September 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – One of the greatest threats to the prolife movement in the past 40 years has been the “Seamless Garment.” It’s a strategy and a slogan aimed at dissolving prolife sentiment like a pinch of salt in a vast swimming pool of almost unrelated issues. The heart of the life issue is simple: Should the government let individuals take human lives in pursuit of their sexual freedom? That’s what abortion is. It was foisted on America by unelected judges, and dangled out of the reach of citizens and voters. So laymen rose up, with a little assistance from clergy, and chose to fight. In much the same way, 150 years ago, Christians looked at the unjust laws permitting slavery, and formed the abolitionist movement.
And today as in 1830, many chose not to fight. They were too addicted to a cozy relationship with liberal politicians, who promised to take the burden of the corporal works of mercy away from Christians—handing them over to the government and the taxpayer. So they wouldn’t do the obvious thing—and reject those politicians. Instead they developed the elaborate, tortured rationalization that we call the Seamless Garment. As Jason Jones wrote at LifeSiteNews in 2015:
Christ came to give us life more abundantly, but in Cardinal Bernardin’s time (as in ours) major Catholic politicians were serving the cause of death, claiming that they were “personally opposed” to abortion, but wished to leave its victims completely unprotected by the law. Cardinal Bernardin protected such politicians, giving them political cover with his so-called “seamless garment,” which stitched together non-negotiable demands of basic human rights — such as an end to legal abortion — with highly debatable policies for promoting the best interests of poor people and immigrants. Bernardin treated unlike, incommensurate issues as if they were all of equal weight. This allowed pro-choice politicians to cherry pick the body of Catholic social teaching — fishing out the parts from which they could profit politically — and pretend that they were faithful Catholics, or at least no more unfaithful than pro-lifers who differed with Bernardin on immigration or Medicare. Nobody’s perfect!
It’s the mission of Serviam, the new non-profit I am helping Jones to found, to expose ideological counterfeits that replace the church’s wise guidance with the shrill pursuit of utopia. Indeed, the “seamless garment” has served pro-choice politicians as a poison pill, intended to kill off the pro-life movement by loading it up with unrelated items on an unachievable, incoherent leftist wish-list.
Because the phrase “Seamless Garment” is worn out and discredited, its supporters have tried again and again to rebrand themselves. First, Robert Christian of Democrats for Life tried to steal the name of Jones’ non-profit, “Whole Life.”