I’ve been thinking a lot about my friends on the other side of the Dobbs business. Several of them have said they don’t know what they’re even celebrating this year, as we mark our Independence Day. I get it. I feel them. If I could talk to each and every one of them directly and personally, I’d tell them so.
For many of our fellows in citizenship, the Dobbs decision was deeply traumatic.
For women especially, though not exclusively, Roe protected a kind of bodily autonomy closely linked to hard-won social liberty and political equality. Many of the advances women especially have made in society over the past fifty years, have not only been concurrent with the Roe regime, but won by marshalling the political and social energies of persons who were champions of Roe. The smashing of such a bulwark cannot but be traumatic.
I struggle for words to express acknowledgment of the fact, even as I continue to believe the advancements of women in society a great good, the work of achieving equality for all citizens really only barely begun, and the overturning of Roe the removal of a significant roadblock on the way to it in America. I also know that the work of achieving a modus vivendi post Roe depends upon our ability to be good neighbors to one another.
I’ve been tempted to say that pro-life people of all stripes celebrated Independence Day under Roe for nigh on five decades, without stint. I’m glad I haven’t deployed that as a line of argument. It cuts no ice. There’s no way it comes off as anything but chauvinism or one-upmanship or plain callousness.
When Dobbs dropped, Robert P. George called on pro-lifers to remember Lincoln: to eschew the kind of triumphalism that rejoices in the downfall of an enemy; and, to embrace the spirit of charity that must inform the mind of people who would be reconciled to one another and animate any nation as would be reconciled to itself.
“Pro-life friends,” he offered, “please read Lincoln’s Second Inaugural and be guided by its spirit.”
“Let us not exult over those of our fellow citizens—good people who are sincerely concerned about women’s welfare—who see the demise of Roe as a disaster,” he continued. “Malice towards none; charity for all.”
When I read that, I thought of the first March for Life I ever attended. It was, if memory serves, in January of 1995. Republicans had gained sweeping victories in the midterm elections. I bent my ear to the stump speeches being delivered along the way to the staging area, and heard promises of “taking back our country” from wicked people who hate America and are thirsty for the blood of innocent unborn children. “Democrats” could have been their shorthand.
The people against whom those speechifiers inveighed were my friends, family, neighbors, fellow parishioners. I knew how well they loved our country. I knew them for good neighbors. I daily felt the blessing of their friendship. I loved them as family. I cherished their fellowship.
I never attended another March for Life.
I am glad Roe is overturned, and glad it is done as the Supreme Court has done it: returning the matter to the states. Now, we can have a conversation about how we should order our lives together. There can be no permanently satisfactory modus vivendi absent full legal protection for the unborn in every American jurisdiction. That will take time.
The work of achieving such order in our affairs will also necessarily involve reform of selves, souls, laws, and societies so they are more hospitable to unborn life, more careful of all and every human life born into them, and more generously disposed to lives reaching the end of their earthly courses.
Such reform is never easy. That work can never be perfect this side of celestial Jerusalem. That is all the more reason to rejoice that an obstacle to its partial achievement is at long last removed. It is all the more reason to be about it in earnest.
Prof. George may not fully share my prudent appreciation of the way the Justices decided Dobbs. He filed an amicus curiae brief with the Court, in which he and Prof. John Finnis argued that the unborn enjoy constitutional protection through the 14th amendment. Their learned arguments are powerful. I may one day (and that soon) discover them to be compelling.
For now, what is certain is that we must together be about the muddling business of citizenship – of citizenship in a great republic, powerfully organized as one nation and one people in fifty discrete political societies – for which there is nothing that will do but thinking all the good we can of those with whom we disagree, and finding ways to keep the conversation that constitutes us one nation and one people going.
For what it’s worth, the turnout for the fireworks was encouraging, as were the signs of genuine patriotic spirit on display and the diverse constitution of the citizenry. The beach from which we took in the spectacle on Sunday night looked and felt like America. I was glad of that.
