Assisted Suicide and the Culture of Death

California has become the fourth state in the nation to legalize assisted suicide, joining Vermont, Oregon and Washington.  The culture of death has slowly gained acceptance in our culture, in large part, to how it is being presented.  The advocates of assisted suicide call it “death with dignity,” “compassionate choices” and the like.  This is another frontal attack on the dignity of life, whether in the womb or in old age.  Since this is a huge subject.  I will not address why this so wrong.  I want to point out one more ominous development that has happened in California:  The fact that 23 left wing Democrats decided for 30 + million people on matters of life and death instead of putting this huge decision to the voters.  California voters have rejected this type of law no less than six times in the past 20 years. This is pure tyranny, no matter where you stand on this issue.  This should scare you whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.

A Referendum, supported by the Catholic Church and other organizations, is currently being circulated to take this issue to the voters, as it should, in November 2016.  Our church is circulating this this coming weekend.

The Arrogant Delight in Their Arrogance

I often wonder how intelligent and educated people can be so fooled and refuse to see or even investigate some of their beliefs.  I’m speaking of “pro-choice” people.  Many of my friends and my fellow Catholics who are “pro-choice” are also intelligent and well-educated people.  How can they fail to see the logic of the dignity of the human person?  How can they fail to understand, as does science, that life begins at conception?

I’ve come to one conclusion, although I cannot prove it, and that it that these people who are “pro-choice” simply refuse to investigate the issue..  They simply want to believe what they’re comfortable with.  I know this from my experience with my “pro-choice” friends.  whenever I mention science, logic, or reason, it just goes over their heads.  A common response is “I just think that every woman should choose for herself.”  A rhetorical question I have is what is she choosing?  She’s choosing the death of a human being.  Can this be a choice?  To put it in plain terms, can you choose whether you can kill your children who are under two, for example, as long as it’s your choice?  What is the difference?

In the Book of Proverbs Chapter One states it this way:  “The arrogant delight in their arrogance, and fools hate knowledge,” Pv 1:23.  You have heard the phrase, “don’t bother me with facts.”  This reminds me of this example.  You see, I was that person for the first 40 years of my life.  I was “pro-choice” but could not tell you why except that I thought we should be able to make such decisions ourselves.  It was not until I investigated the issue that I found I had no basis for such beliefs, indeed, the evidence was totally against me.

Liberal Catholics, the Church and Abortion

As I was driving down the street  in Southern California today, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that read:  “I’m Catholic and pro-life.”  I thought to myself, well, that is about the same as saying “I’m a member of society and I’m pro-life.”  Being a Catholic and being pro-life have nothing to do with each other, unfortunately.  The percentage of pro-life Catholics is about the same as for the general population; so it makes no sense to say that one is Catholic and pro-life, necessarily.  Here is a study by a Rhode Island group on what Catholics believe about abortion.  Click here.

Being a liberal, by definition, means that you are basically marching to your own tune, and only following church teaching when you agree with it.  This is commonly referred to in Catholic circles as being a “cafeteria Catholic.”  As I see it, you cannot be a liberal Catholic and be true to church teaching – it’s a contradiction.  Think about it!  The dictionary defines “liberal” as “open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.”  How can you be true to the church and be a liberal?

The liberal Catholic will pick and choose what suits him/her.  Let’s take abortion for an example.  In my church, which is one of the largest Catholic churches in Southern California, about 60% of the “faithful” are pro-abortion, in my estimate – they would call themselves “pro-choice.”  Now, since logic is important in this blog, let’s examine this.  What makes you a Catholic?  If you only follow 95% of church teaching are you a Catholic?  If you only follow 60% of church teaching are you a Catholic?  Now, let’s make a comparison.  If I’m only faithful to my wife 95% of the time, am I faithful?  What about if I’m only faithful only 60% of the time?  Would I call myself a faithful husband?  Then why do liberal Catholics call themselves Catholics if they do not follow 100% of church teaching? Being a “liberal Catholic” is a contradiction in logic.

Walk Softly or Carry a Big Stick?: Pro-Life Strategies

How do you defend the pro-life position?  Do you walk softly or do you carry a big stick?  There are good arguments for both strategies.  Our culture does not want to see what abortion looks like.  We have people like Wendy Davis, the Texas Legislator, who wants to have abortion legal from beginning until birth.  These people will never acknowledge what abortion is.  They will tell you that it’s up to each woman and her doctor to decide, but will never admit that abortion kills a human life.  They’ve done it by changing the language of the culture.  It’s not abortion, but “a woman’s right to choose.”  Abortion is called “woman’s health.”  They have been masters at changing the language.  The political left are masters at avoiding the issue.  For example, the black community will not admit that they have a problem with the breakdown of the black family.  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a black person asked about how they stand on the breakdown of the black family and they will refuse to answer the question.   The abortion supporters will not let you show them a picture of an aborted fetus.  They will not look at one.

