Ekeh Outed & Fired

Peace, all.

Ono Ekeh’s response to the controversy of his loss of employment over his promotion of Kerry for president partly on company time with company computers.

In my mind, the latter two phrases constitutes a termination offense if company policy is clear in that regard, and the employee has been given appropriate warning to cease.

That aside, I can understand Mr Ekeh’s pro-life approach, even if I don’t align myself congruent to it. The ideal, in my view, would be to ensure legal protection of every human being who can be determined to be alive by the same definitions we mark the end of life (heart or brain activity) and chip away at the “demand side” of the issue to reduce abortion to a rarity. That would be the best we could hope for, and it would be a very long stretch indeed to get there.

Amy Welborn commented last night:

“Pro-life “conservatives” who are all about prohibition and not about creating a culture of life or offering alternatives: Straw Man, very boring, and unknown to people who actually work with pro-life groups, the vast majority of which spend most of their time, energy and other resources in direct assistance to pregnant women in need.”

I don’t agree. Republican Party politics certainly looks a lot like Dorothy’s first companion in how their public policy shakes out. And the “vast majority” of Americans do not spend “time, energy and other resources” to promote their political views. Most don’t vote, and of those who do, most don’t volunteer. And self-identified pro-life Catholics are not any different.

“Secondly, what is most mystifying to me about this position is *how* promotion and fought-to-the-death legal protection of easily available abortion through all nine months of pregnancy fits into a “pro-life” vision or a “culture of life.””

I didn’t see where Mr Ekeh actually supports this. He doesn’t explicitly come down against making all abortions illegal. I suspect he would not have promoted abortion rights during the 60’s. He’s a realist. Is that a sin?

“In other words, what is wrong with trying to limit abortion through legal means besides the others?”

Nothing, unless you’re expecting immediate success. If the energy one puts into the legal lobbying sphere detracts from the ministry to pregnant women, the point is a disputed one.

“Why the objection, if life is really what you’re all about – if you really and truly believe all those fetal remains are kids, individuals brought into existence by God because He loves them….why would you even for a second demean the effort to protect them by the law?”

Amy fails to make the case that Mr Ekeh is “demeaning” the efforts of mainstream pro-lifers. All it seems to me is that he is promoting another way. Is he entitled to do that? Perhaps not.

Consider the pro-life culture in Catholic circles as I’ve experienced it recently in St Blog’s. Acceptable behavior includes protesting at clinics, writing and lobbying politicians, cheering for bishops who criticize politicians, and helping women directly through organizations such as Birthright. Unacceptable behavior includes criticizing lobbying efforts, supporting any candidate who supports abortion rights, and especially suggesting that current pro-life tactics are not working. Seamless garmenters: approach with suspicion.

Thirty-plus years of struggle against legal abortion. Where has it got us? The landscape doesn’t change: bishops squaring off against politicians, lots of people yelling at each other and throwing straw (or worse) and an active judiciary in spite of nineteen years of Republican federal administration. With no quibble against those who actively serve the pro-life cause directly with people in need, I have to wonder if the political strategy of the Pro-life movement isn’t a failure. Do I get branded as a heretic for saying so? Mr Ekeh’s sin is only using work computers and time for personal affairs. Do I become persona non grata for suggesting that is all? Time for a new approach, I think. (Personally, I don’t think John Kerry is a good way to go.) But we’ll see the reaction to defecting from the W-way in some Catholic circles. Check the comment boxes to see.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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