Bishops’ ‘Seamless Garment’ talk gives moral cover to murder millions of babies
This article is by Joseph Alexander, the pen-name of a long-time pro-life activist both in southern California and in Central California where he now lives.
October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Every four years on Election Day, authentically pro-life Catholics share yet again the experience of the man with the withered arm (Mk. 3:10), the man born blind (Jn. 9:16), and the man crippled for 38 years (Jn. 5:10), who all drew the Pharisees’ wrath when Jesus healed them on the Sabbath. Approaching the Catholic establishment — bishops, “theologians,” diocesan and national bureaucrats, and the like — we metaphorically place before them the bodies of the next 4.4 million babies who will be legally murdered over the next presidential term. We plead, adjure: join us in one voice: stop the mass, legalized baby-murder now! And their response? You can’t do that! It’s Seamless Garment Day!
The Pervasive, Not Single, Issue
The Seamless Garment (S.G.) — also called the Consistent Ethic of Life — is lethal pharisaical legalism, in other words, that strains the gnat and swallows the camel, meanwhile also providing proponents their ritual moral purity in the voting booth. A recent commentary by Bishop Robert Barron at his Word on Fire website provides a useful example. Barron opens with the ritual purity: “Every four years, Catholics face an intense dilemma in regard to the vote,” he agonizes. Really? Intense? Then he quickly pivots to the legalism. The legalism consists in the S.G.’s very listing of mass, legalized baby murder as a “single” issue among numerous other “life,” or “social justice,” issues, and on this basis to effectively smother the cause of the babies.
We authentic pro-lifers have never cordoned off legalized baby-murder as a single issue, not even a “pre-eminent” one. Instead, we have screamed for decades, rather, that legalized baby murder — yes, murder, as St. John Paul insisted we must sometimes call out abortion’s moral savagery — can never be “cordoned off” from any other political issue, that corrupts society altogether. But Barron writes:
The Democratic Party advocates a number of ... principles reverenced by the Catholic tradition: concern for the underprivileged, for the migrant and refugee, and for the environment, as well as opposition to capital punishment and to all forms of racism[.] ... [B]roadly speaking, the Republican Party sides with Catholic teaching [on] opposition to abortion and euthanasia, defense of the traditional family, advocacy for conscience protection and freedom of religion. (Word on Fire, 10/6)
Barron thus reinforces a poisonous twofold lie. First, who says that only Democrats and not Republicans oppose racism or have concern for the underprivileged? Democrat candidates and their media echo chamber do, of course. But why does Barron uncritically parrot their talking points? A startling number of black Democrats have joined the burgeoning #WalkAway and Blexit movements, denouncing their party for inciting fear to gain black votes only to ignore their needs once the election is over. Unprecedented numbers of black Americans now also support Donald Trump, due in large part to the record number of black and other minority workers now employed under his economy, thus helping the underprivileged as well. Black Republican candidates in liberal Democrat-run hellholes like Baltimore and South Central L.A. furiously denounce the abysmal, decades-long failure of Democrat policies. Barron thus tells the “even-handed” lie, both for the sake of his electoral ritual purity and to retain his “credibility” with the liberal media elite who would not only crush the lives of the pre-born, but hate the Catholic Church in any event. Sill worse, he surreptitiously imposes on pro-lifers the onus of “proving” that pro-life Republicans aren’t racist before we can demand support for candidates who will end mass legalized baby murder. But since you can never prove a negative, how convenient for Barron’s deadly legalism.
The deeper and most destructive lie that Barron repeats is the S.G.’s constitutive, structural lie: its originating deception that mass legalized baby murder can be politically or morally cordoned off from any other political, cultural, or social justice concern issue. Five decades of political history since Roe v. Wade shows the utter dishonesty of that notion.
