Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Difference Between Wisdom & Folly

Praise God! A piece of criticism offers opportunity to make our argument more strongly, and move the ball forward toward the Personhood Strategy...

Kevin, a conservative Catholic blogger (I'll not identify him further, so that I don't discourage others from posting criticism -- the point is to dialogue, not to jump on everybody who criticizes, but rather to answer their points), posted this in response to our "Don't Let the Elections Get You Down" message:

"a full 27% of voters in Colorado (where even many Republicans are pro-choice) voted not just to prohibit all abortions, but also to end embryonic stem cell research, some forms of in vitro fertilization, and those forms of birth control that cause abortions,"

One of the few reasons I could bring myself to vote for it was because I didn't want it to fail by too much. What makes you think our society would respect such a law if passed? Amendment 48 backers overreached and wasted resources that would have been better directed elsewhere, such as swinging a few state senate or house races. Why was the effort led by a 21-year-old woman? However articulate she is, that's folly. Pro-lifers can't just pretend that these largely futile efforts are good for the cause. We need to ask ourselves if we are tempting God by our efforts. We sometimes ask too much from a deeply mistaken society. Had the Supreme Court even ruled on Amendment 48, it could have only further enshrined our wicked laws, and probably created a few new ones. What good is it if you have justice on your side, if you don't have wisdom?
We replied thus:


Thank you for your strongly felt opinion. I'm disappointed that you didn't have better reasons for voting for Am. 48, but I trust you mean that you disagreed with the strategy, not with the goal.

Our society will never start to respect such laws until they are passed. Period. We must try, or we will never achieve anything.

We admire Kristi because she had the courage to propose a principled law when so many, even on our side, reject principle in favor of compromise. But Kristi was hardly alone in leading the Personhood effort. Besides CRTL's full-scale efforts, there were many organizers, and 1,000 petition gatherers who moved the fight forward.

You're seeming to think the pro-life fight will be won by a margin of support in the legislature, or in the courts. That's not so.

Truly, it doesn't matter what the courts do yet, because abortion is already 100% enshrined, and today's court won't change that. We either try other means, or we give up.

Look at our $10,000 Challenge -- even if we'd waited for 2 or 3 more conservative Supreme Court appointments before trying this, it wouldn't have given us victory, because none of the Supreme Court justices there already would have supported this.

That doesn't mean victory is impossible. It means we must use other means to achieve victory, or else accept that victory may be 100 years away.

The courts, and the politicians will acknowledge Personhood if the people urgently shout for it! The judges and the politicians will NEVER take up the call for Personhood unless the people do it first.

That's what we've done!

And that's why moving forward from this point is so important. If they aren't paying attention this year, they will when we increase the margin by 10% or 20%. It's a matter of educating the public. That's how we'll achieve victory.

And, frankly, that's wisdom -- finding the way toward victory when other means have failed, and victory seems impossible.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Don't Let the Elections Get You Down!

Get Up & Help Instead!

Please! Don’t be demoralized because of Election Day! Amendment 48 was a bright, shining, positive example of progress — a victory which should outweigh any other setbacks we had that day. We at Colorado Right to Life would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the hard work and determination you invested in the Amendment 48 campaign!

Your commitment to carry petitions, to get the signatures of your friends, coworkers and complete strangers — the gathering of more than 130,000 signatures — was the single most promising pro-life happening in this state in 40 years! When you and your friends went out to gather nearly twice the number of legally required signatures, it meant more volunteers were mobilized, gathering more signatures, than for any previous ballot initiative in Colorado history! It was the most energy and vitality we’ve ever seen in the pro-life movement!

But still, how can 27% of the vote be a victory???

Because Amendment 48 wasn’t your typical “abortion restriction.” Amendment 48 was the strongest anti-abortion legislation seriously considered in any state at any time since Roe v. Wade! In 5280 Magazine, our opponents expressed fear that we were shifting from the “chip-away” strategy of regulating abortion — they understood that the Personhood movement is nothing less than a direct attack upon “the abortion right” and all the central legal arguments in favor of abortion!

Consider this: Previous polls have showed only 10 or 15 percent of Colorado voters support a total end to abortion.

