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Meet NARAL, Pastor’s Picks, and Steve Litzow

August 9, 2010

 In light of recent developments, this story has been removed for the time being. Thank you Pastor Fuiten, for withdrawing this “Pastor’s Picks” endorsement. For further discussion, please see: Update: Litzow Endorsement Withdrawn

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WLC Reports: A Matter of Conscience

August 5, 2010

***See new comment below for an important update:***

In their latest video, Washington Life Coalition (WLC) begins with a recap of Dino Rossi’s compromises on abortion policy:

1) Favors legalized abortion in the cases of rape and incest.
2) Never sponsored legislation on abortion, and doesn’t intend to in the Senate.
3) Will not make abortion a litmus test for Supreme Court Justice.

WLC then reveals the most disturbing piece of Rossi’s record: His vote to override the conscience of hospitals, requiring them to advertise and dispense emergency contraception (morning-after-pill) to sexual assault victims upon request. (Senate Bill 6537).

When taken after conception, emergency contraception works by preventing implantation of the embryo, causing an abortion. Use of the drug is against Catholic, Christian, and pro-life values.

Rape victims require immediate and complete medical care. Offering an abortifacient medication is not healthcare, and is not the mission of hospital workers whose purpose is to save lives.

The bill passed.

When asked about abortion, Rossi’s favorite line is that he is “Catholic” and will “vote his conscience”.

Not only is this vote out of line with the Catholic Church’s teaching, it interferes with the conscience of other individuals and groups seeking to freely excercise their convictions.

And the Real Pro-life Candidate(s) Are…

August 1, 2010
Candidates James Watkins (top) & Matthew Burke (bottom)

Republican Congressional Candidates James Watkins (left) & Matthew Burke (right)

 The following is an update to previous reports on the 1st Congressional District primary race. First, a little background:   

In the Washington State 1st Congressional district, we have several Republicans challenging the Democrat incumbent. Matthew Burke and James Watkins are the two candidates who have received the most attention.   

Either one would be a tremendous improvement over pro-abort extraordinaire and NARAL darling, Congressman Jay Inslee.  And yet while we are still in the primary-phase, the goal of vetting should be to distinguish differences between similar candidates, not simply criticize the opponent on the other side of the aisle.   

For this reason, I attended and reported on two candidate forums featuring Burke and Watkins over the past several months. At the time, I found little differences between them when it came to their position on abortion…mostly because I didn’t know what, exactly, their positions were. Since then, new information has been revealed, requiring an important update:    

The forum on May 19th did not leave me in a particularly charitable mood, feeling as though both candidates were dismissive regarding the issue of abortion. I quickly rattled-off a review titled, “The Unfashionable Issue”, in which I wrote: ”      

It appears that the policy responsible for the greatest number of American deaths, the law that sanctions the killing of 1 out of 5 preborn children in the United States, is not quite fashionable enough to take a bold stand on…    

I hope I am wrong about my impressions of Burke and Watkins as being laissez-faire on this issue of life. But as it stands, I would be lying if I didn’t say I left the forum last night with a bitter taste in my mouth.     

My issue, it seems, is merely “personal”. My issue is “divisive”.    

Turns out, my impression was wrong, at least in part. Matthew Burke, after reading the article, was quite willing to set the record straight. “I’m sorry and disappointed that my answer at the forum…apparently didn’t reflect my strong feelings on the issue.  That certainly was not my intention,” explained Burke, who went on to clarify his position:    

Life is life.  When an abortion takes place, a human life is taken.  Therefore, I am pro-life without exception.  I don’t think anyone has the “right” to take the life of another human being, period.  That is my position.  It is the unfortunate political reality, that because the current crop of “leaders” are doing so much to destroy the freedom of us already born, the protection of the innocent unborn has been placed on the back-burner by much of society.  Recognizing this environment in no way diminishes my personal views that abortion is a human tragedy.    

And therein lies the misunderstanding, and my error. As a jaded activist, anytime I hear someone describe their views on abortion as “personal”, I assume it means, “not-public”, as in “I’m not going to do a thing about it”. Burke clarified this as well:    

When I said, “personal”, I in no way meant that I would keep my position on protecting life to myself, or that I would somehow publicly hide it or vote against any pro-life legislation. I proudly announce my Human Life PAC endorsement and do not evade questions when asked directly about my pro-life position.  In fact, I would not have applied for the Human Life PAC endorsement if I had any intention to hide my pro-life position.    

Good! My apologies to Mr. Burke for jumping to conclusions in the public arena before asking him directly.    

