Abortion, Dominionism, Freedom and Liberty, Politicians and Scoundrels, Politics

The Pro-Life Conspiracy

(About a 3 minute read)

“I am not a conspiracy nut. But in this case no other word than conspiracy will do. We did what we did covertly, telling supporters one thing, and telling leaders on the inside of the political establishment another thing.

“There was one agenda in public, another one behind closed doors. And we changed America for the worse.” — Frank Schaeffer​

Most of us today no longer remember back when abortion was opposed, mostly, only by Catholics. Indeed, there was a time when it was condoned even by some of the most religiously conservative denominations in America. For instance:

In 1968, Christianity Today published a special issue on contraception and abortion, encapsulating the consensus among evangelical thinkers at the time. In the leading article, professor Bruce Waltke, of the famously conservative Dallas Theological Seminary, explained the Bible plainly teaches that life begins at birth:

“God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: ‘If a man kills any human life he will be put to death’ (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.” [Source]​

Southern Baptists were on record supporting abortion rights as late as 1976, and they did not officially reverse themselves until the 1980s. [Source]

So what caused the reversal? Why did abortion become the huge issue it is today for so many religious folks?

By most accounts, the one person who had the most to do with the reversal was Francis Schaeffer. He was Frank Schaeffer’s father. Francis was also the Protestant theologian most responsible — not only for creating the notion that abortion violated biblical teachings — but for propagating it. He, along with other people, did everything they could to make sure it became a popular issue.

Francis’ son, Frank, was heavily and intimately involved in his father’s efforts. And, according to Frank, those efforts crucially involved conspiring with Republican leaders to turn abortion into a means of creating a reliable, Republican-voting block out of America’s Evangelicals and other fundamentalists.

The deal was this: The Republicans would get the Evangelicals, etc delivered to them by the religious leaders in exchange for the religious leaders getting power and wealth.

So, in a vital way, the abortion issue boils down to the ancient story of political elites and religious elites finding reasons to be in cahoots with each other. That story has been a constantly recurring theme in human history since the first civilizations were founded 5,500 years ago.

Beyond that, I wonder how many of us are genuinely surprised by this? I know some of us will dismiss it and the evidence for it, but that’s only human nature. I’m not all that interested in them. But I am interested in knowing if anyone has been genuinely surprised to hear that the anti-abortion movement had its origins more in politics, than in unquestioned biblical principles?

A Little Further Reading:

The Actual “Pro-Life” Conspiracy That Handed America to the Tea Party & Far Religious Right (An Insider’s Perspective)

The Not so Lofty Origins of the Evangelical Pro-Life Movement

13 thoughts on “The Pro-Life Conspiracy”

  1. I don’t think it’s surprising, considering the close relationship between organised religion and politics. Religion has a great sway over many people, and politicians abuse it.


  2. It’s my understanding that the Protestant opposition to abortion and contraception is rooted in bias and goes back into the 1800’s, when the Catholic Church issued fiats against abortion for the first time. 1848 if I remember the history I read correctly. As this became stricter practice, Protestant groups whipped up the fear that the Papists would outnumber them by breeding and they too must forbid their women to put any dampers on fertility. Remember that the Klan hated Catholics only a little less than it hated black people and “furriners” of different stripes.

    As a political gambit it would never have taken off were it not for entrenched fear of women and of women having power. Think of how bitterly women had to fight for the vote — which is something you can do no matter how many children you have. Now imagine how threatened a large tranche of men felt at the idea that women could direct their own lives and compete in the world without being sandbagged by continuous pregnancies. Of course these types of men were going to be commoner in established churches with rigid ideas of sex roles. All this was well entrenched before technology made it possible to wave around pictures of bloody fetal parts (mostly from complicated abortions that involved nonviable fetuses or threats to a womans’s life) or ultrasound pictures that helped stoke blather about BAYBEES.

