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#312 Consistency of Dan Berrigan, Libertarian Party, Memorial Day - May 27, 2016

Dan Berrigan and the Power of Consistency Catholic Online has published a piece by CL Endorser and director of Priests for Life Fr. Frank Pavone about Dan’s consistent application of his anti-war principles; see Quotation of the Week below. Word is they’re also soon publishing a piece by CL Endorser Abby Johnson on the same topic. Meanwhile, we report that The National Review, the conservative magazine founded by William F. Buckley, covered Dan as one of their set of short obituaries, and prominently mentioned his abortion clinic sit-ins (May 23 issue, page 14). Much as they don’t care for civil disobedience and think pacifism to be naïve, they clearly admired his courage, and the fact that he applied his principled stands against killing in a consistent way.


U.S. Libertarian Party Fielding Candidates

Because polls show the most likely Libertarian candidate for U.S. president doing

surprisingly well (at 10%), and because there are Republicans desperately searching for an alternative to voting for Donald Trump, mainstream news has paid attention. Many outlets say Libertarians, whose guiding principle is less government, are therefore “pro-choice” on abortion. To the contrary, many understand protection of unborn children as part of the non-aggression they champion: Libertarians for Life, for example, with Doris Gordon. Ron Paul, who previously ran for president, has been explicit about the consistent life ethic; see quotations here and here. His son Rand Paul has also connected opposition to war and abortion. One candidate vying for the nomination this time, Austin Petersen, lists a consistent-life philosophy as point 10 of his platform. Alas, the person most likely to get the nomination is Gary Johnson, who served two terms as Republican governor of New Mexico. He’s announced his running mate as William Weld, another two-term Republican governor (Massachusetts). Johnson is “pro-choice” on abortion before fetal viability, though opposes taxpayer funding and favors counseling and parental notification. William Weld has a record advocating for abortion as if it were a right. The good news is that Gary Johnson opposes the death penalty completely; more bad news is that Bill Weld tried to get it re-instated in Massachusetts. On issues involving war, Libertarians tend to be better than the two major parties, in that they apply their minimal-government principles to military spending and interventions, plus opposing conscription and the drug war.


Latest CL Blog

In time for Memorial Day, CL board member Eve Kuha reflects on how her experience as a veteran leads to her consistent-life convictions.


Quotation of the Week Fr. Frank Pavone, CL Endorser and Director of Priests for Life From Fr. Pavone on Daniel Berrigan’s Prolife Activism, Catholic Online Father Berrigan was a radical figure who spent a total of almost seven years in prison. What many don't realize though is that his activism extended beyond the anti-war movement and into the anti-abortion movement. Believing in what he called a consistent ethic of life, he linked abortion to war because both were deadly for innocent victims. His most well-known pro-life stand occurred in October 1991, when he and others protested the opening of a new Planned Parenthood in Rochester, NY. If we read his legacy correctly, we may recognize that one of Father Berrigan's greatest contributions may be that he demonstrated that those who fight for the born and those whose cause is to save the unborn don't need to be at odds with each other.

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