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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

"Settling" is for Losers

It is a popular meme among Christians who have sold out to the pro-abortion movement that we must "settle for what we can get". The statement is both true and false at the same time. That is, what we do is in fact constrained by what is moral, and by what is achievable. But the word "settle" says more than that: it says that we should set our sights low, we should not work too hard to achieve "the impossible", we should compromise with mass murdering pro-abortion nazis to try to "reduce the number of abortions", etc.

I call baloney. "Settling for what you can get" is for losers. Nobody has ever accomplished anything important by "settling": indeed, the very word "settling" implies taking your eye off the end goal, giving up on the important thing and taking something less, like table scraps thrown to the dogs.

Winners never "settle". Winners take every hill and position along the way, accomplish everything that can be accomplished without compromise and without relenting, and never lose sight of the end goal.

The end goal in the legal fight over abortion is abortion outlawed in every jurisdiction, every outlaw abortionist swinging from a gibbet. There are many other important non-legal goods to be pursued, many important goals in terms of supporting women and children in distress, to be sure. But this notion that in the legal fight over abortion pro-lifers should "settle" is the siren song of Hell.

(Cross-posted)

Comments (22)

"The end goal in the legal fight over abortion is abortion outlawed in every jurisdiction"

I disagree. I think expecting our neo-pagan society to operate as if it were Christian is unreasonable. This society will only make things such as abortion illegal when it is a Christian society and that doesn't happen by changing laws but by converting hearts & minds to Christ.
Pro-lifers should focus on preventing as many abortions as possible through such efforts as crisis pregnancy centers which offer options to frightened and pressured young women and sidewalk counseling.
Focusing our efforts on legal change often detracts from this effort. It often strikes me as a cop out for some who substitute voting for the "right" candidates for helping a new mother buy formula and diapers. The former requires nothing, the later requires true Christian caritas and sacrifice.

This society will only make things such as abortion illegal when it is a Christian society and that doesn't happen by changing laws but by converting hearts & minds to Christ.
That is a false dichotomy. And our society won't be pagan forever, because Christians reproduce and the modern kind of pagan doesn't. In the meantime Christians need to have the courage of their convictions, not become sycophants lapping up table scraps thrown by their pagan overlords, which only perpetuates the wickedness.
The end goal in the legal fight over abortion is abortion outlawed in every jurisdiction, every outlaw abortionist swinging from a gibbet.

Now you're talking, Zippy!

One reason to keep the end goal always and unequivocally in mind is because I think the sellouts have sold out precisely because they do not want to see the kind of pagan society we have come to an end, and they cannot picture the achievement of the pro-life end goal without the end of the democratic pagan decadence they value. Keeping that kind of society is worth sacrificing a few million children a year to Moloch, as a means to the end.

So it is really a litmus test in my mind. Someone who cannot sign up to the end goal is not really pro-life at all. He has "settled" for being less than pro-life as a means to the end of keeping the modern pagan democracy he values.

I think there is a semantic dimension to this argument.

Does accepting a parental consent, informed consent, life of mother, etc. exception entail settling?

My personal view is that the abortion fight is on multiple fronts, public education being among the most critical. While I totally agree with your goal, I don't see that goal as being realistically achievable in the next decades. To move toward that goal I think we need to make the smaller arguments that are easy to sell all the while educating people on what abortion is. Otherwise I think we end up having to defend ground chosen for us by the other side, the emotionally charged grounds of rape, incest, life of the mother.

I'll add, also, that while it is certainly true that converting our society en mass to serious, orthodox, biblical Christianity would spell the doom of the abortion regime, it is a mere conjecture that a pagan society could never outlaw abortion. Recall that even the pagans have the law written on their heart. The wickedness of abortion is not an exclusive insight of Christian revelation.

In other words, while it is true that no spiritual good can come through paganism (unless by God's mysterious ordination of good through evil), it is not true that no moral good can come through paganism.

This is a materialistic evaluation of success. How temperance or patience are understood as virtues in this post escapes me.

More importantly you are objectifying those that sin, acting as if society is exercising the individual's agency in choosing abortion. Analogically, we are speaking of the difference between heresy and schism with heresy being comparable to individual choices of abortion and schism being the seeking to divide a community into a purer element that does not recognize the rights the larger community has offered. Fighting for schism while ignoring heresy is sure to cause both to abound. Likewise, schism will not be healed until a true solidarity is present and such a solidarity certainly must include the unborn.

Does accepting a parental consent, informed consent, life of mother, etc. exception entail settling?

Tolerating them when there is no choice in the matter is not settling. We relentlessly take the enemy positions we can right now, but we never "settle".

One of the tactical advantages that liberalism and Islam have over Christians is that liberalism and Islam lie. They can pretend to be moderate and compromising (this is even an explicit doctrine in Islam) when in fact they are nothing of the kind. In fact no victory of any note is ever achieved by "settling".