    In the end I don’t know why there are so many people who think it’s fine to throw away a life in progress, either from literal threat to survival or simply hijacking of a whole life path, to damage a human being’s body permanently from the inside for something she does not want, in the name of preseving a “life” that has not started yet other than in the most technical of terms. It scares me that so many of them are women themselves. But it was an obvious bloc for politicians to co-opt, right out there with dog whislte racism.


    1. I was familiar with the Catholic history on abortion from a friend of mine who is just a hair’s width below being a scholar of Catholicism. But this is the first I heard of the Protestant response. Fascinating. Thanks for sharing that.

      It is indeed curious that the anti-abortion crowd does not seem for the most part the least appreciative of the pro-choice position. Then again, I have no sympathy at all for many of their motives, if not their actual arguments. For instance, I just cannot see why anyone would want to punish women for having “illicit” sex.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh well that’s not too baffling. There is a lot of desire to control women, and while I think the explanation that men want to be sure their children are genetically theirs has some weight, it seems glib. I don’t really know where the passion to crush and confine women comes from overall, but it sure is there. And the best way to control someone is to persuade them there is something wrong with their basic drives that has to be clubbed into submission. Control people’s sexuality, make them feel they have to grovel for forgiveness over having sex or wanting to, and you can lead them by the nose a lot more easily. It gets them used to mistrusting their own instincts. Germaine Greer addressed this in “The Female Eunuch.” She got a little weird as time went on but she shot straight in that book.


      2. Sledpress, I’m impressed by how spot on your succinct analysis of why men so often try to control women’s sexuality is. It seems to me you’ve nailed it right down to such details as “mistrusting their own instincts”.

        The only point at which we differ at all is I myself do indeed think the ultimate cause of it might lie in the male desire to insure he has offspring. But to each his or her own.

        Thank you so much for that!


  3. “God does not regard the fetus as a soul” — for a human being to assert how God regards a fetus (or anything else) is, at best, a presumption based on a presumption. If there is a God, no human knows what God ‘thinks,’ therefore religious beliefs cannot be the basis for abortion beliefs. In short, if abortion is not to be taken lightly, it is a moral issue, not a religious one.


    1. I believe most religious people would counter “we cannot know what god thinks” with “but god has revealed what he thinks to us.” Of course, you’d be right to point out there’s no guarantee that was god doing the revealing.

      I agree with you abortion is a moral issue in the end. That’s a very important point.


  4. Is it any surprise that “Christianity Today” published the Paragraph Below and Southern Baptists are on record supporting Abortion as Late as 1976 and not officially reversing
    themselves until the 80’s; well, hell no Humans are notorious for their abilities to Gas
    Light Change whatever Reality they Co-Create through rarified Abstract Constructs
    that meet the Current Colors of Group think that bond Human Groups over
    Common Rarified Abstract constructs as the bottom line is no matter if
    those Ideologies Created make any F in Sense or not, Apes are
    much Stronger together to make Subsistence work including
    Food and Drink and Shelter and yes enough Mates to go around
    for each and every Male so they stay satisfied enough for some relative
    way of enough Peace and Harmony to make insanely Large Groups of Human
    Beings Work out of Anarchy as ‘they’ say and of course ‘they’ is the Group Think
    of whatever Tribe of ‘Human Slobs’ is doing the best they can and will to survive
    and even thrive these days with Walmart all one can eat sugars fats and don’t
    Forget the Free Porn on Screens Hidden from the rest of the Folks Looking
    at it in all the First Baptist or whatever other reality makes Private Closets
    For Human Nature to actually thrive in that way whatever it takes too to get the job done.

    “God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: ‘If a man kills any human life he will be put to death’ (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.”

