Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

The pro-abortion movement and the psychopathic mentality

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
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November 24, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - When I read the words of pro-abortion leaders like Colombian psychologist Florence Thomas, who calls unborn babies “tumors” and says that they are only human if their mother wants them, a disturbing question comes to mind: what is, fundamentally, the difference between this type of perspective, so often expressed by abortionists, and the clinical definition of a “psychopath”?

Although the stereotypical image of a psychopath is that of a serial killer, or a dangerous madman locked in an asylum, psychologists tell us that such people only represent a small minority of those who fall under the category of a “psychopath.”  In fact, we are told, our society contains a larger number of psychopaths than we may suspect, and psychopaths may even disproportionately occupy positions of importance in business, government, and other important fields.

While psychopaths are theoretically capable of committing murder and other acts of cruelty without remorse, the definition of a psychopath is much broader than the image evoked by popular culture.  According to mental health professionals, a psychopath is someone who is fundamentally lacking in human empathy, who sees other human beings as mere objects of manipulation.  The relationships of a psychopath are typically superficial and fluid, and are often sexually promiscuous. The psychopath has a fundamentally egoistic, selfish personality, unable to transcend his own personal sense of self to recognize the dignity of others.

Psychologists estimate that up to four percent of the population falls under the definition of a “psychopath,” ranging from the more tame manifestations, which are included in the broad category of sociopathy or anti-social personality disorders, to the more extreme cases of serial killers. They are often able to deceive others with a veneer of sanity and reasonableness that hides their fundamentally predatory nature.

“Psychopathic” movements

The four percent figure, if accurate, implies that the United States includes a population of more than twelve million psychopaths or sociopaths, and globally the figure would theoretically reach into the hundreds of millions. This startling statistic inevitably raises the question: is it possible for psychopaths to group themselves into movements based on their common inclinations?  History suggests that this can, and indeed does happen.

The classic candidate for a “psychopathic movement” is that of the National Socialist or Nazi Party, which came to power in Germany in the 1930s through a series of economic catastrophes and inept decisions by the German political establishment. Adolf Hitler himself has been diagnosed posthumously with psychopathic tendencies, and many Nazis exhibited symptoms of the same. Moreover, although the majority of Nazis and the Germans who cooperated with them were probably not clinically psychopathic, the movement as a whole seemed to be predicated on a fundamentally psychopathic mentality, one that disposed of human beings as mere fodder for the racial aspirations of the German state.

The same tendencies have been found in other mass movements arising in the last century, especially Marxism, which left an unprecedented toll of tens of millions of deaths by execution and induced starvation in order to achieve its political ends. Again, although it is unlikely that most Marxists are clinical psychopaths, their movement has repeatedly spawned regimes that behave precisely the way one would expect of the most extreme sufferers of the disorder.

The troubled mentality of the pro-abortion movement

In light of the clinical definition of a psychopath, and the historic manifestations of “psychopathic” movements, it is difficult to avoid the comparison between psychopathy and the perspective that is openly expressed by many leaders in the global pro-abortion movement.

Florence Thomas is only one example of the troubled thinking that seems to characterize pro-abortion leaders.  Her comparison of her own unborn child to a “tumor,” that is, a diseased piece of tissue, is not only unscientific; it suggests a mind that is unwilling, or perhaps unable, to transcend itself and empathize with the humanity of another.  Her claim that a fetus is only human if it is desired by its parents is almost a caricature of ego-centrism, implying that one’s personal wishes confer dignity and rights on other people. The conclusion of Thomas flows inevitably from her premises; she believes that women should be free to kill their unborn children for any reason, in order to preserve their “freedom.”

Thomas’ thinking is echoed throughout the anti-life and anti-family movements of our age. Margaret Sanger, the founder of the modern birth control movement, spoke with the chilling rhetoric of eugenics when she dismissed children who are “unwanted” by their parents, referring to them as “human waste” in her 1920 work, “Women and the New Race.”

“Each and every unwanted child is likely to be in some way a social liability. It is only the wanted child who is likely to be a social asset,” wrote Sanger, who also asked, “Can the children of these unfortunate mothers be other than a burden to society—a burden which reflects itself in innumerable phases of cost, crime and general social detriment?”  In another chapter she infamously states that “the most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

The famous Princeton “bioethicist” Peter Singer applies the same fundamental principle embraced by Thomas, Sanger, and others, but takes it to a more explicit conclusion.  Singer acknowledges that unborn children are human beings, but openly denies that they have a right to life, unless their parents want them. Moreover, Singer extends this reasoning to infants after birth as well, offering a moral endorsement of infanticide.

