I think the prolife movement is the dog that caught the car. For 40 years, it has been absolutely fixated on one goal: destroying Roe. And in pursuit of that monomaniac obsession, it has thrown away all other principles and sold its soul to a political cult that bade it make war on the rest of what it once believed (or thought it believed), turning itself into its own opposite (as heresies tend to do). Consequently, now that its monomaniac goal is suddenly achieved, it finds itself dominated by lunatics with all sorts of sadistic plans for women, no real interest in the unborn they were never serious about, and a raft of insane plans for destroying civil rights gains back to the 13th Amendment, since that was always the real goal of the GOP.
It needn’t have gone this way, as The Atlantic chronicles:
In 1973 many of the most vocal opponents of abortion were northern Democrats who believed in an expanded social-welfare state and who wanted to reduce abortion rates through prenatal insurance and federally funded day care. In 2022, most anti-abortion politicians are conservative Republicans who are skeptical of such measures.
In short, the concept of a Consistent Life Ethic was promptly destroyed by the GOP and the unborn were instead weaponized to defeat and destroy the very policies that were designed to relieve pressure on their mothers to abort, because it was never about the unborn for the GOP. It was always about seducing the right wing Christian vote into supporting every sadistic cruelty the GOP sought to inflict in their greed, racism, and misogyny. That is why the most bitter enemies that advocates of a Consistent Life Ethic have are not pro-choice people, but MAGA antichrist worshippers who battle to kick everybody out of the Church–including the Pope–who advocate it.
This is not a new pattern for the “prolife” cult enslaved to the GOP like Nazgul. Like the nine kings of men, when the GOP offered them power, they grabbed at it and began a long series of compromises bent on selling their souls, all with the lure of Ending Roe forever dangling in front of them, perpetually promised but never delivered. And to get it, they denounced the notion of a Seamless Garment (that was, in fact, the Church’s actual teaching about the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death). This was, said the “prolife” GOP Cult, “creeping liberalism”. Instead, they chose to pit the unborn against, rather than relate them to, every form of human life the GOP sought to rob, harm, torture, neglect, and kill.
Result: for the past 40 years, you could reliably count on the “prolife” movement (with the honorable exception of the Consistent Life Ethic folk) to fight the Church on virtually its entire corpus of social doctrine, all with the absurd monomaniac claim that if you supported anything Dems were trying to do, you were “distracting” from abortion.
This is why I say the “prolife” movement (again, with the honorable exception of those who hold a Consistent Life Ethic) is a heresy–and why I say that this heresy, like all heresies, has mutated into its opposite. Over the past forty years, the “prolife” movement became the bastion of defense for everything from unjust war in Iraq, to torture, to battling the Church’s century-old call for universal health care in the US, to cheering for an impenitent sex predator and rapist as “King David”, to defending mockery of the disabled, to fighting the attempts to pay workers a living wage, to kidnapping brown refugee children, to cheering for the destruction of food benefits for poor children, to recklessly laboring to kill a million Americans (including the unborn and their mothers) out of selfish spite against trivial COVID precautions, to battling for the death penalty the Church seeks to abolish.
That last point is particularly grotesque as the intellectually-bankrupt MAGA cult now faces the future having trained itself to actively fight nearly everything that would make transition to a post-Roe world anything but a gigantic catastrophe.
It is the old story of the Faustian Bargain. In pursuing one good lawlessly, the Bargainer eventually gains the prize only to discover that he has transformed himself into a monster who cannot enjoy the prize and is, indeed, such a monster that his touch only destroys the prize.
So now, suddenly, the “prolife” MAGA cult has its long-sought prize of the end of Roe in view. What shall it do? Shall it use its power to help women in crisis? Will it now, at long last spend itself helping make pregnancy and birth and child-rearing a less punishing ordeal for the poor? Of course not! That would be socialism and rewarding laziness and letting sluts off the hook. No, the focus will be on punishment for post-abortive mothers, not on responsibility for themselves in their so-called “struggle for human life”. Because as they have been well-trained by the GOP, the goal is not really to defend the unborn, but to deflect responsibility away from the rich and powerful and send violence down the ladder to the weaker. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it ironically was the same goal as Roe.
Pre-Roe America had no interest in protecting human life from conception to natural death. But in the waning days of such movements as the New Deal and the Great Society, it at least tried to create a safety valve so that the crush economic pressures it placed on poor women had a release valve. Deflecting responsibility and violence down the food chain, as is our custom, we told women it was okay for them to direct violence further down the food chain, to the children we had absolutel no intention of helping them raise.
That has not changed one tiny bit. Only now, the MAGA Cult has decided, not only to go on refusing to help women in crisis pregnancies, but to take away the pressure release valve of Roe and, instead, punish them for doing what sadistic MAGA economic policies force them to do.
