Why morality is best served by liberal churchmen & politicians who are fighting to defend and promote women's autonomy over their own pregnancies:
In light of the fact that neither science nor religion can determine conclusively at what stage of development a human person distinct from the mother comes into being, with rights of its own, there is no valid reason for those with one opinion on the matter to use either the church or the government to impose their opinion on those who simply don't share it.
Liberal churchmen and the Democratic Party should not apologize for being Pro-Choice, because that is the moral thing to do. Amendment IX of the Bill of Rights declares, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." and Amendment X, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." It is morally and politically wrong for religions and/ or political Conservatives in America to try to deny others the right to live by their own devices. And it is morally and politically right for religious and/ or political Liberals to respect, defend and promote those rights.
This is why I have become so
enthusiastic about women's autonomy :
After being involved for many years in all kinds of liberal causes, I have come to believe that, of all the urgent causes in America today, the most urgent may be the struggle for women to finally get full autonomy over their own bodies and especially over every pregnancy that they happen to have - which usually takes something like 18 years and not just 9 months to complete! - No woman needs to be told that, least of all by a man. But after all of the tremendous contributions that women have made to all kinds of causes like the liberation of working men and women, children, immigrants, the handicapped, immigrants, African-Americans, and the LGBT community, isn't it time that we stop allowing women to follow their motherly instinct to always put the needs of others ahead of their own?
If in just a few short years, we liberals have been able to persuade the majority of Americans that gays should be entitled to the same loving relationships that the rest of us take for granted, then how long should it take us to persuade every woman-lover in America ( in addition to the half of the people in America who are women) to respect women's ability to decide for themselves how to manage their own pregnancies!
By the way, any "pro-life" person who might assume that I promote choice because of the needs of one or other of my daughters, or any other woman in my life, he or she would be mistaken, because, if any woman close to me has ever even thought of having an abortion, she has never let me in on it.
This is what I have been doing to support women's autonomy:
At least 15 years ago, I recognized how crucial the issue of abortion was, not just to the women directly involved, but for the whole country, as the "Religious Right" had found tremendous success in separating poor and working class people from the Democratic Party - which has had the interests of those very people at heart ever since the administration of F.D.R. in the 1930's - and persuading them to move en masse to the Republican Party, which is as much "the party of the working class", or "the party of conscience", as it is "the party of Lincoln"!
I have been thinking and writing a great deal since then about the reasons that people of conscience should be proudly and unapologetically on the side of choice. I began with a pamphlet I published at that time, which Planned Parenthood of New Haven used to show any Christian woman who needed an abortion that she needn't let "pro-lifers" make her feel guilty over her choice.
In early 2018, I made a lot of improvements to these pages and published them under the URL www.ChristianChoice.org to spread that message world-wide.
I plan to write and campaign about the crucial role that female reproductive autonomy plays in the battle over which political party Americans should entrust their country and their local communities to in the future.
The image below is a copy of the 8 by 3 foot banner that I created to use in my efforts to defend women's right to make their own decisions about their own pregnancies, without having to suffer clergymen forcing their patriarchal views on the consciences of women who don't need or want them.
In late 2015, I started going to the Planned Parenthood center in New Haven, CT to try to take on the "pro-life" protestors there. I have since developed powerful messages designed to so counter what they have been taught that they eventually decide that there are better things that they can do with their lives and leave the women who need help with problem pregnancies alone. I plan to continue to develop such messages and improve on them and to find other ways to distribute them, so that they can be used at other abortion clinics far and wide.
Here is that 25 min. Pro-Choice Podcast ( as of June 11, 2016 ).
Anyone interested in the written version will find the scripts below.
The first reaction of the Pro-Choice "establishment" to my approach will doubtless be "Huh? That's wierd!" Yes I know. Isn't that what they said when the Wright brothers came up with the idea of flying? If it's not yet time for Pro-Choicers to try something different, then when will it be?!?
If you don't agree with me, then can you at least tell me what's wrong with my approach, or how to improve on it?
P.S. This effort of mine is an experiment. If it proves effective, and the pro-life protestors melt away at this one site, not only will it will be easy to then duplicate at any number of other abortion clinics all over the country, but we will be able to adapt this approach to reaching out to clergy, appealing to legislators, and supporting clients (with private recorded messages along similar lines.)
The Planned Parenthood podcast scripts:
1. I'm impressed with your devotion : ( Intro )
"Ladies and gentlemen,
I am impressed with your devotion to your cause, and I understand it as I was once a Catholic priest and shared your views. But I am here to encourage you to move on to a more enlightened view, because if I could do it, you can too."
