“Immediatist vs Incrementalist” debate analysis, Part III: Social justice history vs TR Hunter

7067987283_3bb744093cAs I start, I’d like to reiterate why I’m pursuing this multi-part analysis of the “Immediatist vs Incrementalist” debate between Abolish Human Abortion’s T. Russell Hunter and Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Gregg Cunningham.

In a comment to my Part II post, an antagonized Hunter called my efforts a “freaked out obsession,” to which I responded:

My “freaked out obsession” is what I knew you knew but what you admitted 3x in the debate: that incrementalist pro-life advances save children’s lives. Yet you blow those children off. This is utterly unfathomable, loathsome, and ghastly to me. My “freaked out obsession” is for those children. They’re abstract collateral nothings to you. They’re not abstract to me.

The debate exposed Hunter’s admitted betrayal of preborn children being slaughtered by abortion today. This while Hunter has the chutzpah to claim moral superiority over those trying to save them and then inexplicably press to block their efforts.

Sound crazy? There’s more. Also exposed during the debate were the half-baked theories and accusations by which Russell makes his contradictory claims. It is these I’m dissecting in these posts for those with ears to hear.

206fc8a7-9e2a-46eb-afa7-85da27aea90eHunter’s most glaring error, and the collapsing foundation of his immediatist house of cards, was his revisionist history of social justice movements, absurdly claiming such leaders as William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr., were immediatists.

Hunter’s flaw was in quoting their writings, which indeed expressed an absolutist moral view against slavery and segregation, but ignoring their work, which demonstrated an incremental approach.

I’ve pulled excerpts on the topic of social justice history from the debate into a video, below. In it Cunningham corrects Hunter on his fraudulent portrayal of social justice history.


Most telling is from 10:02 on, during Q&A, when Hunter first agrees with Cunningham that Wilberforce was not behaving immorally when supporting incrementalist legislation to redesign slave ships, an obvious attempt to slow down the slave trade.

So, Cunningham queries, why is it immoral for incrementalists to apply the same logic, such as with abortion clinic regulations?  Watch Hunter squirm and go on to contradict himself by saying Wilberforce was wrong to engage in incrementalism…

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(If you want to skip the video and just read the cliff notes, see Klusendorf’s post.)

There are innumerable examples throughout history of good people saving the lives of victims of oppression how they could, when they could – from Christians who rescued babies from infanticide during the days of the Roman Empire; to the Underground Railroad; to officers on the Titanic choosing women and children first to board the short supply of lifeboats; to daring efforts by such heroes as Schindler, Sendler and ten Boom to save Jews from the Nazis.

Frederick_Douglass_c1860sNoted Scott Klusendorf of Life Training Institute in his debate analysis:

Puzzling to me was Hunter’s claim that Lincoln never acknowledged incrementalism as a solution to slavery. Really?  No less than Frederick Douglass had a different take, as Princeton Professor Robert George points out:

“Of course, politics is the art of the possible. And, as Frederick Douglass reminded us in his tribute to Lincoln, public opinion and other constraints sometimes limit what can be done at the moment to advance any just cause.”

Applied to abortion, George continues:

“The pro-life movement has in recent years settled on an incrementalist strategy for protecting nascent human life. So long as incrementalism is not a euphemism for surrender or neglect, it can be entirely honorable. Planting premises in the law whose logic demands, in the end, full respect for all members of the human family can be a valuable thing to do, even where those premises seem modest. Fully just law would protect all innocent human life. Yet sometimes this is not, or not yet, possible in the concrete political circumstances of the moment.”

Hunter’s reply was that pro-life incrementalists don’t trust the power of the risen Lord and thus don’t embrace immediatism. But wait. If Hunter truly believes the power of the risen Lord enables us to end abortion immediately, why wait for us?

Good question, which I’ll focus on in my next obsessed installment, “‘Immediatist vs Incrementalist’ debate analysis, Part IV: Straw men and the Bible.”

russellThe biggest question is why is Hunter dogmatically standing on such a disproven and deadly falsification of social justice history?

I think Jonathon Van Maren of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform captured it in his comment on the debate:

In my analysis, Hunter is simply someone who started reading some abolitionist literature, and then began announcing that he’d rediscovered something about them and that he’d identified uniform trends across the board and throughout history before doing nearly enough reading or research.

As his historical case has steadily come apart under the weight of historical details he either ignored or just didn’t read, he increasingly cloaks his position in religious language in order to stave of criticism. It’s why his response to historical critique general takes the form of religious accusation or a pivot back to the immediatist argument.

Hunter must know by now – or perhaps he really is that simplistic – that his ideology is his own, not some revival of universal abolitionist views. But he’s gone too far down the road to start being nuanced or well researched now – and he’s convinced a lot of people that he’s some sort of prophet.

Keep the channel on. The train wreck is inevitable.

Also read:
Part I: Let babies die today, we can save the rest later
Part II: There’s only one way to cut down a tree?

