#486 In the News, Referendum on Slavery, Berlin Wall November 8, 2019
Consistent Life Ethic in the News
Our member group Rehumanize International’s recent conference, which we co-sponsored, received coverage in the National Catholic Reporter. In the article, Don Clemmer discusses the conference’s theme of how people involved in violent systems can leave them. He interviews several speakers and attendees from the Consistent Life Network, including President John Whitehead, Vice President Rachel MacNair, and Board members Julia Smucker and Sarah Terzo. In a related article, Clemmer examines the work of Louisiana State Senator Katrina Jackson (pictured), a pro-life Democrat who also spoke at the conference.
Appeal for Death Row Inmate From our member group Evangelicals for Social Action: Rodney Reed is scheduled for execution on November 20 in Texas. The state plans to execute Reed despite evidence supporting his innocence. Please consider signing a petition for clemency for Reed; you can also contact the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the governor; Texas residents are especially encouraged to do so.
Upcoming Referendums: Abolishing Slavery Completely The U.S. is having a major election November 3, 2020, and we started a list of U.S. state referendums in a blog post. We plan to launch a website called Peace & Life Referendums on January 6. Over the next few weeks, we’ll highlight some of them. This week: The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished legally-approved slavery and involuntary servitude, didn’t do so completely. It made an exception for people duly convicted of a crime.
Slavery crept back in through the back door as African Americans were convicted of vagrancy (that is, being unemployed), along with other crimes for which establishment of guilt wasn’t as vigorous as should be expected. Currently, for-profit prisons and cheap prison labor are leading to the kinds of abuses that slavery is known for. Several state constitutions have the same exception. But the legislatures of Nebraska and Utah have put on the ballot amendments to remove that exception from their state constitutions. We’ll add writing, videos, and artwork to the new website to help educate people on the connections to consistent-life issues. Anyone wanting to contribute those, or simply offer points that should be made or links to other good websites, can send them to email@example.com.
Latest CLN Blog Post Coming up on November 9 is the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is a good time to reflect on how well nonviolent revolutions can work. Wars that are designed for liberating people from tyranny actually have a poorer track record in achieving that goal than the large number of nonviolent revolutions over the last century. John Whitehead offers East Germany’s Peaceful Revolution: Remembering the Berlin Wall’s Fall.
Quotation of the Week Steven Wagner Kathleen Sebelius’ gruesome moral calculus National Catholic Register. November 29, 2011 If someone is being trafficked — which is to say, under the domination of a pimp/trafficker — she is by definition unable to provide informed consent to an abortion or to a regime of contraception. The victim has no voice in this decision. Indeed, providing such services to a victim of sexual trafficking benefits only the trafficker by getting the victim back out on the street and making money sooner. The average age of entry into commercial sex exploitation is about 14. The average life expectancy of someone in commercial sexual exploitation is seven years. Start at 14, dead by 21. The mortality rate for someone in commercial sexual exploitation is 40 times higher than for a non-exploited person of the same age. Helping a victim return to exploitation more quickly by terminating a pregnancy increases the odds of death.
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