Wednesday, 8 May 2013

In the fight against abortion what can we learn from Wilberforce?

I have just been reading Mark Shea's article on the Catholic channel at Patheos. In it he discusses the tactics used by Live Action to secure the evidence to reveal the practices of abortion providers in the states in order to promote the pro-life agenda.
One of the responding comments struck me;

It's interesting and sad that the most controversial things on this blog are always Mark's pro-life and pro-truth commentaries. There are always people upset about the possibility that the death penalty won't be used enough, that wars against assorted bad guys won't be waged enough and that abortionists won't be lied to and tempted enough. With respect to the last, which is done in the name of exposing what abortion is really like, I am quite pessimistic. The problem is not that people don't know the reality of abortion; it's that they don't care. I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect the best we're going to get in the Gosnell case is a hung jury and maybe an acquittal. Hardened hearts will not be appealed to by more of the same information obtained by deceit. We need more prayer and fasting.
Kirt Higdon

I have responded to him on that website, but would like to develop my argument here.

William Wilberforce is a fantastic role model to turn to in times of despair. He too faced a strong, powerful movement supported by government that denied the humanity of others and used them to make themselves richer.  So what can we learn from Wilberforce?

"Let us not despair; it is a blessed cause, and success, ere long, will crown our exertions. Already we have gained one victory; we have obtained, for these poor creatures, the recognition of their human nature, which, for a while was most shamefully denied. This is the first fruits of our efforts; let us persevere and our triumph will be complete. Never, never will we desist till we have wiped away this scandal from the Christian name, released ourselves from the load of guilt, under which we at present labour, and extinguished every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times, will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonour to this country."

Wilberforce himself became ill from the battle, but he remained committed to God's will and encouraged others to do the same.

Although Kirthigdon doubts the ability of people to care, the pro-life journey in America has already changed people and been inspirational. Our pro-life movement in the UK is pitiful by example.  In the US you have pro-life marches, you started to prayerful ministries such as 40 days for life outside abortion centres, each year you politicians must debate abortion as a central issue.  Already on a global scale you are doing God's work.  I doubt if it would be as prominent in other countries if you weren't fighting the battle so passionately there. 
Although you may not see yourself as world leaders in this instance, you have been God bless America for that. 

Wilberforce focused on the humanity of those he was trying to liberate.

I think people do care. People have been badgered into being pro- abortion for so long that they now believe that that is the morally right thing to be and as people want to be good, they choose the 'pro-choice' option. 

They also believe the lies about the development of the foetus. 

I have heard the arguments about whether to show pictures of aborted fetus' or not and, having been a secondary school teacher of RE for many years I would suggest in the majority of cases I would say we don't need to.
We just need to use new technology to show the development of a foetus; it's rational proof itself. The majority of young people question abortion on those grounds alone.
This foetus at six weeks gestation is clearly human and shocks my pupils whenever I show it.  

Introduce people to the wonder of the development of a human being within the womb. All around us people are showing scans of their expected infants, encourage them to talk about this openly and get them to reflect publicly how awesome this is. Know the development of the foetus yourself in order to develop the conversation. This doesn't even have to be aligned overtly to a pro-life cause; you are sowing seeds, God will make them grow.

Support the guilty into confessing, finding peace and speaking Truth.

I am a great believer in those of who've had an abortion speaking about against it.  I have personally in the past been invovled a discussion about the practice and, although I was making relevant arguments, each of them was responded to not with any counter argument, but a statemernt to teh effect that I was Catholic so would think that way.
Finally I stated that I didn't believe this because of the Church and it's teaching, but because I ahd experience it, and it was begative.  The person I was talking to were quiet for some time and then said "actually, my aunt has also and she says the same thing".
People who ahve been through abortion need healing.  Like Eve at the foot of the tree they ahve been lied to and they pay an enormous price for this deception and they're betrayel (the responsibility always rests with you). 
However, like Eve God stepped in to comfort (with Eve by providing ehr with clothes and the hope of return) and redemption in the form of Jesus.  we need to bring Jesus to them so they can accept this redemption. It needs to be done with love, prayer and close attention tot eh Holy Spirit for guidance.
As people acknowledge and receive aabsolution it is important for them to know that, not only are they forgiven, but they have a unique place in ther edmption of man in this matter.  I have spoken about this in more detail here (Does God give us a second chance? Abortion, Adoption and Grace).

Tell people it's inevitable that laws supporting abortion are overturned.

Use a tactic from the socially liberal and gain support by pointing to the inevitability of the success of the argument. 

We have God on our side.

Mark Shea makes a good point on his website; it is immoral to try to obtain good through morally wrong acts.  However i would go a step further; it is also unnecessary.
Evil always tempts us into disbelieving the Truth in God's promises.  Think of Eve's temptation. Satan asks her why God will not eat from any tree; completely untrue and he is corrected by Eve.  God has said that can not eat of the tree of knowledge or they will die.  At this point Satan says "you will not die"; in other words, God's a liar.
She eats the fruit, she dies.
The temptation in a fight like this is to believe that God lied, or was as truthful as He could be, when he said the gates of hell will not prevail, that He has won.
Don't believe the lie.  Be like Mary.  Accept the Holy Spirit in order that you can say "Thy will be done", then step into the unknown. It took 33 years, fleeing to Egypt, years of slander and watching her beloved son crucified before Jesus destroyed death.

I note that Mr Higdon already turns to prayer to bolster himself.  Nevertheless, I have found an additional quote from John wesley to William Wilberforce that can be used in this occasion;
But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even [abortion] (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

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I welcome your posts whether you agree with me or not. Can I ask that people are respectful to each other; no-one has the right not to be offended, but I think that we can talk to each other without swearing or using personal insults.
If you want to use the whole "sky fairy" thing when you're talking to people with faith that too is your perogitive. Just know that for me and many others when you do you've lost the argument.