“The difference between killing disabled and normal infants lies not in any supposed right to life that the latter has and the former lacks, but in other considerations about killing,” writes Singer in the second edition of his book, “Practical Ethics.” “Most obviously there is the difference that often exists in the attitudes of the parents. The birth of a child is usually a happy event for the parents ... So one important reason why it is normally a terrible thing to kill an infant is the effect the killing will have on its parents.”

“It is different when the infant is born with a serious disability,” Singer continues. “Birth abnormalities vary, of course. Some are trivial and have little effect on the child or its parents; but others turn the normally joyful event of birth into a threat to the happiness of the parents, and any other children they may have. Parents may, with good reason, regret that a disabled child was ever born. In that event the effect that the death of the child will have on its parents can be a reason for, rather than against killing it.”

Singer’s explicit endorsement of infanticide should be unsurprising to pro-life activists, who are aware that children who survive abortions are often left to die without medical help. A fundamental indifference to human life and the personhood of others is endemic among pro-abortion thinkers, which should bring pro-lifers to ask ourselves if we are really understanding our opponents in this debate.

In reading Florence Thomas’ recent account of her abortion, a tragically flawed personality comes to the surface. A brilliant woman with much to offer the world, Thomas faced a profound moral dilemma at the age of 22, and was hardly able to recognize it as such. She blithely refers to sexual intercourse with her boyfriend as “love,” as if she has no inkling of the concept beyond a physical act of pleasure, without any commitment or spiritual dimension. She dismisses her unborn child as a “tumor,” and says that she has never felt the slightest remorse for her decision to kill it.

As a human life and family news reporter, I have become all too accustomed to this mentality, and my response has changed over the years from feelings of outrage to a calm, resolute commitment to fight the culture of death and its perverse mentality by systematically exposing it. However, I increasingly find myself experiencing another response when I report such stories: a great sadness in the face of people who seem to be missing something fundamental in the deepest levels of their psyche, something that they may never have known by experience.

Are they suffering in silent desperation or are they utterly oblivious to their loss? Did they freely choose this path, or are they victims of something beyond their control?  Ultimately, is there anything that can be done for them, or are they doomed to play their grim role in the global empire of death?  I do not know, and cannot know. I can only pray for them, and leave it in the hands of a merciful God.

Related links:

Famous pro-abortion feminist calls unborn child a ‘tumor’

Women and the New Race, by Margaret Sanger (full text)

Excerpts from Practical Ethics, by Peter Singer, 2nd edition, Cambridge, 1993, pp. 175-217

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

Two Congressmen confirm: National 20-week ban on abortion will come up for a vote shortly

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A bill to end abortion in the United States after 20 weeks will move forward, and it will have the strong support of two leading pro-life Congressmen, the two Republicans told LifeSiteNews.com at the eighth annual Susan B. Anthony List Campaign for Life Summit on Thursday.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, told LifeSiteNews and the National Catholic Register that ongoing House discussions on H.R. 36, the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," will result in a pro-life bill moving forward.

"Very good language" is being put together, Smith told The Register. He told LifeSiteNews that he fully anticipated being able to support the final bill, because the House Republican caucus "wouldn't have something that would be unsupportable. Our leadership is genuinely pro-life."

In 2013, the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" easily passed through the House of Representatives, only to be stalled by a Democratic-controlled Senate. This year, an identical bill was halted by Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-NC, and other Republicans -- surprising and angering pro-life leaders who thought its passage was assured. That bill, H.R. 36, is now being rewritten so it can be voted on by the full House, though its final wording remains uncertain.

Some fear that the House leadership will modify the bill to mollify Ellmers. She and others objected that the bill allows women to abort a child after 20 weeks in the case of rape – but only if they report that rape to the authorities.

Pro-life activists say removing the reporting requirement would take abortionists at their word that the women whose children they abort claimed to be raped. Congresswoman Ellmers has publicly stated the House leadership is considering such a proposal.

Jill Stanek, who was recently arrested on Capitol Hill as part of a protest to encourage Republicans to pass H.R. 36, said that would be "a loophole big enough for a Mack truck."

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Congressman Smith said the bill will come to the floor shortly. "The commitment to this bill is ironclad; we just have to work out some details," Smith said.

He also noted that, while a vote on the 20-week ban has been delayed for nearly three months, "we did get the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act passed, and that would have been in the queue now, so we just reversed" the order of the two bills.

