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Friday, October 12th 2007

8:20 PM

Anti-life positions of "pro-life" leaders

Why must one choose between support for the life of the unborn and support for the dignity and rights of animals? And why must one choose between support for the life of the unborn and support for peace?

Personally, I can't answer these questions. But increasingly I am seeing this kind of pro-choice rhetoric from prominent people who are pro-life on abortion. They seem to think that if you support the life of born humans or animals that you can't support life for the unborn.

First I noticed LifeNews.com running opinion pieces attacking those who favor animal rights. I wrote Steven Ertelt, who runs LifeNews, protesting the illogic of this and asking that he allow opinion pieces from pro-lifers who support animal rights. He refused to allow alternate views, and defended (incoherently) attacks on animal rights. He continues his attacks on those who support life in more instances than he does.

Today I received a fundraising letter from Gregg Cunningham, Executive Director of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, in which he also attacked animal rights. In addition, he went so far as to call it "nut-case" to defend animal rights when they are under attack by the military. Being for animal rights and for peace is apparently totally beyond the pale for Cunningham.

Ironically Cunningham's letter noted that his donor base was shrinking. He didn't show any awareness that attacking animal rights and peace might have something to do with that. We "nut-cases" might not be too inclined to contribute to further his fulminations against life.

These kind of anti-life, pro-choice (in the broadest sense of believing that one must choose between support for life in some circumstances or others) positions from those prominent in anti-abortion work create a very bad image for the pro-life movement. They make it difficult to convince those who support other life issues to be active in favor of the lives of the unborn. Quite understandably, they don't want to be seen as identified with groups who attack supporters of important life issues. We who see the connections among life issues need to be forthright in speaking out, and in denying support for those like Ertelt and Cunningham who take pro-life money and use it to attack those who support life.

Another "nut-case" for life,
Bill Samuel
4 Comment(s).

Posted by Vegan:

While I hold almost zero respect for Steve Ertelt already, I've now lost more after reading your post. Could you email me with the anti-AR piece(s) he put out? I'm an active vegan and full-time pro-life activist/educator/rabblerouser, and agree wholeheartedly with you.
Sunday, October 14th 2007 @ 1:26 AM

Posted by John Kindley:

I also wholeheartedly agree, re: animal rights and peace and their necessary relationship with the pro-life position. I'm a little more ambivalent about the death penalty, although the rabidness with which some support it bespeaks an insensitivity to the tragedy which it always represents, a disrespect for life, and an unseemly acceptance of hatred. The great movie Dead Man Walking, oddly enough (or maybe not so oddly, as the director Tim Robbins did strive for balance in the picture), moved me more towards doubting that the death penalty in itself is always and necessarily unjust (though its actual administration by our government is often unjust, to say the least), in the following respects: the horror of what the character played by Sean Penn had done, the legitimate desire for justice on the part of the victims' families, and the fact that it seemed that it was only the condemned man's own impending death at the hands of the state that awakened his conscience and soul to the wrongness of the killings he himself had perpetrated.
Tuesday, October 16th 2007 @ 7:48 AM

Posted by Marysia:

Right on! as they used to say, way back in the day. While some "traditional" prolifers as individuals will at least give a respectful listen to pro-animal and pro-peace views, there seems to be a big institutionalized block against--no, antipathy, towards them...Reminds me of that scene in the movie "Citizen Ruth" where the guntoting prolifers sit down to a dinner of grotesquely huge meat slabs.

Or of the way our one and only President can utter the phrase "culture of life" without any evident pang of insight, let alone shame, over the contradiction of simultaneously waging the Iraq War and slashing maternal child health and welfare programs.

Bill, my friend, we certainly have our work cut our for us...
Thursday, December 6th 2007 @ 10:55 AM

Posted by Anonymous:

With all due respect to everyone here, I disagree that killing animals is incompatible with the Consistent Ethic of Life. I am not advocating torturing animals for fun or allowing an endangered species to become extinct, but I personally see nothing immoral with using animals as a natural resource. You can criticize this as speciesism, but a large number of those who adhere to the Consistent Ethic of Life would feel the same way (Quakers, Mennonites, Brethren, and even Catholics or Orthodox Christians).
Friday, January 11th 2008 @ 10:38 AM

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