Hilary White

Abortion and the Will to Power: ‘So what if abortion ends a life?’ asks Salon writer

Hilary White
Hilary White
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ROME, January 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An item came to my attention today in my daily inspection of the internet, asking a very pertinent question. And though I’m sure it was meant rhetorically, I thought I’d have a go at answering it. A short piece, clearly published in answer to the hundreds of thousands gathered this week on the Washington Mall demanding an end to the slaughter of children, asks, “So what if abortion ends life?”

Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote yesterday on the “progressive” online magazine Salon, “I believe that life starts at conception. And it’s never stopped me from being pro-choice.”

She called the “move” of the “anti-choice lobby” to call itself “pro-life” “diabolically clever,” adding, “Life! Who wants to argue with that? Who wants be on the side of … not-life?”

Well, apparently Williams thinks herself equal to the task.

“The ‘life’ conversation is often too thorny to even broach. Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me,” she writes.

“I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.”

It immediately brings to mind a passage from On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche, that mad prophet of the atrocity-crammed 20th century. He proposed that Christianity and its moral law are born from hatred of the warrior’s strength and has succeeded only in weakening the strong and overturning the natural order of existence in which the strong must oppress the weak. Christianity is a “slave morality,” he said.

Miss Williams, perhaps unconscious of the philosophical roots of her position, says that the issue is more “complicated” than life and death. And what is the “complicated reality” behind abortion?

“All life is not equal.” There we have it. Some people once said it slightly differently: “some life is not worthy of life.” Specifically, the “life” that gets in my way.

“A fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides,” writes Williams. “She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.”

“That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers.”

Well, you said it, honey, not me.

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For some years now, the abortionist ideology has been sailing out further and further into the deepest moral waters it can find, in an apparently desperate attempt to continue convincing the world, if not of the rightness of its cause, at least of its unstoppability. But with rhetoric like this, it’s hard to see how much further they can go while still maintaining any semblance of rationality.

Once you have responded to “It’s a human being,” with a manufactured shrug like this, there seems nowhere else to go in the conversation. So what if abortion is genocide? So what if it serves the cause of sex trafficking? So what if it enables pedophiles and pimps? So what if it’s slaughtering entire generations of girls in India and China? So what if it’s being used by totalitarian governments to terrorise women and maintain control over their populations?

So what? I want it, and I have the power to get it; discussion over.

And this is right and good because the strong must always have power over the weak. From some dark place, the shade of Nietzsche howls his mad, tortured shriek of triumph.

We often identify feminism and its strumpet daughter the Sexual Revolution with Marxism, and a quick glance at Engels on the evils of the Monogamous Family  will demonstrate that this is true. But on a deeper level, it is more simply about power, as most feminists will readily admit. Some people have called a gun the “great equaliser,” that gives ultimate power to people who would otherwise be too weak to impose their will over others. For women dedicated to the cause of power-over-others, abortion is that gun.

Miss Williams has helpfully illustrated exactly where the abortionist ideology goes. It is not, at its root, a manifestation of feminism, though feminism has adopted it as a core doctrine. It is not even a tool of political manipulation from the left, or a method of systematic genocide in the developing world to protect western economic interests.

At the very core of its black heart, it is the scream of the nihilist, who seeks power and ownership over anyone weaker, for no other reason than the pure exercise of the will: because we want it. Abortion for woman has become the final manifestation of the old “will to power”. And at its core is nothingness, a black hole endlessly gaping and swallowing everything in its orbit. It seeks, finally, no good that anyone, even the abortionist movement itself, can identify, let alone defend rationally.

Mass, legalised abortion, industrial scale abortion, is simply a final manifestation of the global, nihilistic and ultimately suicidal ideation that took hold of the entire western world at the start of World War I and has never let go. And the 55 million dead in the US alone would attest to this, if they could speak.

Not my favourite pope, by any means, but it does also bring to mind what many people like to refer to as the “prophecies” of Paul VI in his anti-contraception encyclical Humanae Vitae. Whatever else you may think about the effects or uses of contraception, it is hard to pass by the following without a pause of recognition.

The widespread use of artificial contraception, the Pill being the key that opened the Pandora’s Box of the Sexual revolution, would lead, he said, “to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality.” “The man,” the pope said, will lose respect for “the woman” and “no longer (care) for her physical and psychological equilibrium”. He will come to “the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion”.

