Is the enemy of my enemy my friend?

Pro-lifers, where are you? We share a common enemy with OWS, the fact that corporations are persons by law and unborn children are not! Remember the Civil Rights marches? Anarchists and communists and radical and conservative religious marched arm and arm. It didn’t matter which party they were affiliated with. They were trying to open up a new space for discourse, a new way of thinking about citizenship. We should be doing the same! We have an opportunity to create a new voice here, a voice co-opted neither by the Republican nor the Democratic party which are both sold out to interests. Planned Parenthood is the 1%! Let’s join forces. Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

This has been my approach.  Thoughts?

11 Responses to Is the enemy of my enemy my friend?

  1. Martha says:

    This seems like a non-sequitor to me. There may well be things we should support about the OWS movement, but the definition of personhood is probably not one of them. Corporations should maybe not be considered “persons,” but it does not necessarily follow that unborn babies should be. (Don’t get me wrong – I think unborn babies should be persons under the law.) Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend and we can join forces reasonably. Sometimes commingling two fights only makes it harder to discern who the enemy is.


  3. I’m with Martha on this for the reason she states as well as the fact that, without exception, every prolife march/prayer vigil etc that I’ve participated in over the last 30 years has been 100% nonviolent & respectful of the dissidents who call us names/throw stuff at us/flip us off etc. I haven’t witnessed that same respect for the dignity of their opponents from OWS.

  4. OWS, incoherent as it can seem from the outside, is a reaction to the fundamental inequality of late stage capitalism. This has Catholic written all over it. For me, the pro life movement has always been the primary obstacle to my being more involved in pro life issues, about which I am passionate. I object to the lining up of pro life with privilege and ignorance on a host of other social issues ranging from taxes to the environment, So heck yes, Catholics belong with the OWS folks and of course, that means the pro life folks as well.

    • Martha says:

      Forgive me if this seems disrespectful, Father, because it’s not intended to be so, but I fail to see how one can be passionate about pro-life issues and choose not to act on them based on the other people involved in those issues. If that were a reasonable approach, many people would never choose a life of Christianity (and, let’s face it, many don’t) because of the ways in which Christians behave in their daily lives. Moreover, we would have to consider that a perfectly valid reason for rejecting Christ. Isn’t it our job to, as Nathan said above, “get in there and set the example”? Shouldn’t that be all the more imperative when it comes to championing a cause like bringing about an end to abortion?

      It would make more sense to me to suggest that Catholics should join the OWS protests to address grievances about the financial sector rather than as a vehicle to advance the pro-life movement. That scenario would be closer to what happened during the civil rights marches than what Nathan suggested in the original post.

  5. Fr Jack, With all due respect, if I accept what appears to be your primary premise, “the lining up of prolife with privilege and ignorance on a host of other social issues…”, then I can only assume that you are not “passionate” about speaking up for invisible children, elders etc. The reason I deduce this is because, as Benedict XVI reminds us forcefully in “Caritas in Veritate”, Life = the Primary Social Justice issue. Without the gift of life, the other issues “from taxes to the environment” are mute points.

    Have prolifers ignored/denigrated social issues? Yes. Is this justified by Christ’s teachings/Church teaching? No. Is this wrong? Yes.

    That said, B16 begins the amazing encyclical cited above by quoting “Humanae Vitae”. He refuses the easy out of an “either-or” approach to social justice vs. prolife issues.

    • Martha says:

      Thank you, Glenna, this is what I was intending to get at. I fail to see how rejecting the pro-life movement based on the failings of pro-life activists in other areas can be justified. This is akin to saying you can’t support the Susan G. Komen Foundation because they’re ignorant about other types of cancer or diseases that affect primarily men. The evil of abortion needs to be dealt with alongside other social justice issues, but that does not mean that people choosing to deal primarily with abortion is wrong.

      • James Murphy says:

        Believe me, the ows’ers are not all nonviolent, given their conduct
        in a number of places, in particular, Oakland. As for the civil rights
        movement, hopefully a number of those people from the 50’s and
        60’s are indeed in the prolife movement. But my own feelings on
        that quesrion, is that their numbers are too few. We prolifers must
        be more vociferous in proclaiming that the rights of our unborn
        sisters and brothers is the defining Civil Rights movement of the
        past half century! Is it not amazing the money the peta/animal
        rights people have to air public service messages on radio and
        television, railing against the mistreatment of animals (as bad as
        that is) yet what media outlet would permit us to have public
        service time to explain the hurt and mistreatment of the preborn
        and their unfortunate mothers? This is where we now are in our culture, thanks to the efforts of the radical left of the women’s
        liberation movement, etc., etc. Yes indeed, we must change hearts, minds and dare I say souls. -James

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