Christianity, being honest, does not want to talk a talk of compromise and settling without actually walking a walk of compromise and settling. I'm fine with that. We should just say what we mean: "we are against all abortion and would outlaw it if we could; because you will not present me with a bill outlawing all abortions I will sign the one that you will present to me."

But Christians who talk the talk of "settling" are either liars or dupes. I have a mild preference for the liars, who talk compromise but think nothing of the kind to themselves, because at least they have the right end goal though they refuse to acknowledge it explicitly for political reasons. But we shouldn't be liars, so we shouldn't be talking the talk of "settling".

How temperance or patience are understood as virtues in this post escapes me.
Are temperance and patience incompatible with the strategic pursuit of the good?

Indeed, some of the things absolutely required are patience and temperance, because the goal we should all be unequivocally and relentlessly pursuing without compromise or equivocation is not something we will achieve in a short time.

Analogically, we are speaking of the difference between heresy and schism with heresy being comparable to individual choices of abortion and schism being the seeking to divide a community into a purer element that does not recognize the rights the larger community has offered.

What in the world does this mean? What are the "rights the larger community has offered"? I'm trying not to interpret uncharitably, but I think I disagree very strongly with what MZ is getting at.

M.Z. -- I think your comment participates in a number of errors, the first being the very common error of pretending that pro-lifers are the perpetrates of this "schism" (which analogy, to my way of thinking, fails precisely because of the difference between the church and a political society). Have you forgotten that virtually every piece of the edifice of abortion-on-demand was accomplished by the edict of judges who with their edicts threw out dozens of duly-enacted laws which came about through the republican institutions of the people? Who are the real schismatics?

Secondly, if I understand you right when you say that Zippy has given us a merely "materialistic evaluation of success," then I can only understand this as a general denigration of legal reform as a proper course of action for Christians. I wonder what other goals (perhaps those favored by you?) could be so readily dismissed. Feeding the hungry? Mere materialism unless they are also converted. Healing the sick? More materialism. Etc.

I didn't allege prolifers perpetrated schism. I'm more inclined to believe that if schism exists, it was perpetuated by those advocating abortion. The qualifying if is relevant since I don't think our society is in a state of schism. In other words, I don't believe we have two cultures co-existing in this country but rather one.

Zippy,

I used the term "authentic solidarity" which means I'm not endorsing all forms of solidarity. Authentic solidarity cannot be placed in opposition to veritas. Truth cannot be experienced outside community. Your continual nihilism leads you to advocate for a smaller and smaller community.

Authentic solidarity cannot be placed in opposition to veritas.
If authentic solidarity cannot be placed in opposition to truth then there can be no authentic solidarity with pro-aborts.
Your continual nihilism leads you to advocate for a smaller and smaller community.
I am not at all sure what that means. Does that mean if I refuse to do evil I can't play with the cool kids?

"Truth cannot be experienced outside community."

Excuse me, could you explain this please? There are several ways that I can interpret your statement and I sense great potential for misunderstanding if I just pick one randomly. It seems we (meaning you and I) differ greatly in assumptions about Truth and I think that understanding these differences might go a long way to explaining other differences.

r/
Andy P.

I was commenting at American Papist in which one pro-Obama Catholic repeated, "a smaller and more orthodox pro-life movement". This was apparently supposed to be some crushing retort against people who were not convinced of the current regime's marketing ploy of reducing the need for abortion (which you and FB treated earlier), that we are not really pro-life unless we team up with people committed to rolling back every real legal measure against abortion. Part of the problem is that the reduced-abortions approach is loaded with contraceptives as the solution and from what I've seen the ObamaCats are either silent or just ducky with it. So I suppose that yes, the community that insists that it is wrong to sterilize the Jews to reduce the need to gas them later is getting smaller and smaller.

Golly, I've heard Zippy called a number of different things, but "nihilist" is a new one on me. And entirely ridiculous.

I try to be all things to all people for the sake of the Gospel, Lydia. =:-o

Okay, I have a huge problem with "swinging from the gibbet." Seems like we have a huge case of "unclear on the concept" here, the concept being the sanctity of life. (Related concept: nonviolence.)

Also working incrementally isn't the same as "settling." In the law (my profession), a settlement means you give up your right to go after more. You don't give up your right to go after more by working incrementally.

Okay, Ray Ward, go out there and argue with the Kmiec Katholics. They're the ones telling us to "settle." As you say, a "settlement" means you aren't going to go after more. Zippy didn't make up the word. It may be that the notion of working incrementally has softened people up psychologically for the new concept of "settling for what we can get." But if you want to continue to draw that distinction, more power to your elbow, and please tell that to the people who are telling us to "settle."

I have a huge problem with "swinging from the gibbet."
We will do whatever we can to reduce the number of outlaw abortionists swinging from gibbets. I hope our left-leaning friends can show solidarity with us in that endeavor.

It is worth pointing out that the ultimate goal (a nation composed entirely of saints) is not necessary to end abortion. The evil of abortion does not require the fullness of the truth taught by the Catholic Church, it only requires a recognition of the natural law and modestly formed consciences. Reason is able to see that this is wrong even without revelation.

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