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Having read many of Mr. Altieri”s columns to my benefit, I had to read this column twice to make sure that I hadn’t missed something. These pro-abortionists are “good people who are seriously concerned about women’s welfare – who see the demise of Roe as a disaster.” Sounds like a statement from Planned Parenthood. Let’s use plain language – these good people are in favor of killing unborn babies. These “good people” give the middle finger and throw the “F” word at those of us who pray before an abortion facility.
Never went back to the March for Life because he heard pro-lifers saying “we are taking back our country.”
Our federal government is declaring that they are looking for ways to nullify the Dobbs decision – maybe can do abortions in Federal parks, maybe on military bases, etc. We have won a great battle, but the war goes on. We had better be prepare to fight those whose platform says, “abortion any time, any place, for any reason, paid for by the government.”
The pro-abortionists are not looking to be reconciled to us. They are burning pregnancy centers, damaging churches, threatening to disrupt mass.
Have you been watching the news since the early leak of the Dobbs decision?
‘Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ , save us and the whole world ‘ – as Rev.Fr.Jim Blount narrates , a good defensive weapon given for our times , used often enough as an act of charity , as defense against the lies and fears from the enemy ..that word Roe itself an exmaple of that lie – as though women would spawn forth thousands of little ones – most destined to die , that men ought to be ‘free ‘ to just swim away ..into ever wider jaws opened up by the death spirits that bring with it the hardness of hearts , for slavery to carnal passions with its hatreds and envies that we see around as the alphabet soup…in the dread fear , its rage that if that sort of slavery , confused as freedom is removed, there would only be nothingness ..
The Church proclaiming instead our glorious destiny to be persons who take in the dignity of belonging to a good God , who ever pours forth His Love into every heart beat and breath ..from the moment of the very beginnings …as has been for The Mother , who desires to share with us as to what the soul is about , regardless of the size and age of the body … a truth to help free from fears of having to give up excesses , whether in marriage or outside, families to be truly ‘natural ‘ as in
Pre fall Adam and the parents of Blessed Mother , without needing arduos ‘plannings ‘ ..a life of joy and adoration to bring such order into lives that the excesses and its struggles would be a bygone bad dream .. to rise to live in the third era of Sanctification – the firworks in the Holy Spirit as Rounds in the Divine Will where in the hearts and heads would be singing in union – Love and glory to You Lord , in every heart beat and breath .. same to help remove the agents of wars and violence , addictions and illnesses , those vast sums to be instead set forth to help the truly needy , the other needs of our times , which are dear to the hearts of all, such as care for the planet ..
The Holy Father too intending same in the Synodal process .. and the recent Consecration – another God given occasion , to help break forth the hardend walls to let in The Light – joy of knowing each of us have always belonged to The Lord who has taken upon Him the great debts of the rebellions as His tears and Blood , that alone saves us from enemy lies and fears and claims , uniting us in the wounds ….
The Providence of Feast of St.Thomas on July 3rd, just before July 4th – The Apostle who had to take in the Truth of the sacredness and destiny of the body to a land afflicted with enemy lies of contempt for same, with legends galore of male gods assuming female roles , leaving orphaned the progeny from such unions etc : , as variant of the lie from The Garden , about a Father who does not care .. the irony of poor Columbus mistaking that he had reached those shores to which he had wanted to bring the faith , thus calling the natives as Indians, ? The Spirit through The Mother having whispered that they too needed to hear the Truth , thus from one end of the earth to the other, The Blood and Water as sources of the New Life and Freedom in The Spirit , to be singing the Rounds !
Those who want to kill babies are not “good” people! They are evil.
Further, all we have to do is look at the response to Dobbs by so many “good” people.
I am not in any triumphalistic mode. I am sad that we shall have to fight this battle on dozens of state fronts now.
The sadist codicil on all this was the response of Francis, who feigned ignorance of the full meaning of the SCOTUS decision (lest he be forced to say something positive about the USA and those annoying “pro-lifers” whom he castigated his very first week “on the job”).
Following Christ is the better way. Our mis-steps are one matter, yet we honour life. Couples cry out for a baby and yet they are denied. Does the unborn have no voice in the matter?
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Psalm 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
God’s word is guidance and comfort to those who put confidence in him.
