Along with many others, my initial and sincere belief was that this abortion of justice could be corrected through reasoned and democratic means, which is what we sought. Year after year we followed the usual within-the-system approach of writing letters, urging legislative action, public protests, etc. Meanwhile, the legalization of abortion was becoming ever more entrenched and accepted as the norm, leading both to greater complacency and to the expansion of the culture of death to include euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, trafficking in embryonic body parts, and the sanctioning and propagating of it all in conventional medicine, UN programs, and policies of foreign aid and government entitlements. These last elements were especially galling because they meant i was being forced to subsidize the holocaust with my tax dollars.
Eventually, in the early 1990's, i started to admit that the mild approach was simply not working, and never would. I began to share this conviction with fellow pro-lifers, and soon wrote to Judie Brown of the American Life League, urging her to join with other pro-life leaders in calling for and organizing something more radical, like an all-out strike. My idea was soundly rebuffed. Some years later, i tried again, this time writing to Dr. James Dobson, who wrote back and, in a kind manner, also demurred. So i began to seek ways to keep my own counsel, which is basically why for the past 8 years i have been living in the north woods, paying only local taxes, and more or less trying not to partake of the orgy of economic and political activity that comes with such a bloody price tag. I am, in effect, on strike. I know, i know - conventional wisdom dictates that we not seek 'an idyllic retreat' but bravely stay in the fray and resist the evil while still maintaining our lives in the world. Sounds fine. Is that approach effective? Honestly now, is it??
Through the teaching of John-Paul II, i also came to realize that consumerism, along with materialism and hedonism, has been fueling the culture of death and its growth all along. So a secondary motivation for me has been to reject the dogma of consumerism, and to try to live in a way that is as sustainable and non-consumeristic as possible. It really isn't all that difficult, once you start ignoring the cultural expectations that militate against such non-conformity. I may expand upon this theme in a later post some time. Meanwhile, alas, time passes, Jerry DePyper ages, and i grow weary of the various vexations of living this way alone. So, Lord willing, i am slowly preparing to enter a new chapter of life soon, as described also in an earlier post. But i digress. I said all the above so i could say this:
Recently, in the July-August newsletter of Life Decisions International, (search: 'Jerry DePyper'), i have made a third public appeal for an all-out pro-life strike. I suppose you could consider this little blog post an extension of that appeal. Here is the full appeal:
Even more effective than boycotts, strikes have historically been well employed to achieve political, social, and economic ends when less extreme measures have failed. Well, i say that the pro-life movement's tactics have to date been altogether too mild and timid, and it's high time for something much more serious (and, i admit, risky).
In fact, i have called for this very thing since the early 1990's, pleading for it from such pro-life leaders as Judie Brown and James Dobson, but have had no takers. I have since followed my own counsel, and have been 'on strike' since the late 1990's, living a virtually tax-free and income-free life of subsistence on a 10-acre homestead.
The existence of such enterprises as mine would be a critical part of any strike. Indeed, i could see pro-life Christians developing an entirely independent economy of our own, doing business with each other, while refusing to pay any taxes or to take part in the economy of the mainstream culture until very specific demands are met:
1. Legal protection restored to all human beings, from the moment of conception until natural death. This need not be a Constitutional amendment, but might be a simple federal law or Supreme Court decision recognizing all humans as 'persons', thus effectively reversing Roe v. Wade.,
2. Repeal all entitlement and funding programs using tax dollars for abortion, fetal tissue research, etc.
3. Stop public funding of Planned Parenthood, and other 'non-profits' advocating or performing abortion, euthanasia, etc.
I could also add
4. A non-revocable nation-wide declaration recognizing that marriage is by its nature monogamous and heterosexual, and only such can ever be accorded the rights and duties proper to marriage.
even though this is not a strictly pro-life issue.
I could also tolerate a scaled-back version of the above, consisting not of a full-blown general strike, but a mere taxpayer revolt whereby pro-lifers would continue to work and conduct business, but all taxes would be withheld until the above demands are met. In my opinion, though, we've already been pulling our punches way too much. An all-out strike, and leave the results to God!Any takers?
I applaud and admire the diligent efforts of Judie Brown, Dr. Dobson, and others, but i truly can't see how anything will improve unless we are willing to accompany these efforts with a more radical action that will demand much of us, and will thereby break through the cultural and political stupor and force the issues to be definitively addressed.
I suppose the desired solution could come about despite the inadequacy of our actions, namely, through direct divine intervention. Indeed, our faith assures us that someday all wrongs will be made right by the One Righteous Judge, before whom those others will shrivel in shame. But that hope does not excuse complacency, does it? Nor does it undo the spiritual and physical carnage being wrought while we morally slumber. Moreover, God's solutions often turn out to be quite painful in their purgative effects. Is it prudent to passively await God's righteous anger, which could well mean a calamitous implosion of our culture? I still believe it would be better to gird our collective loins and take the bull by the horns and perhaps deflect the greater part of God's judgment. Anybody?