Congressman Smith spoke to both outlets shortly after participating in a panel at the Summit.

Another speaker was Rep. Steve King, R-IA, who also supports the 20-week ban.

"I can't think of what” language that is actively under consideration could make him rethink his support for the bill, King said. He also told attendees that the nation was moving in a direction of supporting life.

The outspoken Congressman declined to answer further, noting "that's asking me to anticipate an unknown hypothetical."

The annual Campaign for Life Summit and its related gala drew other high-profile speakers, including presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul, potential presidential hopeful Senator Lindsay Graham, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.  

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"Someone who doesn’t flinch at the dismemberment of babies is not going to flinch at the dismemberment of some evangelical baker’s conscience."
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Pro-lifers are winning. So now they’re coming for our cupcakes?

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

As I travel across Canada (and at times the United States) speaking on abortion and various facets of the Culture of Death, one of the things I hear often is a hopelessness, a despair that the West is being flattened by the juggernaut of the Sexual Revolution. There is a feeling among many people that the restriction of religious liberty, the continued legality of abortion, and the redefinition of marriage are inevitable.

This is, of course, one of the most prominent and successful strategies of the Sexual Revolutionaries—create an aura of inevitability while concurrently demonizing all those who oppose their new and mangled “progress” as Neanderthals on the cusp of being left behind by History. That inevitability becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because many people don’t realize that the various battles in the Sexual Revolution actually all correlate to one another—that what we are seeing now is the end game of an incredibly vast and well-planned cultural project.

It is because we miss many of these connections that we often cannot see, with clarity, how the culture wars are actually unfolding. I read with great interest a recent column by Rev. Douglas Wilson, eloquently titled “With stirrups raised to Molech.”

“We are now much occupied with the issues swirling around same sex mirage,” he writes, “but we need to take great care not to get distracted. Why have the homosexual activists gone all in on this issue? Why is their prosecutorial zeal so adamant? We went, in just a matter of months, from ‘let’s let individual states’ decide on this, to federal judges striking down state statutes, followed up hard by official harassment of florists, bakers, and photographers. Why the anger, and why the savage over-reach? And do they really think we couldn’t remember all the things they were assuring us of this time last year?”

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It’s a compelling question, and one that I’ve heard many Christians puzzling over recently. Why do the advocates of the Sexual Revolution despise those who disagree with them so viciously? It is partly because their cultural project does not, as they claim, consist of “living and let live.” It is about compulsory acceptance of any and all sexual behaviors, with tax-payer funding for the rubbers and pills they need to ensure all such behaviors remain sterile, and extermination crews to suction, poison, and dismember any inconvenient fetuses that may come into being as the result of casual coitus.

The ancient mantra “the State has no business in the bedrooms of the nation” has long been abandoned—the emboldened Sexual Revolutionaries now demand that politicians show up at their exhibitionist parades of public indecency, force schools to impose their so-called “morally neutral” view of sexuality on children, and force into silence those who still hold to traditional values.

Rev. Wilson, however, thinks that this loud and vicious war on conscience may be about even more than that. The pro-life cause, he notes, has been very successful in the Unites States. The abortion rate is the lowest it has been since 1973. Hundreds of pro-life laws are passing on the state level. The abortion industry has been successfully stigmatized. True, the successes are, for pro-lifers, often too feeble and not nearly adequate enough in the face of such unrestrained bloodshed. Nevertheless, the momentum has turned against the Sexual Revolutionaries who have championed abortion for decades—their shock and anger at the strength of the pro-life movement evident in pro-abortion signs at rallies that read, “I can’t believe I still have to protest this s**t.”

It is because of the pro-life movement’s success, Wilson muses, that the Sexual Revolutionaries may be coming at us with such fury. “If a nation has slaughtered 50 million infants,” he writes, “they are not going to suddenly get a sense of decency over you and your cupcakes. Now this explains their lack of proportion, and their refusal to acknowledge the rights of florists. Someone who doesn’t flinch at the dismemberment of babies is not going to flinch at the dismemberment of some evangelical baker’s conscience. This reveals their distorted priorities, of course, but it also might be revealing a strategy. Is the homosexual lobby doing this because they are freaking out over their losses on the pro-life front? And are they doing so in a way intended to distract us away from an issue where we are slowly, gradually, inexorably, winning?”

