Not so long ago I wrote a piece on my experience at what I understood to be a symposium on Christian Resistance Theory which turned out to be a pro-life event put on by a group calling themselves by the unfortunate moniker of “abolitionists.” Yes, I found those spearheading the pro-life movement to have couched the effort in all the most anti-Christian ideas like abolitionism, women’s liberation, integrationism, interracial adoption, Zionism, civil rights, human rights, open borders, ad nauseam. This, it seemed, was their way of justifying a nearly all-White Christian movement in the eyes of the world. If defense of the unborn can somehow be construed as a front in the fight against White Supremacy and the Patriarchy, then the cause would be redeemed to the zeitgeist and therefore won. So at base, I took this strange recontextualization of the life issue as driven by utilitarianism, and means to an end.
But whatever the motive, disambiguation was in order to explain to these pro-lifers that their conservative-Right-theonomic position was never going to be advanced by daisy-chaining it into the liberal-humanist orthodoxy.
As it turns out, I was wrong. Not about the incongruity of the Christian doctrine of life with multicult values, but about the motives driving the movement. See, yesterday I addressed some frontline ‘abolitionists’ on their Facebook forum and put the question to them directly: I asked why they were associating the rightist pro-life movement with the far-left ideology of abolitionism. Rather than tendering some explanation as to how they might intersect, they flatly repudiated any and all connection with the pro-life movement and sentiment. I wish I had screen captures of the discussion, but they banned and blocked me faster than you can say “copy & paste.”
I was honestly a little stunned. I mean, I have attended events, taken part in demonstrations, and read literature produced by this organization, The International Coalition of Abolitionist Societies, and I never took the impression that they had rejected the pro-life cause. But they most emphatically have. Of course, they have framed the argument to say that where the pro-life cause was incrementalist, they, the abolition movement is animated by an uncompromising adherence to God’s Word.
With respect to the first point, the lack of success in overturning Roe or in turning public opinion against abortion might incline us to agree: the pro-life cause has, even while citing God’s Law, been pursued by rhetorical pleas and apologetic petitions, which assumes reform by populist sentiment — a thing impossible apart from a Christian-dominant society.
But where the abolitionist attempts to draw a distinction saying that they aren’t advocating any incremental approach, but demanding the application of God’s Law immediately, this is a distinction without a difference. After all, how differs the abolitionist from the pro-lifer in practice? Not a hair. The abolitionists march, demonstrate, preach, witness, plead, and argue according to God’s Law and Gospel to dissuade people, in and out of government, from infanticide; same as the pro-lifers whom they now decry as faithless for doing just these same things.
Even their “Five Tenets of Abolitionism,” which they claim to distinguish them so absolutely from the pro-life movement, are no different from anything you would have heard from the average pro-life activist in the 1980s. And we pause to ask the obvious — where have all the pro-life people gone, then, except under the umbrella of this new nomenclature? No matter how profound a difference they assure us exists between pro-lifers and abolitionists, by and large, the abolitionist crowd are the exact same people who used to be called pro-life. They have merely been corralled under a new banner and have kept doing the same things they did before under the previous terminology.
But that’s not to say that there’s no difference. No, there is. And it’s profound. It’s just not in any of the areas which the abolitionists are holding up as their defining doctrines. The true line of demarcation is implicit in the name abolitionist itself: quite apart from their five tenets, it is their rhetorical interpretations of God’s Law extolling all the totems of the radical left such as civil rights, human rights, gender and race equality, etc. These are what truly distinguish them from the pro-life movement.
Ultimately then, and in spite of their five tenets, by shifting the terminology from ‘pro-life’ to ‘abolitionism’, and turning to argue their case in terms of it, they have actually placed the matter of infanticide on the backburner and subordinated it to liberationism and egalitarianism, their true guiding premises. It isn’t being anti-abortion that identifies them with abolitionism, but the leftist ideology of abolitionism which apparently predicates their anti-abortion stance.
All of which were unimagined by anti-abortion activists prior. And that tells us something — that the ideology of abolitionism is not the necessary predication of anti-abortion activism, and neither is it essentially implied on a theonomic basis. In fact, it was taken for granted by the vast majority of anti-abortion activists prior to very recent days, that civil rights and equalitarian social theories were not the remedy, but the root cause and justification, of abortion. They were certainly the undergirding premises upon which Roe was decided. Liberation, civil rights, cultural Marxism, and Jacobinism are the ideological roots of abortion in America, and therefore cannot be the means of uprooting it. You cannot cast out the devil in the name of Beelzebub.
But it is ingenious for the devil to convince you that you can.
And by reframing the discussion as they have, saying that God’s Law is synonymous with the leftist ideology of abolition, and that abolitionism in turn necessitates that abortion be treated as murder, they have formed a three-link chain of non-sequiturs.
For one, God’s Law, differentiating as it does between fathers, mothers, brothers, slaves, aliens, and others, takes inequality of all sorts for granted as righteous. I mean, on the topic of slavery — the central obsession of abolitionism — God’s Law is emphatic that it is a righteous institution, and is sanctioned, regulated, and overtly affirmed throughout Old and New Testaments. So there is nothing approaching a case for abolitionism in Scripture. Just the opposite, if we are forbade from coveting our neighbor’s manservant and maidservant, and the book affirms that these are lawful possessions of our neighbor, then slavery is the virtuous amelioration of some men’s natural condition. Slaves do not exist because slavery exists, but just the reverse — slavery exists because slaves exist. And the institution of domestic slavery is for their good.
Secondly, as we’ve said, abolitionism is consonant with the civil rights ideology which actually gave us the sexual revolution and abortion on demand. And it isn’t so by a misunderstanding or misconstrual of those principles. Abolitionism, being a liberationist ideology, is necessarily at loggerheads with God’s Law-Word, as it spurns all biblical hierarchy and authority in favor of the artifices of leftist statecraft. And may it never be forgotten that in the name of the same equality, the American government deprived millions of Christian men, women, and children of their constitutionally guaranteed liberties, representation, property, and life without trial or pretense of law. Wherever equality is legislated, those whom God made best are invariably targeted for marginalization and/or liquidation. So the anti-abortion position cannot be said to follow from abolitionism.
Not only, then, is each link in this chain of argumentation incongruent with the others, and therefore an unchristian position, but by that incongruence, it is doomed to failure with respect to the stated goal of abolishing abortion. Because the only things which these ethical reappropriations can do is discredit the anti-abortion cause, as well as the cause of theonomy. As Rev. Thornwell famously framed the matter:
The parties in this conflict are not merely abolitionists and slaveholders—they are atheists, socialists, communists, red republicans, jacobins, on the one side, and the friends of order and regulated freedom on the other. In one word, the world is the battleground—Christianity and Atheism the combatants; and the progress of humanity the stake.
No matter the amount of virtue-signalling to the Left that these born-again abolitionists do, the leftists whom they court know the civil rights revolution and paleo-abolitionist revolution were expressly organized to overturn Christian authoritarianism. And they are only enraged at these sudden attempts of Christians to baptize those anti-Christian movements as Christian after all.
You cannot smother the fire of abortion with the grease of leftist ideology. Those who told you otherwise mean only to facilitate your burning down your own house. They who have foisted this unnecessary, unprofitable, and wholly incongruent ideology upon the anti-abortion movement have only assured the further eclipse of Christian sentiment in this matte. We will not see forward motion on behalf of children again under God’s Law until the churches and the anti-abortion cause are cleansed of the delusions of these SJWs and saboteurs.