Take immigration. Under the Mexico City policy, every Republican president from Ronald Reagan through Donald Trump has cut off U.S. funding of international groups that commit or fund abortion. The two intervening Democrat administrations, Clinton and Obama/Biden, both set the blood money flowing again. The money does not target Canadian, Japanese, or white European babies, moreover. As the prohibiting policy’s name indicates, it targets poor, uneducated, jobless Mexican, Honduran, Pakistani, Ugandan, Filipino, and other “babies of color”: precisely the potential future immigrants that Democrats so superciliously claim they love and Republicans hate. Kill them before they see the light of day, much less catch sight of the U.S. border! Kill enough, and the immigration “issue” — tissue, we might say — disappears. Pay for a “clinic” in Ciudad Juárez (nota bene, Bishop Steitz); one in Tijuana (you, too, Bishop McElroy); in Nogales, too (Bishop Kicanas). That’s where liberal Democrats’ immigration policy begins. The birth canal is the world’s most lethal border crossing; data from the U.N. and other agencies show some 40 million global abortions annually, 160 million over a presidential term. Joe Biden wants to pay for more. Donald Trump opposes all such funding.
The same murderous duplicity pertains to liberal claims about “the underprivileged.” Recently deceased pro-abortion Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — whom then-senator Joe Biden voted to confirm — gave away that deadly fraud here decades ago. Speaking to the New York Times Magazine about a Court decision that upheld the Hyde Amendment that annually prohibits federal funding of abortion in the United States, she said, “Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding of abortion.” Medicaid funding: She means kill poor babies. Joe Biden, who once opposed it, sold his Catholic soul to keep climbing the greasy pole of Democrat party political success. Donald Trump adamantly opposes the funding.
It’s the same with — supposedly — opposing racism. Aborting “poor” babies is liberal code-speak for racially targeted abortions. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger made no secret of her racist intentions, and Planned Parenthood still follows her mandate. Its baby-murder-for-hire centers are targeted to poor, inner-city, mostly black and now Latino neighborhoods — and, all too tragically, “successfully.” Black Americans, who constitute just 13% of the U.S. population, have had 33% of U.S. abortions since Roe v. Wade: 20 million of 60 million dismembered children. Joe Biden supports funding Planned Parenthood, which in turn vehemently endorses his election. Donald Trump has done more to successfully defund Planned Parenthood than any previous president, and it hates him for it.
The list goes on. Medical care? Biden supports Obamacare, the government-subsidized health care that currently subsidizes 700 health care plans that, in turn, subsidize abortion. Women’s health? Abortion significantly increases the risk of infertility, complications in future pregnancies, breast cancer, depression, and suicide, the data overwhelmingly show. Pre-existing conditions? Abortion is routinely used as a prenatal search and destroy mission against children with Down syndrome, those with spina bifida, or any other disability. Family policy? Legalized abortion culturally destroys the parental-child link; dissolves the maternal-paternal connection; and inherently dissolves paternal responsibility altogether, reducing young males to, effectively, sexual adventurers, even predators. “We had sex, but you had the baby” is increasingly the default reaction of young men to women they impregnate, an attitude especially acute in poor, urban black neighborhoods, where some 70% of black children are now born to single mothers, an almost guaranteed path to intergenerational poverty. Or as Joe Biden might put it, “Poor kids are just as smart as white kids.” (Notice again, that “poor” is a Democrat dog whistle for “black”). Abortion also increases — it does not decrease — the likelihood of child abuse in the future because it culturally declares that children exist to please parents; “unwanted” children must die.
Crime reduction? That’s another supposed “benefit” of mass legalized baby murder. (Yes, liberals do say so, even though mostly sotto voce, in “academic” studies and among themselves. Don’t rile the deplorables.) But those same 13% of Americans who are black and have 33% of abortions now commit 47% of U.S. murders and are 52% of murder victims, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics. How tragically are thus confirmed St. Teresa of Calcutta’s prophetic words: “Any nation that allows abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to kill to get whatever they want.”
