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Peace & Life Connections #71 - August 5, 2011

CL Starts Dialog with Whole Life
        We’ll start by explaining the Whole Life movement in its own words, from the Whole Life webpage: “The Whole Life Ethic acknowledges that issues that appear to be separate such as human sex trafficking, political violence, famine, abortion, female genital mutilation, euthanasia, pornography, embryo destruction and many others are actually related threats to the dignity of the human person. The Whole Life Ethic recognizes that a threat anywhere to human dignity is a threat to human dignity everywhere. The Whole Life Ethic is dedicated to promoting and defending human dignity in all its stages. In the United States the biggest threat is abortion; other places it may be female genital mutilation, famine, forced sterilization, or lack of civil rights. To be Whole Life is to see every person as an end in themselves, not as a means to an end – we rejoice in the person for the sake of the person, not for what we think a person may do for us.”

 A71 Whole Life 3

          The parallels of connecting issues are obvious. One distinction is that the organizing principle for Consistent Life is opposition to killing, while that of Whole Life is threats to human dignity. For abortion, euthanasia, embryo destruction, famine, and political violence, these are the exact same concerns.
        So a dialog on Facebook has begun. Founder Jason Jones says: "I think the big difference between Whole Life and CL is that we oppose death penalty but recognize that is not an intrinsic moral evil like abortion, nuclear weapons, euthanasia and preemptive war."
        Since CL has never required adherents to rank its issues equally in importance – opposition on all is sufficient – this does not actually constitute a difference. But if preemptive war and nuclear weapons are at the same severity as abortion and euthanasia, then Whole Life is organizing a good number of anti-war conservatives, and we expect continued fruitful dialog.  

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CL Member Groups Act  

  • Democrats for Life report that along with most Americans, most Democrats support informed consent legislation as protection for both mothers and their unborn children (the North Carolina House recently over-rode a veto). They also have a campaign to oppose shredding the safety net for the poor in current budget-cutting proposals, and have added a Campus Outreach program.
  • The Sisters of Life, a Catholic religious order, focus their work on the sacredness of every human life. They welcome pregnant guests to live in their convents; assist pregnant women in need of practical assistance; invite those who have suffered from abortion to retreats; direct the NY Archdiocese Family Life/Respect Life Office; and do much educational work. They announce that they are co-hosting the “Love and Life Centre” at the upcoming Catholic World Youth Day (August 16-21) in Madrid.
A71 Sisters

  • Evangelicals for Social Action has ongoing campaigns on three current issues: A Call for Intergenerational Justice, (the federal deficit); Israel-Palestine; and Immigration. They seek for just solutions on all, and state that one generation must not benefit at the cost of another, but also that reducing our debt at the expense of our poorest citizens would be a violation of biblical teaching. 

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Quotation of the Week
Jonathan Schell
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People, p. 144
        “Violence is a method by which the ruthless few can subdue the passive many.  Nonviolence is a means by which the active many can overcome the ruthless few.”
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