Wednesday 11 August 2010

More on Brighton's Pro-Life Campaigners Arrested Yesterday

I've had an email from the co-ordinator of the Abort 67 pro-life display and in solidarity with their efforts to raise awareness of the scourge of abortion in the UK, I post it here...

'We returned to Wistons Clinic in Brighton yesterday to peacefully display images of what abortion does to an unborn child. We had almost an hour of practising our freedom of expression until the police came out following complaints by members of the public.

We were asked to take the banners down under the Public Order Act section 5. We explained that we thought that we had a right to be there and that just because someone reports to be offended should not mean we have to stop our peaceful display. We also said that we thought their job was to protect our freedom to express our view, and deal with those doing the complaining rather than the messenger. After some lengthy discussion we put our banner back up and were arrested. We were then taken to the police station where we were kept for 14 hours in cells, released on bail just after 3am into Hollingbury.

Social Reform

Our strategy is founded in the principles of social reform and successful social reformers have always used graphic images to dramatise injustice. Even going back to the abolitionist movement; engravings depicting the humanity of the African captive and the inhumanity of The Trade were instrumental in gathering public opinion at a level necessary to force change politically.
Think about the big issues today. One of the most dominating is climate change. This has gathered momentum because of images like the one attached as well as massive expanses of land after deforestation. Again see the familiar attached image. We will not see abortion made unthinkable until we make it unthinkable. It will not be unbearable to live with until people understand the horror it represents.'

This is going to sound a little unfair on these campaigners but while I support their efforts in principle, I believe that the 'graphic imagery' road is not the road to go down. I think I object to it for the same reason I object to Gay Pride marches.

Gay Pride marches take place during the day, in the sight of children, therefore introducing a very adult issue, namely homosexuality, into the public sphere when children are around, who are young and impressionable and easily confused and this gives great scandal. By the way, I did ask one policeman why all of a sudden the 'street-drinking' laws had been relaxed and everyone was drinking in the street, even though signs are up everywhere saying, 'Street drinking prohibited' and homeless men and women are hounded for doing just that daily, and he said, "It's a special day, once a year. You'll have to take the issue up with the Chief Constable." If, as you can see from the video above, the Chief Constable is anything like the Deputy Chief Constable, it may be a futile line of enquiry. "I don't have a problem with street-drinking", I told the police officer, "but I that I had thought Sussex Police did" and dutifully told him that the police's hypocrisy stinks to high Heaven.

I must say also that the 'LGBT community' are rather stingy. I went busking in the evening, as I am flat broke, and I made about £9. Usually, on a Saturday, I make at least £20 with far fewer people around. Out of that £9, I had a £3 drop from someone who gave it to me as a gift for managing to encourage her smashed friend to go with her to get the train back to London, after she had sat down on my beer. That donor was a diamond in the rough. I asked a couple of homeless men whether they had had a good night begging and they both said, 'No, awful.'

Anyway, I digress. There is a reason why film classification boards place warnings on the content of a film if the content is horrific or disturbing, so that even, say, 'The Passon of the Christ', which inspired Pope John Paul II to state, "It is as it was," was classified, because the graphic nature and actual blood-soaked horror of Our Blessed Saviour's Passion is not something that you would show to, say, a 5-11 year old child, just as you would not show them 'Nightmare on Elm Street'. For the record, I saw that film at a friend's house at the age of about 10, but still, Prudence would suggest that, given that children are around (and it is the school holidays as well), displaying the awful truth and tragic horror of abortion in the daytime is not wise.

With this imagery, which I can assume is the only reason these campaigners keep getting arrested, we can certainly say, "It is as it is". It certainly gets to the heart of the matter, but is it the best way to campaign against abortion and should it be done like this during the day in the sight of children, even though it is indeed unborn children the pro-life group are campaigning to protect? It is right to shame Wistons Clinic, of course, because what they are doing is not offending children but murdering them and these images certainly do draw attention to that, but I am beginning to question the wisdom of the strategy. I've spoken to some Catholics on this matter and the vast majority say that the pro-life campaigning they do revolves around praying before the Blessed Sacrament and if present at a clinic, simply praying the Rosary. I am interested in your views and welcome your comments on this subject...


georgem said...