Let’s close the loop by returning to immigration. One of uncontrolled immigration’s most vicious consequences is the large-scale sex-slavery trafficking it enables — a plague now almost epidemic in the United States. But this satanic industry is, in turn, enabled here by legalized, tax-funded abortion. Pregnant sex slave? Just take her in for a tax-funded abortion at Planned Parenthood, which will conveniently ignore the ages of the girls — not even teenagers yet — who are sex-trafficked along with adult women and teenagers. Abortion-enabled sex slavery also undergirds the spreading the plague of pornography that now destroys tens of millions of lives. Pregnant porn sex slave? Again, just take her in and have her vacuumed out. Joe Biden will pay for it.
Barron’s whole premise, the S.G.’s foundational premise, is a wicked, manipulative lie — a complete and total fraud. Legalized baby murder is not, has never been, and cannot ever be a “single” political issue cordoned off from any other social, political, or culture concern. Perniciously, it poisons and destroys everything of human value.
Abetting the Mass Suicide and Mass Murder of Consciences
But why? Why can’t it be cordoned off? Because the human conscience cannot endure the wicked reality of direct or indirect participation in child murder. As Abraham Lincoln said about slavery, intoning with Jesus’s own words.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.
The house of human conscience is not at all different. Both those directly involved in mass child murder and those implicitly guilty by their votes, must anesthetize their consciences or go mad. “Out, out, damned spot,” at it were.
And because legalized baby-murder is a public matter, these consciences can suppress themselves only by silencing, co-opting, or forcing participation by all public opponents. Why else does Bishop Barron suppose that the Obama/Biden administration declared legal war on the Little Sisters of the Poor for refusing often abortifacient contraception in employee health plans? Their consciences must be destroyed. Legalized abortion inexorably, necessarily becomes a war of annihilation against all consciences.
And the toll is horrific. The suicides come first. Americans have committed some sixty million abortions since Roe v. Wade. A third, perhaps, are the mother’s second or more, meaning some 40 million women have murdered a child. And while fathers are often excluded altogether, not even informed of the pregnancy, and others try futilely to save their children, tens of millions of men have also participated, even pressured and coerced their children’s mothers into killing them. Authentic pro-lifers also know that grandparents are often the primary drivers of an abortion, and millions of “friends” are complicit in the murder. That totals perhaps 100 million ravaged consciences. We can only wonder how Seamless Garment proponents propose to build social justice on that pulverized foundation.
The Seamless Garment does even more evil, however; it was invented, it is constructed, to enable the political complicity of tens of millions of more consciences: to constrain, hobble, and even murder the consciences not only of those of Catholics, but of others who hear and internalize to this political moral scam. For the S.G. is, at root, designed to enable a classic case of compartmentalization. That is the usually subconscious psychological defense mechanism that people use to avoid — to suppress — conflicting notions or values: like being a Catholic and a de facto participant in mass legalized baby-murder by virtue of the candidates one supports in the voting booth. Its moral self-delusion works like this. Start — as cannot be emphasized too often about this deadly fraud — with the S.G.’s deceitful listing of multiple “pro-life” issues that makes legalized child-murder just one politically separate, compartmentalized “single” concern. Next, make a column for each candidate; then assign each a rating as “pro-life” or “not” on each “separate” issue. Add up the results and — mirabile dictu! — I can in good Catholic conscience vote for the pro–mass legalized baby-murder candidate because, well, the math says so! Some more slightly self-aware Catholic consciences, like Bishop Barron’s, make a layover at “Oh, it’s so difficult to choose!” But the destination is the same: a compartmentalized, hence deadened conscience.