Of course, what the pope neglected to mention was the next set of logical progressions. The contraceptive culture will finally lead women to regard men as sexual objects and, as childlessness comes to be seen more and more as a goal, as economic competitors. They will come to see children, childbearing and motherhood as a form of slavery and “oppression,” a kind of living death. And ultimately they will see abortion as their only recourse in accidental cases of pregnancy, the ultimate catastrophe. And they would come to defend the killing of their own children as a form of self-defence against an unjust aggressor.

For women, under the new cultural dispensation, remaining in the condition of carefree, unencumbered, sexually alluring ingénue is not the highest good, it is the only one. And women are clearly willing to kill to achieve and maintain it.

Contraception and the Sexual Revolution has, as John Paul II used to say, pitted men and women against each other, and both of them against their own children. It has made a mass warzone of our entire culture in which each individual is the enemy of every other in the struggle to be the last one standing on top of the rubbish heap of our mass produced goods. 

And like all such political movements, it is an absolutist ideology, a form of totalitarianism, that will admit of no dissenters. There can’t be any opt-outs, as we have seen from the determination of the Obama administration to impose contraception and abortion funding on an unwilling public.

We must thank Mary Elizabeth Williamson for saying so clearly what the rest of the Revolution has so far rarely had the courage to say. For making it so clear that at its heart, what we are fighting against is not abortionists, politicians or feminism, but against dark, unsmiling faces looking up from below, against Powers and Principalities, the final darkness that was loosed on the world in the early 20th century, with nothing but black emptiness and despair, hatred, at its core.

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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Pope tells Girl Scouts to oppose ‘ideologies’ against God’s design for marriage

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

ROME, June 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis told Girl Scout and Girl Guide leaders from across the globe last week that it is essential they promote respect for marriage and family according to God’s design.

The pope’s remarks came as both the international organization, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and Girl Scouts USA face criticism over support for abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, and contraception.

"It is very important today that a woman be adequately appreciated, and that she be able to take up fully the place that corresponds to her, be it in the Church, be it in society,” Pope Francis said in his address on the morning of June 26, prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision imposing same-sex “marriage” on the country.

In the face of ideologies that seek to destroy the truths about marriage and family, he said, the formation of girls through Guiding "is absolutely determinant for the future."

"We are in a world in which the most contrary ideologies are spreading to the nature and design of God on the family and on marriage. Therefore, it is a question of educating girls not only to the beauty and grandeur of their vocation of women, in a just and differentiated relation between man and woman, but also to assume important responsibilities in the Church and in society," Pope Francis said.

The pope spoke during a private audience at the world meeting of the International Conference of Catholic Guides (ICCG), which took place in Rome from June 25-30.

Stressing that among educational movements Guiding has played a pivotal role in the faith formation of young women, the pope said, "Education is, in fact, the indispensable means to enable girls to become active and responsible women, proud and happy of their faith in Christ lived in every day life. Thus they will participate in the building of a world permeated by the Gospel."

“To Live the Joy of the Gospel as a Guide” was the theme for the ICCG meeting in Rome, with the stated purpose of reaffirming and strengthening the organization's 50-year-old history within the Catholic Church.

Among the participants at the ICCG meeting in Rome were Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) CEO Anna Maria Chávez and National President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan.

In a statement, Chavez maintained that faith is “at the heart of Girl Scouts, and is woven into everything the organization does to inspire girls to take action to make the world a better place.”

However, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has cautioned that some aspects of the Girl Scouts pedagogy go against Catholic teaching and doctrine.

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A report by the USCCB focused on three issues:

  1. GSUSA's relationship with groups like Planned Parenthood and international affiliate World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS);
  2. GSUSA's views on issues related "to human sexuality, contraception, and abortion";
  3. and various materials and resources GSUSA has that have "inappropriate content."

With regard to WAGGGS, the report notes that while this group claims it does not formally back abortion and "reproductive rights," language on its website leaves no doubt that such support exists, as well as support for contraceptive use.

Numerous pro-life and pro-family groups have organized boycotts of Girl Guide cookies in protest of the organization's embrace of feminist politics and activism.

The pope's address to the ICCG meeting, translated into English by Zenit, is available on the Zenit website here.

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St. Peter Damian
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St. Peter Damian (1049): what Church MUST do in response to rampant homosexuality among clergy

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The rise of the power and influence of homosexual priests, bishops and cardinals, as well as influential laity, has been a major factor in the growing chaos within Catholicism over the past 60 years. This disorder within the Catholic Church has had a negative impact on the entire world because of the resulting decline in the positive influences that Catholicism has had on civilization for many centuries.