As mentioned in a previous post, I believe that graphic illustrations of abortied babies are counter-productive. They rightly sicken people but the blame is laid on those holding up the posters, not the practitioners.
I think that a quieter demo reciting the Rosary and maybe carrying much smaller pictures of babies with a caption saying something like: "I was allowed to live" would be a less confrontational way to go.
As for the Pride carnival (note the Gay has been dropped)I don't understand parents taking their young children to witness this sleazy display.

Andy Stephenson said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment on our display at Wistons and thank you also for continuing to cover the plight of the unborn child. We have been holding such displays for a couple of years now in the UK. Your concerns over the strategy are fair comments but if I may, I would like to offer our apologetic.

In all the time we have used graphic imagery we have never seen a child upset by the images. We have seen children upset when their parents get angry at us and we have seen children asking intelligent questions about the images to parents who take the time to explain what is occurring in the picture.

Even if a child was upset by the imagery, we KNOW that every time we show these pictures people change their minds about abortion. We know these pictures of babies who have been killed through abortion will save other babies lives whose mother’s are unaware of the true nature of abortion. We feel no shame in saying that we care about born children’s feelings but we care more about unborn children’s lives - in our scales that lives trump feelings over and over.

We also don’t accept this double standard of children being upset over graphic images. Every day children see disturbing images. On the front of this week’s TIME magazine there is a picture of a young woman who has had her nose and ears cut off by her husband by order of the Taliban. The managing editor then uses the first page of the journal to explain why it is important to use such imagery to make real the horrors of Afghanistan. He also recognises that although children will likely see and be upset by this image, that it is necessary for understanding the story in full. Read more here:,8599,2007269,00.html#comments

If abortion could be ended by merely praying and silent vigils, it would have ended years ago. The problem of abortion is that people just don’t understand the enormity of the evil. They will never get to the place of seeing it as an evil of significant levels to justify criminalising the act until they see it.

I am happy to try and answer any questions or comments, though you may need to notify me on my email account

Andy Stephenson said...

Dear Georgem,
Thank you for your comment. I don’t understand how the pictures can be counter-productive. No woman sees our pictures and thinks “That makes me want to get an abortion!”

Lewis Hine, a photographer who documented images of children having their health ruined working in mines, factories and fields reported that people were angrier at him at showing the pictures of the suffering of these young lives than they were at the owners of these establishments for abusing the children. Needless to say that decades of working at legislation levels produced no traction in getting the law changed until Hine published these images. It was a relatively short time thereafter that the law protected these youngsters.

If we have to get people angry at us in order to get them angry at abortion that is a price we are willing to pay. It is understandable that people would be angry. But as our Canadian Director Stephanie Gray said: “Sometimes people get angry when they are convicted of truth and yet are resisting that truth.”

It is appropriate that people feel anger, but in time they will learn, if they have a shred of intellectual honesty, that the anger should be directed not only at those doing the killing but at those who are complacent about it.

This anger is a useful thing too. It allows us to ask the question that if abortion is such a noble choice then why do pictures of it make you pro-aborts so angry? If it is just the removal of the pregnancy or of tissue mass then why balk when faced with it?

As for using images of born babies. Perhaps this will be enough to convince someone of who the baby is, but most people agree that killing born babies is wrong. Most people though don’t believe the early embryo to be entitled to the same protection of law as a newborn as they believe the embryo to be nothing but a blob of tissue, and abortion, the innocuous removal of that mass.

Your solution is certainly more comfortable for those presenting the message but will do nothing to change minds about abortion.

Kind regards,

catholics should have jobs said...

lorra lorra laughs (not!).
if you haven't got any money, why don't you get a proper job like the rest of us.
try cleaning yourself up and then you might not be so unemployable.
just think, if you got a job then you could even start paying income tax.

The Bones said...


Be fair, more is achieved in this World by prayer than anything else, we just do not hear so much about the effects.

A Priest recently told me that an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament praying before Our Lord is more efficacious than 9 hours outside an abortion clinic.

The Good Counsel Network are encouraging Catholics to pray and fast on Saturday for an end to abortion.

