Walter B. Hoye

Persons not property: An African-American pastor tackles abortion

Walter B. Hoye
By Walter Hoye
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Walter B. Hoye II, is both Founder and President of the Issues4life Foundation, which works directly with African-American Pastors and Priests nationwide. He became well-known to LifeSiteNews readers after he was arrested and jailed last year for peacefully counseling and picketing at a California abortion facility.

December 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - By 1830 slavery was primarily located in the Southern United States of America and it existed in many different forms. African Americans were enslaved on small farms, large plantations, in cities and towns, inside homes, out in the fields, and in industry and transportation.

By 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, Historian James L. Huston emphasizes the role of slavery as an economic institution. Huston, a leading advocate of secession, placed the value of southern held slaves at $2.8 billion. At about $3 billion in 1860 currency, the economic value of slaves in the U.S. was more than the combined value of all the factories, railroads and banks in the country, or about $12 trillion in U.S. dollars today.

Much of the North’s economic prosperity derived from what Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural address, called “the bondman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil.” President Lincoln was asking Americans to consider the obligations created by slavery. The first of those obligations is to acknowledge the full truth.

The Full Truth

The full truth is African American Slaves were considered property, and they were property because they were black. Their status as property was enforced by violence and by public policy. Slaves throughout the South had to live under a set of laws called the Slave Codes. The codes varied slightly from state to state, but the basic idea was the same: the slaves were considered property, not people, and were treated as such. The killing of a slave was almost never regarded as murder, and the rape of slave women was treated as a form of trespassing. So intolerable were the conditions under which African Americans slaves suffered from day to day that some went as far as committing suicide or mutilating themselves to ruin their property value.

As an African America, I have asked myself these questions:

1. How could this be justified?
2. Was it not obvious that African Americans were persons, living, breathing human beings?
3. Where was the outrage from the American public?

The Language of Oppression Past

Haig Bosmajian, UW professor of speech communication says: “While names, words, and language can be, and are, used to inspire us, to motivate us to humane acts, to liberate us, they can also be used to dehumanize human beings and to ‘justify’ their suppression and even their extermination.”

In order to justify the inhumane treatment of African American slaves and soothe the conscience of the Americans, dehumanizing terminology, or the “language of oppression,” was established and propagated by way of both “academic” and “legal” opinion at the very highest levels of our educational and legal communities.

From 1815 to 1830, the American Colonization Society: “Free black in our country are … a contagion.”

In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court decided: “A negro of the African race was regarded … as an article of property … a subordinate and inferior class of being.”

In 1858, the Virginia Supreme Court decision declared: “In the eyes of the law … the slave is not a person.”

In 1867, Buckner Payne, Publisher: “The Negro is not a human being.”

In 1900, Professor Charles Carroll: “The negro is … one of the lower animals.”

In 1903 Dr. William English: “The negro race is … a heritage of organic and psychic debris.”

In 1909, Dr. E. T. Brady: “They [Negroes] are parasites.”

The Language of Oppression Present

Today, even while modern medical science clearly and overwhelmingly supports the humanity and personhood of the pre-born child, the same financial motives and oppressive language strategies that were used to oppress African American slaves are being used, right now, to justify killing pre-born children.

For example, in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decided: “The Fetus, at most, represents only the potentiality of life.” Again, in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court declared: “The word ‘person,’ as used in the 14th Amendment does not include the unborn.”

In 1979 Professor Joseph Flectcher: “Pregnancy when not wanted is a disease … in fact, a venereal disease.” In 1980 Dr. Mariti Kekomaki: “An aborted baby is just garbage … just refuse.”

In 1984, Professor Rosalind Pollack Petchesky: “The Fetus is a parasite.” Again, in 1984, Rabbi Wolfe: “A fetus is not a human being.”

In 1985, Dr. Hart Peterson on fetal movement: “Like … a primitive animal that’s poked with a stick.”

In 1986, Attorney Lori Andrews: “People’s body parts [embryos] are their personal property.”

Last year, in the Sunday, July 12th, 2009, edition of the New York Times Magazine, the power of the language of oppression to corrupt our conscience was revealed in the words of sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who said in an interview that she was surprised at a 1980 court ruling that prevented the restoration of Medicaid funding for abortions, because, in her opinion, when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 “there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

Entirely Indefensible

History teaches us, time and time again, that the use of oppressive language to demonize and dehumanize certain segments of the human race is incontestably evil.

In Germany, the persistent portrayal of the Jews as “vermin,” “bacilli,” “parasites,” and “disease” contributed to Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

In the antebellum South, the deliberate and systematic labeling of African Americans as “chattel,” “property,” “beasts,” “feebleminded,” and “useless eaters,” eased the conscience of many and paved the way for the subjugation and suppression of African Americans.

From the East coast to the West coast the defining of the American Indian as “non-persons,” “savages,” and “Satan’s partisans” led to the extermination of a significant portion of the American Indian population.

Yet, today, it appears we have not learned our lesson.

Just as the Jewish holocaust in Germany, the African American slavery in the antebellum south, and the death of countless American Indians were despicable events in our human history that were accompanied by the use of dehumanizing language, so today is the deliberate dismemberment and destruction of the bodies of those most vulnerable among us, among the human race, that is to say the pre-born child, entirely indefensible.

Persons Are Not Property

Human beings are persons and persons are not property. As a civil society we must move beyond the loathsome language of oppression of powerful elite and recognize the inherent, inalienable and self-evident humanity of all human beings. Regardless of the means by which we were procreated, method of reproduction, age, race, sex, gender, physical well-being, function, or condition of physical or mental dependency and/or disability, all human beings need to be and deserve to be protected by love and by law.

The Unarmed Truth

When Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10th, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: “I believe that ‘unarmed truth’ and ‘unconditional love’ will have the final word in reality. This is why ‘right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil’ triumphant.”

Today, the “unarmed truth” is that the pre-born child is a person not property.

I believe personhood is God-given and not government-granted. It is not offered to the elite and denied to the “least of these.”

I believe personhood, addresses the most important RIGHT of all … the RIGHT to LIVE, without which all other rights are meaningless.

I believe personhood is RIGHT.

The “unconditional love” for the pre-born child in my heart, is rooted in the love Christ has for all. While the current conditions may have “temporarily defeated” the personhood of the pre-born child, I believe the “righteousness of personhood” is stronger than the “evil of pre-natal murder” and will ultimately prove triumphant.

I believe personhood is the final word in reality of the pro-life movement.

This article reprinted with permission from Issues4Life Foundation

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your support. 

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