Sunday, August 30, 2015

KUDOS TO THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE FOR SUNDAY MORNING'S PRO-LIFE EDITIORIAL: STANDING UP FOR LIFE

I grew up in Augusta, returned after being away 15 years for another 14 years as pastor of the downtown parish and now have been away again for 11 years as pastor of Macon's downtown parish.

Macon and Augusta are very similar although Macon is more Protestant. The demographics are somewhat similar and there is a strong conservative Christian culture here. But you would not know that by the "foreign" owned McClatchy newspaper and its editorial slant.  The Telegraph has been devolving also since I arrived in Macon more than eleven years ago. Most newspapers are downsizing and reporting more celebrity stuff, less hard, real or important news with fewer print ads to support it.

The Augusta Chronicle is locally owned and reflects the values or virtues of most Augustans. And today is their 230th birthday!  Thus you will find the following pro-life editorial by the Chronicle's editorial staff. If only the Telegraph in Macon could reflect Macon's virtues or values! But alas! 

STANDING UP FOR LIFE

Abhorrent Planned Parenthood videos push pro-lifers to the limit


Ridicule. Shrill and sarcastic discourse. Disruptive protests. Overwhelming the system through mass activism.

Such in-your-face tactics are how the far-left runs roughshod over sensible Americans who don’t need to resort to disorderly conduct to get their points across.

But if anything is capable of making activists out of the mild-mannered, it would be the macabre world of Planned Parenthood’s industrial-scale abortion and fetal-organ brokerage operations.

How long can we expect polite society to remain polite in the face of more than a half-dozen undercover videos showing the group’s employees and executives callously discussing the killing of unborn children and haggling over the price of their body parts?

As one Planned Parenthood executive famously said: “I want a Lamborghini.”

We want an anti-nausea pill.

And that video was tame compared to most of the stomach-turning footage released by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group whose members posed as biotech company representatives to document the “women’s health” provider’s twisted and lucrative fetal-tissue “donation” operation.

Among other things, the graphic videos depict recognizable human organs – not “clumps of cells” – being harvested from aborted fetuses while employees coolly discuss the ghastly process of dismembering the unborn to maximize Planned Parenthood’s donor reimbursement fee.

One video shows a medical assistant announcing “It’s another boy!” as technicians push a tiny heart, stomach and kidneys around a pie-plate shaped dish. Another has a worker cutting through the face of a fetus whose heart was still beating to extract an intact brain.

There’s the former technician for StemExpress, a California tissue-procurement company, who said she witnessed co-workers gruesomely – and, if true, illegally – collecting organs from the aborted fetus of a Planned Parenthood patient who declined to give tissue-donation consent.

And then there’s the revolting latest: StemExpress’ CEO acknowledging on camera the receipt of fully intact fetuses, a concession that raises the spectre that some were alive out of the womb.

“Tell the lab it’s coming,” Cate Dyer, the CEO, laughs about the shipping of “intact cases” in the video. “You know, open the box and go ‘Oh my God.’”

If all this isn’t soul-searing enough to incite a conservative equivalent of “Code Pink” – the aggressive left-wing organization – nothing is.

Planned Parenthood has been confronted with this evidence of cavalier barbarism that would make the Third Reich proud. But the group evasively asserts it hasn’t violated “any legal or medical standards.” Its most vociferous supporters – in a comment that’s perhaps telling of their level of humanity and decency – say the gruesome videos lack a “smoking gun.”

The guidelines to harvest organs for medical research are peculiar. Several states have launched investigations to determine whether Planned Parenthood is telling the truth even in the strictest legal sense.

Meanwhile the GOP Congress is working on its second attempt to defund the $500 million in taxpayer funds the organization receives for – wink, wink
– non-abortion services such as birth control and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

The potential loss of Planned Parenthood’s single-largest funding source hasn’t stopped the group from working overtime, unsuccessfully, to denigrate the videos’ producers and keep the footage from being seen – for obvious reasons.

“I think if you were to show these women the aftermath of an abortion, I don’t think they’d be getting them,” Holly O’Donnell, the former StemExpress whistleblower, said recently during an interview with a conservative podcaster.

We agree with that statement, and we’d go a step further to suggest women do more than simply not get an abortion. They need to be contacting their elected representatives and getting involved in demonstrations, marches and other legal forms of protest – especially the growing number of pro-abortion women who are now adopting a pro-life stance.

