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Daniel Arendt

On The Soul Of Annual January Abortion Protests.


    As a number of Christian groups gear up for the annual January 22 walk against abortion, specifically protesting the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision almost 40 years old, there are some interesting ephemera emerging about what adopting the current USA Catholic clergy’s notions on the soul could mean for religion and psychology. As the Vatican pushes ecumenism between Christian groups and sees itself as THE protean Christianity, let’s look at what USA Catholic clergy are doing behind the scenes of asking even Protestants and agnostics to march with and otherwise “show up” for them.
    Well, a formerly super-huge Doctor Angelus of the Roman Catholic Church was early 13th century Dominican Thomas Aquinas. Part of his “medievalism” was articulated in the “Summa Theologica” he alone wrote: on what the soul IS, he said it was the intellect (or subsistence thereof); on WHEN the soul enters a person, he said union of male and female cells didn’t transmit it, and that God issues each one not less than forty days after conception as until things are in a form to receive their lot they cannot be in finished Divine design.
    In other words, Aquinas represented way back in the Dark Ages that humans do not create souls or bind God to issue them; further, that any fetus reacting without need of an intellect had not yet any soul. This of course followed Vatican dogma that God is not of our physical limitations, created the universe ab initio in transcendence of our physical laws, and creates souls to be in His image which meant we too exist to eternity with or without our physical body. This general sort of RC ideology survived until recent times.
    Enter a mere cloy which should be admitted to as ‘Vatican III’: today, Catholic media such as EWTN, and Catholic clergy such as Father Frank Pavone (Priests For Life, findable even on YouTube), compose whole programs, DVDs, and more ranting against abortion. It IS odd that not even they suggest a Constitutional amendment “correcting” the 1973 S. Ct. decision be made and passed, so when one contributes to such anti-abortion interests it appears they really volunteer only in support of efforts for getting the government to not fund (and public to not obtain) abortions…while volunteer organizers otherwise preach even Roe V. Wade is a law handed down by leaders God appointed and thus cannot be criticized or corrected. Sort of another “Robert the Bruce” doff of Catholic ecumenical hats to concurrent Protestant quietisms notwithstanding ecumenical endorsements of “The Manhattan Declaration” .
    Pay very careful attention to EWTN anti-abortion programs and Father Pavone (at whatever media outlets you find him). Both of these Catholic oracles use abortion doctors-turned-Christian activists, together with assortments of PhD types and scientists, to specifically identify even a two-celled human zygote as being no different than you my readers, or me at now age 50…point blank, these Catholic media presences say that even a zygote has the same humanity we do, sometimes couched in apologetic terms like “well, what else can a zygote grow into?”, rebuking Aquinas through Fulton Sheen. 
    It was bad enough for religious freedoms when Benedict XVI recently opined that God is NOT bound by His Word (including, thus, Jesus, per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regensburg_lecture ); toss in Pavonespeak, and one could mistake that Benedict is being amplified in “example” that the mere fertilization by a man and woman exerts human binding power over God to do or not do ANYTHING…which would be bad enough for religions claiming not to be raw psychology , but the metaphysics actually plied actually mean God is bound by punier things than He, including humans, and that indeed we need keepers BECAUSE a zygote is EXACTLY the same as you and me…a purely light-sensitive biomass at worst, instinctively acting piece of mere animal life without a soul at best, which some say we only get after end-of-days Resurrection plus a “second chance Rapture” to see if as finally bodies with souls we’ll want to follow Jesus or be thrown into a lake of fire.
    God bound by mankind, no souls now, second chance post- death/pre-eternity chances…perhaps followers of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. might have heard, in the not too distant past, about whole races which certain other races enslaved and dangled by ropes on grounds “some people have no souls”.
    And, since ecumenical Benedict XVI declares this the Year Of The Priest with exhortation support of ANY Christian clergy=carte blanche assent to ALL things known or unknown they do, it might not be a bad idea to stop funding via donations or Government(s) ANY Christian or other organization which insists not all (nor any) people have souls. To do sets up an orthodoxy of pan-religious demand that in this life humans are capable of no more than responding to emotional and physical stimuli in one global stereotype, have no worth greater than a slug or rat, and thus must be led, programmed and tended by psychologists and office-holders obviously of higher evolutionary grade…not to mention the Lord’s Worthy Of Faith-Funds Or License, who discern for secular power.
    In the meanwhile, I for one will stick to my “tradition” of being a Thomist and in general agreement with Dominican Order theology…we ALL have souls at live birth for sure, and on to natural end of lives, and for me the New Testament is for such life guidance. That many Roman Catholic clergy in Africa, Hispaniola, and elsewhere contradict me on this (q.v., e.g., http://www.amazingfacts.org/FreeStuff/OnlineLibrary/tabid/106/ctl/ViewMedia/mid/447/IID/31/LNG/en/SC/R/Default.aspx?7=Spirits-of-the-Dead-Do-They-Speak-and-Hear? ) is of no moment for me, as they vary too greatly from the New Testament even in the literal, figurative, parabolic, and metaphysical senses…but they have a right to their beliefs.
    For these reasons, to me abortion, euthanasia, enslavement, prison culturing, concentration camping, ethnic or cultural cleansing, and whatever other “sins crying out to Heaven” one could allege in all time must be alleged only re victims where with sober clinical examination it’s revealed a soul has been imparted as a fetus , or where with such examination it’s revealed at any age since birth a soul has not yet stopped animating a body…that is, pre-soul pre-natal stage abortion seems no sin per se, neither does legal euthanasia where a soul exits and leaves behind a body in permanent vegetative state.
1 comment
  • Daniel Arendt
    Daniel Arendt I anticipated reaction in nature of “come on, how can you say any Church alleging a zygote (further said to contain all our DNA and culture in Priests For Life materials) as being the same as any adult human could be used as proof (or, maybe, non-proof) s...  more
    January 20, 2010