AL#1 Rape Exceptions; Faith and Freedom
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This email begins the second round of a series of 10 emails on abortion and related subjects. The first round was begun a year ago last month in an attempt to influence the 2002 elections. Unfortunately, some of the key people I had hoped would forward these materials did not, missing out on some potential opportunities. (For example, one local candidate who had told me he was "pro-choice" later described himself as pro-life after reading the first several of these.) If you find the materials you will be receiving worthwhile you are encouraged to forward them to your own email lists. If you are sympathetic to this cause but don't wish to read these materials you can save me some effort by simply deleting the emails as they arrive. They will be numbered consecutively in the subject line (AL#1, AL#2, etc.) so as to be easily identifiable. This applies to possible duplicates as well since you may have been on more than one list I used.
I have reason to believe that most of the recipients will be interested in these materials although some may be strongly opposed to what they say. Others simply know me or have met me at some time. Except for the revision of these first three paragraphs, the material is largely unchanged from the first round and follows below as originally sent. I expect this to be true for the other nine emails as well.
The following is a draft letter to the editor (it needs to be shortened) that I plan to mass fax by computer to publications nationwide in the near future. It's intent is to destroy the power of the rape exception which abortion rites advocates have always cleverly exploited to weaken or demolish protective laws. Hopefully, it may even turn it into a liability for them.
To the Editor:
Rape exceptions in protective abortion laws convey the message that women are so fragile -- even childlike -- that society can demand no sacrifices from them (as it can from men) in order to protect critical principles. Our nation has drafted men (and formerly accepted even very young boys) into the armed forces in large numbers for indefinite periods, exposed them to the horrors of war, and caused them to lose their lives or their physical or mental health for the remainder of their lives in order to protect our freedoms. The result is we are the freest nation on earth. But we regard it as unacceptable to demand that even a very small number of women be required to continue the normally healthy process of pregnancy for its known and limited period, albeit under emotionally stressful circumstances, in order to protect the sanctity of life. The result of falling for the rape wedge issue has been abortion on demand for any reason, by any means, at any time in pregnancy, with many adverse social consequences due to the cheapening of the value of life.
The rape wedge functions by driving people from an intellectual state to an emotional state where reason is irrelevant. It is even more effective on men than women because it threatens their very identity as protectors of the women close to them (wife, daughter, mother, sister, etc.). But research has shown that women who carry rape pregnancies to term have far better outcomes for having sacrificed, heroically triumphed over evil and brought forth good in spite of it (see www.afterabortion.org, search on "rape"). The fact is that women can deal with it even though rape exceptions say otherwise.
The song goes, "I am strong. I am invincible." But the rape exception says, "You are weak. You can't handle adversity." Women will always be second class so long as we accept patronizing and condescending policies that cynically and needlessly expose women and prenatal children to the deadly and exploitative violence of abortion.
The following letter was faxed by computer to some 3,000 publications nationwide in 1997.
April 12, 1997
To the Editor:
Rape is history's most effective, cynical and deadly wedge issue. Because most people can imagine themselves or someone close to them pregnant by rape, raising this repugnant specter renders the humanity of the prenatal child irrelevant, regardless of ethical principles. As with other "hard case" wedges, it is only the power to control one's own situation that matters when such emotional possibilities are presented.
The nature of the unborn baby, the only reason to oppose abortion, is unchanged by rape. The child is actually a second victim of the crime. Exceptions for rape call for a sellout on principle. The weakening or demolition of protective laws by demands for rape or other exceptions has turned the vast majority of abortion victims into collateral damage at rates approaching one hundred percent. These children are the primary victims of the wedge. But those who have morally degraded themselves by falling for such ploys are secondary victims.
From the false claim of rape in Roe v. Wade to the federal government's coercing of the states over Medicaid, the rape wedge has been standard operating procedure for abortion zealots. Those who deal in wedge issues know that when it comes to Number One they can count on many to spurn principle and revert to outcome-based morality.
Now that I hopefully have your attention, let me make a few introductory comments.
My name is Alfred Lemmo (my friends call me Al, so just remember the Al Lemmo) and I have been fairly active in right to life work for many years, beginning with a classroom debate as a junior high school student in New York City (the belly of the beast) in 1965. I am a serious Catholic and an elected precinct delegate for the Republican Party in the city of Dearborn, Michigan. Although I do not claim to be an expert in any of these areas, I probably know a good deal more than the average person about the things I will be writing about. I will be dealing with biology (a subject in which I hold an earned degree), religion, politics, ethics, language, and constitutional law, among other subjects.
These emails are intended primarily for organizations and individuals that are leaders in the prolife movement, but copies will be sent to many others who have at least some acquaintance with me, including family, friends from a variety of activities, and co-workers. Other recipients will include journalists, publications and politicians. The total number of recipients will be well over a thousand.
There comes a time when you must decide whether to go forward with a project or not, even if you don't have everything as completely in order as you might like. It would have been better to have had more time to plan this out and work out the bugs but it's now or never if it's to have any effect on this year's elections. It may already be too late for that but I'd rather take my best shot while I can than end up feeling I missed an opportunity to make a difference.
