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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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

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Pope Francis eases forgiveness of abortion for Jubilee Year of Mercy

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By John-Henry Westen

ROME, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- In an announcement today, Pope Francis said that he is enacting an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy from December 8, 2015 through November 2016. As part of the Jubilee, the pope has allowed priests to forgive the sin of abortion, which St. John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae (paragraph 58) is “murder.”

The statement marks the most extensive remarks on abortion that Pope Francis has made during his pontificate. Rather than downplaying the seriousness of abortion, as some media contend, in the statement the pope encourages the millions of women who have aborted their children to go to confession and seek God’s forgiveness.

In the Catechism, the Church calls abortion a “criminal” practice, and imposes the penalty of excommunication on those who do it -- essentially, removing those who commit abortions from the Church. In the past, typically re-entry into the Church for those who have separated themselves from it by excommunication can only be undertaken by a bishop. However in much of North America priests have already been given standing permission by their bishops to forgive abortion.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput explained in an email sent to LifeSiteNews today, “For many years now, parish priests have been given permission to absolve the sin of abortion here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.” The Philadelphia archbishop, who will play host to Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit later this month added, “But the practice has not been common in various other regions of the world.”

“This action in no way diminishes the moral gravity of abortion,” concluded Chaput. “What it does do is make access to sacramental forgiveness easier for anyone who seeks it with a truly penitent heart.”

The pope declared that all priests may forgive the sin of abortion for “those who have procured it and who with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.'"

The pope says in his letter that abortion is a “tragedy” wherein “extreme harm” takes place, and calls it “profoundly unjust.”  He admits however, as does the pro-life movement, that it is an “agonizing and painful decision” and many women “believe that they have no other option.”

In order to be forgiven by God of such a serious offence, the pope says the one who has procured the abortion must be made aware of the “gravity of the sin committed” and be truly repentant. They must come, says Francis, with a “contrite heart, seek forgiveness for” the abortion and hoping for “reconciliation with the Father.”

The full statement from the Pope on the matter of abortion follows:

One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe they they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured itand who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

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TLC stars Kody Brown and his four "wives"
Fr. Mark Hodges

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Surprise, surprise: New suit says gay ‘marriage’ ruling laid ground for legal polygamy

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – When "The Pill" was made available to the public in 1964, Christians warned it could lead to promiscuity and disassociation of sex with marriage and children.  They were ridiculed as religious fanatics.

When abortion was made legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy in 1973, Christians warned that it would not save women's lives, but would instead lead to devaluing all human life, especially children's lives. They were dismissed as moral-legislating hate-mongers.

When euthanasia was legalized in Oregon and other states, Christians warned that the non-terminally ill and eventually the mentally handicapped, or simply the unwanted, would be killed in the name of mercy. They were mocked as right-wing crazies.

When sodomy laws in Texas and elsewhere were stricken from the books in 2003, Christians warned that societal approval of that harmful practice would lead to an increase in disease and further perversion. They were ignored and vilified.

When DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) rules for the military were reversed, Christians warned that the epidemic of rapes in the armed services would increase, not decrease, and that combat readiness would continue to diminish. They were called bigots, their words "hate speech."

And so on. Recent history is rife with examples of conservatives warning against societal degradation being vilified as "slippery slope" straw man creators, who want only to legislate morality.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

That's how those who warned that the Supreme Court's same-sex "marriage" decision would lead to legalization of any and all kinds of "marriage," such as a man and several wives or vice versa.

And, as in every case cited above, what Christian conservatives warned is exactly what has now happened.

In a U.S. 10th Circuit court filing, reality TV polygamist Kody Brown and his wives point to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling on same-sex marriage to buttress their pro-polygamy case.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth, summarized to LifeSiteNews, "The left's chaotic cultural agenda knows no boundaries. Once 'marriage' could be redefined to accommodate sexual perversion, it would be impossible to stop other perversions from being recognized." 

The American Family Association's Ed Vitagliano told LifeSiteNews, "It has been clear for decades that sexual radicals in America have been targeting the God-ordained institution of marriage for destruction. Toss in a handful of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, beginning in 2003 (Lawrence v. Texas), and ending with this summer's debacle (Obergefell v. Hodges), and we are on the verge of seeing the secularists succeed." 

The AFA executive vice president concluded to LifeSiteNews, "We have no doubt that the polygamists will be next to step into the federal courts."

Indeed. Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn, have asked the court to uphold a judge's ruling striking down part of Utah's law against polygamy. To prove their case, they cite precedents involving same-sex marriage (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges), and a case that struck down a ban on sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas).

"From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence, to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to ... punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions," Brown's filing states. "This case is about the criminalization of consensual relations."

LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews that the move to legalize polygamy is no surprise. "Once the argument for homosexual so-called 'marriage' became 'Love Is Love,' it was only a matter of time before multiple-partner activists would start defending the 'right' to have THEIR [perversion of] 'love' legitimized by state-recognized 'marriage.'"

The Browns, who appear on the television show "Sister Wives," sued the state of Utah over its ban on polygamy, which Brown calls "plural relationships." They argue that the law violates their right to freely practice their religion and their right to equal protection under the law.

Specifically, Brown is challenging the state's assertion that polygamy is harmful to societies that condone it.

Brown argues that the state should not have "the right to impose criminal morality codes on citizens, compelling them to live their lives in accordance with the religious or social values of the majority of citizens."

LaBarbera concluded, "Social conservatives and Christians must work to overturn Obergefell, just like homosexual activists worked to overturn the Supreme Court's Bowers v. Hardwick decision in 1986 that allowed anti-sodomy laws. Otherwise, we are guaranteed to lose more and more freedoms as 'gay' power grows, using legalized 'marriage' as leverage."

Arguments in the Brown polygamy case could take place before the 10th Circuit Court in Denver before the end of the year.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, MD, on March 6, 2014. Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Sen. McConnell: GOP won’t push Obama on Planned Parenthood defunding

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Planned Parenthood won't lose its funding for at least 18 months, says America's top senator.

Speaking on WYMT TV, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, said, "The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood."

“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” he said. “Again, the president has the pen to sign it. If he doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, we voted on that already in the Senate, we’ll vote on it again, but I would remind all of your viewers the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it.”

McConnell's comments came despite pressure from Senators and Representatives alike, as well as pro-life groups, who want Republicans to make defunding a priority.

"If the president of the United States and Harry Reid think it's more important that Planned Parenthood get your tax dollars than to pay our troops, then they are shutting down the government,” Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan, R-OH, told CNN last week.

Jordan and others have pushed GOP leaders to attach defunding efforts to must-pass pieces of legislation, such as a highway bill earlier this summer and the upcoming Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government running. GOP leaders have generally opposed this strategy, which has created a schism within the party.

Conversely, Democrats have been largely united. Leaders and rank-and-file members in both parties have generally supported taxpayer funding of the abortion giant, despite the possibility of illegal abortions being done to illegally harvest fetal organs and other body parts.

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