It is a difference, perhaps, in spirituality. The great and recent Saints of the Church, in this era of abortion all condemned abortion outright. St Pio of Pietrelcina and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta were condemned the practise in public, but did not stand outside abortion clinics.

Mother Teresa said "abortion is the biggest destroyer of peace in the World". It is true, but as a woman both of prayer AND action, she spent her time with the dying and afflicted, while offering her sufferings up to God for the conversion of sinners.

Monasteries are 'powerhouses' of prayer, according to the Holy Father. Souls are saved, indeed abortions not performed, because of the prayers of those who 'pray without ceasing'.

I have a great deal of sympathy with your campaign, don't get me wrong, but I am concerned that the Abort 67 group will keep getting arrested while achieving little in terms of changing public perception.

Andy Stephenson said...

Please don't get me wrong. I believe prayer to be a powerful thing. But When Jesus gave us the parable of the Good Samaritan he didn't have the Good Samaritan pray for the beating victim. He had the Samaritan take an enormous risk and pay a heavy price for taking ACTION.

Your Priest friend may be very sincere about the power of prayer but has little understanding of the History of Social Reform.

Social Reformers at the outset of their campaigns were always ridiculed for being too stupid to realise that the injustice they seek to end was unchangeable. As the abolitionists started on their road to ending Slavery two thirds of the world’s population were in some form of slavery or indentured servitude.

I firmly believe that we should be praying but we should be doing it alongside the images.

All the best,

Danny said...

"if abortion is such a noble choice then why do pictures of it make you pro-aborts so angry? If it is just the removal of the pregnancy or of tissue mass then why balk when faced with it?"

Firstly, who claims abortion is 'a noble choice'?? It is a medical procedure resulting in the termination of a pregnancy. No one who has an abortion imagines they are doing something noble. They just don't want to have a child at that time in their lives.

Secondly, when you say - "If it is just the removal of the pregnancy or of tissue mass then why balk when faced with it" - this is clearly an absurd thing to say. I don't like looking at human excrement but that does not mean going to the toilet is immoral. I don't like seeing the viscera of a corpse, but that doesn't mean dissection should be banned. There is simply no connection between morality and instinctive reactions to the body. As you well know. The problem is, you don't have any other good arguments, so you are forced to behave like a pratt

Richard Collins said...

I believe that graphic posters are needed to wake this country up to the holocaust that is taking place.
Equally, prayer (especially public praying of the Rosary) is essential.
It would also be good to see some posters focusing on help for women who have had abortions and also some posters featuring the statistics regarding the problems that women have in later life after aborting a child.
Above all else...Catholics need to get active on this issue.

Malvenu said...

My personal reaction is that i'd be more likely to join the protesters if the images weren't there.

Although, I must admit that the use of this type of imagery is consistent with many other campaigns, e.g. the wearing of seat belts in cars or not jumping the lights at level crossings, etc.

The fact is that our society is so selfish in general that it is offensive to tell people they can't do as they wish with impunity whether or not they are even considering doing the thing you're telling them they can't do.

But then, on the other hand, we are probably all prats that don't even know why we are standing up for the millions of unborn children that are murdered every year in this country because some people...

"just don't want to have a child at that time in their lives."

Andy Stephenson said...

Dear Danny,
The pro- abortion lobby claim abortion to be a noble choice. They assert that it is a woman’s right to choose, an essential Human Right. But let’s accept your proposition for the sake of argument and go to the other end of the abortion supporting spectrum where abortion is seen as a necessary evil; that a woman never makes the decision lightly. Why is that? Why if it is the moral equivalent of tooth extraction does she stress over the “medical procedure”?

No woman should be forced to be a mother. But if the unborn child is a human being then she already is a mother. What is it terminated in the pregnancy? How do they do that? How do you describe abortion?

The reason you don’t like looking at human excrement is that it is unpleasant to look at. The reason you don’t like looking at aborted babies is because it makes you feel guilty. There is a difference between watching heart surgery and abortion. One is blood shed to heal, the other shed to kill. There is a world of moral difference between the two.

I have only ever found people who need to resort to ad hominem attacks are the ones lacking good argument.