To think that what is happening now is new, however, betrays an ignorance of history. In 1049, when St. Peter Damian wrote his treatise, Book of Gomorrah (Liber Gomorrhianus), to Pope Leo IX, homosexuality and sexual perversion in general were far more openly rampant within the clergy than today.  This horrendous state of affairs is what the Saint addressed in his appeal to the Pope for urgently needed reforms.

We often hear from sleepy, comfortable, cowardly, timid or cultural Catholics, and especially from clergy who are directly implicated in homosexuality, that we should never criticize priests, bishops and especially the Pope. Supposedly, that is a greater sin than that of the heretics and sexual perverts facilitating great personal suffering and sending souls to Hell without anyone doing what is necessary to either convert or stop them.

St. Peter Damian was not so foolish as to listen to such nonsense denying God His justice at a time when the Church appeared to be in its death throes. He understood the grave duty to be blunt about the dangers and sinfulness, to not minimize the catastrophe that would come if strong actions were not quickly taken and to demand corrective actions. And yet, he also emphasized that all of this must be done with charity and Christian hope for the persons involved in the moral corruption. Their conversion was above all hoped and prayed for, rather than their condemnation for eternity.

An Italian translated version of the Book of Gomorrah has recently been published. An English version carefully translated by one of our LifeSite journalists will also soon become available.

On Feb. 11 of this year the Rorate Caeli website published excerpts from the introduction by Professor Roberto de Mattei to the Italian version.

Following are some paragraphs from that introduction that I hope will jar awake some of the faithful, especially considering what is going on now in the United States as a result of the mad Supreme Court decision and the moral chaos around the Synod on the Family regarding Church sexual teachings.
 

Excerpts from the Introduction:

St. Peter Damien (1007-1072) Abbot of the Fonte Avellana Monastery and subsequently Cardinal/Bishop of Ostia, was one of the most outstanding figures of Catholic reform in the XI century. His Liber Gomorrhianus, appeared around 1049, in an age when corruption was widely spread, even in the highest ranks of the ecclesiastical world.

In this writing, addressed to Pope Leo IX, Peter Damien condemns the perverted habits of his time in a language that knows no false mercy or compromises. He is convinced that of all the sins, the gravest is sodomy, a term which includes all the acts against nature and which want to satisfy sexual pleasure by separating it from procreation. “If this absolutely ignominious and abominable vice is not immediately stopped with an iron fist – he writes – the sword of Divine wrath will fall upon us, bringing ruin to many.”

There have been times in (the Church’s) history when sanctity pervades Her and others when the defection of Her members cause Her to collapse into darkness, appearing almost as if the Divinity has abandoned Her.

Peter Damien’s voice resounds today, as it did yesterday, with encouragement and comfort for those, like him, who have fought, suffered, cried and hoped, throughout the course of history.

He did not moderate his language, but kept it fiery to show his indignation. He was fearless in voicing an uncompromising hatred for sin and it was precisely this hatred that rendered his love burning for the Truth and the Good.

Today, at the beginning of the third millennium of Christ’s birth, priests, bishops and Episcopal conferences are arguing for married priests; they are placing in doubt the indissolubility of the marriage bond between man and woman and at the same time, accepting the introduction of laws for homosexual pseudo-marriage. Sodomy is not being thought of as a sin that cries to God for vengeance but is diffused in seminaries, colleges, ecclesiastical universities and even inside the Sacred Walls of the Vatican itself.

Liber Gomorrhianus reminds us that there is something worse than moral vice practiced and theorized. It is the silence that should speak, the abstention that should intervene, the bond of complicity that is established among the wicked and of those, who with the pretext of avoiding scandal are silent, and, by being silent, consent.  

Graver still, is the acceptance of homosexuality by churchmen, thought of as a “positive” tension towards the good, worthy of pastoral care and juridical protection and not as an abominable sin. In the summary Relatio post disceptationem of the first week’s work in the Synod of Bishops in October 2014, a paragraph affirmed that:   “homosexual persons have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community”, with an invitation to the Bishops “…are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing them a fraternal space in our communities?”

This scandalous statement was removed from the final report, but some bishops and cardinals, inside and outside the Synod Hall, insisted on the appeal to look for the positive aspects of a union against nature, going as far as hoping for “a way to describe the rights of people living in same-sex unions.”

St. Peter Damian as a simple monk, and with greater reason as a cardinal, did not hesitate in accusing even the Popes of that time for their scandalous omissions. Will the reading of the book Liber Gomorrhianus instill the spirit of St. Peter Damien in the hearts of some prelates or laypeople, by shaking them out of their torpor and force them to speak and act?

