A Pro-life, Pro-animal Welfare Movement

Millennial writer Christoper White has a new article at Crux. He writes:

If certain individuals or organizations lobby for the protection of animals, might they want to extend their sympathies to all vulnerable creatures, such as unborn children?

The reverse, however, also deserves consideration: Wouldn’t it behoove pro-lifers to rethink their own attitude toward animal welfare and our eating choices? And even if one is not fully convinced that we’re ethically obligated to give up eating animals entirely, then might such deference toward animal welfare serve as an invitation for pro-choice animal activists to confront their own inconsistencies?

Perhaps in all of this, there is the real possibility that in showing mercy towards animals — be it abstinence from meat or simply taking smaller steps, such as rejecting factory farming — that this entire movement might serve as a gateway to a deeper embrace of the concept of mercy that Francis has staked his papacy on and manifest itself in all sorts of ways.

You can read the full article here.

 


Men and the “Right to Choose”

If liberals and libertarians sincerely believe that autonomy and choice should trump the protection of human life in the case of unwanted pregnancies, then the question has often arisen: why should men not be free to exercise their choice to terminate a pregnancy or opt out of an unwanted pregnancy in some other way? A regional branch of the youth wing of Sweden’s Liberal Party is now making the argument that they should have this “right”:

The idea, proposed by a regional branch of the youth wing of the centrist Liberal Party, would allow a potential father to legally abdicate his responsibility toward the child up to the 18th week of a woman’s pregnancy. The man would lose any rights to visit the child but also would not pay any child support he may otherwise be required to contribute.

If this seems horrifying, it should. But it is merely an extension of the disordered values that place autonomy above life, individualism above the common good, and choice above responsibility. Proponents of abortion-on-demand should not be shocked that other liberals are taking their arguments to their logical conclusions.

 



What is the Whole Life Movement?

At its core, the whole life movement is dedicated to protecting the life and dignity of all people. It is rooted in a belief in the innate dignity and worth of every single human being. Each human being is a person with innate and equal value, and human life is sacred. From these premises comes the belief that it is never permissible to intentionally and directly take an innocent life. But the wanton disregard for life present in unjust social structures and the dehumanization of others in ways short of direct killing are also incompatible with the whole life commitment to human life and dignity. Indirect threats to life, such as the absence of access to healthcare or food, are also fundamentally incompatible with the vision of government and society the whole life movement aims to achieve: the common good. Protecting the life of all people is intimately connected to creating conditions that reflect the dignity of every single person, conditions that allow each person to reach their full potential.

The whole life movement is not a rival of the pro-life movement. Instead, it seeks to purify the pro-life movement of its inconsistencies. A pro-life movement that ignores infant mortality rates, starvation, or the degradation of the environment simply does not deserve the label ‘pro-life.’ It becomes a mere euphemism for supporting laws that restrict access to abortion. It becomes detached from the understanding of human dignity and worth that should animate the movement. Only a whole life approach can make the pro-life movement authentically pro-life. Read More


CJH: Gun Control Is a Pro-Life Value

Millennial co-founder Christopher Hale has a new article at Time. He writes:

The Catholic Church’s advocacy against the U.S.’ inane gun laws has caught the attention of the gun lobby. In 2012, the American bishops’ modest work on the issue frustrated the National Rifle Association so much that they listed the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on its enemies list.

Why are many Christians for stronger gun laws?

The reason is simple: Christians are pro-life. We are called by God to protect, defend and develop life at all stages—from conception on. And with more than 30,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. every year, our nation’s gun violence is an affront to these pro-life values.

The Bible commands us again and again to say “yes” to life and “no” to death. Does this involve stopping the proliferation of deadly weapons? Absolutely. The prophet Isaiah even tells us that when the messiah enters into human history, he will “beat spears and swords into ploughshares and pruning hooks.”

The full article can be read here.

 

 


The Whole Life Pope: Francis Has the Right Approach to Abortion

In his historic speech to a joint session of the US Congress, Pope Francis said that the Golden Rule “reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.” This statement was clearly meant to include the lives of unborn children yet a number of conservatives in the pro-life movement expressed disappointment that the pope did not take a more confrontational approach.

Personally, I would have been fine with the pope taking Congress to task for its unwillingness to defend unborn life, its inaction on climate change, and its indifference to the poor. Given Congress’ deep unpopularity, most Americans probably would not have minded either if Francis mentioned some of Congress’ many shortcomings. But the pope chose a different approach, a more generous approach that reminded the members of Congress and the American people of our highest aspirations and encouraged us to fulfill those, advancing the cause of justice for all. The speech was not as radical and challenging as his brilliant speech at the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Bolivia this summer, but it reflected his approach of dialogue and encounter. Read More


Millennials, the Whole Life Approach, and the Democratic Party

On Monday, I spoke at the 2015 Democratic Revival at the National Press Club. Here are my prepared remarks:

My position on abortion is progressive not conservative. I believe in robust government action to protect the lives of unborn children, as I refuse to draw a distinction between humans and persons. All humans are persons. To depersonalize or dehumanize others is the first step to stripping them of their innate dignity and worth in order to take away their fundamental human rights. The gravest injustices of history follow this script, and social justice is achieved by resisting these efforts and defending the vulnerable—the poor, the disabled, the sick, the enslaved, the disenfranchised, the repressed, and those who have not yet been born.

The solution to abortion, as expressed in the #chooseboth campaign, is a comprehensive approach that secures legal protection for unborn life, while addressing the root causes of abortion, particularly the economic vulnerability faced by many pregnant women and families struggling to make ends meet who feel unable to choose life. Only a pro-woman, pro-child approach, which addresses crucial issues like healthcare, prenatal care, a living wage, childcare, and family leave can lead to the abolition of abortion. Restrictions on abortion are necessary and just, but they will never be enough. We need a communitarian approach that reflects a progressive commitment to government action and social justice if we want to build a successful culture of life. Read More