If my arguments are absurd then I look forward to hear your convincing and well reasoned rebuttals.

Kind regards,

Danny said...


"The pro- abortion lobby claim abortion to be a noble choice. They assert that it is a woman’s right to choose, an essential Human Right."

Yes. That still has nothing to do with nobility. I think you need a dictionary. By the way, 'pro-abortion' is a slight misnomer. I am not 'pro-bowel surgery', I just don't think this particular medical procedure has any intrinsic relation to morality. Likewise with abortion. I think an awful lot of 'pro' abortion advocates agree with me. The onus is therefore upon you to explain why there is a morally objectionable dimension to this procedure (hint: you can't do that by showing me a picture of the procedure; that suggest that you do not understand the relevant issue).

"a woman never makes the decision lightly. Why is that? Why if it is the moral equivalent of tooth extraction does she stress over the “medical procedure”?"

I suspect people do not take tooth extraction lightly either. I clean my teeth as a precaution against such a procedure. But if this fails, then I will (with a heavy heart) book an appointment for the necessary medical procedure. Like wise with abortion....

"The reason you don’t like looking at human excrement is that it is unpleasant to look at. The reason you don’t like looking at aborted babies is because it makes you feel guilty."

No. It's because it is unpleasant to look at. You were right the first time (before you slyly shifted terminology)

"There is a difference between watching heart surgery and abortion. One is blood shed to heal, the other shed to kill. There is a world of moral difference between the two."

Sorry, stop me if I have made a mistake, but you STILL haven't actually made any persuasive argument to show abortion is a murder. You have just assumed I already agree it is. Like I said before, your main problem here is you seem to have no decent argument, just a lot of ways of insinuating that you do (or hoping if you plead long enough other people will forget that they didn't agree with you before)

I" have only ever found people who need to resort to ad hominem attacks are the ones lacking good argument.

If my arguments are absurd then I look forward to hear your convincing and well reasoned rebuttals."

Problem is, you don't HAVE any arguments. And you smell of wee

The Bones said...

Danny boy,

This is a Catholic blog.

Perhaps you missed something with the whole Catholic Church teaching on this matter, but I do not post on abortion and its evils in order to engage those who support abortion in some kind of sixth form debate.

The blogpost, rather than asking, 'Is abortion immoral?' was asking, 'How should we best combat this grotesque and murderous attack on the unborn?'

It strikes me that you have nothing to contribute on that front, because, to you, the destruction of a human being in the womb of his or her pregnant mother is as important to you dental treatment.

So, I ask you politely, unless you have something to add on the debate about how best to raise awareness of the scourge of abortion and to campaign against it...

Don't bother commenting.

Danny said...

Fair enough. But next time you are getting your righteous knickers in a twist about 'the World' not understanding you, remember, it's because you don't understand yourself. You haven't got a single shred of evidence or logic to support your wacky 'pictures of medical procedures' stunt, so don't be surprised when people get angry at you for doing it.

I have no evidence it is wrong to kill a cow, so I don't go around with pictures of butchered animals. If I did, I would expect to have a better argument than 'this is an animal extremist blog, so don't bother asking for any proof of my claims, I'm not interested in arguing, just forcing others to agree with me by underhanded methods of emotive persuasion'

By the way, this Abort 67... If you've got a 'head office' directing you from Canada, that would suggest it's not a spontaneous showing of faith, but some well orchestrated attempt to infiltrate the legal system. And I thought you were against social engineering Laurence. Shame

Andy Stephenson said...

Danny it is really very simple. The unborn child, from conception is a member of the human “species”. He is a human being of equivalent value to you or I. (no matter what we smell of)

This is a non-controversial position. Please see the references to back this up on our website:

There is no moral difference between an unborn and born human being.

The facts are clear. The burden is therefore upon you to explain why it is permissible to kill this small defenceless human being.

Kind regards,

The Bones said...

You take your views from yourself. You are your only point of reference.

Catholic take their views from the Catholic Church, the Church established by God Himself, which cannot err in matters of Faith and Morals. I always find this of great comfort because my faith and my morals can go widely off the mark.

