I don’t know if it really is intentional, but something that seems like doublespeak has become a disturbing reality for Jesuits and people who associate with the Jesuits. Doublespeak is the deliberate effort to deceive through concealment or misrepresentation of truth. One interpretation of a statement may lead you to believe everything is represented clearly and honestly, but a deeper analysis shows that the speaker or writer has deliberately attempted to craft his words to mislead you. When you seek clarification, you don’t get it. You only get silence.
The Jesuit order has a magazine titled “America”. The magazine is a study in the fine art of passive/aggressiveness. Orthodox Catholics are not well regarded inside the cover of America Magazine. Pro-lifers are accepted, as long as the pro-lifers place things like financial poverty, gun control and immigration on the exact same level of importance as (or a little above) abortion, artificial contraception, and euthanasia.
In a recent article published in America, Haley Stewart, writes about the 2018, March for Life. Her statements are in quotations, followed by my commentary.
“Today thousands upon thousands of people attended the March for Life rally in Washington, D.C., to be a voice for the unborn.”
We get something that seems like doublespeak right of the bat. Actually, it is hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers every year. The fact that you, a pro-life Catholic, use a description that is consistent with the estimates used by CNN, MSNBC and other very anti-life and pro-abortion media outlets, tells me that you may not be nearly as unapologetically pro-life as you are about to claim to be.
“I was not at the march, but I was cheering on my friends in attendance. I am passionately and unapologetically pro-life, which is why I am devastated by the decision of the March for Life organizers to allow the movement to be diminished by featuring President Donald J. Trump.”
Here we go. Her moral superiority is devastated by the President of the United States. Did this author ever criticize Barack Obama for praising Planned Parenthood or for celebrating the Obergefell decision which legalized same-sex marriage or for the Obama Administration’s intrusion into the Catholic faith by trying to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide insurance which provided abortifacient drugs to their employees? These are just a few of many attempts by Mr. Obama, to devastate the Catholic Church in America. I also wonder what her thoughts are regarding Bill Clinton’s sexual predatory history including his impeachment.
“My sorrow has nothing to do with a dislike for the man and everything to do with my belief that his involvement will damage a deeply important movement.”
His involvement can do no more damage than Barack Obama attempted to inflict in 8 years of consistent efforts to force abortion, LGBT supremacy and racial disarray on the American people. This is especially true since President Trump has consistently appointed pro-life and pro-family people to his cabinet and to federal posts including the Supreme Court. Trump has also reinstated the Mexico City policy, removed Title X funding from Planned Parenthood, he’s expanded the religious and conscious exemption to the Affordable Care Act and the Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a new Conscience and Religious Freedom division.
“In response to criticism regarding the inclusion of President Trump, some have argued, “Don’t let Trump’s involvement dominate this event.” In other words, “Let’s just not talk about it.” Unfortunately, the scandal of Mr. Trump’s involvement was unavoidable the minute organizers invited him to give an address. Ignoring how problematic this invitation was will not make its unfortunate consequences disappear.”
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stood shoulder to shoulder with Cecile Richards, the CEO of Planned Parenthood. I think it is very helpful to see the President of the United States defending the unborn and defending women, instead of supporting the murder of the unborn and the victimization of women. Since the journalist has already said this isn’t about Trump’s character flaws, it seems reasonable to be positive about the first President to address the largest annual rally to take place in Washington D.C. for several decades running.
“Why is it unacceptable for this sitting U.S. president to speak at the march? It is not that Mr. Trump has character flaws and should therefore be excluded from supporting a good cause.”
See, I told you. It isn’t about Trump’s bad behavior in the past, not even the very recent past.
“Regardless of his alleged extramarital relationships with porn stars, his mocking of people with disabilities, his historically pro-choice stance, his defense of Planned Parenthood during the presidential debates (surely, I do not need to go on), as Catholics we believe no one is undeserving of redemption.”
Doublespeak. I’m glad Haley reminded me of my Catholic obligation to avoid judging others because it sure did sound like she was reciting a laundry list prepared by a radical feminist.
“We can and should laud good legislation that protects the vulnerable without having to give a stamp of approval to the character of the politicians supporting it. And if we required perfection from everyone who marched today, we would have an empty event.”
This is true. I actually agree with her. That should be the end of the article.
“The primary problem is not with Mr. Trump’s past sins, it is that the policies he currently supports are inconsistent with his claim in his address today that “every life is sacred.” And where do we begin?”
Oh, here we go. Doublespeak.
“His inhumane deportation policies?”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but these are not the policies drafted and put in place by the current administration are they? Isn’t it Congress who drafted and passed these laws years ago? Isn’t the federal government simply enforcing laws that have been on the books but ignored by prior presidents, which has lead us into this horrible mess? Correct. So these are not “His” inhumane deportation policies, they are ours. If we want to change them, we had better get on our elected officials and let them know that we expect them to actually get things done in the quagmire known as Washington D.C. It does no good to vilify the president of the United States when the problem started long ago and has been worsened by inaction for years. Doublespeak much?