I have debated with myself whether to limit these mailings to like-minded people and have no idea how those who are not pro-life activists will react to what I will send out. Even among activists there is likely to be some negative criticism and the pro-life movement has no shortage of NIH (Not Invented Here) attitude (i.e., it's not our idea, don't bother us with it). Still, I wouldn't be making this effort if I didn't think I had something worthwhile to contribute. And I know it's a mistake to believe that people know what I know no matter how much it would seem they should.
I realize that some recipients may have had abortions, fathered a child that was aborted, counseled or assisted someone to have an abortion or otherwise been involved in this business. It is not my purpose to pass judgment, heap on guilt or otherwise cause emotional distress. God knows I have my own history of things for which I need His forgiveness. It *is* my purpose to present the truth as I understand it in the hope of changing some hearts and minds, perhaps offer some useful ideas to pro-life activists and provide some perspectives to non-activists that they are not likely to see elsewhere, whether they agree with or strongly oppose what I will have to say.
Although I will have some very unflattering things to say about the people who brought us to this sorry point in our nation's history and who continue to drag us through a moral sewer, let me relate just a few personal experiences to "soften my image." Abortion advocates have gotten great mileage out of their shoot-the-messenger strategy of portraying pro-life advocates as religious fanatics so that the public will turn off to their message. Those who know me know that I can and will discuss these things patiently with anyone who wishes to do so. I and my colleagues in the pro-life movement regard those who have become involved in the business of abortion in any way as victims themselves and will treat them accordingly. All of us, including you, whether we know it or not, have been touched by this in some way, and it has not been for the better.
A few weeks ago I was attending a weekend "dance camp" at a resort on the shore of Lake Huron. As I was waltzing across the floor one evening with a pleasant and attractive partner, she must have asked me what else I did outside of work because I don't usually just volunteer what I answered. I told her I was a right to life activist. She replied that I wasn't going to be very happy with her and went on to say that she was involved with an organization that did "selective reduction," a euphemism for a type of abortion in which some but not all of the prenatal children in a multiple pregnancy are destroyed. I had to laugh at God's sense of humor that we should have had such an exchange while in each other's arms, but neither one of us felt the need to break contact and I intend to pursue this relationship. She is on this mailing list.
Many years ago I stumbled upon a group just getting organized at the University of Michigan - Dearborn campus that consisted of "peace" activists. But it turned out that most of them could rationalize the war on the unborn. At one point I discovered that one of these people, a very kind man who was a pastor of a local Dearborn church, was the former Director of the Michigan Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (I spell it "Rites"). Rather than let this divide us we got together later to pick each other's brains. I learned some important things from that experience and plan to send you some of my writings dealing with religious aspects of the controvery as well as my material on the war on the unborn. You may find this especially interesting with our nation poised on the verge of war at this time.
Before I conclude I would like to share with you a letter to the editor I drafted after the federal court decision on the Pledge of Allegiance. (This is not an entirely unrelated subject.) It's way too long as is but with the exception of some references to the Declaration of Independence, I have not seen this approach elsewhere, even though it seems rather obvious. The explicitly Christian references are not meant to slight my Jewish friends who will be receiving this in any way. In fact, I've long advocated using generic prayers for invocations at pro-life gatherings because I know the explicitly Christian prayers that have usually been offered have been hurtful to Jewish participants and serve to prevent us from broadening our base of support. My words have fallen on deaf ears. But I digress. Here's the letter:
February 23, 2002
To the Editor:
The United States Constitution recognizes Jesus as Lord. At the end of its main body the framers wrote: "done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth..."
Who else could they have meant by "Lord"? This quotation also references the Declaration of Independence (signed eleven years and three months before). The Declaration speaks of "Nature's God," the "Creator" of all men who endows them with certain unalienable rights, the "Supreme Judge of the world," and "a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence."
The United States Code Annotated lists the "Organic Laws" of the United States as the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution. "Organic" in this context means "The fundamental law, or constitution, of a state or nation, written or unwritten. That law or system of law or principles which defines and establishes the organization of its government." (Black's Law Dictionary)
The Articles of Confederation speak of the "Great Governor of the World" and were signed "the ninth day of July in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Eight, and in the Third Year of the independence of America."
The Northwest Ordinance, passed by the Confederation Congress in 1787, states that: "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." Clearly, the public schools were to teach religion and morality - and they did.
None of these documents includes the phrase "separation of church and state." The establishment clause of the First Amendment was only intended to prevent one denomination's doctrines and finances from being favored over all others. And at least one Supreme Court opinion declared this a Christian nation.
Our official national motto as adopted by Congress in 1956 is "In God We Trust." It appears on our money and in the fourth stanza of our national anthem, written in 1814.
Nearly all the nation's founders regarded belief in God as essential to safeguarding liberty. Carved inside the Jefferson Memorial is this question from Thomas Jefferson, our third president and author of the Declaration of Independence: "Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" To whom else could we appeal over the head of any tyrant?
Faith in God is not a threat to our freedoms that must be purged from public discourse. To the contrary, it is their foundation.
Conclusion (deleted removal instructions - most no longer applies - 11/12/03)
Thanks for sticking with me this far. I hope and trust you'll be glad you did at the conclusion of this project.
Because there is no rush before an election this time, I will send the emails about once every one to three weeks (except for the second and third which are more closely related) to allow you more time to read them, and will take a little longer break before Christmas. The mailing list contains more individuals and fewer organizations this time but is still several hundred addresses. All emails will be by blind copy. Your address will never be made known by me to anyone else, during or after this project.