Extremists execute the unborn, Christians seek truth and justice

The White House says David Daleiden and the CMP are "extremists on the right"; Daleiden, a 26-year-old Catholic, says he’s inspired by Pope Francis


Yesterday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest, when asked about President Obama’s reaction to the series of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress in which Planned Parenthood officials discuss selling fetal organs for profit, “said the videos were released in a ‘fraudulent way’ with ‘not a lot of evidence’ behind them.” (The entire press conference can be viewed on the C-SPAN site.) Earnest stated:

There is ample reason to think that this is merely the tried and true tactic that we’ve seen from extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release this edited version of the video that grossly distorts the position of the person that’s actually speaking…

Earnest clearly indicated that his talking points were coming from Planned Parenthood, admitting, “I’m merely repeating what I’ve seen that they [Planned Parenthood] have said…” He then offered the defense that “any review of the policy that Planned Parenthood says they implement indicates that the views expressed in the videos is—or at least the way they are depicted on the videos—is entirely inaccurate. … But for those policies and for the way that Planned Parenthood implements them, I’d encourage you to contact Planned Parenthood.” In other words, there’s nothing to see here—move along!

“The President,” he added in a defiant shout out to pro-abortion supporters, “certainly will not support another effort by Republicans to try to defund an organization that offers important and needed healthcare services to women across the country.” I wonder: is there any institution in the U.S., at this very moment, that enjoys greater support and cover from the President of the United States than does Planned Parenthood? While Obama has wavered and flopped on many issues during his time office, he has held fast to the pro-abortion faith, even if he has long insisted that no one is really pro-abortion.

If you do a search for “Obama” and “extremists” you’ll find that the POTUS often uses the term “extremists” to identify terrorists who have apparently “twisted” and distorted the teachings of true Islam. For example, in a February 17, 2015 op-ed in the LA Times, Obama wrote:

Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims. The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam. We can echo the testimonies of former extremists who know how terrorists betray Islam. We can help Muslim entrepreneurs and youths work with the private sector to develop social media tools to counter extremist narratives on the Internet.

He even stated that such “violent extremists”—who, again, have nothing to do, he says, with “the true peaceful nature of Islam”—have authentic, legitimate gripes:

Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.

But what of the “extremists on the right”? Be assured, first, that Earnest’s use of such language is a direct reflection of what his boss thinks and says. Obama really does think that those who oppose abortion and Planned Parenthood—the high church of abortion—are extremists. And he is happy to identify them with “the right”, that is, with any movement, group, or institution that actually works against abortion and “reproductive health” (of course, he identifies himself as “pro-choice”, which I covered in detail years ago).

Specifically, what about David Daleiden, the 26-year-old executive director of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the pro-life nonprofit that produced the now viral videos? In a newly posted interview with Christianity Today, Daleiden says the following:

What are your personal beliefs and how do they inform the work you do?

I am Catholic, and I am a really big fan of Pope Francis. He has been a huge inspiration to me over the past couple of years, especially while doing this project.

Pope Francis’s emphasis on not being closed in on yourself but always moving forward and always being willing to go out towards the margins of human experience—in order to bring the gospel to those margins—was a huge inspiration to me during this project. I don’t think there’s any place more on the existential margins of society than an abortion clinic.

I think that when you have a place like an abortion clinic—which is a place where children are killed on an industrial scale—there is almost a sacramental value in bringing a presence to those places. We were there for good, out of love, and to welcome those children for the brief time that they will be in existence before they die. And to be in contact with and pray for all the abortion workers, the abortion doctors who are there.

As a Christian you are part of the body of Christ. So your presence, even in those darkest of places, can bring the presence of Jesus.

Read the entire interview. I’m sure Daleiden will be raked over the coals by many, including the usual Catholic suspects, for his reference to Pope Francis. But, really, if selling the body parts of murdered babies isn’t the epitome of the “throwaway culture” so often denounced by the Holy Father, what is? And what of the fact that most abortions are obtained by minority women who often cite economic reasons and social pressures for their decision to terminate their pregnancies?

The strongest opposition to abortion in the U.S. comes from the Catholic Church and various Evangelical and Pentecostal Protestant groups; in other words, from Christians. So, in sum, the POTUS’s spokesman is insinuating that those who fight abortion, however peacefully, are “extremists”. Meanwhile, Obama—who often references his Christian faith—has continually paid homage to the violent, bloody institution so ridiculously called “Planned Parenthood”, going so far as to enthusiastically tell the group, in an April 2013 speech: “Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”

Who, exactly, is involved in the work of gross distortion? Who, really, is offering a twisted interpretation of their religion? Who, truly, is fighting “so people have hope for a life of dignity”? Who, in fact, is addressing legitimate grievances against human rights?

Obama, in his February op-ed, stated: “Our campaign to prevent people around the world from being radicalized to violence is ultimately a battle for hearts and minds.” That’s laudable, of course, But the fight for life in this country is aimed at preventing people and institutions from being radicalized to violence against the most vulnerable and innocent among us—the children in the womb. It is a real battle for hearts, minds, and souls. However, it isn’t being carried out with bombs and acts of terrorism, as Islamic extremists are wont to employ, but with facts, truth, and light.

“In a frail human being,” Pope Francis told a group of Catholic gynecologists in September 2013, “each one of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experienced the indifference and solitude to which we so often condemn the poorest of the poor, whether in developing countries or in wealthy societies. Every child who rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection.”

Tell me, again: who are the real extremists?

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About Carl E. Olson 1190 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.