“His seeming belief that the value of lives from prosperous countries are worth more than those from poor—or as he allegedly put it, “shithole”—countries?”
Did he ever say that word? It is possible he didn’t but he may have. Yet if you glance at any photos or videos regarding the two “Women’s March” events in the last two years, you will see poster after poster of words at least as offensive, some of them carried by the young children of the marchers. If you read any of the materials published by radical feminists, Antifa protesters or others on the far left and the far right, you will see much worse than careless observations from the president. Should we really focus on the possible profanity used by the president while we glorify the same language everywhere else? That seems hypocritical. Maybe Haley isn’t glorifying the terrible behavior of the far left and far right, but she is jumping to a concluding and judging a man’s heart without knowing that he actually believes that lives from prosperous countries are worth more than those from poor countries. In fact, I don’t believe that is an accurate assessment. But maybe Haley knows more than she discloses in her article.
“His threats to end thousands of lives with nuclear war?”
I agree that it is anti-life to start a nuclear war. For some reason, the United States has had nuclear weapons for about 75 years and is the only country to have ever used a weapon of mass destruction in warfare. And for some reason, Barack Obama facilitated an agreement with an extremely hostile and untrustworthy Iran, which means Iran will eventually have nuclear weapons if they desire them (and all indications are that they desire them and that they wish “death to America”). Wasn’t Hillary Clinton involved in some scandal regarding enriched uranium going to those hostile to the United States?
It just seems that the most recent president and the most recent unsuccessful candidate for the presidency, both destabilized the world with regard to nuclear catastrophe, so what do we have to work with now that North Korea is openly provoking the rest of the world with missile tests?
That being said, I don’t want Trump to say anymore about starting a nuclear war either. However I would like people to be fair in their analysis of the facts.
“Legislation that benefits the wealthy while treating the poor with disdain?”
Such as a tax bill that has prompted numerous major U.S. employers to increase wages for their workers and issue bonuses? Or maybe an economy that has made significant improvement after 8 years of nosediving under Barack Obama’s “leadership”?
“I’ll let you choose; the list is a mile long.”
Thanks Haley. I will choose. I’ll choose Trumps consistent support of life and family in his first year as president. I’ll choose an economy in recovery and indications that his administration is interested in authentic religious freedom. I’ll choose these things while recognizing that the media, extremists, college and university administrations and many others are attempting to undermine Trump at all times. The fact that he has done anything positive for anyone at any point in the last year is nothing short of amazing.
However I’ll also choose to voice my concern over his strange obsession with entertainment through social media tweets which are critical of people who simply don’t really matter to 99.9% of Americans. I’m sure media personalities, musicians and actors matter to many people, but in the grand scheme of our culture, these people are merely part of the problem and need to be ignored. I wish he would simply ignore them because his tweets and comments are not helpful, in fact, they are strange.
Even with his strangeness, Trump has done way more good than bad with regard to the policies and laws regarding the dignity of human life. Remember, Haley said we are not going to get hung up on Trump’s past bad behavior, right?
“By making Donald Trump a figurehead for this movement, organizers of the March for Life offer not a consistent and beautiful ethic of life, but a farce, a brazen hypocrisy.”
I hope Trump isn’t a figurehead for the pro-life movement. I do hope that he is the first of many presidents who have the courage to boldly defend women, children and the family. Where was the pro-life George Bush or his father or Ronald Reagan, when all the past pro-life marches were happening right in front of the White House? I would have been thrilled to see any of these men give the talk that Trump just gave. But they didn’t. I would have been thrilled if Bill Clinton or Barack Obama would have stood for life by giving a talk at the March. But they didn’t. Of course they didn’t because they are pro-abortion, but like Trump, they had the freedom to change their mind at any time. But only Trump has changed his mind and since doing so, he has done more to support the pro-life movement than any president in recent history. The pro-life movement doesn’t need Trump or any other individual for that matter, what we need are more individuals and one way to get more individuals is to have presidential support, no matter who that president happens to be. Hopefully it will soon be Mike Pence.
“After all, why do we march? Is it because babies are cute? No. (Although, in my opinion, babies are indeed very cute.)”
Well, yes and no. Haley may not be aware of this, but the March for Life has always been significantly focused on ending abortion. This is the fact for at least two reasons. It started in response to the worst miscarriage of justice in the history of the United States (Roe v. Wade). Secondly, as St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta wisely observed, a country who murders its children can’t really expect to get anything else right. In other words, we are wise to put most of our energy toward the most deadly threat. Once we have overcome that threat, we can then start picking off the less deadly threats.
One thing the enemy always likes to do is to distract from their main offensive. Diversionary tactics are as old as warfare. The culture of death wants us to pour more and more of our time, energy and resources into anything but ending abortion. While we can’t ignore immigration, poverty, discrimination, etc…, we simply cannot treat all these things as equal. We need to keep the main thing the main thing until we have overcome the evil that gave our culture its name, the culture of death.
