Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pro-life strike: It is the law

The point needs to be emphasized. Pro-life tax resistance is not unlawful. Au contraire, the term "legalized abortion" is an oxymoron. Civil statutes and court opinions notwithstanding, abortion is always unlawful in the truest sense, because the Eternal Law is never subject to amendment, repeal, or review. 10 Commandments The legislators and judges who brook this Law become criminals in the process, and the 'laws' they enact contrary to true Law are null and void; they are not real laws. So, the decision to resist paying taxes that subsidize the criminal abortion industry is prompted, not by an outlaw attitude, but by a love of Law, and by an earnest effort to obey true Law.

Here's the tough question: Does our docile compliance with unjust authority spring from a good conscience, or from fear of reprisal? 232 years ago, certain Loyalists felt conscience bound to obey King George. Perhaps some were simply afraid to disobey. In either case, there would never have been an American Revolution had their voices prevailed. Likewise, had the Apostles felt obliged to obey the authorities, they would not have proclaimed the Gospel (Acts 4:18). True obedience can sometimes look like rebellion.

It isn't nearly as complicated as we might pretend. Difficult, yes. Unpleasant, to be sure. But not complicated. To subsidize a crime is to partake in the crime. Abortion is a crime. To willingly pay for it is to share the guilt. If you agree that abortion is the taking of an innocent person's life and the maiming of another's, then you really need to stop supporting it. It's the Law.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pro-life strike: It's the law

10 Commandments The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) contains an interesting tension of ideas. It affirms our duty to obey civil government according to Scriptural, Christian principles:
2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country:
Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.45

45 Rom 13:7.

but just two paragraphs later, it adds this, also based upon Scriptural principles:

2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."48 "We must obey God rather than men":49

48 Mt 22:21.
49 Acts 5:29.

In another section, it more exactly delineates the proper understanding of human authority, as follows:

1902 Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a "moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility":21
A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.22
1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse."23

21 GS 74 § 2.
22 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II,93 3, ad 2.
23 John XXIII PT 51.

No one is above the law; the Christian must obey legitimate authority. The question is: When our government forces us to subsidize the abortion holocaust via our tax dollars, is this an example of legitimate authority, or of an authority that has broken down completely? When our courts and legislators usurp divine authority, when they redefine marriage, strip the innocent of their rights, and compel our material participation in these crimes, are we obliged to obey them, or are we obliged to obey God's Law instead?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pro-life strike: Appeal

As noted in the previous post, there exist a multitude of pro-life campaigns and strategies, most of them noble and worthy of support. You may well relate to my tale of receiving many appeal letters from these and other charitable and political organizations. So, now that I'm making a little noise about this pro-life strike idea, I have started to reply to a few of these appeals with an appeal of my own, as follows:
Dear Pro-life friends,

I am sending this in response to your pro-life appeal letter to me. I applaud your pro-life initiative as well as the multitudinous others that come my way. Legislative and educational drives, petitions, protest letters, legal actions, prayer campaigns, and other creative efforts all aim to restore legal protection to our most vulnerable and innocent brothers and sisters, and to build a culture of life. These are all good and worthy pursuits, but after 35 years, the travesty continues largely unabated - obviously, something essential has been lacking.

This time, allow me to make an appeal to you. Not for money or anything of that sort, but to consider an idea that is way overdue, that has been employed for many other causes, but has yet to be attempted by us: a pro-life strike, or tax-resistance movement. The idea is simple. If our government insists upon using tax dollars to fund abortions, then let us deny them the tax money. This can entail many specific strategies, most of which are legal, but it has as its first intended effect the purification of our own motives: Let us refuse to participate materially in the holocaust, so that our other efforts are not tainted. I believe our efforts have heretofore failed primarily because of this lack of purity and failure to take costly personal risks. We must stop pulling punches.

Not pretending to be exemplary in any way, nor discounting my profound personal failures, I have for the past 9 or 10 years taken my own counsel - that is, I have consciously tried to avoid material participation in the abortion holocaust via corporate and tax subsidies. It has not involved much activity per se, but a deliberate pulling aside from pursuits that directly or indirectly underwrite the slaughter of the innocents. That is to say, I've been on strike. A one-man strike is, of course, a pretty ineffective and pitiful endeavor.

Lately, it occurs to me to make a bit more noise about it, to at least see if there might be some like-minded individuals with whom to connect and make a more serious impact collectively. I would encourage a pro-life leader or organization with more name recognition to take this idea and run with it. At any rate, this letter is to set before you the notion, as presented in my little blog. (Scandalously, I know of no other internet site with a "pro-life strike" theme.) Feel free to check it out, and respond with any type of comment or criticism. The primary link is

Look for "pro-life strike".

pax et bonum,

Gerald DePyper
5492 E Wilkinson Rd
South Range, WI 54874-8445