    Smiles, my Friend, if the Catholic Church really wanted to reduce Abortions ‘they’ would
    be Handing out Effective Birth Control Free at Masses around the World for those who
    don’t have affordable access to Birth Control and they surely wouldn’t be discouraging
    it for that’s the best way to reduce unwanted Pregnancies as Catholic Mexico where still
    Abortion is illegal doesn’t make Abortion any less prevalent than it is in the US; difference
    being there is more Misery and Suffering and Permanent Disabilities up to Death for the
    Mother’s Involved in Unsafe Abortions like anywhere else in the World that Dark Stuff
    Binds Folks together rather than what actually does the least Harm for all. And yes, there
    is that other smaller bit of fact that Abortions actually Decreased then when it became legal
    in the United States; as yes, Planned Parenthood works; emphasis now on Planned of
    course and not one night stands for the Teens at the First Baptist Church, or in Junior
    College when the Young Women then leave the Christian School and find the back
    of the Junior College Male’s Pick up Trucks, too ; Yes, as Science Shows too, what
    you can’t have you’ll want and do even more in terms of Intermittent Gratification, too.
    In other words, cover it all up and just take it all off that much faster at first opportunity.
    It’s true as Science shows too this level of Excitement often ends Wedding Nights
    Before they begin in Covered up Muslim Marriages that are hotter than ever in
    Intermittent Gratification Covering Decades of want want want Human Nature.
    It’s true too when folks don’t get Sex it’s on their Mind almost constantly where
    other wise they might be doing something else in Creativity and Productivity too.
    Get Her Done as ‘they’ say or Her too as that goes too; hehe where I live now at least.

    If anything, the Trump Meme Proves that the Majority of Human Beings who vote
    in Certain States and Localities are far from Rational as Science Shows we all
    Vote our Decisions in Life first with our Emotions no matter how we rationalize
    reality after the fact and it would be nice if the ‘Current Little Dictator’, would have a
    Change of Heart but there is that Factor of Oxytocin and the reality that not all Human
    Beings experience much of the Warm and Fuzzy that Oxytocin Born Healthy and
    Normal at Breast and Hugs and Kisses from ages 0 to 4 at the most critical Period
    of Human Development for Love to Fruit as Garden Ripe, otherwise what we get now
    is Trump, Trump and more Trumps to Vote for Trumps in all the ways that emptiness
    gets filled in life too for it’s true people use many substitutes for Love but there is
    nothing as filling as feeling as the Warm and Fuzzy Mammalian Reality of Love
    that is born and bred and Nourished from first to last blink of life totally filled up.

    And that’s the other thing, if one really wants to reduce Abortions, one raises Hope
    and Love and Nurturing instead of Warriors to kill in areas of Scarcity to Fight to the
    Death for Subsistence up to Mates too by Further reducing all the tears of
    empathy that small Egalitarian Groups of Humans; yes, less than 200 in
    a ‘Cheers’ Village, where everyone’s name is ‘Norm’ and you are Norm
    and she is Norm and we are Norm and Us as Norm Loves the Human
    Condition enough that the last thing in the World Us Will do is
    Abort Humans in all the ways that comes in an Environment of
    Abundance in Warm and Fuzzy Love. Mileage Varies by Model in
    Love of the Human Vessel and Vehicle Housing Love and yes also
    Make of the Car too, whether it is a Trump or a Good Cop Jesus, hehe.
    Those of us who stay Warm and Fuzzy, Thrive; those of us who don’t, struggle
    for the rest of our lives; Human Nature 101 my Friend; Love or Die in all the ways
    Suffering and Misery Loves Company or the other Warm and Fuzzy place of Joy
    Does Company now. in the Sense of Warm and Fuzzy, there a lot of Bald Humans
    where I live; particularly the Males whose ‘Big Daddy Trumps’ told ’em Boys don’t Cry.
    But as Far as Guns and Roses go and living or dying in Life, if they do not now have the
    Biological Tools For Love, I will continue to Live Love and sadly watch them Die as a Living
    Emptiness that Life is without the warm and fuzzy thrive of a Dance and Song that Loves.

    It’s true my Friend, some folks literally cannot see Love; model and make of car in tow.