“A truly pro-life ethic is founded on the truth that the life of every human being is worthy of dignity and protection. The pro-life movement is full of many different kinds of people with diverse ideologies, all joined together to protect the dignity of human life. The March for Life is intended to galvanize and unify supporters of the pro-life movement, and to change hearts and minds by communicating the truth and beauty of honoring all life, no matter how vulnerable.”
However, the most vulnerable must receive the greatest attention, and nobody is more vulnerable than the unborn child, especially the unborn African-American child and even more so, the unborn poor African-American child. Wake up Haley. Wake up all Jesuits.
“The choice of speakers this year failed this mission. Featuring politicians like Mr. Trump engenders division. It confirms the misconception that the pro-life movement is indeed an ideology that only cares about an unborn child until he or she exits the womb.”
Reality dispels that myth. Cities, towns and villages across the country have women’s health clinics which do not perform or refer abortions or contraception and actually perform or refer mammograms. There are groups organized through churches and secular organizations which help families get on their feet and help mothers and children get medical care, food, shelter, jobs and job training. There are people who donate time, materials and money to young families and children so children can actually have hope. There are also adoption agencies who help place children with loving parents and thereby give young mothers an option other than abortion or despair. And the majority of these resources come from or through the Catholic parishes and organizations across the country. No matter who speaks at the March for Life, the people in the trenches will continue to do this work and should be recognized by America Magazine and other media sources.
“It proves to everyone who has been watching this movement to see if we truly desire good for vulnerable women and children that the movement is inconsistent and their skepticism and dismissal were warranted.”
Only by pessimists who choose to tear down instead of build up. Take your sights off of one man and start looking around at people who are actually engaged in the day to day work of the pro-life movement.
“While we cannot expect everyone to like us, pro-lifers should care about the scandal this creates for those watching from the outside. What will a woman facing a crisis pregnancy remember from following this event? Will she be bolstered by the knowledge that there are thousands of people on her side, desiring to support her in carrying this vulnerable life and raising it if she so desires? Or will she remember that it was headlined by a man who treats women as sex objects, who has said women who get abortions should be jailed, whose policies hurt the vulnerable and could lead more women to desperate decisions?”
Hold it Haley, I thought you were taking the high road here and avoiding whataboutism. Isn’t it up to us, especially Catholic journalists, writers and leaders, to make sure women focus on what really matters here? Shouldn’t we make it our job to teach people about all the options they have instead of abortion? How does focusing on one man’s flaws at the expense of all the good things he’s actually done in the last year help that?
“Allowing Mr. Trump to speak for the movement is a slap in the face to those who have been fighting tirelessly for the good of vulnerable children and women.”
He didn’t speak for the movement. He spoke AT the March. These are two very different things. While it is true that his words carry a lot of weight due to his office, the movement is much larger than the presidency, otherwise it would not be around today because every president up to this time has ignored it. No, Trump does not speak FOR the movement.
“Pro-lifers, we have been warned that we are nothing but pawns to these politicians—by allowing them to be the face of our movement, we are playing into their manipulation. I speak out about this because I want more babies to be protected in the womb and more mothers in crisis to be inspired to choose life for their children. I want those on the outskirts to join in this fight with us when they see the truth that the life of every human being is deserving of dignity.”
Politicians are not the face of the pro-life movement. Children are the face of the movement. Young people are the face of the movement. Women are the face of the movement. Even a few courageous men are the face of the movement. I say they are courageous because this problem was caused by men like Larry Lader, Bernard Nathansan and Herbert Marcuse, and many powerful and influential men still want women to be objects instead of persons with dignity. The media wants to convince America that children are a burden and unnecessary, and they have done an excellent job with this effort so far, nearly as good as they have done with attempting to convince us that men are a burden and are unnecessary.
Haley is in the minority on this. Logically, one has to recognize that a large part of the pro-life movement is political, because it was though politics that abortion was legalized and it has been through politics that abortion has remained a hot-button issue for decades. And it is through the truth about abortion that the culture will come to its senses on many other issues of faith and morals as well.
“Heartbreakingly, these poor decisions by the March for Life organizers will not further these goals, but hinder them. A hypocritical and inconsistent life ethic will diminish the strength of this movement and discredit it. We must do better because there is so much at stake—it is truly a matter of life and death.”
Heartbreakingly, Haley and the Jesuit editors don’t understand what a consistent life ethic actually means. A consistent life ethic means that we protect all life from natural conception to natural death, but in order to be consistent, we must focus on the most significant threat first, and use most of our time, energy and resources to win the battle against the culture of death by undoing Roe v. Wade. There is an enormous amount of propaganda out there which is designed to defeat the pro-life movement and that propaganda uses immigration, LGBT rights, gun control and many other diversions to distract people like Haley and her Jesuit friends. The greatest matter of life and death is the 200,000 to 300,000 Americans who will lose their life this year and their deaths will be sanctioned by the U.S. government. Millions more will lose their life worldwide because NGO’s have exported abortion to the poorest countries on the face of the earth as a false response to any and all problems perceived.
If we continue to kill our own children and teach others how to kill theirs, the culture of death will crush us. And doublespeak aids the culture of death.