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Peace & Life Connections Index

#457 Nuke Protesters, Sight Unseen?

Petition to Release the Kings Bay Plowshares Protesters Our friends the Kings Bay Plowshares activists engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience April 4. 2018 (the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.) by trespassing on to a U.S. naval base in Georgia where nuclear weapons are kept. Their witness was intended to follow the biblical command to “Beat swords into plowshares” and to demand the abolition of nuclear weapons. As their case goes to trial, a petition is now being circulated calling for their case to be dismissed and for people everywhere to dedicate themselves to nuclear abolition. Signers include several Nobel Peace laureates and CLN endorsers such as Martin Sheen and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton.

Where Cruelty Really Is

Slate has an April 4 article entitled “Trump-Appointed Judge Upholds Anti-Abortion Law That Often Mandates Transvaginal Ultrasound.” It might be understandable that a journalist is unaware ultrasounds are routine as part of doing abortions. The screen showing the baby is usually turned away from the mother.

What’s remarkable: the author proposes mandating the sight of the baby is torture. He says, “Multiple doctors and medical professionals testified that this requirement does nothing at all to help patients make any kind of decision. Instead, it subjects them to agony in their most vulnerable moments.” So he admits that being in touch with reality is agonizing.

An analogy: the combat bomber who’s shot down and discovered he just destroyed a school and sees corpses of children his bombs killed. That would indeed be agonizing to him. What happens to the people who find out about those grisly consequences when the deed is done, and there’s no longer anything they can do to stop it? They have no recourse, other than to become activists against future violence, as great numbers of post-abortive women and combat veterans have done. Vulnerability and agony ought to be red-flashing warning signs that what’s happening is cruel to everyone involved. It’s not avoiding the knowledge of violence that solves the problem, but avoiding the violence itself.

Latest CLN Blog Post As part of the “In Their Own Voices” posts, Rachel MacNair has compiled a set of quotations on the theme “When Linking Abortion with Other Violence Comes Naturally to Pro-lifers.” This is Part 1 of 2, this part focused on “Connections: Showing Importance.” There are many instances where pro-lifers who aren’t thinking of the consistent life ethic at all have the insight that the case against abortion can be made stronger when pointing out the many ways abortion is connected to other violent practices. In addition to being insightful, this addresses a common criticism of the consistent life ethic: that by adding issues, we’re watering down the case against abortion. It’s not just that we answer that it strengthens the persuasiveness of the case, but that pro-lifers who aren’t thinking of the ethic still pick up on this insight and apply it.

Quotation of the Week Michael Sean Winters Liberal Catholics have work to do to support consistent ethic of life National Catholic Reporter, January 18, 2019 I hear complaints that the Catholic Church has been so obsessed about abortion that people do not want to speak about it for fear of keeping the obsession going. But the consistent ethic of life was meant to prevent any obsession and, if followed, would achieve that end. It was not meant as a gateway to indifference on the issue of abortion. Just as it never made much sense to oppose abortion but support capital punishment, it doesn't make much sense to oppose capital punishment but keep quiet about abortion.

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