But this year, a clear, cogent, “life at conception” message got through to huge numbers of Colorado citizens — a full 27% of voters in Colorado (where even many Republicans are pro-choice) voted not just to prohibit all abortions, but also to end embryonic stem cell research, some forms of in vitro fertilization, and those forms of birth control that cause abortions, even while facing near-total media opposition, lacking the support of many prominent politicians and organizations, and while being outspent 10-1.

Despite all that, our campaign — yours and ours — doubled or tripled the number of people who realize that unborn children are Persons. They understand that, no matter how popular or “socially acceptable” certain forms of killing may be, no one can ever have a “right” to kill an innocent person for any reason. Nearly 600,000 voters were willing to stand up and proclaim that an unborn child at any stage of development is a Person with an unalienable Right to Life!

That’s not just a VICTORY — THAT’S HISTORIC!!!

Those numbers show the encouraging promise of the Personhood strategy — if people think abortion is something to be regulated, they’ll aim for a good middle ground and they’ll never support an end to all abortion. But if we educate them about the Right to Life, and present it as a moral evil worse than slavery, most people will see there IS no middle ground, and abortion will end.

This strategy — an older strategy, given new life — should give us all hope that sometime in the next few years we will see a total end to abortion, embryonic destruction and abortifacient use in the state of Colorado! Perhaps elsewhere as well. What’s more, FOCA (the Freedom of Choice Act) won’t stop Personhood — once Personhood is established, it overrides FOCA!

The whole Personhood campaign became a spectacular opportunity to spread the Right to Life message! Never before have we had such access to the ear of the public, and so many chances to talk to people about the concept of unalienable rights and how life begins at the moment of fertilization. We could never have reached this many people without Amendment 48.

Personhood will energize and mobilize the pro-life movement! Now, we must reach people who have never heard these concepts before! We must continue that outreach! That’s where you come in. We must continue this conversation with our citizens!

We’re not asking for money — this is a thank you letter, and a letter of encouragement! We want you to know we haven’t given up. We want to know you haven’t given up either! Will you invest your volunteer time on this mission???

Colorado Right to Life was always at the center of the Personhood effort, but now that we have access to the campaign’s volunteer list, we are asking you to join with us and continue the Personhood campaign! There’s so much more still to be done!

Please, call us at 303-753-9394 or e-mail us at office@coloradorighttolife.org or write to us at 1535 Grant Street #303, Denver, CO 80203, and let us know you’re with us! Let us know you want to be a part of a continued lifesaving ministry to the people of Colorado, so they can know the truth of God’s laws against murder, and can turn back the Culture of Death!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Re: Accountability for Our Actions

Here's another reply to a comment which probably rates a blog post (and topic) of its own. It's really great how many comments have been coming through on the blog recently, and I certainly hope more people will take the time to comment, whether they agree with us or not!

One anonymous poster had commented that she loved what CRTL was doing, and in reference to CRTL's position that we should not vote for the lesser of two evils (i.e. not vote for someone who favors abortion, even if they're less pro-abortion than another candidate) she said "those people will not reap the rewards of the kingdom of heaven".

Then, another anonymous poster responded, by saying, "I don't believe it's right to say someone will not reap the rewards of heaven if they vote a certain way." To which I responded, thus:

Accountability for Our Actions

Personally, I believe we are held responsible for what we know. A baby, for instance, is taken to Heaven even though they may not know enough to believe in Christ, because they couldn't have learned yet.

I also believe there are separate issues -- 1) salvation, 2) our "rewards" in Heaven. The Bible indicates saved people will be rewarded according to their fruits during their earthly life -- basically, your salvation does not depend on "good works" but your reward once you get to Heaven will.

A woman who believes the lies of the world and who murders her baby because she doesn't think it's human will be judged for that, but not as harshly as a woman who murders her baby while realizing what she's doing. Think of it, maybe, as the difference between manslaughter and 1st Degree Murder. It's a matter of intent.

I believe Sen. McCain, for instance, will be judged more harshly for his support for the murder of embryos for stem cell research than will, say, an atheist who did the same thing. Why? Because McCain said (whether he was sincere or not will factor in) he believes life begins at conception, which means he SHOULD believe destruction of an embryo is murder. Ironically, I believe McCain would be judged less harshly if he lied to the American people about his beliefs than if he really believed in life at conception!

