Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pro-life strike: How

My vision for a pro-life strike is still rather abstract and nebulous. I could even call it (somewhat punningly) an embryonic concept, probably fleshing out into a specific shape only as it develops in the concrete. Subject also to any specific visions contributed by its various participants, especially the early participants. With that caveat, here is what I foresee:

1. A quiet beginning

I'm guessing that early strikers will concentrate on the 4th goal as listed in the previous post: namely, individual and family decisions to withhold corporate and tax support for the abortion industry. As noted, this step requires no critical mass of participants, and no centralized or coordinated organization. It would, I believe, be beneficial to begin a sort of communications network both for spiritual and moral support, and to prepare for the coordination that may be needed in the more advanced stages (as these may or may not unfold). But this stage would be characterized mostly by folks coming on board in one's and two's, some anonymously, as they see fit. It would proceed almost unnoticed by the world.

There are many specific strategies early strikers could employ in withholding corporate and tax funds. The best way to withhold corporate funds is, in my opinion, to join the Corporate Funding Project (CFP) coordinated by Life Decisions International, as noted in earlier posts. Tax resistance strategies can range from limiting one's tax liability through simplified living and legitimately lower income (fully legal), to earning money through under-the-radar means (cash, barter, direct marketing, etc.), which is quasi-illegal but invisible and safe, to an all-out in-your-face refusal to pay IRS what it says you owe (Yikes!). An excellent source for reviewing these and other approaches is a site called "The Picket Line". This site is peopled mainly by "left-wing war tax resisters" (their own words), and contains many interesting articles and essays about the art and science of tax resistance, from which we pro-lifers can profit.

2. Underground economy

If our numbers ever grew enough, accompanied by a more-or-less coordinated communication, some strikers might be in a position to gradually begin the next stage: a more deliberate but mostly stealth underground economy. These folks would be business owners, tradesmen, professionals, etc. who could take their business or practice off the public market, offering their services and/or products directly to other strikers. This would entail the above-mentioned strategy of cash and direct-market transactions, with the added intention of serving the nascent strike community.

A prime example of this might be a doctor who joins the strike, then quietly closes his public practice, and begins to treat fellow strikers (who probably cannot afford health insurance), for cash or barter. A drastic pay cut? You bet.

Or, try this: A business owner goes on strike together with all his employees, in one fell swoop. The employees no longer pay taxes, because the owner no longer deducts them from their paychecks. Moreover, the business now offers its products with no sales tax. This would be, of course, a departure from stealth. Risky? No kidding.

These steps would obviously require, not only communication, but a fairly tight spiritual bond between fellow strikers. Maybe even a sort of vetting process in some cases, to discern who the true strikers are. The strikers who initiate this stage would be risking much, exercising the courage and conviction of martyrs, almost.

3. Alternative economy

As the numbers continue to grow, so would our confidence. Abandoning stealth, we become a viable alternative to the mainstream economy. The world can no longer ignore us, and that is precisely what we intend. With safety in numbers, our strike finally has the clout to achieve more than spiritual results. We are finally in a position to press for real policy changes, even as we continue to pray and work for changes of hearts as well.

The danger here, as I see it, is that we may be tempted to slack off spiritually. Let us brace ourselves beforehand for this temptation, and help each other to stay true.

4. Revolution

If acceptable policy changes are still not forthcoming, we may be called to mount an all-out revolution, overthrow the rotten system, and embark on a whole new course.

Folks, this is not an un-Christian sentiment. Think about the American Revolution, which most of us view positively, proudly, patriotically. Who would honestly argue that today's systematic injustice is less serious than it was 232 years ago? You know it is more serious.


This is admittedly ambitious, even grandiose. But let us be mindful of two things. First, it all depends upon God. If He is pleased by this idea, it cannot fail, no matter how small or great it actually becomes. If not, it must fail, nor even get started. We can never know until we begin.

Secondly, we must always keep the goal in mind, which is threefold: To obey and honor God, even if it costs us dearly, to do what we can to change hearts and to save lives and souls, and lastly, to effect real policy changes that reflect God's laws and the sanctity of human life. The specific carrying out of this or another plan must always be subject to these goals, in that order.

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