So the MAGA “prolife” cult will have all sorts of ideas for punishing women, but keep fighting as they have fought for forty years to keep enormous economic pressure on them to abort. The idea of helping them (except for a small token, conscience-assuaging initiative called “Crisis Pregnancy Center”) is not on the radar for the MAGA cult. So (again with the exception of the despise Consistent Life Ethic people in its ranks), the “prolife” movement has turned itself into a selfish and vengeful moral monstrosity that will, barring a miracle, create exactly the catastrophe the liberals it hates (and is too swollen with pride to listen to) have warned it will create, beginning with a giant mob of MAGA nuts calling for the jailing and execution of post-abortive and miscarrying women.
This, and similarly idiotic and spiteful initiatives, is where the Cult means to go. It was proposed in 2019, but it shows the direction they are headed. The crazies are in charge of the GOP and they attempted to legislate a medical procedure that does not exist, with all the punishments and penalties for women appertaining thereto if she did not have this non-existent surgery done.
And it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Louisiana Republicans instantly went to work looking for ways to charge post-abortive women with murder. Yes, murder. Because all that “love them both” stuff is no longer on the table for the GOP lunatics. And that bring us back to the whole spectacle of the Greatest Catholics of All Time battling the Church to maintain the death penalty. Because if the MAGA nuts get their way in some backward Taliban state and gain the power to convict post-abortive women of murder, then the natural next step for this vengeful cult of misogynist weirdos is to start killing those women on death row. That’s what you do to murderers. It is the inevitable trajectory of this cult of death, who are so eager to kill somebody that they don’t even stop to reflect that they are themselves in the crosshairs of their own draconian lust for blood. Thus, Abby Johnson, who helped 22,000 women get abortions as well as aborting two of her own children has no problem at all wishing punishment up to and including the death penalty (that is, after all, the punishment for murder in many places) on others. That’s all their misfortune and none of her own.
Nor are post-abortive women the only ones the Inquisition will come after. Laws already on the books already make life miserable for miscarrying women. And miscarrying women are already being arrested. If their trajectory means anything (and I think it means everything), the goal will be to institute inquisitorial investigations against any women deemed by the Righteous to have had a “suspicious” end to her pregnancy. Given that millions and millions of pregnancies end due to miscarriage, it will mean (if the MAGA nuts get their way) a nightmare of accusation and investigation (and possible arrest, trial, jail, and even execution for women who have miscarried). It’s already happening in other countries and could easily happen here if the MAGA Cult of Death get their way.
The paradox of it all is that the MAGA Cult is a movement that could not organize a scout troop, much less cope with the catastrophic societal shift it is about to inflict without a moment’s foresight or planning. Yet, precisely because the GOP is the dog that caught the car and never in a million years thought the Court would be stupid enough to turn this matter over to a bunch of vengeful state’s rights kooks incapable of seeing past the ends of their noses, we are suddenly going to faced with a flood of insanely vengeful proposals with absolutely no interest in the good of either women or unborn children, but plenty of interest in MAGA spite and cruelty.
Naturally, the defenders of the MAGA “prolife” cult immediately demand, in the teeth of what their cult has already proposed and attempted, that critics prove they mean to inflict these sadistic and idiotic policies and mock that their critics are imagining things. What they do not and cannot supply is the slightest bit of evidence that this cult has any intention of backing policies that will help poor families or support post-abortive or miscarrying women. Meanwhile, those with sense grasp that the MAGA Cult are people who, on every other front have been so wrong about so much so many times for so long that only a fool would trust their judgment. Why should we trust it now?
And it is why that evil Cult now approaches a post-Roe America asking, “What else is there to do but punish post-abortive women as murderers? Surely you don’t expect *us* to bear the burden of somebody else’s problem! That would be socialism!”
All that said, may I offer a word of advice to my fellow Consistent Life Ethic advocates: Like it or not, CLE people are not going to live in a world where the victims of the misogynist, vengeful, spiteful Cult of Death MAGA majority in the so-called “prolife” movement are going to instantly distinguish CLE types from that Freak Show. Responding to their perfectly justifiable outrage at that Freak Show with self-pity when we (as we certainly shall) receive some of that blowback is going to be tempting, but a huge waste of time.
What has to be done instead is the painstaking work of thinking through what is actually just and right and then doing it. What is about to be done to a lot of innocent people by the MAGA “prolife” Cult of Death is going to create a perfectly understandable backlash. That backlash may not always discriminate between the sadistic, misogynist Cult and the CLE advocates who think punishing post-abortive women is unjust, evil, and insane. If you occasionally have to take one on the chin, count it all joy to suffer for the Name. But also, recognize that the real danger to the Faith is not peaceful protestors or the occasional vandal, but the MAGA antichrist cult who cause God’s Name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles.
Case in point, this kind of hysteria from self-pitying Reactionaries:
These guys were babbling about packing heat to Mass, certain that the Legions of Evil were going to attack “all over the USA”. In fact, virtually nothing happened. A couple of protests at places you would expect like St. Pat’s in NYC (because that’s where the cameras are and that’s the point of protests: to get attention. And there was a little sporadic vandalism:
Not good, but also not the Great Satanic Persecuting Fire that Marshall and his ilk like to fantasize about as they cosplay at martyrdom. Indeed, the three most notable things about the response to the news about Roe are
a) how little violence or vandalism there was
b) that Biden, who is supposedly evil mastermind bent on destroying the “prolife” movement immediately and aggressive attacked pro-choice violence and vandalism:
c) that the self-appointed “defenders” against peaceful protestors outside St. Pat’s in NYC did so by vocally championing rape.
