#353 Our Conference, Gorsuch - March 24, 2017
Conference: "Creating a Holistic Culture of Life: Bridging the Life/Peace Divide" Our 30th anniversary conference promises to be a unique, hands-on conference experience. Our goal is for participants to come away with a better understanding of the connectedness of the life issues, and specific ideas and tools to start advocating for the Consistent Life Ethic in their various communities (faith, geographic, organizational, etc.). And of course there will be plenty of time for networking and socializing. The conference will be held August 4-6 on the campus of Eastern University, near Philadelphia, PA. Speakers include Shane Claiborne, cofounder of the Simple Way in Philadelphia, and a fierce advocate against the death penalty; John Carr, who has a long history of advocacy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and is currently the director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University; Joyce McCauley-Benner with Feminists for Life; Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life of America; and Fr. David Link, a chaplain at the Indiana State Prison.
Email version of issue has photos of Kristen Day, Shane Claiborne, and Joyce McCauley-Benner here, but a software problem is preventing us from putting them in the Web version. A version with the image can be found at our legacy site.
Workshop topics include: sex trafficking, restorative justice, messaging (especially on college campuses), different faith traditions, pacifism and the just war theory, and using stories. Skills workshops include fundraising and a "Conversation Café/World Café” training. August 6 is the anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, so we expect to take part in a commemorative event. For more details, see our event web page. We’re still looking for workshop ideas, so if you have any, and know of people who could lead them, please email Lisa Stiller.
Gorsuch Hearings Here are some points that came out in this week’s hearings for US Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on our issues: ∞ Neither Roe defenders nor Roe opponents can have any confidence how he’ll vote on abortion-related cases. It’s not that he’s hiding; he doesn’t know himself. He hasn’t read the briefs yet. ∞ His book on euthanasia was only “commentary.” But some senators who favor abortion availability picked up on the book’s statement that we “shouldn’t allow private persons to take human life” as possibly applying to abortion. It didn’t seem to occur to them that admitting that phrase could apply to abortion might hurt their abortion-defending case. ∞ He did speak of working with others to arrange for defendants in death penalty cases to have decent lawyers. This isn’t opposing the death penalty, but it does show some concern. ∞ When questioning Gorsuch, Senator Lindsey Graham – normally a war advocate, but a strong opponent of torture – declared that if Trump used waterboarding, which Congress has made illegal, that would be grounds to impeach Trump. Graham next talked of pain that late-term unborn babies can feel. He never linked the two issues. We normally link war and abortion by observing that both kill, but consistent opposition to inflicting pain is also a good idea.
Latest CL Blog In our series on the adventures we’ve had spreading the message, the late Mary Krane Derr tells about Progressive Prolifers at the Progressive Magazine 100th Anniversary Celebration.
Quotation of the Week Daniel K. Williams Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-life Movement Before Roe v. Wade, p. 193 Referring to a 1972 campaign to defeat a ballot measure to legalize abortion in North Dakota;78% voted no, so this approach was effective. [Al Fortman] enjoyed an excellent relationship with several of the state’s Catholic bishops and forged ties with some of the state’s Protestant ministers by linking the pro-life issue to other social justice causes, such as opposition to the Vietnam War, that interested mainline Protestant clergy.
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