Even if abysmally far from the holiness and prophetic spirit of St. Peter Damien, let us make his indignation against evil, ours, and with the words that conclude his treatise we turn to the Vicar of Christ, His Holiness, Pope Francis, presently reigning, so that he may intervene and bring an end to these doctrinal and moral scandals: “May the Almighty Lord assist us, Most Reverend Father, so that during the time of Your Apostolate, all of the monstrosity of this vice be destroyed and the state of the Church, presently supine, may wholly rise up again in all its vigour.”

The book can be found in Italian here. 

(Note: the name of the saint is spelled Damian in English and Damien in Italian and French. In Fr. Mattei's quotes is it spelled Damien)

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Phil Lawler

So now is it ‘hate speech’ to deplore the Obergefell decision?

Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

June 30, 2015 (CatholicCulture.org) - The ink was barely dry on last week’s Supreme Court ruling when Father James Martin, SJ, began scolding Catholics who were, from his decorous perspective, too strident in denouncing the decision.

"No issue brings out so much hatred from so many Catholics as homosexuality," Father Martin told his Facebook followers. He repeated the same message several times throughout the day, warning commenters that they must not indulge in “homophobia” and suggesting that someone who questioned whether we were all expected to sing “Kumbaya” was illustrating his point. So is sarcasm now prima facie evidence of hatred?

In my own surfing through the internet, reading scores of posts on the Obergefell decision, I can honestly say that I did not see a single message, a single comment, that struck me as hate-filled. Perhaps Father Martin’s email traffic is qualitatively different from mine. Or perhaps—far more likely, I’m afraid—he sees “hatred” where I see only vehement disagreement.

Is it possible to be angry about the Obergefell decision, to consider it a travesty of justice and a betrayal of the Constitution, without being viewed as a hater? Wait; let’s turn that question upside-down. Is it possible to see all serious disagreement with the decision as hate-speech, without celebrating the outcome of the Obergefell case?

I ask the latter question, you see, because if Father Martin was upset by the Supreme Court ruling, his dismay did not show through on his Twitter feed. He recommended three columns reacting to the decision: one by a fellow Jesuit, recounting how his grandmother could not marry her lesbian partner; another by the gay New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, celebrating the decision; the third by the gay activist/blogger Andrew Sullivan, also celebrating.

The recommendation for Andrew Sullivan’s piece was particularly striking because of the title: “It Is Accomplished”—an explicit reference to the words of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Father Martin, who was horrified by so much of what he read on Friday afternoon, let that blasphemous headline pass without comment. His demand for the use of temperate language, and for avoiding comments that others would find offensive, was applied to only one side of the post-Obergefell debate.

And that’s likely to be the party line for politically-correct Catholics in the wake of this momentous decision. We are allowed to disagree with the Supreme Court, politely, but not too forcefully. Any strident denunciation of the ruling or its logic might be interpreted as hate-speech, which of course is unacceptable. As the secular left clamps down on religious expression—and we’ve already been served notice that the crackdown is coming-- the Catholic left will worry aloud that, yes, some strong public expressions of religious beliefs are distasteful.

The influence of this approach, with its keen anxiety to avoid provocation, has already been evident in the statements released by some American bishops in response to the ruling. Archbishop Gregory says that he disagrees with the Court, but if you don’t know why he disagrees before you read his statement, you’re not likely to be any better informed when you’re finished. Cardinal Wuerl reminds us that we must hate the sin but love the sinner; he neglects to mention what the sin is. And Archbishop Cupich gives no indication at all that he disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling.

We have a long uphill struggle facing us as we seek to restore a proper understanding of marriage, to revive appreciation for the natural law, and to undo this wretched judicial decision. We cannot expect success if we go into the battle unarmed. If we begin the debate by saying that we must not offend our adversaries—even after our adversaries have declared our most fundamental beliefs to be offensive—we are doomed to failure.

We already know how the battle will unfold, because the campaign to crush resistance to same-sex marriage is already underway. The militant left will choose vulnerable targets—a pizza-parlor here, a baker there—and vilify them as “haters.” People who been trained to see “hatred” in any firm disagreement will nod in solemn approval as the alleged offenses are harshly punished. And so juggernaut will keep rolling, gaining momentum, until it reaches us.

There is an alternative. We can speak the truth. Yes, certainly we should avoid making unduly provocative statements. But since we are trying to provoke reactions, we cannot pull all our punches.

More to the point, if we’re going into battle—and we are—we need to know who’s on our side, and who’s working against us.

This article was originally published on CatholicCulture.org and is re-published with permission.

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