Back to the issue of endorsements…  Read more…

WLC Reports: The Case of the Missing Endorsements

July 21, 2010

Washington Life Coalition’s newest report, “Dino Rossi: Not the Pro-life Choice”, takes aim at Dino Rossi’s curious lack of pro-life endorsements:

What many pro-life voters may not realize, is that Dino Rossi, in his two runs for governor, never received the endorsement of Human Life of Washington, the only pro-life organization in Washington state that surveys (in writing) all candidates for state and federal offices on the issue of abortion.  The same is true this year as Dino seeks a spot on the general election ballot to challenge Patty Murray:  He has not received the Human Life endorsement. 

This is newsworthy of course, only because it is largely assumed that Dino Rossi is a rock-solid pro-lifer and adherent to the teachings of his Catholic faith (which he references proudly). But WLC goes on to detail Rossi’s deviation from pro-life and Catholic principles.  Rossi supports keeping abortion legal in the hard cases of rape and incest–an exception which might seem insignificant until you realize the moral and intellectual ramifications:

Washington Life Coalition’s ‘Little Emily’ video put a human face on what some consider a ‘reasonable position’. The proponents of [making exceptions for rape and incest] protest, ‘You’re talking about 1%!’ If their estimate is accurate, their position callously discards an estimated 12,000 innocent babies per year, every year! The rape/incest caveats to a so-called ‘pro-life’ position also weaken the entire case that a human person exists from the moment of fertilization and is therefore worthy of legal protection. After all, if the pro-life movement is going to argue that a human person exists at fertilization, then how can we justify that it is okay to kill some of them.

Even pro-choice liberals can agree that adding the “exceptions” only serves to weaken credibility, revealing inconsistency and suggesting a bent towards political expediency.

Not only does Rossi have “rape and incest” exceptions, but he has a history of indicating that abortion will in no way be a priority in his campaign, or in elected office.

Fortunately, in the upcoming open primary, we have the option to vote for an authentically pro-life candidate. According to WLC:

Human Life of Washington issued a dual endorsement in the U.S.Senate race to: Paul Akers and Clint Didier, having both met the criteria.  (Endorsements have not yet been listed on Human Life of Washington’s website, but the press release went out recently). 

WLC concludes with a call to action:

How seriously do you want to end legalized abortion in America? Are you content with the right to life being a ‘back burner’ issue? We believe it is time to get serious about our political strategy!

What is your strategy? As a recovering pro-life pragmatist, I now rejoice in an opportunity to break free and vote my conscience this August. What about you?

To all the battle-weary, I will leave you with a brief excerpt from the book All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery. Here, New England abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison, and Benjamin Lundy are discussing the frustration with local anti-slavery politics:

‘My soul was on fire then,’ Garrison remarked, when he recalled the ‘moral cowardice’ and ‘cruel skepticism’ of Boston’s would-be reformers. Lundy, however, was used to such setbacks. He knew that ‘philanthropists…think forty times before they act,’ and he reminded the disappointed Garrison that their public meeting had at last broken the ‘stupid spell of apathy.’

Let us, by God’s grace, join the great tradition of breaking that “stupid spell of apathy”.

Bringing Up the Embryo in the Room

July 13, 2010

Norman Rockwell's "Freedom of Speech"

 

Tonight I attended my second candidate forum featuring Matthew Burke and James Watkins–two Republicans running against each other for Congress in the 1st District. Burke mentioned to the audience that he had received the endorsement of Human Life PAC.  

Curious to know where Watkins stood on the issue of abortion, I approached him afterwards to inquire if he had received any nods from pro-life groups. He went on to list various private endorsements he had picked up from local leaders.  

Watkins then added that people weren’t asking much about abortion in this campaign–the issue just wasn’t that popular. 

I bristled inside, immediately feeling defensive: this was the rational so often used to justify why the “divisive” social issues should be glanced over in favor of fiscal discussions. 

But then I realized, he was absolutely right. 

The blame for the issue of abortion remaining politically dormant all these years lies just as much with the voters, as it does with the politicians. And when I say “voters”, I’m not talking about pro-choice voters, but pro-life voters–I’m talking about me. 

Oh yes, there is the little voice inside my head whenever I think of bringing up abortion, even among a presumably sympathetic audience. It goes something like this: 

“Don’t say it! You’ll scare the moderates!” 

“It’s the economy, Stupid.” 

“Shhh! They’ll find out you were homeschooled!” 

What exactly am I afraid of? …an awkward silence…a disapproving sideways glance?  

Yes, the threat of an awkward silence is enough to shut me up. 

Because I’m not asking, candidates aren’t answering–because candidates aren’t being asked, abortion takes a backseat. 

Speaking of controversial issues…I have a confession to make: I don’t care about immigration, and I don’t care about the Federal Reserve. 