Human life starts at conception. That is the teaching of the Church and this is one area (but by no means the only area) in which modern science and medicine supports Church teaching. It is sad that modern medicine abuses that fact.

There is no other objective point at which human life can start. We have a lot more evidence of that fact from ultrasound and x-ray.

People who say, "It's just a clump of cells," do not know what they are talking about.

Danny said...

Thanks for the clarification. Before you made that comment, I had been unaware that a human was able to produce another human through the process of sexual reproduction. I can see your point now. Adult humans were once produced by sexual reproduction, and we don’t kill adults, therefore anything produced by the same process must automatically be assigned the same status, right? I’m not quite sure how you think this makes any persuasive moral point. I assume you’re not insane, so it obviously has some force of persuasion with you, but I don’t see why or how this proves anything at all. I’ll do the ‘animal extremist’ thing again: “The unborn cow is, from conception, a member of the ‘species’ cow.” Yep, agreed. Simple biological point there. Doesn’t give me any further information about the moral permissibility of preventing it coming into being though.

In any case a ‘species’ is just an arbitrary way of classifying similar entities on a biological level, but it implies these entities are fully grown. I.e. if babies did not develop into adult humans, they would not have been classified as the same species, because they would not have any properties in common with an adult human. So when biologists say that, they really mean ‘when it’s an adult’. But that’s no reason to insist that a foetus must become an adult.

There is a huge moral difference between born and unborn humans. A recently fertilised egg is nothing like you or me. It is an egg with a bit of protein sticking into it. That does not make it a person. The ‘facts’ are not clear. You have no facts to go on, this is a question of interpretation. You interpret an egg with a string of sugar and protein sticking out of it as a person, I do not. I think I am closer to how 99.9999% of people think, but there you go – ‘the World’ is so immoral in these matters eh

The Bones said...

'There is a huge moral difference between born and unborn humans. A recently fertilised egg is nothing like you or me.'

It is like how you and I once were. You're only who and what you are now because nobody sucked you out of the womb or flushed you down the toilet.

Danny said...

"Human life starts at conception"

Neither I, nor anyone else with a brain, disputes that human 'life' starts at conception. So does bovine life, or porcine life, of the life of a daffodil, or any other sexually reproducing 'species' (I'll use Andy's insightful term here). None of which tells me anything about morality, which is a matter not of life, or of 'facts' (Andy's key insight again), but of values.

The point about the Church is well taken, but you are discussing how to get non-Catholics to obey you because you think that gets you a pat on the head from God. But if they're non-Catholics they will be in trouble anyway when the four horsemen appear. So again, presuming that you are not insane, I have to imagine that you do not only think you have a duty to ban abortion because you are a Catholic, but because there is some solid argument to do so. And I am telling you, there isn't. Or if there is, you don't appear to have it

Danny said...

"It is like how you and I once were. You're only who and what you are now because nobody sucked you out of the womb or flushed you down the toilet."

But why does this not apply to the single sperm and the single egg prior to fusion? If 'I' was once a single fertilised egg, surely 'I' was once a sperm and egg. What do you mean anyway - you and I were NOT once an egg in any meaningful sense. We developed from an egg, but it's a surely only a metaphor to say were once WERE eggs. What Laurence like properties did this egg have? Would you mum say 'ah, look at the little Laurence egg, he's got such a great personality."

It's a bit like when Dawkins says 'we were once Simian' - metaphorically yes (perhaps), but that doesn't mean 'we' (as we understand ourselves) were actually monkeys having a debate about bananas

The Bones said...

Not obey me, Danny, but to search their own Consciences, for that is the place where God is to be found.

You don't have to be a Catholic to have one. It is the same as the Consciences that decided to ban slavery - it came to a point where more came to realise that it was an inhumane practise and that the slavery of just one, was a gross indictment of the rest of society.

You were not once a sperm and an egg, Danny. You took chromosomes from both. Both are needed for conception, the beginning of life, to take place. You weren't once a sperm. You weren't once an egg. You and I are a result of a fusion of the two.

You were once a zygote and so was I.

The value of human life is not based on the quality of our personality, nor on our abilities, beauty or status. We (the human family) are just alive, living, and we Catholics would say, created by God for God.

The Bones said...

