by Carol Crossed
Why is it so difficult to get people to act for justice? There are seven qualities that acts of justice embody.
First: Justice is public. You are trying to change the culture; people need to see you. It’s not private.
Second: Justice is judgmental. People “admonish the sinner” and “instruct the ignorant.”
We judge the system that creates the poor, that fosters military might, a lifestyle of individualism that applauds abortion as a legitimate choice. When it comes to abortion we jump through hoops to avoid being judgmental.
Third: Justice is risky. It confronts us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Who is my neighbor? Or rather who is not my neighbor?
Every religion has some version of the Golden Rule: From the Bible, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). From Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” From Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow.” (Rabbi Hillel, first century C.E.).
When we proclaim killing is killing, we will fall. We will be pushed. Our good name will be destroyed. A contractor who refused to work at an abortion clinic spoke about how his walking away from the job cost him business. My husband, who did affordable housing, refused to be part of his company’s contract to build housing in Fort Drum. Think of the people who put their lives on the line and are arrested trespassing. During the 1960s, during the lunch counter sit-in and freedom rides, about 3,000 people were jailed. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the number of persons arrested in front of abortion clinics was 71,000.
Fourth: Justice is anonymous.
We generally can’t measure its success.
It doesn’t count clients like social services. It’s more impersonal than seeing someone smile in a soup kitchen line. It’s not a high-gratification job.
Fifth: Justice is divisive and confrontational.
Frederick Douglas said we have to welcome “agitation,” Martin Luther King said we have to employ creative tension.
Sixth: Justice is counter-cultural.
Sure, you are going a different way. Pro-life feminists are doing that very thing. Abortion violates every tenant of feminism, and now we feminists have changed our principles to accommodate abortion.
The principle of equality
Abortion is domination over another. It’s the opposite of conflict resolution because it destroys a party to the conflict. Senator Patricia Schroeder, a leading proponent in choice on abortion, fought for the rights of women to be combatants in war.
The principle of nonviolence
Because of abortion, we have changed our definition of nonviolence to accommodate killing in certain circumstances. Listen to abortion doctor Don Sloan: “Is abortion murder? All killing isn’t murder. A cop shoots a teenager who ‘appeared to be going for a gun,’ and we call it justifiable homicide – a tragedy for all concerned, but not murder.” (Don Sloan, Abortion: A Doctor’s Perspective, A Woman’s Dilemma, page 84).
Judith Arcana in her psychology book on psychology and reproductive choice: “I think abortion belongs in the same context as assisted suicide, and war . . . all situations that require the taking of life with moral, ethical knowledge and acceptance of responsibility.” (“Feminist politics and abortion in the US,” Psychology and Reproductive Choice)
Jason Deparle on feminism and abortion: “It’s not surprising that the defenders of abortion don’t like pictures of fetuses; General Westmoreland didn’t like the cameras in Vietnam either.” (Washington Monthly, April 1989)
And then there’s war. In theory, soldiers shoot only at each other. But in practice, lots and lots of other folks get killed. We drop bombs where there are non-combatants – women and children and old people – and when they die we call it not murder but “collateral damage.”
(See more quotations of abortion doctors relating abortion to war)
The principle of ecology
Putting a saline solution in one’s body is not care of creation. It’s sexual strip-mining;
The principle of community is replaced with rugged individualism. Women have become the Marlboro man. “If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one” mentality gives us “If you don’t like irradiated food, then don’t eat it.”
There are fathers’ rights groups who wanted to exercise their right to abort and are opposing child support. The “child-free movement” doesn’t want to pay for public education for children they didn’t have.
We have become like 1984, the novel by George Orwell, where war is peace, slavery is freedom, and Truth is Choice.
Seventh: Justice is political.
It is by necessity political.
Not partisan political. The Consistent Life Network doesn’t endorse candidates. We aren’t shaped by the parties. Rather, we shape candidates. When Pope John Paul was in the U.S. in 1992, someone said he couldn’t figure out of this guy was radical left or radical right. Fr. Brian Hehir of the US delegation said, “He is neither. He is just radical.”
So justice is political. We have to shape good laws and Supreme Court decisions, because these are teachers. The two years following Roe v. Wade, abortions tripled. Why? The Court said it was not immoral to kill.
Justice is mercy on steroids.
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