Pro-life vid of day: Welcome to the Pro-Life Future

by Kelli

Students for Life is promoting a new division of their organization – Pro-Life Future – which is for “young, pro-life adults and Students for Life alumni.” They state that their mission is “to mobilize communities to abolish abortion in our lifetime.” To start a chapter, visit their website at prolifefuture.org:

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.

Stanek Sunday funnies 5-3-15

Good morning, and Happy Sunday! Here were my top five favorite political cartoons this week. Be sure to vote for your fav in the poll at the bottom of this post!

beginning with a twofer by Chip Bok at Townhall.com

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Sunday Word: “How Great Is Our God”


Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment…

he who looks at the earth, and it trembles…

I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Excerpts from Psalm 104, New International Version, as quoted by singer/songwriter Chris Tomlin in his song, “How Great Is Our God”…

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Stanek weekend Q: Is feminism losing to multiculturalism?

article-1319804-0B952A16000005DC-450_306x423The hypocrisy of feminists when it comes to the true war on women in Muslim cultures is on flagrant display.

On a daily basis we hear of atrocities committed against women, or shocking prejudices displayed against women, to utter silence on the Left.

Meanwhile, feminists find ghost sexism in every nook and cranny of the West.

I had chalked their hypocrisy up to abhorrence of Judeo-Christian values to the point of absurdly supporting Islamic values.

But an April 30 article by M. G. Oprea at The Federalist entitled, “Feminism is losing its cage fight with multiculturalism,” points to something much more obvious:

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Hypocrisy much? Planned Parenthood CEO brags about growing number of male supporters

3044265-inline-i-1-the-millions-of-patients-we-see-each-year-theyre-not-coming-because-tInterviewer: What’s happening with Planned Parenthood and young men?

Richards: It’s one of our fastest-growing demographics. They come mostly for STD treatment and testing. A lot of places, if you want nonstigmatized and nonjudgmental care, you come to Planned Parenthood. And then on the activist side, it has radically shifted. Four years ago, half of the activists we added were men.

~ Excerpt from Fast Company magazine interview with Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, May issue

Pro-life blog buzz 5-1-15

pro-lifeby Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

  • ProLifeBlogs links to a CNS News report about pro-abortion Hillary Clinton’s recent speech in which she claimed every life matters. Clinton was, of course, not speaking about the preborn. (After all, she “told the audience at the sixth annual Women in The World Summit last week that ‘religious beliefs’ must be changed for the sake of abortion.”) No, she was speaking about cases in which Black men have been killed by police officers. Clinton is a good example of the compartmentalization of abortion proponents. Perhaps if preborn babies could vote or donate to political campaigns, they could warrant some consideration from her.
[Read the rest of this entry...]

“Immediatist vs Incrementalist” debate analysis, Part II: There’s only one way to cut down a tree?

Click to enlarge…


While arguing in defense of abortion immediatism during his debate against Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Gregg Cunningham, Abolish Human Abortion’s T. Russell Hunter used a tree analogy.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Pro-life vid of the day: Out of the mouths of babes

by Kelli

ProWomanProLife shares a video created by Online For Life, in which children are asked various questions, eventually leading to some simple yet profound reflections on life:

Sometimes the most insightful and remarkable statements come from children. We have all been witness to a child whose keen observation, humility and complete innocence causes them to spout great and eternal truths at the most uncanny and opportune (or inopportune) moments in life. Often these truths, which are so obvious to the child, have been have sullied by adults with our greed, our cynicism and our pride.

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Email dailyvid@jillstanek.com with your video suggestions.

[HT: Susie Allen]

Nick Loeb on IVF embryos: “The ability to create life is special”

Sofia-Vergara-and-Nick-Loebby Carder

When I was in my 20s, I had a girlfriend who had an abortion, and the decision was entirely out of my hands. Ever since, I have dreamed about a boy at the age he would be now.

Later, I was married for four years to a woman with whom I tried to have children, with help from a fertility specialist. The difficulties we had made me feel, more than ever, that the ability to create life was special. When she left me, as I was running for a seat in the Florida State Senate, my dreams of a family were shattered.

~ Businessman Nick Loeb making the case for why he should be able to use his frozen embryos created with ex-fiancee Sofia Vergara in a New York Times op-ed titled, “Our Embryos Have a Right to Live,” via The Huffington Post, April 30


Who Is Jill Stanek?

Jill Stanek is a nurse turned speaker, columnist and blogger, a national figure in the effort to protect both preborn and postborn innocent human life.

Read Jill's full bio »
What the Media says »

by Carder

frida-kahlo-untitled-installKahlo depicted herself mourning with tears rolling down her cheeks. At the bottom left, she drew a healthy fetus attached to her by an umbilical cord, suggesting her unfulfilled role as a mother. On the right, an arm holding a heart-shaped palette for paint emerges from behind her body, as if to assert her role as an artist.

~ The Detroit Institute of Arts gallery description of a lithograph by artist Frida Kahlo usually referred to as “El Aborto”, Hyperallergic, April 29

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