Rehumanize Conference 2023

Posted on November 21, 2023 By

Comments and screenshots from Consistent Life Network board members who attended:


John Whitehead

In her introductory remarks for the 2023 Rehumanize International conference, Creative Director Maria Oswalt offered some valuable practical advice for Consistent Life Ethic advocates. She emphasized the importance of working across differences, whether political, religious, or philosophical.

She gave examples of this broad cooperation, noting that Rehumanize has worked with a variety of single-issue groups that focus on certain ways to protect life but don’t (at least explicitly) advocate for the Consistent Life Ethic.

Maria also gave the significant example of her own involvement in Rehumanize. When she first became involved in the group, as a self-described conservative Republican, she had not yet fully embraced the Ethic. Yet her initial involvement grew into a commitment to the Ethic and years of active participation as a leader in Rehumanize.

All this provides important guidance for activists. We need as many allies and collaborators as possible. We should be willing to work with groups and people who are with us on some issues even if they are not with us on all of them. As Maria put it, “We need everybody on board if we are going to bring an end to even just one form of violence against human beings.” Collaboration can yield good practical results and, with time, might even change some of our collaborators’ minds.

Rehumanize International

Maria Oswalt

Bill Samuel

The online Rehumanize International Conference was 12.5 hours of sessions without a break, with some periods having choices between breakout sessions. This means no attenders took in everything, but Rehumanize will make the sessions available for a full year so that all can have an opportunity to see sessions they missed.

All the sessions I attended were informative, and some were quite moving. Charles Keith of Death Penalty Action shared the story of his brother being convicted of murder for a crime he had nothing to do with and being sentenced to death, and the 30-year struggle to get that reversed. The experience devastated the family. Mansoor Adayfi shared about being a prisoner in Guantanamo where treatment was brutal, including torture. His resilience was shown in his joyful countenance. Sr. Pauline Schroeder shared thoughts on Palestine and Israel based on the three years she spent with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron on the West Bank. Our Board members Lois Kerschen and Lisa Stiller discussed their struggles with trying to stand for life in the Democratic Party. Once again, Rehumanize International did a great job of planning a conference that covered many elements of the consistent life ethic.

Lois Kerschen & Lisa Stiller

Lois Kerschen & Lisa Stiller


Rachel MacNair

I presented an overview of what’s known about killing as trauma (Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress), followed by Theresa Burke sharing about her therapy retreats that in proper consistent-life fashion covers three groups: women who’ve had abortions (and others involved) in Rachel’s Vineyard, victims of sexual and other abuse in Grief to Grace, and combat veterans in Duty to Heal. Peter Chacon then talked about how he was a veteran who had been through the program and how it had helped him. Such programs aren’t just necessary for people who need them, but for the healing of society as a whole so we can prevent future violence.

I also in a different session presented on a new tool for fostering noncooperation with Planned Parenthood: a Problems at Planned Parenthood website that documents in a facts-only way medical dangers, sexual abuse, racism, etc.

Top: Theresa Burke, Peter Chacon. Bottom, Aimee Murphy, Rachel MacNair


Additional Screenshots

And from all of us, best wishes to Herb:

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