Sympathy for the devil is all you needed to write. You display an abysmal ignorance of the enormous pressures on pregnant woman and girls to abort, and on the myriad, evil damage abortion wreaks on them. I am sad this piece appeared in CWR. It is nauseating and defends a non-existent cohort.
Abortion never had anything to do with “health care”. It had to do with inconvenience and sexual license, so that women’s “equality” was interpreted to mean a desire for women to be able to act as badly sexually as men with no morals.This abortion topic for me is very personal. I adopted my two sons. One is in the medical field. It is no exaggeration to say that he has saved lives. If he had NOT been there, what would have happened to his patients remains to be seen, but it is a certainty that several would be among the dead. In the movie “Its a Wonderful Life” the point is made that a person leaves a terrible hole when they do not exist. It is a concept worth pondering. There are options available to women who “cannot” bear a baby: contraception, adoption, or that old stand-by, chastity. Most abortions derive from unmarried women.Its disappointing to read that Mr. Altieri was so discouraged by pro-lifers remarks about the pro-abortion crowd whom he apparently liked.Enough that he never attended another rally. To which I say “sticks and stones. MY observation in fact lands upon the extreme VIOLENCE with which the pro-abortion crowd feels a need to express themselves: Pro-life centers burned, church services disrupted, and churches vandalized and even burned down; Judges picketed and threatened with attack.Hysterical threats to stack the court so that fairness on any issue would be impossible. Picketing of justices homes. There is simply no comparison. Mr. Altieri considered Off-hand remarks more disturbing than actual violent acts??? REALLY??? I have YET to see comparable violence coming from the right.
Altieri steps in it again.
Abortion is life and death. It is not a tax issue where ‘good’ people can differ.
After decades of the abortion license, people who support, fund and promote it, not only are not ‘good’ people but deserve no quarter. Was charity ever shown to the unsung, thousands of pro-lifers who have worked tirelessly over the decades?
Does Altieri put his arm around the shoulder of a pro-abort and in a charitable, soothing manner whispers in their ear, “Abortion will abound in almost all of the states…so, cheer up!”
Typical empty-headed and cowardly attitude about a so-called “win” and an accompanying warning about not engaging in triumphalism. Pro-lifers have won NOTHING!
Let’s just contemplate the fact that OVER 60 MILLION HUMAN LIVES HAVE BEEN MURDERED. AND THE KILLING CONTINUES.
Stop with the hand-wringing, apologetic, fear-based posturing. It’s unbecoming an adult.
So 1995 was your first March for Life? But there wasn’t a second?
I too found Mr. Altieri’s article surprising and will read any future essays with a good dose of the proverbial salt. I do think that many well-intentioned people have been misled by the “logic”/propaganda/false compassion of the last fifty years and an attitude of patience and charity will do more than one of hostility to persuade them to rethink their position.
Mr. Altieri, while I have consistently appreciated your columns, this one took me by surprise. I, too, have friends who are pro-choice, but sadly there is no hope of conversation even with them. It is a topic we avoid, and our friendships have been frayed to be sure. If you have followed the conversations for the past 50 years, I have noticed a growing and pervasive acknowledgement on their part that life in the womb is indeed human life. They do not care. And that is the bottom line. Now they are even alright with late-term and post-natal “abortions.” How in the world can we have a civil conversation?
Your disappointment, perhaps disgust, with pro-lifers is about rhetoric (BTW, is your “discomfort” with them because they tend to be republicans?). However, you express no dismay with those whose intent and desire is not just about rhetoric. That you are not disgusted with that is troubling. As for Lincoln’s advice, he never said, “Well, let them have a few slaves, then we can live happily ever after.”
Gosh, imagine how traumatic it must have been for slaveholders when their way of life was changed! I’m sure that if you had previously attended an abolitionist meeting you would have been so dreadfullly upset that they were speaking out against slaveholders an their supporters, because “The people against whom those speechifiers inveighed were my friends, family, neighbors, fellow parishioners. I knew how well they loved our country. I knew them for good neighbors. I daily felt the blessing of their friendship. I loved them as family. I cherished their fellowship” that you would never have attended another.
