make it that difficult.

                    • Eve Fisher

                      Absolutely. But, like Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli, we are reading the same text and coming up with widely different interpretations. It happens.

                    • Dave G.

                      No, I give you a very likely one, if your original assumptions are true. You see, sort of what Hezekiah has been saying, you painted a very judgmental take on things; assuming that the color of everyone’s skin was the prime difference in outcomes, when in fact we know very little of what went down. We likely have no way of knowing why he lived. Perhaps the delay was due to it being a hostage situation, and not cops with white skin saying ‘hey, he’s one of us skin-wise, let’s cut him some slack.’ Which, of course, was your interpretation.

                      I simply added a real face and name to the assumptions you made. One that, unfortunately, was for a man killed in the line of duty. Now, you could go back and say ‘as much as I hate to admit media narratives could be wrong, it might be that the different outcomes had nothing to do with race at all, but rather on a set of circumstances completely different than other cases we’ve heard about.’ Otherwise, there is no reason not to assume my take was too far off the events since we would have to assume that ‘the cops’ were mainly basing their actions on the color of skin, which would naturally allow a fellow more time to retaliate and hence kill one of those cops in question.

                    • Eve Fisher

                      Well, to be honest, your scenario is ridiculous. No cop ever said, “Hey, he’s one of us skin-wise, let’s cut him some slack.” They’re far more apt to say, “Hey, it’s the judge’s son, leave him alone.” (Seriously, if you’re a judge or a judge’s kid, you can get away with all kinds of stuff.) From what you’ve said, I’m assuming that you believe that the only true racism against blacks is obvious and outspoken, like in the Jim Crow days. [Sometimes it still is, such as when North Miami Beach Police Department used photographs of blacks as targets for their shooting range. Google it.] Otherwise, we’re living in a post-racial America, and anyone who says otherwise is a racist, or race-baiting. I disagree, but then you’ve already told me what I am.

                    • Dave G.

                      So let me get this straight. You made the strong suggestion that the reason this man walked as opposed to being killed might be that he was white and not a Muslim. I suggested that the cops allowing him to live due to his whiteness and non-Muslimness may have created a situation where our white, non-Muslim shooter was able to kill one of the police (who, with no details, I have to assume was one of those behind the ‘let him go, he’s one of us’ perspectives that you are assuming), and my addition is ridiculous? Nope.

                      You see, there’s only one of us who put forth the baseless assumption that those particular police involved were likely racist or islamaphobes, hence the shooter’s survival. Following the age old adage of judge not, that seems a pretty big leap. What I did was drop an actual person into the media narrative and remind everyone that it’s too easy in this internet age to make sweeping accusations at vaguely defined groups of people, even if they are accusations based on the always reliable media crafted narrative. Best now to count losses and admit that it might have had nothing at all to do with the cops other than they did a decent job preventing worse carnage. Or something like it.

                    • Eve Fisher

                      Okay. (To be fair, I did put black first, not Muslim.) Live long and prosper.

    • Artevelde

      You forgot to elaborate on the *male* aspect.

    • Does Colorado Springs have the same history of racial discrimination and police profiling as Chicago, Ferguson, or New York?

    • Dave G.

      Or, we could say that if he was black and his victims were white, and it didn’t happen at a Planned Parenthood or Gay Bar, we’d never know it happened. See how that works? What is this itch we have to want to see these things through partisan prisms? Lutas is correct. We’ve been conditioned by the media’s tendencies to see, not the deaths of human beings, but how such deaths advance our viewpoints. And what’s more, if they don’t help promote our agendas, are they even worth spending time on?

  • A J MacDonald Jr

    “What the shooter did was murderous. It is unlawful, and should be so. What Planned Parenthood does is a million times more murderous. It is legal.” (Source: “Planned Parenthood is at the heart of the violence”)

  • antigon

    The abortion holocaust is distinct from other enthusiasms for mass murder in that the former is not a political assault qua, but a theological one that attacks the foundational principle that being itself is a good.
    *
    The devil holds otherwise, & his triumphs in this regard will thus not be defeated with guns. This is why it seems fair to propose that the witness of Linda Gibbons & Mary Wagner may be as important as any other; because they imitate Christ by turning themselves over to their enemies & thereby voluntarily absorb unto themselves some measure of the injustice inflicted on the unborn.
    *
    In so doing, not one child dies, anywhere, without a born witness standing with them & thus upholding their value in a manner that in the face of this theological horror, Barabbas-like violence could in se never achieve, not to say all the arguments you propose in your post after this one.
    *
    Sacrifice & witness of the kind Gibbons, Wagner & others have embraced is available to anyone wishing to give their all for the innocent, over against those who would embrace pretense instead.

  • Elmwood

    NPR this morning was interviewing a PP big-shot. who put the blame on anti-abortion rhetoric which she believes inflames and fuels these violent shootings.

    But she didn’t mention our crazy gun culture or the fact this guy was clearly deranged and had nothing to do with the pro-life movement. PP wants to prevent people from speaking out against it.