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Peace & Life Connections Index

#323 Peace Psych, Voting, Opportunities

Enthusiasm about New Book

The American Psychological Association (APA) just held their huge annual convention August 4-7. Rachel MacNair was there, and in various places she put out piles of the book Peace Psychology Perspectives on Abortion, which she edited, with signs offering complementary copies for those who chose to pick them up. It turned out 129 copies were taken. Notably, the feedback was all positive, and some of it was enthusiastic. This appears to be an excellent approach to a peace-oriented academic audience. This week’s blog entry is an excerpt from the book’s introduction.

Consistent-Life Voting: Not a Pass to the Inconsistent! With US elections in full swing, one strange idea is arising again in some quarters: the charge the consistent life ethic, or seamless garment, is designed to allow people who oppose abortion to nevertheless vote for abortion-defending candidates because of other important issues of violence. The only clear consistent-life voting strategy is to vote for consistent-life candidates. Unfortunately, these are few and are mainly running for lower office. More often, candidates for public office will be different from one another on which life-affirming positions they take. This presents consistent-life voters with a conundrum. We use different voting strategies. It’s common for many citizens to vote for the candidate with whom they agree on the majority of the issues. But this isn’t a consistent-life strategy. It shouldn’t be mistaken for one. The consistent-life election strategy focuses not on voting, but on challenging. Show up to candidate forums to pose questions and hold signs. Leaflet crowds. Write letters to the editor and post comments online. The goal is to make opposition to any of the forms of violence more effective. Peace advocates lose credibility with a large portion of the population by saying it’s ok to kill babies. Pro-lifers haven’t documented they even understand the pro-life case against abortion if they don’t know how to apply the principle broadly. We have election-focused cards and brochures, and the bumper sticker pictured below available for election use; contact Thad Crouch.

Notable Media Attention As debates heat up, we can expect more media attention that either says positive things about our advocates (as happened recently during the Democratic and Republican conventions), or says some unfair or inaccurate things. When such articles are published on the web, it’s an opportunity for you to make comments that promote the Consistent Life Ethic, break down stereotypes about both the Life and Peace movements, and point readers of these other websites to Consistent Life sites. Please take a moment to comment on these articles after you read them and consider:

Quotation of the Week Judith Arcana “Feminist politics and abortion in the US,” Psychology and Reproductive Choice Note: This is another quotation from an abortion defender who makes the issue connections not to oppose violence but to justify it. I think abortion belongs in the same context as assisted suicide, euthanasia, even war and domestic self-defense – all situations that require the taking of life with moral, ethical knowledge and acceptance of responsibility.

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