William Lloyd Garrison would’ve sent you into conniptions. “The compact which exists between the North and the South is a covenant with death and an agreement with hell.”
I feel bad for Mr. Altieri, sharing some honest soul-searching and self-reflection to a crowd that wants neither. Keep fighting the good fight! – and let our readers stew in the hate that they have made comfortable for themselves. Unless a culture of life is embraced, putting all your efforts into winning political victories and destroying your adversaries is only one more swing on the pendulum. Enjoy the ride while it lasts folks~
I must applaud Mr. Altieri for being so charitable, but this question MUST be asked: is there anyone out there who honestly believes that, had the decision gone the other way, there would be someone on the other side advising charity and compassion as Mr. Altieri is?
Keep in mind the violence since the leak of the decision in May, and what has broken out since the official decision.
https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2022-07/pope-francis-condemns-abortion-like-hiring-a-hit-man.html – glad to reread the above , to thus cherish the wisdom in the humility of the Holy Father , that persons, nations see the truth in the underlying morality about life , not see the court and the law as the enemies of their mispercievd ‘rights ‘ , which could incite targetted rebellion …
Grateful to see how the above has gathered the many occasions in which the Holy Father has echoed and augmented the theme of respect for life . His oft repeated words about the ‘mafia ‘ spirit of hiring the hit man – truthfully pointing to the roots of the issue , the same spirit that also is behind the many other evils of our times , to help discern same in lives , families , nations , in evey disordered relationship that comes from the lust for power and control leading to envious efforts to remove those who are seen as threats ..
He does not leave us pointing only to the problems but blesses us , with words to remind us to call on the Holy Spirit ..
all of us could agree on that 🙂
Mr. Altieri refers to:
“Many of the advances women especially have made in society over the past fifty years…”
Presumably he’s referring to the way cultural mores have changed, allowing women to be used and abused by random predatory men without cost or compunction, with abortion being their fallback method of birth control.
And also to the state of the women themselves, who are often left as the sole support of their children, struggling to meet both the robust demands of the workplace and the never-ending needs of their children at home.
And possibly he was referring as well to the new role of fathers as men who never intend to support the women they impregnate or the children they father, opting instead to limit their obligation to the several hundred dollars it takes to hire a pre-natal hit squad for an afternoon.
I have to say, while I appreciate Mr. Altieri’s admonition against triumphalism, my sympathies lie with the other voices in these comments who are dismayed at his apparent attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
I would like to remind him that abortion is the single most horrific, most monstrous evil humanity has ever witnessed.
Hundreds of millions of innocent children have died around the world — more than sixty million of those in America alone.
Think of one little sweet, funny, wonderful child you know. And now and imagine the state of the world without her, without him. Think of the potential for goodness and courage and compassion he represents, the limitless love and beauty and wonder she stands to contribute.
When you think of just one child, the outline of the magnitude of this inconceivable holocaust begins to appear.
And these people Mr. Altieri calls us to embrace — these friends, these relatives, these fellow Catholics — actually support for this intentional, purposeful, indiscriminate killing.
By the hundreds of millions.
Enough lives lost over the past half century to represent one of the ten most populous nations in the world.
And now, with their ability to murder children slightly curtailed in several areas of the country (but not in the rest of the country), those friends, neighbors and Catholics — all Democrats — are unleashing a paroxysm of hatred and rage on our Church, our churches and their own nation.
I’m sorry, Mr. Altieri. The pro-life people are not the ones who need to hear your message of conciliation.
It’s the pro-death forces, with their masks off now and their writhing, hate-filled, scowling countenances out in the open for all to see, who need to take a deep breath and dial back the vitriol.
Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. Their comically aggrandized view of their own virtue will not allow them to question themselves or their actions.
They are totalitarians, intent on either ruling this country without opposition, or destroying it.
I thank God for the courage and the wisdom of those Supreme Court justices who held firm for what was right despite the serious threats to their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Finally, I’m sorry, Mr. Altieri, I don’t see how this open sewer of a culture offers any “advances” at all for women — either pre- or post-natal.