2. The Roman Catholic hierarchy's role in the pro-life movement :
"My dear friends,
This whole cause of yours was inspired by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and
without their continued massive financial and moral support, the whole so-called
"pro-life" movement would quickly fall apart. Many people mistakenly believe
that these pompous clergymen are entitled to respect and obedience because
they are so much smarter and better than the rest of us, "moral giants" so to speak.
But let the record show that what they have more often proven themselves to be
in real life is not moral giants, but moral pygmies.
Here is just one illustration of my reason for saying that.
Did you know that one of the things that most of the top Nazi leadership had in
common was that they all shared a Roman Catholic upbringing, and they never
publicly repudiated that faith? [ for much more, see JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/NaziLeadership.html ]
What is it about this church that it has produced so many vicious dictators - not
just in Germany, and in the many the other Catholic countries that made up the Nazi coalition -
but all over the world? The list would need to include Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, "Papa Doc" Duvalier and his successor "Baby Doc" Duvalier of Haiti, and a whole panoply of Catholic dictators in the many countries of what is commonly called "Latin" America", but could just as well be called "Roman Catholic America", [ for much more, see CatholicArrogance.Org/ MotherofDictators.html ]
Most people have been deluded by the Roman Catholic Church and its allies into
believing that, despite the fact that the Jewish Holocaust occurred in the most Christian part of the whole world, and was conceived in and directed from a nation where 98% of the population
at the time identified themselves as "Christians", it is any philosophy other than its own "Christianity" that should be blamed for that monstrous crime, namely, paganism, secular humanism, liberal atheism, socialism, communism or whatever.
But the sad truth is that the Nazis came to power
by appealing to values which they and that sea of conservative Christianity had
in common, namely love of absolute power over the masses, on the one hand, and hatred or fear of atheists, liberals, homosexuals,
communists, and Jews on the other. Many of us Christians in America insist that we are a Christian Nation, despite the fact that only 70% of us are Christians, and our nation is only 2 centuries old. 98% of Germans considered themselves as "Christians" at the time, just as their ancestors have been for some sixteen centuries or so! Whatever they were in God's eyes, throughout the Nazi period, most of the people of
Germany viewed themselves as Christians, living in a Christian nation, fighting under the leadership of Christians very much like themselves, in the defense of "Christianity" from some of its greatest enemies : the age-old Jewish "Christ-killers" on the one hand, and a newer, related enemy "godless communism" on the other.
Once Adolf Hitler had set Germany on the course of conquering as much of Europe,
and of exterminating as much of Europe's Jewish population as he could in the process, he knew that
he was going to need millions of helpers to actually carry out all of that dirty
work. Now, where could he find so many helpers? He didn't go to the planet Mars to get them. He found about 2/3rds of them in the pews of his nation's Protestant churches and the other third in Germany's Roman Catholic churches.
Now although you may not have been aware of these facts, the Roman Catholic
bishops of Germany, and their "Supreme Pontiff" in Rome were very much aware
of the Catholic roots of so many of the Nazi leadership and of the hundreds of
thousands, if not millions, of the Roman Catholics who were carrying out the
monstrous plans of these leaders. Now, if there had been any moral giants among those bishops,
don't you think that they should have had the courage to stand up and shout
from the rooftops to warn the 98% of Germans who professed to be Christians
that God would certainly be displeased with them, if they played any role in "the
most atrocious sin of the century", the killing of innocent men, women, and
children by the millions, just because they were Jews, and that God might well
punish any of his followers for all eternity if they willingly played any part in that
most monstrous of crimes?
It's a sad fact that throughout that period there was hardly a peep from any but a
handful of Germany's church leaders in protest of the Jewish Holocaust. And not one
of the many Roman Catholic top Nazi leaders were able to commit any atrocity monstrous
enough to get themselves excommunicated by their church's bishops
or pope, not Adolf Hitler, not Joseph Goebbels, not Heinrich Himmler, nor any of
the many others who should have qualified for that public denunciation.
Instead, what these "moral pygmies" waisted their imposing moral authority on
during those horrible years was threatening their flocks with hellfire for eternity,
if they committed any number of their catalogue of what they called "mortal
sins", including not just abortion, but birth-control, marriage after divorce, homosexuality,
masturbation, viewing dirty pictures or forbidden movies, and of course, missing mass on
Sundays. What a disgrace! [ for much more, see CatholicArrogance.Org/RC_scandal.html
Many who are striving to deny women access to abortion these days are fond of
comparing their Pro-Choice rivals here in
America to the Nazis, suggesting that terminating pregnancies on a large scale in
America today is just like the Jewish Holocaust in the 1940s. This argument is a
perfect illustration of how ignorant and / or dishonest the pro-life crusaders are,
because the very same Nazi leaders who were doing their best to exterminate the entire
Jewish people were also pro-life champions.
