arguments


Instead of Division, Schools of Thought

by Rachel MacNair Several kinds of arguments show up in most large, long-lasting nonviolent social movements. Activists often express distress about these divisions, thinking more unity would mean more success. I’d like to make the case that instead of thinking of “unity” – an unworkable concept when dealing with large groups of people with strong…


Elections 2020: Three Consistent-Life Approaches

by Rachel MacNair The Consistent Life Network takes no stand on specific candidates. This is my own personal take on how people who support the consistent life ethic view the U.S. presidential election of November 3, 2020. Three Categories Category 1: Trump is Out of the Question; Biden is Bearable People in this category are…


Why the Interfaith Approach is Important

by Rachel MacNair This February in 2020 I went on a trip to Israel and Palestine with a group called In the Steps of Our Ancestors: an Interfaith Peace Pilgrimage. In addition to seeing the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Baha’i, we spoke with several groups promoting peace in different ways. (I went…


Is Abortion Different from Other Violence?

by Julia Smucker Four Ways of Isolating One Issue Any advocate of the consistent life ethic (CLE) can expect to encounter people who share their pro-nonviolence position on certain issues but depart from it on others. And among those working on various peace and life issues, including those of us who adhere to the CLE,…


What Does It Mean to Be Inconsistent?

by Julia Smucker   CLN President John Whitehead recently put a question to fellow consistent-lifers: does it necessarily make sense to call people “inconsistent” for not fully adhering to the consistent life ethic (CLE)? After all, the reasons people give for approving of some forms of killing and disapproving of others often follow their own…


Activists, Beware: Burnout is a Very Real Danger

by Rachel MacNair Part 2 of 2 posts responding to Ward Ricker’s essay, “Prolife – Not.” Here’s Part 1.   Ward Ricker’s main point is: haven’t pro-lifers been ineffective because we’ve sent mixed messages? Mainly, we’re proclaiming an abortion to be the murder of an innocent child, and yet our behavior shows we’re not taking…


“Why Haven’t We Ended Abortion?”

by Rachel MacNair Part 1 of 2 posts responding to Ward Ricker’s essay, “Prolife – Not” Ward Ricker has been active in opposing abortion, but has recently written an essay expressing alienation from the pro-life movement. In Part 2, I’ll address that feeling of alienation more directly, but first I was challenged by his complaint…


The Mirror-Image Counterpart of the Selfish Society

by Richard Stith This 1978 article  was originally entitled “What it Means to be Pro-Life:  Toward a Political Theory for Our Movement.” It appeared in The New Human, Vol. VII No. 2, March–April 1978, a publication of the National Youth Pro-Life Coalition.  It’s been lightly edited. Does being “pro-life” mean something more than being against…


An Example of Why the Peace Movement is in Deep Trouble

by Rachel MacNair Ego and Anger Richard Rohr, OFM, is a Franciscan Friar, a prolific author, and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC), a CLN member group. One major point made by CAC is that if we take action on nonviolence  without contemplation, there’s a danger we’ll bring in ego-centered thoughts and…


A Friendly Approach

by Richard Stith I think we should be careful to be positive and praise all the folks who support one of our key issues, while still gently encouraging them to broaden their opposition to violence. Here’s an example of how I’ve been trying to apply this approach locally. A theater here in town is putting…