To do nothing while state and federal tax dollars subsidize the grisly work of killing the unborn is nothing short of being on the wrong side of history.

The Columbia Basin Herald in Washington state recently opined that the CMP videos are a modern-day equivalent of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The Planned Parenthood videos have the power to turn public sentiment against abortion’s inhumanity in much the same manner that Stowe’s reality-based fictional work showed Americans what the horrific world of slavery was really like.

“No amount of political stonewalling and public denial will make it palatable again to anyone but the practitioner committing the act and its most diehard supporters,” the Herald wrote. “A century hence, we believe Americans will look back on our time as an era that tolerated, even encouraged barbarity. 

And when they look, they will shudder.”

Decoupling the Planned Parenthood murder machine from taxpayer funds should be just the start.
Be loud. Be proud. Be legal. Be polite. But above all, be courageous and principled, and act on those principles.

This is not the time, and this is not the issue, to be neutral.

How long can we expect polite society to remain polite in the face of more than a half-dozen undercover videos showing the group’s employees callously discussing the killing of unborn children and haggling over the price of their body parts?


16 comments:

Calvin of Hippo said...

Life has become a mere commodity in our culture. This has always been true, to some extent, whether in capitalist or communist countries...life...people...are either labor or consumers or both...or, perhaps, cannon fodder. Surely, Christ throwing the money changers out of the Temple goes beyond His outrage at defiling a holy place...it was representative of the disordered relationship among mankind due to sin. The Holiness and Righteousness of God besmirched by human greed and self-interest. Created by Him to live in love and harmony together we, instead, live together for personal gain and mutual exploitation. I believe the hideous videos and the revelation of how widespread and callous the selling of baby body parts and entire aborted babies is was some kind of threshold for public outrage against abortion...I certainly hope so. I personally cannot see a nation that is not outraged by such things surviving much longer. It is funny to me that certain factions will continue to rant about slavery but completely ignore what is tantamount to the same thing...the buying and selling of human beings. No one can escape the effects of these things; they bring us all down...the sins of the fathers regarding slavery still haunt us today. All of this is not helped by our viewing ourselves as commodities...we speak of "selling" ourselves in advertising, job interviews, and politics. We alter our bodies through plastic surgery, tattoos, piercings, etc, in order to try to make ourselves more appealing to our peer groups...we chase marketing fads and worship Hollywood, the prime vehicle for making people into commodities and us into buyers. Is it not instructive that, when Satan offered Christ all the powers and riches of the world, Jesus never questioned Satan's ownership or his right to offer them? Christ have mercy!

Jdj said...

Thanks, Father, for posting this. We had stopped our subscription for the reasons you cite in your first paragraph. We may renew just to thank the editorial staff. Sorry your Macon paper is so poor. Apparently it is reflecting the culture at large rather than that of Macon--shame!

Anonymous said...

Jdj, no, it is an adequate reflection of the culture of Macon..and still a poor newspaper. Macon is a dump...will one day look like Flint, Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Calvin,

I fear it won't be a threshhold. Sure, there's _some_ outrage, but The Powers That Be (Dem leaders) are spinning for all they are worth, apparently not troubled in the least by the things you point out. Unlike chattel slaves prior to 1865, the unborn have no potential to vote in the next election, while their mothers do. That's all that matters.

George said...


Calvin of Hippo-
I agree with what you say above. I do hope the videos represent a threshold whereby the public is outraged enough to at least force the end of government tax monies funding Planned Parenthood. Perhaps it has caused, or will cause, some women who were considering having an abortion, not to go through with it . Perhaps it will cause those who up to now have thought abortion to be a "right", to have a change of heart.One would like to think that this represents the the beginning of the end of this barbaric practice. There is always hope. Our society though has become increasingly callous, hard-hearted and neo-pagan. I'm afraid that whatever good effect these videos have had or will have (and I hope that includes the end of tax monies funding Planned Parenthood), that after a certain period of time has elapsed, this issue will again fade from the public consciousness. I hope and pray that is not the case.

Anonymous said...

By your reasoning, if 90% of the citizens of a city support banning Negroes from that community, then the local newspaper supposed to support that "local value."