Yes, you heard that right. Despite the fact that the Nazis were "pro-death", at all
ages, when it came to the 1 % or so of Germans who were Jewish, they were
even more "pro-life" than you are, when it came to the vast majority of
Germany's women, who were Aryan, and Christian. They knew that they
were going to need to keep their birthrate as high as possible to keep up with the
high death rate their warmongering was going to be cost them. So they did what
you pro-lifers haven't even dreamed yet of doing here in America. They made the
aborting of a pregnancy by a German mother punishable by DEATH!
[ for much more, see CatholicArrogance.Org/AbortionUnderNazis.html ]
This would not be the last time when it would be obvious how silly it is to call
people "pro-life", just because they oppose the termination of the life of any
human fetus, when those same people are showing nothing but contempt for fellow
human beings, once they have passed through the birth canal.
Now, let's come to our own time, and place. I don't need to tell you about the
behavior of our own "moral pygmies" right here in America, who for so many
years have been, not only ignoring, but even trying to cover up the many
instances in which the priests under their supervision, who were supposed to be
sanctifying young children, were instead destroying them!
If anyone needs any more proof of why these so-called "spiritual leaders" don't
deserve the right to be taken seriously when it comes to moral issues, I
invite him or her to explore the volume of such proof I provide on my web site,
"Jesus Would Be Furious.org".
Thank you very much for listening to some of what I have learned in my 50 plus
years of studying religion, philosophy, history, science and politics."
3. Bible Arguments Debunked :
I would like to talk with you about some of the weak biblical arguments that people often use against abortion. The bottom line is that the Bible says nothing specifically about abortion in either the Old or the New Testament. But that has never prevented people from reading their own thoughts into the Bible.
One example is the 5th of the great commandments, "Thou shalt not kill"
The reason that pro-lifers are not justified in using this verse to make their case against abortion is the same reason that others are prevented from using this same verse to make their case against capital punishment, or killing in war, or killing to eat meat, namely that general prohibition "Thou shalt not kill" is so vague, that it could apply to any number of things - none of which are spelled out by the Bible.
So the promoters of vegetarianism are no more justified in using "Thou shalt not kill" to argue against the killing and eating of meat than are the opponents of the death-penalty, or the pacifists to argue against all war.
Another of the verses people often take from the Bible and try to use to prove that human life begins long before birth is
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."
Do these words prove that we exist nine months before we are actually born, because God said that he knows us during that period? No. And here's why:
How can anyone limit God's knowledge to those nine months? This verse is obviously saying that God knows us not just before the day we are born but even years before we are conceived, from the beginning of time, if you will. When God knows us is totally independent of the day we become human beings and proves nothing about that event. "
4. Science vs. Religion on Abortion :
"My dear Friends,
Id like have a word with you about what science, law and religion have to say about the abortion issue:
While science is all about learning things that can be proven, Religion is all about believing things that cannot be proven. The conviction that religious people have about abortion isn't based on knowledge, but on Faith. When men of the cloth or "people of faith" try to use science to prove when human personhood begins, they can't help but superimpose their religious faith on the scientific data. That is what they are doing when they imagine that scientific instruments like microscopes, MRI machines or ultrasound equipment can be used to prove when a human person comes into existence.
But, no matter how powerful the scientific instrument, it will never be able to determine what is a human person, or when it begins, because human personhood isn't something that you can weigh, or see, or hear, or touch. The same is true for the existence of God, heaven, hell, the nature of sin, salvation, and any theological concept. No matter how powerful a telescope, it isn't going to prove the existence or non-existence of God, or heaven.
The question of human personhood will always be what it has always been, that is, a matter for debate on philosophical or theological – not scientific – grounds, regardless of whether the debators are judges, legislators, politicians, "people of faith", clergy, or common citizens.
Now, if serious pro-lifers like yourselves are so sure that fetuses are human beings from the moment of conception, then when are you going to start acting accordingly? You don't need to wait for everybody else to agree with you before doing so. When, for example, are you going to start collecting the sanitary napkins of all the sexually active women of childbearing age, and making sure that all the tiny "babies- as you insist on calling them - that may be hidden in those sanitary napkins as a result of spontaneous miscarriages, all get the benefit of the sacraments, if they are Catholics, or in any event a decent funeral and church burial? If you are not ready to do that, then do you really believe what you claim to believe?"
5. The Right to Choose :
I'd like to have a word with you about freedom of religion.