It’s a fascinating perspective. It’s true—and has always been true historically—that when one group of human beings is classified as nonhuman by a society as nonhuman and subsequently butchered, the whole of society is degraded. No nation and no culture can collectively and systematically kill so many human beings without a correlating hardening of the conscience. But on the pro-life front, there has been decades of fierce resistance, hundreds of incremental victories, and a renewed energy among the upcoming generation of activists. For the Sexual Revolutionaries who thought the battle was over when Roe v. Wade was announced in 1973, this must be a bitter pill to swallow indeed.

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Lisa Bourne

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‘Prominent’ Catholics attacking Archbishop Cordileone are big donors to Pelosi and pro-abort Democrats

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

Note: To sign a petition supporting Archbishop Cordileone, click here

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Big donors to the Democrat Party and pro-abortion Nancy Pelosi are among those publicly harassing San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for protecting Catholic identity in the area’s Catholic high schools.

A big-ticket full-page ad ran April 16 in the San Francisco Chronicle attacking the archbishop and calling Pope Francis to oust him for his efforts to reinforce Catholic principles in the schools.

A number of prominent San Francisco-area residents identifying as Catholic are signatories of the ad, and several are wealthy donors to Democrat entities and pro-abortion politicians, Catholic Vote reports.

Federal Election Commission records indicate Charles Geschke, Adobe Systems chairman and previous head of the Board of Trustees at the University of San Francisco, gave more than $240,000 to Democrat groups, as well as $2,300 to Nancy Pelosi and $4,000 to John Kerry, both politicians who claim to be Catholic but support abortion and homosexual “marriage.”

Also on the list is political consultant and businessman Clint Reilly, who gave nearly $60,000 to Democrat organizations, along with $5,000 to Barack Obama, whose administration vehemently promotes abortion and homosexual “marriage” and has continually opposed religious liberty. Reilly gave $4,600 to Pelosi as well.

Another individual in the ad attacking the archbishop who also gave big campaign donations to California pro-abort Democrats was Lou Giraudo, a former city commissioner and business executive who contributed more than $24,000 to Nancy Pelosi, $6,000 to Dianne Feinstein and $4,300 to Barbara Boxer.

Nancy Pelosi herself challenged the archbishop for his stance on Catholic teaching last year when she tried to pressure him out of speaking at the March for Marriage in Washington D.C., claiming the event was “venom masquerading as virtue.”

The archbishop responded in a letter that he was obliged “as a bishop, to proclaim the truth—the whole truth—about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing ... especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife.”

The April 16 ad attacking Archbishop Cordileone was the latest in an ongoing assault since the archbishop took steps in February to strengthen Catholic identity in the schools and clarify for faculty and staff in handbooks and contract language the long-standing expectation that they uphold Church principles. 

It said Archbishop Cordileone has “fostered an atmosphere of division and intolerance” and called on Pope Francis to remove him.

“Holy Father, Please Provide Us With a Leader True to Our Values and Your Namesake,” the ad said. “Please Replace Archbishop Cordileone.”

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (CCC), a national association for priests and deacons, condemned Archbishop Cordileone’s harassers in a statement, saying the archbishop “teaches in conformity to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

“The character assassination and uncharitable venom being cast upon a bishop merely defending the doctrines of his religion is appalling and repugnant,” the CCC said. 

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“It is totally inappropriate, improper and unjust for the media and others to vilify and brutally attack him when he is doing precisely what an ordained minister and pastor of souls is obligated to do,” the group stated, “namely, speak the truth in season and out of season.”

Those behind the attack ad said the proposed handbook language was mean-spirited, and that they were “committed Catholics inspired by Vatican II,” who “believe in the traditions of conscience, respect and inclusion upon which our Catholic faith was founded.”

The Archdiocese of San Francisco denounced the ad upon its release, saying it was a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching and the nature of the teacher contract, and a misrepresentation of the spirit of the Archbishop.

“The greatest misrepresentation of all is that the signers presume to speak for “the Catholic Community of San Francisco,” the archdiocese responded. “They do not.”

The CCC pointed out that just as physicians are expected to be faithful to the Hippocratic Oath, bishops, priests, and deacons are expected to be faithful to the Church, its teachings and its authority, “since their objective is the salvation of souls, not a popularity contest.” 

In openly declaring their support for Archbishop Cordileone, the group urged the media and others to show “prudence, civility, and fair-mindedness” toward those with whom they disagree.

“He took an oath to be faithful to the Gospel,” the Confraternity stated of Archbishop Cordileone, “and in the words of the disciples in the New Testament, ‘better to obey God than men.’”

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