The Seamless Garment’s structure thus goes beyond abetting these suicides already mentioned. It intends and attempts the outright murder of vastly more consciences. It impinges, would cripple the consciences of the very, very many Catholics who cannot in good conscience vote for legalized baby-killing candidates, oppressing them with the false claim that they are morally wrong to make their vote pivot on ending the mass murder. How do we know? “Single issue” voting was never a moral concern when American Catholics made our first great electoral impact from the 1880s to the 1950s by voting overwhelmingly for candidates pledged to make workers’ rights the supreme, definitive “single” social justice issue of all American politics. Nor was such concern evident into the 1960s and ’70s when securing black civil rights or ending the Vietnam War became the sine qua non of Catholic voting morality, precisely among the morally self-preening, liberal, big-government, overwhelmingly Democrat party Catholic ecclesial elite who would shortly weave the Seamless Garment in the late 1970s and 1980s. Thus, for example, famed (infamous, for some) Notre Dame president Theodore Hesburgh stopped mentioning abortion as a civil rights issue in the 1960s after being hissed at a Yale University speech for linking the two.
No, “single issue” voting became a “moral” concern only when this liberal Catholic elite who had long preened themselves as moral heirs of earlier heroic “single issue” pro-labor and pro–civil rights voting now saw substantial numbers of Catholics abandoning the liberal, big-government Democrat party political consensus that had long dominated Catholic voting over the “single issue” of mass legalized baby-murder. Only then did they suddenly “discover” — invent, really — and try to enforce on the consciences of recalcitrant Catholic pro-lifers the Seamless Garment’s utterly fraudulent moral claims. For the S.G. was never about morality — and here we reach the taproot of its wickedness. From the start, it was purely and intentionally a political strategy. It was crafted, one might say, to suffocate Catholic consciences: to enable, on one hand, or enfeeble, on the other, them into voting for liberal Democrat, pro–mass legalized baby-murder candidates. It was woven as a winding sheet — a political burial shroud — for pre-born babies. The Seamless Garment moral claims, to employ another image, are a “whitewashed tomb, which outwardly appears beautiful, but within is filled with” dead babies’ still pitifully malleable “bones” (cf. Mt. 23:27). It is inherently evil, pure political calculation posing as moral “consistency.”
Proponents continue to this day the S.G.’s assault on Catholic consciences. Take the death penalty. Is Bishop Barron actually serious that Democrats oppose the death penalty? In truth, they and their abortion business allies impose pre-emptive capital punishment against tens of millions of the most innocent humans of all. These poor babies are executed because they — might, someday — commit actual crimes (like petty theft?), because they are “guilty” of having poor parents, being disabled, potentially jobless, or badly educated, or for the capital crime of being “unwanted.” Let’s also run the numbers. In the early 1970s, the Supreme Court briefly halted, then restored, use of the death penalty, and since then, about 7,800 criminals convicted of capital crimes have been executed, according to government statistics. Meanwhile, since Roe v. Wade, also in the early 1970s, more than 60 million completely innocent American pre-born children have been summarily executed by private persons and agencies. That’s a ratio of 7,700 innocent babies executed to 1 convicted capital criminal. Opposition to the death penalty today begins with stopping mass legalized baby murder. But not a single Democrat in Congress in either house opposes the slaughter, and one of 24 Democrat governors. But Barron deliberately misuses his magisterial status to oppress the consciences of Catholics who realize the truth of the matter.
And, yes, deliberately. If not with malice aforethought, by his astonishingly culpable negligence he does so. Bishop Barron is supposed to be the bright one among the bishops, the shining light of the USCCB’s latest iteration of the New Evangelization. How could he be so stupid, so mindless, as to fail to connect these most obviously linked dots? Actually, he’s not. Like far too many bishops: He. Just. Doesn’t. Care. Not really. If he’d ever actually been actively pro-life, he’d know how to think about the matter; he’d have seen how legalized baby-murder corrupts everything from politics to language to medicine to society as a whole; he’d at least have learned of legalized abortion’s inherent entanglement in racism, murdering the poor, the immigrant, as well as its horrifying imposition of pre-emptive capital punishment. But Barron has plainly never bothered. His attained knowledge and careful consideration of this “single issue” is as shallow as his thinking. “This people honors me with their lips, but their actions are far from me,” as Jesus might put it (cf. Mt. 15:8).