Some people in America seem to view freedom of religion as a one-way street. To them, it means that they have the right to believe as they choose. They expect others to respect that right. But they don't seem to appreciate the fact that it's a two-way street, and that they have to respect the religious beliefs of others. In a country like America, where diversity of religion is not only accepted but welcome, the price that every religion must pay in order to be respected itself, is paying the same respect for other religions that they expect for their own.
Now let's apply this to the issue of abortion. Despite what the extremists on both sides of the issue would have you believe, abortion has remained a contentious issue for so many years because it really is quite complicated. In America, difficult moral issues can go unresolved for long periods of time, with people free, in the meantime, to follow their own ideas of right and wrong. In some cases, such issues are resolved by legislatures and/or local courts. In rare cases, really contentious issues, such as abortion, go all the way to the highest court in the land, the US Supreme Court, at any given moment in history.
Now that our highest court has recognized the right of women in America to have abortions under certain circumstances, your church can tell you not to exercise that right yourselves because it views abortion as a sinful "murder", but you and/or your church have no business trying to impose your beliefs, or your interpretations of the bible, on me or on anyone else who doesn't want to belong to your church, or abide by your conscience. We have as much right to abide by our own consciences as you have to abide by yours.
6. Don't Just Preach; Practice :
You are here to preach to women who may have come here to have an abortion.
You say that it is their moral responsibility to carry their pregnancies to term. You are very good at telling other people what their moral obligations are.
How about letting me, an ordained preacher, tell you what I think your moral obligations are:
First and more-most is : "practice what you preach."
If a woman doesn't want to continue with her pregnancy, it's not enough for you to condemn her for doing what you view as the WRONG thing, it's your moral obligation to do the RIGHT thing, that is, take over the responsibility she wants to give up for caring for that child, and for as long as it takes - not just for nine months – but for 18 or so years for a normal child, an much more if it's a handicapped child. If you cannot do that, or choose not to do so, then why don't you think about the warnings that Jesus proclaimed about the moralists of his day, namely:
according to Matthew 23: "Do not do as The scribes and the Pharisees do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them."
That is so powerful, let me it bears repeating:
"They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. "
If you are willing to take over all of those responsibilities, for even one of the women you are preaching to, then raise your hand and someone will be over to get your contact information so that we can get the process moving.
If you are not willing to practice what you preach, then I suggest you stop worrying so much about other peoples business, pick up your bags and your signs, go home, and think about the answer you might give to Jesus if what he asked the crowds in Matthew 7, v.3
'Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? ' "
7. "Divine Abortions" :
"My dear friends,
Regarding the life of the unborn:
Did you know that as many as one of every four human pregnancies are terminated naturally, that is, without any human intervention? When such deaths are noticed, they are called "mis-carriages", but many of them occur even before they can be noticed. It has taken modern scientific methods and instruments to discover that the natural termination of human pregnancies occurs much more often than we realized in the past.
Now, If the life of the unborn is so precious to God, then how can he cause, or even tolerate, the premature termination of the lives of so many millions of human beings every year?
Many refer to tragic natural events such as these as "acts of God", in which case the premature termination of these pregnancies might well be called "divine abortions", or because of huge numbers, a "sacred holocaust".
In any event, since preventing the premature termination of human pregnancies seems to be such a low priority for God, maybe it should be for us as well !"
8. The GOP are Aborters, too :
I'm going to let you in on a little secret :
When their girlfriends, or wives, or daughters have embarrassing or troublesome pregnancies, Republicans get them the abortion pill, or race them to the nearest abortion clinic just as fast as any Democrat.
But they pretend to be against abortion, because they have found over the years that many poor and working class people are easily fooled by the words and promises of politicians, rather than their actions and the policies they pursue once they are elected.
Republican politicians are constantly being caught lying, stealing, cheating, practicing homosexuality while claiming to be deathly opposed to it, divorcing and remarrying endlessly, and constantly getting away with their hypocrisy by talking their way out of it.
Even if the Republicans eventually get around to actually making abortion illegal, they will then be inconvenienced as much as everybody else, but that will be a small price for them to pay for the tremendous political advantages their phony opposition to abortion has gotten for their party in the meantime. And if that day ever comes, they will be happy to spend a little extra money to go to some other state, or even some other country, to get their abortions.
And in the meantime, millions of poor and working-class Americans will have been fooled into supporting the Republican Party, which has spent the last hundred years or so trying to prevent working class people, women, people of color, gays, or immigrants from getting their fair share of the privileges formerly reserved for America's prosperous, white, Christian, native-born, English-speaking, straight, men."