No. Really. Here are the thugs, being praised by eager Nazi supporter Paul Gosar:
What he neglects to tell you is that the “hordes” were peaceful, while blue hat douchebro shouted at them, “Not your body. Not your choice. Your body is mine. You will have my baby.” A stirring defense of rape, not the unborn. But that is what the MAGA cult does, in fact, celebrate–and why I say, “God’s Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of them.”
The Church will survive vandalism and protest. Heck, it will survive persecution and martyrdom. But it truly is endangered by the Greatest Catholics of All Time bragging that they have the right to commit rape. That is why Jesus says, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
Now the thing about being Catholic is, you can pick your friends, but you are stuck with your family. Blue Hat Douchebro, while certainly an enemy of the gospel, remains a member of the Catholic communion. And there is no particular reason I should expect somebody who is not Catholic to know that or care about distinguishing him from me. So get ready to bear unjust suffering for things you don’t advocate, spoken and done by Catholics who reject the Church’s teaching, hate the Pope, and think bragging about the right to rape is an awesome “prolife” witness of manly manliness. Opposing such sliminess while bearing blame for it will be the Christlike thing to do. Focus, not on yourself, but on defending the victims the MAGA antichrist “prolife” cult of death is going to create in its spite, stupidity, misogyny, and malice.
The good news is that there are prolife groups opposing the rush by the nuts to punish post-abortive women. Now let’s see if they are the norm or outliers. How about it, Rest of the Prolife Movement? Where are you gonna go? Join the MAGA misogynists and sadists with your silence and vocal support for this lunacy? Or do the right thing and oppose every MAGA effort to crucify women?
The weekend after the Supreme Court leak, my parish suffered a terrible loss as its tabernacle was stolen. A suspect has been charged. The tabernacle has not been found, but a picture of the tabernacle opened and left outside a restaurant has been circulated. No information to date on what happened to its invaluable contents.
One idea is that someone stole the tabernacle, broke into it and threw away the tabernacle to avoid being caught with the evidence. Then, someone else saw a pretty box, having no idea of its original purpose, and took it.
Of course, everyone started blaming Roe radicals. Investigation is still ongoing, but it look like Roe is not a motivation.
I’m sorry that happened. Such crimes are part of living in a fallen world and we must turn to God for the grace to forgive. It may be possible that, as with Jean Valjean’s candlesticks, this may be an opening for grace for this person.
Mark, agree with every word.
Mea maxima culpa, I must admit that – even though I’ve almost never been swayed by MAGA fearmongering, despite being surrounded by it at my parish – I fell for the propaganda about the Ruth Sent Us demonstrations and actually told my gun-toting acquaintances to be on guard and carry extra ammunition just in case. Thank God nothing happened, or I might have been responsible for something terrible.
Similarly, Blue Hat Douchebro gives me a leaden feeling inside, because – although I’ve never once acted on them in real life and probably never will – I tend to have violent fantasies about people I disagree with and I’m convinced on some level that, if I had a direct confrontation with someone involved in the abortion industry or protesting in support of choice, I might very well do or say something just as horrible. It’s for that reason (besides simple cowardice) that I don’t try to witness in front of abortion clinics.
Shows you what a pitiful excuse of a Catholic I am, that the faintest whiff of danger sends me into fear-and-loathing overdrive instead of giving way to the resigned, holy joy of a genuine martyr for Christ. Honestly, there have been many times of late where I’ve felt like Holy Church would be far better off without me.
All this to say: If this is what MAGA really has in store for pregnant women in crisis, you can trust me – no matter how much the soul-crushing kabuki theater of American politics makes my skin crawl – to put my nose to the grindstone and keep voting straight Democrat until the MAGA menace is ground into the dust and the Consistent Life Ethic comes out on top.
I don’t bother to call them MAGA anymore. I call them what they are: The Christian Taliban. They have the same program in mind for women and for society generally. This minority of fanatics has caught the tiger by the tail with absolutely no thought of what happens when they lose that grip, and they will. They are going to see the large majority of the population rise up against them. We in the free states and many within their own borders will work day and night to undermine every aspect of enforcement of their vile regime. Where they budget $1 million to enforce some aspect of the law, we will make sure it costs them $100 million, then $1 billion after that. Prohibition and the War on Drugs will look like smashing successes next to this.
They are going to experience massive capital flight and brain drain as big business and its workers flee their territory. Seriously what young college educated woman, or man with options will choose to live in a Taliban state, where any pregnancy complication could put them in prison or death row? My hope and intention is that those of us in the free states will offer these women sanctuary, for abortions if need be, but more so to resettlement opportunities with enough social support that abortion will not be their only option to avoid a life of crushing poverty.