And we don't have the 'right' to take that life.

It may be a little life, it may seem insignificant, or even nonsensical to you, but that little life in the womb is a member of the human race. That life is dependant upon mothers and fathers, and doctors, in order to live.

Danny said...

"it is the same as the Consciences that decided to ban slavery - it came to a point where more came to realise that it was an inhumane practise and that the slavery of just one, was a gross indictment of the rest of society."

I am never convinced by this. Firstly, because I, like you, am not an advocate of slavery. I presume most people are not these days. I have never had to hypothesise about an entity who tells me this is wrong. Should I have to do so, I would be appalled with myself. After all, if that's the only grounds you have for saying something is wrong, you don't have much of a conscience yourself. But none the less, for millennia, human society DID use slaves. What's your point? Some time in the nineteenth century a little light just popped on in people's heads and they stopped being bad? Not very convincing is it. Anyway, Jesus should have made more of an issue of it if it's such an issue for the Catholic Church. He lived in a slave owning society and said nothing about it. Naughty Jesus!

"You were not once a sperm and an egg, Danny. You took chromosomes from both. Both are needed for conception, the beginning of life, to take place. You weren't once a sperm. You weren't once an egg. You and I are a result of a fusion of the two."

Are you seriously telling me that you think having a slightly different arrangement of chromosomes from your parents is all that makes you a morally worthwhile human person? Ok fine, so we can kill one of a set of identical twins then can we? They do not have different DNA, so they must be the same person - one of them is a spare. Of course not. They are two different people. And if I cloned a hundred of you and sent them off around the world to be raised, there would be a hundred different people. That is because (as you well know) having DNA arranged in a slightly different order has f all relevance to your personhood.

I presume this is a dead end. You simply have no argument. You vacillate wildly between a meaningless series of biological statements to give your argument a veneer of credibility and wildly presumptuous moral conclusions that are simply not supported by these premises.

Andy Stephenson said...

Danny, the evidence clearly states that human life begins at conception. You seem to think it ok to kill that human being. You think the unborn child is not entitled to the status of person making it okay to kill the unborn. Please explain the difference between a human being and a person.

The Bones said...

You are very much a man of your time, Danny.

The vast majority of the society in which you live does not condemn the practise of abortion or a range of issues on which the Church stands firm.

Therefore, if you were around when slavery was still legal, fine and dandy, who knows? How can you be sure that you would have stood up and defended slaves, since they, too were considered 'sub-human' and their humanity was denied.

The unborn child is a person who cannot answer back, a person in the earliest stages of life who cannot possibly defend himself or herself from the unjust invasion of others into the womb. He or she is totally at the mercy of doctors, nurses, parents and, indeed policitians.

At some point it is worthwhile asking yourself why you defend abortion. For, surely, as long as there is doubt, any doubt, about the personhood, or not, of an individual inside the womb, we should err on the side of caution.

For the Church, there is no doubt about the personhood of the foetus, and the unborn child's inherent value as being made 'in the image and likeness of God', since that article of dogma has been handed down the ages. Modernity cannot alter it, nor whims of society nor the morality of the time.

We do not reduce people down to DNA as Dawkins does. For Dawkins, we are only animals, with no instrinisic value, in a valueless, meaningless World of chance, chaos, deprived of any real hope or any redemption at all.

'Live and let live'. A nice motto - but harder than it first appears, especially when it comes to the unborn child.

Danny said...

[struggling to keep calm].... Look, you twunt, if you are right, WHY THE BLOODY HELL WAS SLAVERY ONLY OUTLAWED IN A NON-CATHOLIC COUNTRY ONCE RELIGION AS A SOCIAL FORCE WAS ON THE WANE????? Why did the practice of slavery exist in the Middle Ages?? Why did Catholic Spain enslave the territories of the New World?? Your argument simply cannot explain the facts,

On the contrary, it is YOU who are a man of the times: hate filled, disconsolate, rudderless, floating around vaguely clinging to any doctrine you can in order to convince yourself that life has a meaning.