Someone who votes, likewise, may be held accountable for what they know. Will someone who votes for McCain because they think he's pro-life be judged as harshly (the "rewards" of Heaven, beyond mere salvation) as someone who voted for him because they thought he was the lesser of two evils? I think I know, but I can't be sure. But God knows... and he left us enough information to have an idea.

The role of sincere pro-lifers is to reveal the truth -- to proclaim it so that all will know. We should tell women at the abortion mills that God doesn't want them to murder their babies, because if they believe us they might stop. Likewise, we should tell Christians not to vote for those who believe murder is okay under any circumstances, because if they believe us they might not. These things are what CRTL does on a daily basis (literally).

Whether someone will be judged or rewarded for their vote, I think, may depend on whether they thought they were doing the right thing or not. On the other hand, we don't know for sure -- you MAY be judged for voting for a murderer! But those who have HEARD that the person they're considering voting for is a murderer, and who then vote for them anyway, may very well be held accountable for that.

They will be saved, and will go to Heaven, but what happens beyond that depends on what God believes, right? So is ignorance of God's law a reasonable defense when 1) the Bible made clear what God wants, and 2) someone from Colorado Right to Life confronted you before you voted and said, "McCain supports some murders, and then reminded you, 'the lesser of two evils is still evil'"?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Reaching Out to Millions

Editor's Note: This started as a response to a reader's question, but it really deserves to be a post of its own.

Reader's Question: "No doubt it is exciting to have Pro-Life legislation bode so well. But what is CRTL doing to tell the millions. What are they doing to educate people about abortion itself."

CRTLBlog's Response:

Thanks again for your question - it's an important one, and fortunately I have a good answer!

First, it's important to note that CRTL and its partner organization American Right to Life (ARTL) are both working actively to change the direction and focus of other pro-life groups and voices so that THEIR outreach harmonizes with our message. That helps us reach millions as effectively as using our own voice.

That message, first and foremost, differs from most prominent pro-life groups in two primary ways: 1) rejection of the "regulation" mentality, and promotion of "personhood" or "life at conception" as the gold standard we should be pushing for, and 2) that if we're not using every opportunity we're in the news, or in the public eye, to promote the concept of a God-given Right to Life from fertilization (conception) to natural death, then we're really not leaving the right impression on the public, and therefore we're not being effective in our messaging. We say what we mean, say what we want, and we're frank and sincere about it -- I believe most open minded people respect that.

This difference of opinion between us and those other organizations is NOT because we are petty, or have a "my way or the highway" attitude -- it's because of a strong personal conviction within each of us that 1) the regulation strategy almost all of us pushed at one time has failed, and 2) THIS is the new direction which holds the MOST promise for ending abortion sooner, rather than later.

Now, having said all that first, let me tell you how CRTL and ARTL are reaching millions with this very message about the God-given Right to Life:

1) Our past president (ARTL's current president) Brian Rohrbough had a 90 second pro-life monologue broadcast by CBS during prime-time thanks to the (unwitting) cooperation of Katie Couric (clip located here). That broadcast reached hundreds of thousands, or perhaps a million people just by itself.

2) The world-record-breaking sign "Destroys uNborn Children" (DNC) which was erected on a mountain within sight of Denver during the Democratic National Convention received press nationwide (including a press release which explained "Personhood" and the God-given Right), in a thousand locations, before millions, and even reached the British media.

3) CRTL has had at dozens of opportunities to reach the public nationwide through various press releases or events we've presented. Our spokespeople have been on radio and TV on a regular basis (several times a year), often for long radio interviews, and even some long TV interviews. We take these opportunities to speak the the nation very seriously, because that's how we can change peoples' hearts and minds.

4) The Amendment 48 Personhood campaign here in Colorado not only received nationwide press in Newsweek (long article), and all major networks, but also presented the concept of Life at Conception to the full Colorado electorate of millions of people.

5) As CRTL gains prominence, we will have more funding (donations encouraged!) to spread the word to all of Colorado through news events and paid media like mailings and radio and TV ads (all of which we've already tried in Colorado, and some other locations).

The more CRTL speaks to Colorado, the world, and even to pro-lifers, the closer we get to transforming the whole pro-life vs. abortion debate nationwide. We've seen some amazing progress already, and I'm sure there will be more as we go on.