Barron is far from alone in the Seamless Garment episcopal assault on pro-life Catholics’ consciences. To name just two of far too many more, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego and Bishop John Stowe of Knoxville have waxed indignant in this election year about the supposed electoral threat of “single issue” anti-abortion fanaticism submerging the matter of climate change.
But democracies exist in part on the premise that the wisdom of the many is superior to the wisdom of the few. The same moral logic also undergirds our system of trial by a jury of one’s peers. Expert testimony is necessary in both instances. But in both cases, it is given to ordinary people to assess not only the credibility of the evidence, but that of the experts themselves, and the more arcane the evidence, the more the experts’ credibility is the crux. In neither case, moreover — the jury room or the voting booth — can Catholics shirk our legal and moral responsibility to make that judgment for ourselves.
But that is exactly what McElroy and Stowe would have us do: check our consciences at the voting booth door when it comes to climate change; surrender wholesale and unquestioningly to the “experts.” But there are two fatal flaws with their insidious demand. First, scientific claims about “climate change” have become symbiotically connected to demands for huge political power, as everyone knows. There are vast amounts of government money for studies that affirm climate alarmism, virtually none for failing to do so; conversely, the studies that get funded serve to propagandize vast increases in government power and tax collection. But why should voters take a climate scientist’s demands for certain political solutions, such as carbon taxes? Why should we morally invest scientific expertise in politicians like former vice president Al Gore (who has made lots of money from his climate change crusade, and gee, won an Academy Award) or media figures like David Attenborough? It is our task as voters to assess the proper types of political responses. Carbon taxes disproportionately burden the poor, for example; they are powerfully regressive because the poor spend a far greater portion of their income on gasoline — used by hundreds of thousands of immigrants on their way daily to and from the ag fields of Central California in sometimes 100-mile round trips — and household energy costs. “Energy tax poverty” is now a real thing in California. That’s a political dilemma if one is concerned about both climate change and the poor, a dilemma about which Catholic voters must employ our consciences — which McElroy and Stowe implicitly denounce us for doing.
Even more to the point, science always progresses by proposing hypotheses and then seeking evidence that verifies them or not. But for almost half a century, repeated dire warnings of only ten (or twelve or fifteen) years before climate Armageddon have proven false — have failed to be supported by the data of actual events. At this point, most American voters have thus made the most scientific judgment that the climate alarmists have cried wolf too often. Even the endless name change, from Global Cooling to Global Warming to (the oh, so conveniently vague) Climate Change raises the suspicion that the politicians and experts are playing us with a three-card monte political con designed to separate us from our money and our liberty. Good conscience demands we make this assessment.
Still more concerning for Catholic consciences, every major “climate change” figure or organization is vehemently anti-human. Attenborough, for example, calls humanity “a plague upon the earth.” Bill Gates wants to reduce the world population by up to a third, by more than 1.5 billion. Every U.N. proposal on climate change also includes plans for still more abortions, especially in third-world countries. (Catch the racism again, Bishop Barron?) Does this not raise still greater moral suspicions about the “climate change” agenda? And again, the numbers, the human data, are horrifying. Data indicate that over the last 70 years, 1.4 billion pre-born babies have been legally murdered by abortion; in the next ten years, another 400 million are going to be murdered. That’s almost 2 billion. And the climate change toll? Not so much. Despite the angry moral fulminations of bishops like McElroy and Stowe, Catholics dare not surrender our electoral consciences wholesale to climate change “experts” and their — repeatedly proven — anti-life agenda.
Unable to contain his bitter, left-wing, big-government indignation, however, McElroy launches the most brutal frontal assault possible on Catholics’ electoral consciences. In an appallingly dishonest and truly evil attack, he recently inveighed, “To reduce that magnificent, multidimensional gift of God’s love to a single question of public policy is repugnant and should have no place in public discourse.” One is left almost speechless at his dishonesty. One could well ask: well, what about the Church’s “magnificent, multidimensional teaching on God’s love” on the grave, inalienable duty of governments to legally protect authentic marriage, between one man and one woman, as the very foundation of a just and healthy society? As soon as McElroy makes that duty an equal element of his Seamless Garment, equal even to climate change, and declaims it with equal vehemence, we might believe his goodwill. But he won’t, ever. So neither will we. McElroy’s hypocrisy is what’s repugnant.