"The unborn child is a person who cannot answer back" - no. it is not a person. It cannot answer back because it has no notion of its own existence, it has no personhood to speak of, you IMAGINE it does, because this gives you a purpose (or rather it confirms your hatred of the world that has been so unkind you you)

"At some point it is worthwhile asking yourself why you defend abortion. For, surely, as long as there is doubt, any doubt, about the personhood, or not, of an individual inside the womb, we should err on the side of caution."

because there can be no doubt. I simply cannot be wrong about my interpretation of an egg not being a person. You might not like my interpretation (just as I don't like yours), but that is not the same thing as me being wrong. I have no doubt that it is senseless to speak of an egg as a person. What does that even mean?? Unless I assumed an egg could have a soul (I don't) it's a non-started. Even if I did assume an egg had a soul, well, the soul goes back to God. Yay! Fulfilment of the purpose of life, no?

"We do not reduce people down to DNA as Dawkins does." glad to see you've changed your argument. So I hope in future, you will NOT claim to make these statements on the basis of any biological knowledge. If your argument is: "Abortion is wrong because the Church says so, and the Church has been around for ages, so it can't be wrong", ok fine.

So the Sun goes around the earth too. Never wrong are they!
Anyway, I think your logic is impeccable. But as the Egyptian gods were around for even longer that the Church, I am now obliged to believe that the sun is a superhuman being riding a canoe across the sky. It must be true - it was believed for 7,000 years!! Great argument

The Bones said...


All I am saying is, unborn children are babies, we really shouldn't kill babies and I'm apparently the 'hate-filled person'!

Get a grip man! It very much appears that it is you who is losing your rudder, not I!

You're trolling on a Catholic blog and now you're the one getting upset because the blog is, er, Catholic and you can't convince me or other Catholics on the personhood of the unborn child.

For the record, the World has been very kind to me. For a start, I was allowed to live by those who conceived me, my mum and dad. It got better from then. Sure, I have my ups and downs and I'll die, but I'll die in the hope of God's mercy.

By the way, you could use that 'sending a soul back to God' argument for murder at any stage of life. I don't think it works, Bro!

Andy Stephenson said...

Danny you are avoiding the question. If it is okay to kill a human being but not okay to kill a person, then what is the set of criteria for determining which is which?
And don't change the subject about sperm and eggs being persons no one is attempting to make that claim. From conception there is no longer an egg. It is a newly formed self integrating human being. Stop setting up a straw man and answer the question. What is the difference between a human being and a person?

Danny said...

"All I am saying is, unborn children are babies"

Look, we've done this in many different ways now. They are humans, we agree. They are not like you or me, and therefore do not need to be protected like you or I do. You can't simply keep repeating the point in new ways and hoping it will become more true.

And again, the Catholic thing is getting confused. No Catholic would have an abortion. The Church forbids it. But you are telling non-Catholics that they shouldn't have an abortion. So you must have an argument beyond 'the Church forbids it'. I wanted to know what it was. You couldn't supply it. You could just say: 'a foetus is classed as a human' (agreed, but irrelevant), then 'a foetus has rights' (clearly not, hence the debate), then 'the church says don't do it'. Fine. But why is that persuasive to non-Catholics?? It must be, because you are leaving toys outside a clinic in an effort to persuade people (by the way, leaving a box of toys outside an abortion clinic is completely mental. It's the type of thing a serial killer would do! 'The toy box murderer')

Finally - yes, you're right. yet we still feel death is a tragedy. Surely that is a contradiction in your world view, not mine. I am upset at death because I will never see the dead person again. You think you will, or that they have achieved some higher unity. So your sadness is illogical

Anyway, for me the 'trolling' is a serious matter. I am a reasonable sort of fellow, and if I don;t think abortion is murder, and you, another reasonable sort of fellow, say it is, then I want to know if I'm wrong. Thankfully, this exchange has shown me that I am not. Your argument, like EVERY argument against abortion, starts out on a supposedly neutral terrain ('it's nothing to do with belief in God, it is a fact') and very quickly slides headlong into a point that can only be sustained from a particular theological perspective. I am glad that I am not wrong, because I would hate to be supporting murder. Thankfully I see no reason to re-asses my opinion that an egg is not a person

Danny said...

"From conception there is no longer an egg. It is a newly formed self integrating human being."

