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June 01, 2009


I'm a Catholic, but I have always had real problems with the pro-life movement.

Here are my reasons:

1) It is a dour movement. Most hard-core pro-lifers I know take the view that the world is a terrible place. This aligns well with traditional modes of Christianity that eschew the world in favor of the divine. But I think that the world is a pretty good place.

2) This kind of dour world view makes an us-against-them mentality too easy to fall into. If the world is evil and kills babies, then violence against opposition doesn't seem so illogical.

3) It ties into a false feeling of martyrdom on the part of many Christians. There is a popular myth in many churches that the world is out to mock and demean Christians. This couldn't be further from the truth given the wide majority of Americans who profess Christian beliefs.

Each of these three mainstream Christian beliefs makes it possible for a man like Dr. Tiller's murderer to exist. The church is complicit.

Mike, thanks for this. Really interesting perspective; one I've never heard before.

Related to your 3rd point: I think there's this weird blamelessness that comes along with identifying as a victim--and all of us are susceptible to the temptation of claiming it.

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  • Isak is a space to celebrate tales and truth in the curious, joyful way embodied by the writer for which it is named. The name "Isak," after all, means "laughter," as she was fond of pointing out.

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