Silly notion, that.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Are you comparing being pro-life to being racist?????wasn't planned parenthood founded by an avowed racist?

Anonymous said...

So, do you think a newspaper SHOULD or SHOULD NOT reflect the values of the community in which it is located?

rcg said...

Dehumanizing, or objectifying, a human body is a mechanism to deal with a potentially overwhelming situation. When the person must deal with such a situation daily there is a risk of falling into a defensive callousness that separates the living person not only from the human body, but from humanity as well and the body becomes merely a problem to be understood and solved. An alternative risk is to flounder in emotion. There is a need for human body parts, of all ages and sizes, to study for medicine of every dimension. For it to be true medicine, to correct a disorder, the context of the study must remain intact and the purpose remain ever in mind. Otherwise it is, again, mere science without context and risks becoming only the consumption of knowledge, an intellectual carnivore, working perhaps as a part of a greater creation, but ignorant of its own place in it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Maybe I misunderstand but implied in the question is that racism is a value. If I am correct, are you out of your moral mind and completely post Catholic? I recommend you substitute virtues for values! And yes a local newspaper needs to reflect the virtues of their community and chastise their evils such as the choice to be racist or the choice to decide who will be murdered by abortion or not since the latter two are very grave moral evils not values or virtues!

Anonymous said...

Racism is a value to some. They believe that mixing races is wrong, that mixed-race marriage is contrary to the Bible, and that Negroes are an inferior race, a "feral minority."

You seem to believe that local ownership of a newspaper is the be preferred over what you call "foreign" ownership. And you seem to believe this because you think local ownership means that the editorial position will more likely reflect the values of the community.

When those values are contrary to morality, when they are regressive (many communities opposed integration and the locally owned newspapers editorialized in favor thereof), or when the local values do not support improvements in the community, then a newspaper has an obligation to point out the flaws in local values, not to support them simply because they are "local."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

All papers have a political slant which may be in tune with the community they serve or at odds. Thus I would suspect the telegraph's editorial side is slanted to being pro choice and this gravely evil and immoral although that slant represents a goodly number. It is indeed like a paper and town in favor of racism. Bit don't call these values or virtues for these aren't even if 99% think it's good.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:58, Racism is a value to some...many of a certain group hate whites or blacks who are successful and productive, calling them oreos or Uncle Toms. Many vote for candidates simply because they are black regardless of the harm they do to the country and moral values; many call for the execution of whites and white children. This group hates and ridicules white history and its symbols (like the Confederate flag and Stone Mountain) while believing that their angry and hateful racist flags and clenched fist symbols should be exempt from criticism. These people also believe that they are entitled to special treatment and exemptions when it comes to educational requirements, job requirements, or with regard to the laws when they break them. Yes, indeed, racism is a terrible thing.

Anonymous said...

Well, they may not be your values, but some people do value racial segregation, some people do value greed, some people do value violence, etc.

To expect that, because a paper is locally controlled, it should represent local values in its editorializing is not realistic. When the local values are harmful - segregation, greed, violence, etc - the paper should NOT reflect these values, but do all in its power to encourage change.

There are certainly times when a paper under "foreign" control should challenge a community to turn away from its local values and adopt those values that are truly good and truly beneficial to the community.

Angry Hippo said...

Like a Sunday sermon, an editorial is not a public opinion survey. The goal is to lead and inform.
Father McDonald doesn't poll his congregation before deciding which side to take.
There is, after all, not much point to reinforcing what they already believe.
Sometimes a newspaper's role is to challenge the community's thinking. Many newspaper publishers and editors, like Ralph McGill in Atlanta, did great and noble work in opposing the community's values in the 1950s and '60s and advancing racial equality.
An editor who took a popularity poll of Middle Georgia community would probably oppose the Catholic Church's positions on the death penalty, immigration, caring for the poor and more. On those issues, the Telegraph is probably more in line with the church than with a majority of the public.
In any case, as you may have noticed, much of Middle Georgia is bitterly divided, in race and politics and religion and culture and income. There is no single set of "community values."

Anonymous said...

Newspapers are part of the media. The majority of the major newspaper editors are liberals. I read the obituaries and the want ads sometimes. I haven't subscribed to one in years and would like to see them all go under. On line, the WSJ is about all I read, and I don't really care for it too much...it seems the lesser of evils.