Sister Joan Chittister Advocates for Abortion
Sister Joan Chittister has been a longtime dissident within the Catholic Church. She is a darling of the left since most of her advocacy follows the left’s philosophy and agenda. She is billed as a nun and a theologian, but she is more the left-wing political activist – wrapping herself in the virtual “habit” of religion as a means of concealing her hard-core political ideology.
Like so many on the left, who plead and rhetorically bleed for the poor, the oppressed and the disadvantaged, Joan Chittister is not one of them. Apparently, the Benedictines – the monastery of her residency – do not take vows of poverty. Chittister is a millionaire who has amassed a net worth between one and five million dollars – another limousine liberal, as we once called them.
Frankly, I do not oppose people getting rich – even though I did not. I just think it is important to see the entire person in order to judge her credibility – especially if they present a public image of poverty and piety. She can, perhaps, sympathize with the poor, but obviously not empathize.
I see Joan Chittister more as a secular left-winger than a theological missionary.
That is because of how completely she embraces all the secular policies of the left – big central government as the provider, expansive re-distribution of wealth and an embrace of the political correctness, personal identity politics and the cancel culture. Conversely, she rises in opposition to the conservative principles of limited government and the inalienable rights of we the people as articulated in the Constitution. She supports caretaker government and opposes a governing structure that protects the rights of individuals.
Nowhere does her left-wing arrogance become more apparent than in her views on abortion. Not only does she politically carry the secular pro-abortion view of the left – but she takes exception to the position of the church in which she claims membership.
We see her politics trumping a religious view in that she engages in the same dishonest narrative on abortion that typifies so much of the left. Let us examine one example so that my accusation is not just a headline.
One of the more popular memes circulating among the pro-abortion community quotes Joan Chittister thusly.
“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born, but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”
As a pro-life conservative, let me unwrap that statement – give you my reaction and response. I do this with some trepidation because I have been told many times that I am a man and therefore my right to speak on this subject is cancelled. I have never found pro-abortion activists wanting what Chittister describes as a “much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.” Rather, it is like most of the other left-wing calls for conversation. It amounts to “give up or shut up” – or even worse, be shut up.
To make her point, Chittister relies on a grand lie. A false narrative. A strawman argument. She claims that we pro-lifers are ONLY interested in birth – not the subsequent welfare of the child. We have no interest in how every born child is fed, educated and housed.
I call that a lie because I must believe that a woman of her age, intellect and experience knows the falsity of her statement. It is a whopper told solely to move a left-wing political agenda. Like most on the left, Chittister sees solutions only as the expenditure of more and more taxpayer money – in support of programs and agencies in which enormous past contributions have produced no positive results.
First of all, we Americans are a very compassionate and charitable people.
Contrary to Chittister’s accusation, we already spend billions upon billions of taxpayer money on welfare – feeding, educating and housing — of children. Programs that have the broad bipartisan support across philosophic lines. This includes child deductions, tax credits, special ed programs, government-funded foster care programs and, of course, an entire national public school system.
There are also conservative programs to help children that the left cynically opposes – such as school choice. I do not know Chittister’s specific view of school choice. But as far as I can tell, she has limited her education activities to the support of the public-school systems. That includes those miserably failing in our segregated inner cities run by her left-wing compatriots. My research never found an example of Chittister protesting the Democrat-run school systems in our urban centers — in which millions of minority children are being denied a quality education that would get them to college and career-level jobs.
That is one of the most monumental immoralities of our time. A religious-based person would be protesting at the doorstep of those running the failed schools. A left-wing activist turns a blind eye. So, where is Joan Chittister?
We should also note that, according to studies, conservatives are far more likely to adopt children and donate to children charities than are liberals.
The late-Jerry Falwell – one of the conservative televangelists – put the lie to Chittister’s comment in very real terms. He repeatedly stated that it was not good enough to only oppose abortion. But there was a moral obligation to support the welfare of the newborn.
Falwell did more than talk about it. Through his ministry, he developed orphanages to address the growing number of “unwanted children.” Most children in need of adoption are not due to an abortion decision. They become orphaned by mothers – or parents – who have died or feel they can no long care for their children economically. In many cases, they are children who have been removed from the custody of the parents for reasons of abuse. The majority of foster parents lean right … Republican.
Conversely, most children who are victims of abusive parents are not the result of a denied abortion.
The vast majority are the offspring of parents who wanted to … and did … birth the children. That dispels one of Chittister’s inaccurate contentions that denying abortion results in great numbers of abused children. In fact, that is the rare reality.
Most pro-abortion advocates miss a very fundamental point that underscores the pro-life position. To use family economic conditions as a reason for terminating the human life of an unborn child has no more moral validity than terminating the life of a two-year-old on the same principle.
Despite her well-crafted image of a pious nun, I see Chittister as a wealthy political activist. Nothing wrong with that. It is just that I do not believe in using one’s god as a hearsay witness. I did not get my pro-life view from any church.
I also do not mind Chittister’s criticism of the Roman Catholic Church. As a long-ago fallen away Catholic, I agree with many of her criticisms of the Church – and even organized religion, in general. But for me, abortion is a secular debate – the moral issue of a just society. Chittister often refers to her myopic sense of justice. But – from my view – she ignores a right-to-life justice for the unborn child. There is no justice in summarily and capriciously terminating human life.
There is not disagreement that Joan Chittister is a media powerhouse. She has written 60 books and appeared on a variety of left-wing news platforms. She even runs her own media service, Benetvision. I have not been a bigtime follower of the messages of televangelists for a lot of reasons – and most of them apply to Chittister. You will never persuade a person whose primary resource is a god that cannot speak for itself.
Finally, even we men have opinions on abortion – and every right to hold and articulate such opinions. Just for the record, I put mine in a past commentary. Check it out, if you like – but I must warn you, it is a bit graphic. It shows what pro-abortion folks do not want the world to see.
So, there ‘tis.