But even though I don’t care, I feel like I should care, because throughout the political landscape, people won’t stop talking about it.  Talking makes things real. It makes visible that which is hidden from view, such as the fact that 1 out of 5 children in the United States die from abortion

Currently more American’s identify themselves as “pro-life” than ever before. What would happen if we decided not to shut up? What if the first question to come up at every town hall was “Do you believe the unalienable right to life ought to apply to preborn children, and once elected, what will you do to secure that right?”  What if we filled every political forum with awkward silences and sideways glances? 

Last year, a young man did just that at a town hall for Congressman Jay Inslee. In the midst of a discussion about the economy, health care, and the environment, he stood up, and for no good reason, began talking about the importance of protecting human life. It was out of context, irrelevant, off-topic… 

It was brilliant.    

Afterwards the young man was surrounded by a buzz of conversation: encouragement, questions, and challenges. People were talking, and abortion became real in the eyes of voters because this man had the courage to snub awkwardness, and bring up the embryo in the room.

“Little Emily”: Dino Rossi’s True Position on Abortion

June 29, 2010

Little Emily just wants things lots of other girls have…

New Pro-Life Activist Group Exposes the Truth on Rossi

The Washington Life Coalition (WLC), is a newly formed pro-life advocacy group dedicated to promoting the Unalienable Right to LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Without discrimination. Without exception. Without compromise. 

Can the same be said of U.S. Senate candidate Dino Rossi? 

For years, Rossi has laid claim to the unquestioning support of his pro-life base—this despite a record of vague public statements and compromises. In the absence of a firm position, pro-lifers have been content to fill in the blanks with wishful thinking and generous assumptions. 
 
“No more,” said WLC spokeswoman Mary Emanuel. “That support is something Mr. Rossi can no longer count on.” 
 
The time for assumptions is over. The mission of WLC is to present the truth about where the candidates stand on the issue of abortion so that pro-life voters know the truth when marking their ballots. 
 
When it comes to abortion, Dino Rossi can be difficult to pin down.

 In 2004, the Seattle Times reported: 
 
“…Dino Rossi has undergone a transformation. Once a candidate who talked openly about his opposition to abortion and gay rights, Rossi no longer brings up such issues …Rossi says when he first started out in politics, he was ‘maybe a little more idealistic than realistic on some things. … Over time, you kind of temper some of the things you once believed.’” 
 
In the early 1990’s, Rossi identified with pro-life causes; in more recent years he has gone out of his way to avoid discussing his views on social issues. 
 
So where, exactly, does Rossi stand? According to the Seattle Times, “His position on abortion remains unchanged: He opposes it except in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. But he never brings it up on his own. 
 
The same story was offered during an interview with the
Spokesman Review in 2004, in which Rossi said, “I’ve always believed that abortion was never intended except for maybe cases of rape, incest…,” 
 
The bottom line is that Rossi, when pressed, presents a so-called “pro-life” platform that actually supports legalized abortion when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, implying that the lives of some, of any “Little Emily” are not deserving of basic human rights. 
 
There is no greater assault on the sanctity of womanhood than the crime of rape—an unspeakable act of violation requiring years of physical, emotional, and psychological healing. In the rare instances when a pregnancy does result, the nightmare for the victim cannot be mitigated—but only complicated—by taking the life of the child. 
 
In his 2008 bid for governor, Rossi made this promise: “I will protect the most vulnerable people in our society.” 
 
And yet, is any person more vulnerable in today’s society than a child conceived by rape or incest? At WLC, we would like to ask Rossi why that child not worthy of his promise of protection? 
 
Rossi isn’t answering.  
 
When it comes to abortion, he’s not saying much at all these days. 
 
And yet, all over the state, people are seeking answers. This is typically what they get: 
 
“I am Catholic” 
 
“I will vote my conscience” 
 
and, 
 
“every soul has a value” 
  
At first glance, this appears to be a heartfelt expression of a pro-life conviction, but a deeper analysis brings up even more questions: 
 
How does his “Catholic” faith justify his compromised position on life? 
 
Does he believe that all souls have equal value, and more importantly, should they have equal rights? 
 
At a recent
news conferrence, Rossi told reporters: “If I’m going to have to make a judgment, I’m going to make a judgment on the side of protecting life: I always have protected life and I will,” —a statement that is at odds with his record and previous declarations.  
 
For weeks after his announcement to run for senate, Rossi’s website remained devoid of information regarding his positions on any of the issues facing our nation. Finally, last Friday, his website was updated. 
 
According to the
issues section, his position on abortion is: 
 
BLANK. 
 
Even if Rossi’s position on abortion was without the previously mentioned “exceptions,” as pro-life voters, we have to ask ourselves if we are so easily won over by a candidate who is afraid to address the most pressing moral blight our nation faces.  
 
Currently 1 in 5 children in the United States faces execution, and because of that, the Unalienable Right to Life, written on the conscience of our nation, remains unsecured. 
 
As long as voters fail to make the Right to Life a priority, and politicians continue to take the pro-life vote for granted, abortion will remain legal, and our nation will be at odds with its founding principles.   
 