No, it's an egg. It is a single ovum. It divides into two cells. Then into four and so on. But four cells do not a person make.

Why do I need to determine an arbitrary point at which the non-person becomes a person? Do I need to tell you the exact point at which a precursor of the human evolved into the human to support evolution? We become persons when we fulfil the criteria our species sets for personhood. Babies are people, we all agree. Eggs are not, no one agrees (apart from you and the Canadian mothership you gets your cue cards from)

The Bones said...

The full legalisation of abortion is a recent thing, Danny. The abortion thing is still taboo, hence women aren't on the front of Hello! magazine telling us about their latest abortion.

50-100 years ago it was more so. Even in non-Catholic circles, yes this once was a Christian country, it was perceived as wicked and evil. It is after the sixties that society in the UK begins to change its mind with regard to sex, sexuality and the unborn child. You can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the statute book will give you the answer.

Prior to 1967 it was actually illegal...You know, that's why they called it a 'back-street' abortion.

There was a concerted campaign in the run up and beyond this period in which abortion was campaigned 'for', actively, as a 'right'.

This was achieved with the help of Planned Parenthood in the US, the BPAS in the UK, Marie Stopes etc, those in their pay and of their persuasion. It was a top down thing. Society was not crying out for child murder.

Still, there was a culture shift - a zeitgeist. It was, quite quickly really, more and more acceptable to kill the unborn child. It wasn't grounded in medicine, not really, it wasn't grounded in science, (abortion clinics do not like ultrasound - its too revealing) and it certainly wasn't grounded in morality. It was presented in terms of 'freedom' and 'liberation', the buzz words that made having a child sound like the worst form of torture.

So, clearly, some people are able to do a lot of 'persuading' and 'convincing' in terms of presenting abortion as a 'right'. Those people just are not the Church with an opinion formed by the Holy Spirit, who guides Her down the ages.

Like I say, you're a product of the time. I am, even with all my sins and faults, a product of the Church, which is why I believe what the Church says whereas you believe what the zeitgeist says.

The early Christians used to rescue unwanted babies on hillsides in Jerusalem where babies would be left to die from exposure, if they were, say, deformed or viewed as a 'curse' or a 'burden'.

Christians who campaign against abortion nowadays are just carrying on the tradition of the Church from the beginning and thanks be to God we have that freedom of religion in the UK.


Danny said...

Ok, so couldn't someone have used the same argument to stop slavery being prohibited?? 'Until recently slavery was legal, for centuries people allowed it'. If your basic point is (as it appears to be) all change is bad, or suspect, then slavery should be reinstated.

Of course I am a product of my time. As are you. Cynical frustrated men the both of us. I understand my failing on the basis of a) my laziness and b) a generally dismal social and political order. You understand yours on the basis of a) your sins b) a secular world order. Not too different really. But by convincing yourself that you are aligned with the forces of good you have managed to also convince yourself that you have made a good argument and that this gives you the right to bully people outside a clinic. That's not on. You can give endless spiels about persecuted and martyred Christians in Rome (wait a minute... shouldn't we go back tot he Roman paganism if change is so bad) but that does not prove you are right. I can whine on about Taoism or Hindu beliefs, it doesn't prove that a non-Taoist or non-Hindu country should be held to ransom by my demands though, does it

The Bones said...

Is the reality of abortion and its victims, 'bullying'?

I've attended the display once and nobody went up to someone to call them a 'murderer' or anything.

The image is a lot to stomach, granted, but then, the reality is horrific.

The Bones said...

No, I was saying that the selling of abortion to the UK is recent, monied and travelled on a wave of cultural change dressed up as freedom, but in reality entails human sacrifice. You were saying Catholics shouldn't persuade, or there was no point trying - but I was saying that the 'pro-abortion' lobby does this.

The 'pro-abortion' lobby STILL does this, seeks to persuade the populace - hence the furore over the Marie Stopes 'Are you late?' commercial in which abortion isn't even mentioned (yes, it's still taboo!)

Catholics always know whats best said...

Yes gays are so offensive, they should be outlawed. Better still, the death penalty is to good for them like in Uganda.

The Pope Who Won't Be Buried

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