Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mark Shea Sets Us Straight

Undercover Video made by Live Action
Mark Shea has written a column, which you can read here, entitled "Why I Believe Live Action’s Tactics Are Wrong", denouncing the tactics of Lila Rose and Live Action.  Live Action has sent pregnant women into abortion clinics in undercover operations to expose just how ruthless and evil the abortion industry is. I have to admit that I have always applauded Lila Rose and her group in the past, grateful that they are exposing this evil for all the world to see.

But now Mark Shea has come along and told us that even though "abortion is a filthy monstrous evil that should turn the stomach of any sane human being", that does not make it right to go in and tempt them or anyone else to commit mortal sin by pretending to ask for an abortion.  My first reaction in seeing this column is no, you're wrong about this one, Mark.  Abortionists are evil people and it doesn't matter how we get them, just so we get them. We have to use whatever it takes to stop abortion.

But when I really read his article and then gave it some long reflection,  I realized Mark Shea is right on the money.  Our Lord would never use such tactics against evil.  He would tell them to their face that what they are doing is wrong, and he would call them to repentance.

Mark first points out that lying is immoral. The eighth commandment does not say Thou shall not bear false witness EXCEPT when the other guy is a really evil person. There are no exceptions to any of the commandments, and that includes the one pertaining to lying. God never resorts to lying and neither should we.

But lying is not the worst of it by any means. As Mark points out, when Live Action sends someone into an abortion clinic to ask for an abortion, they are tempting that person to mortal sin. It doesn't matter whether the other person would do it or not. Mark explains it best:
The essence of the transaction Live Action’s agent proposes is simple: “I want to murder someone. Will you help me?”
Some will undoubtedly say “These people would murder in any case so let’s nail the bastards any way we can.”
The answer to this is twofold: a) we don’t know they would murder in any case and b) even if true, it does not in the slightest remove the stain of mortal sin from our act when we tempt another to commit murder. Indeed, to tempt to mortal sin one who is likely to succumb to mortal sin is, if anything, more blameworthy.
James 1:13 says:  "God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone." As Mark writes,
The reality is that the *least* serious moral issue is that LA’s tactics involve the sin of lying. The really serious problem (and one that the Faithful Conservative Catholic anti-charism of discernment refuses to give any serious consideration) is that it is lying in order to tempt somebody to commit a mortal sin. God does not tempt to mortal sin. Those who do tempt people to commit mortal sin are themselves engaged in grave matter and are in peril of their souls.

Jesus commissioned His Church to preach the Gospel to every creature. In doing so, our job is to try to bring as many souls as we can to Christ. How are we going to do that when we are lying and tempting people to mortal sin? We can't use the tactics of the devil to defeat the devil. When we do that, we are acting as his agents, not as followers of Jesus Christ.

We should be praying for the souls of abortionists and all who are involved in this evil practice. As Mark wrote,
Consider such figures as Carol Everett, Bernard Nathanson or Sue Thayer. All were, at one time, pro-aborts with blood on their hands–and deeply troubled consciences. The very last thing they needed when they were on the cusp of changing their minds was for somebody to come to them pleading for an abortion and tempting them to continue in their path with one more conscience-searing act of slaughter. Inveigling them to continue murdering for the sake of the hidden camera is like handing an alcoholic struggling to get sober a bottle of whiskey in the hope they will die of alcohol poisoning on camera so you can expose the distillery industry. “He would have gotten drunk anyway” is not going to fly when you stand at the Pearly Gates and have to answer for tempting that guy to destroy his life for the sake of your expose.
Mark has given us a profound truth and one that should convict us to the core of our souls. I, for one, am very grateful that he had the courage to post this for all the world to see, and I will pray that Lila Rose and all who support her will also see tempting others to sin, even in the name of "good", is not the way to go. We must abide by the Commandments, the Law of Love, in order to defeat evil. There is no other way.

1 comment:

  1. Lying is immoral but is play acting immoral that allows a person to come to the wrong conclusion? All police who are undercover and all spies posing as someone in the camp of the enemy are immoral in all circumstances?

    Mark Shea is being his usual simplistic self.

    People at abortion clinics have already resolved to kill the innocent.
    This is like saying you are tempting a hooker who already works in a whorehouse to evil if you ask (without any real intention of buying) how much & what she will do for what?

    What a hooker might do in a legal whorehouse violates the moral law. But I wouldn't be against exposing one who without prompting voluntarily tells her customer "Yeh I'll do children if you pay me".

    What Lila Rose does is expose the abortionists acting beyond what they are allowed to do legally.

    Carol Everett, Bernard Nathanson & Sue Thayer may not have gone beyond what the civil law allowed. But clearly many abortion clinics out there will violate the civil law in the name of selling their wicked services.

    If they all acted properly "If you accidentally have a live birth we will call an ambulance" or "If you are 13 & your boyfriend is 21 we will have to call the cops."

    Then Lila would be out of the job.


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