But then you’re probably not old enough to remember the world sixty years ago, when women were revered and supported by men, when pornography was viewed as a shameful perversion, and when men were held to a standard of behavior that was decent and virtuous.
Did we all live up to those expectations? Of course not.
But when we didn’t, we were ashamed, not proud.
And, by the way, children were much, much, MUCH, much safer sixty years ago than they are today.
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us who have recourse to you.
Mr. Altieri sounds like someone who thankfully has at least a conceptual position prolife, but unfortunately lacks real connection with the truth of the devastation that has allowed 60 million deaths of innocent unborn since 1973. His lack of connection to reality also extends to his characterization of “prolifers’ and “pro-abortion” advocates. It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. The disingenuous left always goes back to suggesting a “conversation”. But genuine open dialogue can only be amongst people of good will, and sadly, fewer people on the left end of the spectrum are sincere and intellectual honest about the truth regarding abortion. Long conversations can successfully stifle the action that is needed to ensure protection for the most defenseless. As for me, I will proudly stand alongside anyone who marches for life.
Mr. Altieri, Thank you for this article. You realize that we are dealing with people, fellow human beings, men and women who each have their own life-stories, people who have been redeemed by Christ and who are loved by Him, whether they realize it or not.
Abortion is a terrible evil, but the Fathers of the Church saw heresy as even worse, one of the worst possible sins because it tears apart the Body of Christ. and yet St. Peter Favre could write this about heretics: “The first thing to keep in mind is that if anyone would be of help to the heretics in this day and age, he must look upon them with great charity and love them in truth. And he must close his mind to all thoughts that would tend to lessen his affection for them. The second thing to be remembered is the need of gaining their good will so that they in turn shall love and think kindly of us, This can be accomplished by dealing with them in a friendly way on those subjects about which we are in agreement and by avoiding those disputed points in which one side might give the impression of lording it over the other. Rapprochement should be established with them in those areas in which there is concord between us rather than in those which tend to point up our mutual differences.”
This takes a great deal of humility, that humility that sees the other as a fellow sinner loved by Christ. May He give us all that humility and love.
Sr. Gabriela of the Incarnation, apostolate has many dimensions, it can’t be reduced to “rapprochement with everybody whenever they say ‘Rapprochement please and thank you’ ” -slapped on as an order. Sr. Gabriela of the Incarnation, if you put an abortionist in charge of the youth group it is not Catholicism and there will be a lot of rapprochement of a kind going on in there but it will be evil.
Elias Galy, where did I reduce St. Peter Favre’s teaching to ““rapprochement with everybody whenever they say ‘Rapprochement please and thank you’ ” – I would be grateful if you address what I wrote and not some other idea you attribute to me.
Sr. Gabriela of the Incarnation, I have described what I have witnessed happen on more than one occasion, in my circle of affairs. It wasn’t directed at you.
Point being, from what I know about me, it’s not me you would have to worry about, giving way on abortion. What I indicate 1. likely is happening in many places and 2. always remains a possibility. Do you think Favre put the word “rapprochement” to delimit the manner of all evangelizing? This not only affects Catholic Church hierarchy it also affects lay people at work, Christian and not Christian. For example, if you are a landlord, there is the reality of an abortion doctor looking for space to rent.
And I see it happen with others who most definitely don’t fare as well as I do. On the other hand, there are non-Christians who would never accept an abortion doctor as a tenant.
Dear Sister in Christ, if persons don’t acknowledge Christ’s crucifixion for their salvation, and are oblivious to the requirement, or are and are unwilling to repent -they are not redeemed.🔥
Love and humility pave the way to the proclamation of the gospel. We must speak the truth in love. God allows us to spread the seed, He will do the rest.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 8:32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
As followers of Christ we know this. He gives us the strength to say the words of life to one perishing.
Thank you for your service to the Lord and His creation, it is greatly valued!
I can’t imagine CWR publishing such a revolting piece of garbage as this article by Altieri.
What a strange article. Meandering. Wistful. No clarity of point. Where does the author wind up at? I like people. I like people with viewpoints different than I have. What’s the point? Why preach to others about how to interact with others? What a strange article.