    Thanks for this information. Smiles; i’m always looking for smart stuff too to add to the
    Art oF A Deal oF Love that continues to Grow as my Personal Bible oF LoVE smART..:)

    It’s true this is all basically Just Mental Masturbation unless Humans are Rational at core
    and they are not as Science SHows they are not and neither Am As i Thank God For all
    of this Shit is better than being a Robot and never existing at all for the Gift is the Struggle
    and Jesus do we live in interesting times; Fascinating too beyond ‘belief’, if ‘you’ are one of the Lucky ones truly Living Free relatively speaking with Will and Love Holding Hands Fuzzy and Warm like a Tight Hug from A Beautiful ‘Strange’ Blonde over 3 Decades or so Your Junior; yes of course over 21 as You make her Feel Warm and Fuzzy Inside as Your Mother Loved you and your Daddy just
    of the way
    With his Ignorance in Fear and Hate.
    And even when she Probes you about
    Did you come Alone and did you Drive
    You Just Hug Her tighter and say good
    bye as a Warm Hug of Wife awaits you
    at home for the Trust of Love as Warm and Fuzzy as you are Sober as Love
    Will be Beyond any Dream of a one night stand in the Back of a Pick up Truck.

    Life is Largely an Oxytocin game if one is truly and fully Human; a Dying Breed.

    Wow, I wrote a lot of Words again; but i was/am dutifully inspired in more must than should..;)

    Oh yeah; Hi Paul; thanks again and hope you are having a wonderful Saturday; I am going
    to my 40th Class Reunion tonight and If I get a chance, I’ll Probably show ‘the guys’ a
    Photo of when the Beautiful Blonde Hugged me in my Facebook Profile Pic as soon
    as they meet my Beautiful 48 Year Old Wife who seems to Never Age as a Real
    American Indian Princess fulfilling ‘That Culturally Appropriated Myth’. And
    as they Bullied me in School calling me the F Word and not Fred for
    I was full of the Oxytocin Smiles from ear to ear Delivered and
    Gardened by A Mother Named Helen whose name means
    Bringer of Light like a Distant Saint Elmo’s Fire on an
    Island of Fear and Hate; true the place i Lived used
    to be literally Named Hell for the lack
    of Love on the Black Water River Bank
    Briars of Dark
    with little Love
    and practically no smiles
    or tears for males at all the
    way through the end of last Century too;
    If it’s even changing much still now in an
    area that voted 80 Percent Trump and close
    to 100 Percent as one moves farther Farm North.
    In Long, Love Wins the Real Art of the Human Deal.
    My Entire Life is a Newer Testament NoW and Witness to
    That Human EMoTioN SeNse and FAct And FeeL as now more fully
    All the ‘Strange’ Women to come will ever need from me is a Hug of Love
    in all the Ways Dance and Song Comes Free my Friend Clothed or not as Real.
    No, I wasn’t the
    Fool with the Smile
    at the City Park when
    They Spit on me or in the Middle School Halls and Middle Dance Hall Aisles at
    Super-Walmart oF LoVE That Are Real STill NoW as Dance A Song of LiFE LoViNG ReaL.

    Thanks for helping me Celebrate my Class Reunion; sTill A 40th one for me oF LoVEFReED..:)


  5. As Mister Muse says, it’s a moral issue, and as such, should not be regulated by law.
    I’ve always considered myself pro-life. Every life born should be sheltered and loved and afforded every opportunity for health and happiness. The hypocrisy of forcing women to birth babies but refusing them the social network to raise them is as bogus as any man weighing in on the topic after the fact. Meaning that male responsibility toward inception often ends as soon as they close the bedroom door and and stand up on that bully pulpit.


    1. Spot on, Sharon! Even though I’m a man, I detest the man who assumes or demands equal rights to determine if a woman can have an abortion — to say nothing of demanding superior rights. The latter is heinous.

      Thanks for the comments!


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