The Destruction of Government, the Death of Civilization
Finally, the sum impact of this abetting the mass suicide, and attempting the mass murder, of consciences that is inherent in the Seamless Garment is the destruction of the moral foundation of government as such, as well as the dissolution of civilization itself. All governments have their basic justification in the task of protecting the right not to be murdered. That is why every government has the final legal authority to determine the justified use of force. Citizens always retain our natural law right to self-defense, whether by kitchen knife; baseball bat; or, in the United States, firearm. But governments always determine whether the force, the violence, is legally justified in individual cases.
Making mass murder a purely private matter, then, destroys the moral cornerstone of government. It is also why — to reiterate yet again the critical point — mass legalized baby murdered cannot be cordoned off as a “single issue.” Once government allows privatized murder, it not only looses social chaos; government cannot restrain itself from resorting to the same means it allows private individuals in pursuing its ends. Legalized murder is just too convenient, too powerful a “tool” to be left in the hands of individuals alone. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely,” both for governments and societies; legalized murder is the ultimate social power.
The Seamless Garment is thus a theology, a political religion, of child sacrifice, offered to the idol of omnicompetent government. Every four years, it tells us by design: just a little more mass child dismemberment — well, four of five million sliced and diced fetal corpses tossed as “medical waste” to be incinerated — and we’ll have paradise on Earth! Just vote for Joe Biden! Vote for the legalizers of mass baby murders and this time, we promise, there will never again be the need for it. As if lust, greed, pride, manipulation, and the like are at last going to be purged from our hearts — by politics! by the Provider State, as St. John Paul II labeled its vile moral pretentiousness.
Ultimately, our whole civilization is being destroyed by this annihilation of basic human decency. It’s the conscience count, not the body count, that most threatens us who live among the moral ruins. Many, perhaps most bishops voiced public support of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer. Even after at least some BLM activists and Antifa-followers descended into rioting; into looting — of black owned businesses; arson that destroyed many black neighborhoods; took numerous black lives; targeted sometimes black police officers execution-style — still, these Seamless Garment paladins could not bring themselves to invoke that very garment to condemn the violence. Even more frightening, the U.S. bishops apparently fail to see the truly demonic rage in the faces of so many BLM/Antifa rioters and arsonists. So many of them are not even black, but middle- and upper-class, often college-educated, mid-20s whites. Why are they destroying black businesses, rendering black neighborhoods “food deserts” where no grocery stores can now be found?
Exorcists have long lamented unhinged rage as a clear sign of demonic influence, even possession. Moreover, for more than a decade, they have increasingly warned that demonic possessions are becoming more resistant to exorcism, taking many more sessions and more time to accomplish. Do our bishops really fail to see the demonic in many of these Antifa/BLM faces? Still more telling, can they possibly imagine that even one of these faces belongs to an active, committed pro-lifer, an actual opponent of baby murder? These same exorcists tell us that Satan is a confirmed legalist, who thus not only submits to the orders given with episcopal mandate in God’s name by an exorcising priest, but who also demands his “due” from God regarding the psyches, souls, and lives of those who plunge themselves into his power by this horrifying sin. Sixty million U.S. abortions since Roe v. Wade have beyond reasonable doubt loosed a horrific demonic comeuppance. We have sown the wind 60 million times, and we are now reaping the whirlwind. In at least one diocese, the bishop has approved monthly exorcisms outside a local abortion mill. Would that the rest of the bishops would raise their voices to exorcise the voting booth, too, release it from the satanic power of mass legalized baby-murder for profit of Christ’s littlest ones.