The pro-abortion side has one huge advantage:  They have the entire main stream media on their side and rooting for them.  Let’s take the Wendy Davis example, the media loves her and promotes her as if she’s a Hollywood star.  They will never ask her any questions about what abortion really is.  The August 19, 2013 issue of “The Weekly Standard” has a story on her on this issue. The article describes what happened when she appeared on ABC’s “This Week.”  The Reporter asked her about her pink shoes, and using a catheter in her filibuster; no questions on abortion.  Click here to read the story.

As Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has said:  “you will not end abortion until you see abortion.” Wendy Davis and the Texas Democratic Legislature want abortion to be legal at all stages of life.  They scream that this is their right.    I’m using the example of Wendy Davis and the Texas Legislature not to dump on them but to point out that their view on abortion is shared by the political left, the Democratic Party, President Obama and all abortion supporters.  This issue cannot be sugar-coated.  In order to see what something is you must look at it.  If you have a pain in your body do you tell your doctor not to look at it?  Scott Klusendorf, a prolific pro-life speaker makes this example:  A young mother or dad is busy washing dishes at the kitchen sink; their two-year-old child comes behind them asking ” Mommy/Daddy, can I kill this”?  What is the question you must ask:  What is it?

There are many places you can see what abortion looks like.  Fr. Frank Pavone has a good video that introduces the images and then lists the links you can click on.  The images will not play unless you click the link.  Click here to watch.    I challenge any abortion or pro-choice advocate to look at these images and tell me that abortion does not kill a human being or it’s “women’s health.”

The Party of Death

You’ve recently heard of the ruckus the Democrats of Texas have orchestrated against the passing of a new law restricting  abortion after five-months pregnancy and regulating of abortion clinics.  An abortion after five months of pregnancy is considered  “partial birth abortion.”  Click here for a definition of partial birth abortion.  The bill would additionally restrict abortion clinics to prevent the horrors of the Dr. Kermit Gosnell abortion clinic in Philadelphia.

The party of death, the Democratic Party, is for unfettered abortion at any time up to delivery.  Remember, Dr. Gosnell was convicted of murder because he killed babies after birth.  Had he killed the babies in the womb just before delivery he would still be a free man today.   What does a five-month old baby look like?  Click here is to see an image of a five-month old baby in the womb.  Is this baby a clump of tissue or a human being?  According to the party of death any baby can be dismembered in the womb up to delivery; they call this “women’s health.”  Excuse me, but in logic, this is crazy.  The supporters of the party of death were yelling “hail to Satan” in one of their demonstrations.  Well, I think they’re right in hailing Satan, because this is exactly what abortion is.  The party of death call themselves an advocate of the “little man” or of the poor, yet the most vulnerable of society, the baby in the womb is ripe for dismemberment and death.

Abortion and “The Big Lie”

We all marvel at how an entire nation like the Germany of World War II could support the murderous Adolph Hitler.   Indeed, Hitler perpetuated the lie that the Jews were somehow “the problem.”  His most ardent henchman, Joseph Goebbels,  is famous for saying that if you repeat a lie many times people will eventually believe it as truth.  There is a perfect correlation today on how many people, including religious Christians, Jews and others can believe that a perfectly healthy baby can be killed, as long as it is in the mother’s womb.  Take the recent Dr. Gosnell murder trial where he killed babies after the baby came out of the womb.  He routinely snipped the neck of the struggling baby on the table to kill it.  This outraged most people and Dr. Gosnell was convicted of first degree murder.

A reporter recently asked Nancy Pelosi what is the difference between what Dr. Gosnell did and the killing of a baby in the womb?  Pelosi opposes any law limiting partial birth abortion, even though she claims to be Catholic.  She gave an angry convoluted answer, which did not address the question, but trotted out “a woman’s right to choose.”  Watch this video of Pelosi responding to this question – it’s a classic. This is contrary to all logic, yet many people, including good friends of mine who attend the same church I do,  cannot admit that there is no difference.  They keep stating the nonsensical answer that women have “a right to do with their bodies what they like,” or words to that effect.

What has happened in our society, world-wide, is that the lie about abortion has been repeated so many times, and indeed everyday, that these people believe it as truth.  There is no difference between what the Nazis did to six million Jews and what we do today to unborn babies in the womb; the Nazis killed innocent human beings and we kill innocent human beings in the womb.  What supports this claim?  Science has verified that human life begins at conception; logic tells you that the baby in the womb is the same baby in a mother’s loving arms, a few minutes after birth.  Natural  Law, the law written in all of our hearts, tells us that murder is wrong.  You don’t need to be educated to know that murder is wrong.  Should you have any questions about this, just go to anyone in the world and ask them if murder is OK.  Another example of the law written in our heart:  let’s say I come to your house and before I leave I take you nice new Nikon Camera that you spent $1,000 without your permission.  Would the owner of the camera say that was wrong?  We know, by instinct, what is right and wrong.  Abortion is the killing of a human life and it is wrong all the time, under all circumstances.