Having attended the FIRST March for Life in 1974, I think I know more than Mr. Altieri about the stomach-churning agony of our “friends” on the other side. We attended THAT day with a sickening feeling in our gut, the morose feeling of abandonment by our own government, beyond our votes, beyond our ability to save even one child condemned by Roe. I soon became convinced that I would not live to see the day when Roe was overturned. I will not eschew the measured (we are only one step towards our goal)joy of this June. That it was a gratuitous gift of God is not in question. That it was His acknowledgement of the many sufferings and sacrifices of my Pro-Life friends (many who have passed on)these many agonizing years is also, without question. That our “friends” on the other side have reached for violence in response to a Supreme Court decision is unsurprising. They have always ignored, vilified and threatened Pro-Lifers who have attempted dialogue with them all these years. And they have succeeded in convincing Church leaders (and apparently Catholic journalists)that Pro-Lifers behavior is the problem in abortion. Fortunately, Pro-Lifers are far from the control of the Church leaders (and journalists) and will respond with their customary love, forgiveness and humility.
I do not take a triumphalist position in the SCOTUS decision in question and I recognize the trauma that the pro-abortion side is experiencing as a result of said decision. I do agree with Lincoln’s admonition to embrace the spirit of charity but a distinction must be made here.
When the South lost the Civil War it was utterly defeated, the will to continue the fight broken and there was an acceptance of defeat. Lincoln’s admonition was spot on. Contrast that with the pro-abortion crowd who are still very much in this fight and whereas charity is advisable, let us in prudence understand that our opponents in this political fight are far from accepting defeat.
Be careful that the olive branch you proffer does not end up stuck in your eye.
Perhaps a better way to discuss the current situation is to ask ourselves how the “Catholic establishment” has positioned itself to “charitably” persuade and promote the defense of human life.
For instance, let’s assess the US network of (super-expensive) Jesuit Universities, and ask these questions:
A. Why are you promoting Planned Parenthood at your self-claimed “Catholic” Jesuit Universities?
B. Why haven’t you been committed to developing Catholic Medical Schools, where young men and women can pursue the unity of faith and reason and build a network of top-notch medical schools that are devoted to the truth about the dignity of all human life?
C. Is it actually the case that Jesuit-run Universities are in alliance with culture of death?
Other questions we might ask ourselves is does the Pontiff Francis believe he retains a reasonable expectation to be trusted by Catholic faithful?
Does the Pontiff Francis insist that observers must conclude he is promoting respect for human life when he gives papal medals to abortion champion Frau Ploumen of Belgium?
Does the Pontiff Francis insist that he is sending a message of defending human life when he orchestrates a papal mass to globally stage manage giving Nancy Pelosi Holy Communion within days of the Dobbs decision announcing that abortion (homicide) is not an individual civil right under the US constitution?
Or is it, alternatively, a reasonable conclusion that the Pontiff Francis has all of the markers of Catholic faith found in Joseph Biden?
Etc, etc, etc…
One isolated experience at a March for Life, and, sanctimoniously the author tar brushes the entire pro-life movement. By such outliers—he just knows what everyone is thinking but sermonizes about what they must do in response to pro abortionists following the Dobbs ruling.
Mr. Altiere would best proceed by genuinely understanding his audience, most of whom have always acted peacefully, lovingly, sacrificially, patiently, and, most important, faithfully. They have done much more than march (in one major event). Many, by the way, still anguish over their own poor choices and simply want to spare others! They know, personally, the sway and danger of this grave evil.
Furthermore, any pro-life veteran understands well the distinction among the desperate, misled women who need loving assistance, the truly ignorant, and the hardcore, anti life, antiChristian abortionist—or is that now—determiner or terminator?
(The word abortion has gotten such an ugly name. Still, say ITS name.)
I will close by paraphrasing Dietrich Von Hildebrand in his writing about Hitler’s Germany and the false promise of “compromise.” You don’t “negotiate” with the spirit of the anti-Christ. Don’t dance with the devil—he always takes the lead.