It is time to send Dino Rossi, and all our candidates, an uncompromised message:  
 
LIFE.

The End of Abortion: A Brief History of the Start of a Revolution

June 25, 2010
Excerpt:

The thought of fellow human beings, dismembered–suctioned–disposed of, in Seattle’s abortion clinics “grieved my heart,” Ben Lundy told Bill Garrison, and “iron determination entered my soul.” …the memory of those infants nagged at his conscience until he vowed that he would “save at least one child” from the instruments of the abortionists.

In 1998, Lundy sold his business to become an advocate, as others had done in the years before Roe V. Wade, driven by the God’s command to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Lundy was demanding attention to an issue that had lain dormant for a generation. The contradiction between personal convictions and national practice had made some Americans uncomfortable enough in the years following Roe V. Wade to restrict abortion by statute or judicial interpretation in certain states. Some leaders, had written passionately of both the moral blight of abortion and the paralysis of will that prevented them from acting upon sympathies.

Only among devout Catholics and far-right Evangelicals, did pro-life advocacy persist into the 21st century; when Lundy began his mission, he drew support from these followers in localized anti-abortion groups across the United States. For most Americans, however, a fatalism had set in that regarded abortion as an unchanging feature of the landscape, an unlooked-for evil that had been fastened upon them by past generations, and whose resolution had to be left to enlightened generations not yet born.

“Nothing is lacking…but the will,” Lundy insisted, and he frequently printed graphic photos of abortion procedures, under the title “Hail Choice!” with the injunction, “LOOK AT IT, again and again!” That would be his mission: to open America’s eyes. His writings, his impromptu meetings, his long hours of counsel with conscience-stricken women in crisis, his petitions, and his endless tours…were all aimed at rousing the “slumbering reason of a humane people.”

In those earnest hours of conversation, Garrison remembered forever afterwards Lundyopened my eyes” and “inflamed my mind” on the subject of abortion. When Lundy declared, “I will not hesitate to call things the way they are, or hold back from speaking the truth,” a thrill went though Garrison, and when Lundy added, “Take a righteous stand! Hold on! And never give back an inch of ground after it has been taken”, Garrison’s soul burned with desire to do battle.

In Seattle, Lundy met with community leaders to gain funding and support. The eight pastors and politicians he had coffee with listened politely, but declined to help. They found Lundy’s fanaticism more alarming than stirring, and one Republican Party official was concerned enough to write privately to his senator, that “the rashness of extremists” could make abortion too much of a socially disruptive issue unless political and religious leaders exercised careful management.

Where the party leaders sensed trouble, Garrison felt hope, “Is there any reason why we shouldn’t be excited about the opportunity before us?” Garrison inquired of this readers on March 21, 2008, the week after Lundy’s visit. “The reign of righteousness” had not yet arrived, Garrison conceded, but “the seeds of an immortal harvest” were beginning to bud.…Garrison insisted that the pro-lifers could be an organized force along the lines of the abolition and civil rights movements.

“Ending the practice of abortion alone will preserve the life of the republic” and restore the luster of the American character far more successfully than military might or material gain, Garrison insisted. “The struggle is full of sublimity,” he concluded.

Now for the real story:

The setting: Boston, Massachusetts, 1828.

Benjamin Lundy is a middle-aged Quaker pastor and amateur editor of a one-man newspaper. During his travels he meets “Bill” Garrison, a.k.a. William Lloyd Garrison, the young Baptist and fellow editor of another local paper, The Philanthropist.

The graphic sketches Lundy distributes are not of aborted fetuses, but of “fellow human beings chained…while awaiting shipment down the Ohio River”. The emotionally charged conversations Lundy has are not with young pregnant women, but with “conscious stricken” businessmen whom he persuades one by one to voluntarily release their captives.

And that divisive, “single issue”, considered with apathetic resignation by the culture around them, was not abortion, but slavery. Together, these men would catapult the cause of “Universal Emancipation” from a fringe religious movement, to the single most important issue of their time–one which would divide a nation, and unite a coalition of awakening hearts.

The passage above is direct, line-by-line paraphrase from the book All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery, by Henry Mayer. (Read actual excerpt here). The book is a strict historical biography about the “fanatical” Garrison, and makes no attempt to allude to abortion or any other contemporary issue.

There are, of course, many differences between the issues of abortion and slavery, but for any modern-day “abortion abolitionist” who has become weary standing against an engrained evil–forgotten and marginalized by the mainstream–the parallels are self-evident, and so are the reasons for hope.

“Talking will create zeal—zeal, opposition, opposition will drive men to inquiry–inquiry will induce conviction–conviction will lead to action—-action will demand union—and then will follow victory.”
-William Lloyd Garrison, 1831.