Tony Greenstein | 16 April 2012 | Post Views:

Pro-Choice Demonstration Outside Bigots’ Church Service

For some months, a group called Abort 67 has been picketting Wiston’s Clinic on the border of Brighton and Hove. Wiston’s carry out early termination of pregnancy for women who choose not to have a child as well as vasectomies for men.

Abort67 is a group which advocates the tactics of anti-abortion campaigners in the United States, who regularly picket abortion clinics and have murdered doctors and medical staff who work there.

For some reason these ‘born again’ fundamentalist ‘Christians’ call themselves ‘pro-Life’ which is why they are endorsed and supported by people like Texas Governor Rick Perry and all the other loonies of the American Right. Being ‘pro-life’ doesn’t stop one from also being ‘pro-death’ – Texas being the Death Penalty Capital of the USA.

You’ll be hard pressed to find many Black faces amongst the fundies, because of course the Bible Belt of the USA, from where these white trash churches have their roots, is also the birthplace of Segregation, Jim Crow Laws and the Ku Klux Klan.

Perhaps what is most disgusting about these people is their exploitation of the misery of others. The Holocaust provides them with a fertile field. They hold that Abortion is equivalent to the holocaust. In fact the equivalent of Abort67 and the other pro-Lifers were the ‘German Christians’ – Baptists and Evangelical Protestants all, with Hitler. The only exception to this was the small and relatively ineffectual Confessing Church whose main concern was the autonomy of the Church vs the Nazi Party. What they don’t publicise is that the Nazi regime made procuring an abortion for an ‘Aryan’ woman a capital offence. On the other hand Jewish, Gypsy and similarly ‘racially inferior’ women were forced to have abortions. The purpose of German Christians was to breed for race and nation and Abort67 would have been most welcome in German Christian circles and in the Reich Church headed by Bishop Muller.

Far from those supporting a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, or not, having anything in common with the perpetrators of the holocaust, that accolade belongs with Abort67 and those, like the Worthing Jubilee Church, that supports them.

Last Sunday we decided to give our righteous Christians of the Worthing Jubilee Church a taste of their own medicine. They didn’t seem to like it as they scurried past lock gates or tried to slip in the back way. About 50 of us, complete with sound system and megaphone, let the people of Worthing know about the true nature of the Jubilee Christians.

It should of course be mentioned that Abort67 and all the other ‘Christian’ hypocrites, have nothing to say about back-street and illegal abortions. They would be quite happy for the position prior to 1967 to exist again. Then women who didn’t have money and influence were forced to risk their lives, and many did lose their lives, in order that the ‘sanctity of life’ of the foetus could be preserved.

These ‘Christians’ are the same ones who are rabid supporters of Zionism and the Jewish ‘return’ to Palestine. According to Pastor John Hagee, of the Southern Baptist Convention, Hitler and the Nazis were merely fulfilling god’s will. They were merely god’s messenger boys, sent to drive the Jews to Palestine, when the battle of Armageddon could begin. True most of the Jews would be wiped out, but a few would, with the Christian Elect, rise to heaven to the tune of heavenly choirs.

But then the whole politics of the Christian Right in the USA serve as a form of legitimation of war. These are the same Christians who are urging a holy war against Iran. Protestant fundamentalists in the US worked flat out to secure the election of George Bush – a ‘born again’ Christian – who waged a war in Iraq that cost of 1 million lives. They had earlier secured the Guatemalan Presidency for a fellow Protestant fundamentalist Efrain Rios Montt, whose state forces murdered, tortured, raped and pillaged, killing some 200,000 people – mainly Mayan Indians – in the battle against ‘communism’. Montt, who has now been arraigned in Guatemala, has been complaining of an abuse of his rights as a defendant! Montt was a creature of the US Southern Fundamentalists in a country that is largely Catholic. The ‘pro-life’ movement has been conspicuous by its silence when it comes to real holocausts and genocide.

Opposition to abortion, contraception and gay rights is common to the fundamentalist Christian churches in the US and in Britain. It revolves around their conception of the nature of the family and traditional patriarchal structures. Sexual freedom, which includes the right to control one’s own body, contradicts the traditional view of the family as one dominated by the man. That is and always has been the root of religious opposition to abortion. It has nothing whatsoever to do with being ‘pro-life’.

In fact even the Catholic Church used to have a concept of ‘delayed ensoulment’. It wasn’t until about 3 months into the pregnancy that a human soul was held to be present and many held it was only when there was sign of movement in the foetus, about 5 months into the pregnancy. Sterilisation was held to be a greater sin Indeed the Archbishop of Florence Antoninus supported abortion as a means of saving life. He was later made a saint! See ‘The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion’ by Professor Daniel Maguire, a Catholic theologian at Marquette University.

The Jewish religion certainly doesn’t hold that abortion is the equivalent of murder, since it is allowed if the woman’s life is in danger or because of incest or rape. If it was indeed murder then none of these exceptions would be allowed. Thus opposition to abortion is not and never has been a religious issue per se, in fact the Catholic Church said remarkably little about abortion for 15 centuries. Its main concern was over infanticide, which was used instead of contraception or abortion.

See also a Petition to withdraw support from Abort67, a Brighton pro-choice campaign set up in opposition to Abort’s tactics, a UK wide campaign, coverage in the local Worthing Herald and The Argus.

What was encouraging yesterday morning in sleepy conservative Worthing was the amount of support we got from passing motorists honking their horns. Indeed there were no hostile comments apart from the congregants of Jubilee Church itself.

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

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