Abortion and Pascal’s Wager

I became pro-life as an adult in mid-life – when I was finally intellectually honest with myself and acknowledge that the overwhelming evidence was on the pro-life side.  Why did it take so long to see the light?  I did not acknowledge that the other side had a good argument.  I ignored the facts so I could feed my beliefs at the time.  Once I was able to look at the facts and challenge myself, I had to conclude that pro-life is the most logical and correct view.

Another reason that forced me to consider the pro-life argument was my inner voice asking me how I would explain my position to God at the final judgment.  The more I thought about it the more my arguments were neither credible nor could they be supported by any evidence, whether scientific or theological.  Additionally, my church was strongly pro-life, how would I reconcile this?  If I disregard the church on this issue, then it would follow that I could also disregard the Bible or any other theological argument that I disagreed with.  In other words, I am the final judge, not the Bible and not God.  Not a good argument.

Now, what does “Pascal’s Wager” have to do with this? Some history first.  Early philosophers, and Church fathers St. Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas have argued powerfully for the existence of God.  Anselm lived in the eleventh century and Aquinas in the thirteenth.  Thomas Aquinas offered five proofs for the existence of God in his renowned masterpiece Summa Theologiae, such as the argument from motion, the nature of efficient cause, etc.  These arguments are used to this day to argue for the existence of God. Both of these two men are intellectual giants in philosophy and theology.

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician and philosopher who lived in the 17th century.   Pascal developed his “wager” as a response to the atheist who says that there is no God and that once we die that is the end; like a flower that dies.   Pascal’s complete text on this is difficult and beyond my task here.  To make it simple, here is what the wager states:

If you erroneously believe in God, you lose nothing (assuming that death is the absolute end), whereas if you correctly believe in God, you gain everything (eternal bliss). But if you correctly disbelieve in God, you gain nothing (death ends all), whereas if you erroneously disbelieve in God, you lose everything (eternal damnation).

Pascal argued that betting against God was a losing proposition. Regardless of any evidence for or against the existence of God, Pascal argued that failure to accept God’s existence risks losing everything with no payoff on any count. The best bet, then, is to accept the existence of God.  Most philosophers have accepted Pascal’s Wager argument.

As I related earlier here, I realized that my pro-choice position was tenuous at best – even before I had ever heard of Pascal.  The reason is very simple.  If you wrongly hold to your pro-choice view that abortion is acceptable and it is “a woman’s right to choose” whether to deliver a baby or to abort it (kill it) then, even if you don’t believe in God, you’ve gained nothing.  But, if you wrongly hold that the pro-choice position is correct, and there is a God, you risk facing the judgment of God at the final judgment.  Additionally, upon our death, this cannot be reversed.  Can you afford to take this gamble?

A person who is pro-choice, in my opinion, is like a person facing a mountain such as Mount Everest – staring at it from the bottom of it and saying:  “I see this mountain, but it’s not really there.”  Are you comfortable with this position?  Let’s look as some of the evidence for the pro-life position:

  • Science has confirmed that life begins at conception,
  • The Catholic Church has taught, from the beginning, that life begins at conception and is precious in God’s eyes and no one has the right to take it,
  • The Bible teaches that human life is made in God’s image and commands us not to kill,
  • The Christian Church, Judaism, and Islam all are nearly unanimously pro-life.

The pro-choice side makes a fatal logical error when they claim that abortion is a private matter and a “woman’s right to choose.”  The error is mistaking an objective claim for a subjective claim. [i]  The pro-life position deals with an objective moral claim – it claims that a human life is at stake.  It cannot be a subjective claim such as “a woman’s right to choose;” this is like saying I choose chocolate ice cream rather than vanilla. Moral claims are not subject to choice.  This is the fundamental mistake that everybody accepts without question.   A woman (nor anyone else) cannot choose to kill a human life, not even her own.  Would you accept the proposition that a woman can choose to kill a month old baby? What’s the difference?  The unborn is a human being in one location and the one-month-old baby is a human being in another location.  How can location make a difference?

I’m amazed every time someone makes the statement “a woman’s right to choose” such as we hear from pro-choice politicians.  Mayor Rudy Giuliani just made such a statement recently when asked about his pro-choice position.  No one ever thinks to challenge this absurd assertion.  Again, look at Pascal’s Wager – it also applies to being pro-life.  It is the right bet.  You cannot afford to be on the wrong side of this issue. Eternity is at stake.


[i] See Pro-Life 101 by Scott Klusendorf, p. 16, 2002, Stand to Reason Press, http://www.str.org