I’m writing today about the latest development in the Abolish Human Abortion saga, because I’m concerned someone may end up dead if this doesn’t stop.
Everyone who spends time online has heard the term “cyberbullying.” Defined, it is:
… bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Particularly note, “rumors… posted on social networking sites.”
AHA’s communicative forté is social media, particularly Facebook, stemming from the fact it grew to prominence online.
Pro-lifers who have heard of AHA will say the group is known for attacking both the pro-life movement and the Catholic Church. (Interestingly, AHA has scrubbed several of its most flagrant attacks at the links provided.)
AHA may dispute these as its claim to fame, although it freely admits it seeks to “clash.”
I’ll not get into AHA’s problems with the Catholic Church other than to say it shuns the papal structure, which I think plays into the current situation.
As for the plm, AHA’s foremost complain is against its strategy to incrementally overturn abortion. AHA advocates “immediatism” and rejects any pro-life law with any exception whatsoever.
So, for instance, even if the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act had no rape/incest exception, AHA would oppose it because it only protects babies 20 weeks and older.
To be clear, the default position of the plm is immediatism, but given the fact that abortion is legal in the United States throughout all nine months of pregnancy, together with the judiciary and political climate, and we are at this point saving who we can when we can. This strategy is comparable to that undertaken by the Underground Railroad or Nazi resistors like Corrie ten Boom, Oskar Schindler, and Irena Sendler.
If you take AHA’s immediatism to its logical conclusion, it can only support a worldwide ban against abortion, IVF, and hormonal contraception. All other laws are incremental.
I gave that background to get to this.
In recent weeks, some AHA members have begun turning against fellow members and publicly outing many perceived sins and unrepentant sinners on Facebook. This includes accusing one person of having a mental illness. This includes posting a secretly recorded phone conversation. Some of the “evidence” was received secondhand or even thirdhand.
Seems to me this is the natural flow of AHA’s legalism, now turning inward against its own people, although those making the accusations will say they are following Jesus’ mandate in Matthew 18 to try to turn fellow Christians from sin.
One difference is, of course, when Jesus said to “tell it to the church” after all private appeals had failed, He didn’t mean to tell it to millions of people on Facebook, both inside and outside the Church, which is how AHAers have been doing it.
In recent days, two of those “called to repentance” on Facebook were involved in a vehicle accident.
Their van was totalled, although thankfully neither they nor their children were hurt.
About this the AHA administrator who had publicly rebuked them responded, “wonder if it is divine discipline a wake up call to them.”
This is simply a heinous response.
The other problem is AHA leaders aren’t cleaning their own house by condemning these cyber witch hunters – who are posting on an AHA Facebook page or in their capacity as AHA members or administrators.
Those claiming not to be in charge say they can’t do anything because there is no hierarchal structure to AHA – because the Pope.
AHA leader Don Cooper brought up the Pope a couple times to explain why there is no one in authority to stop AHA inquisitioners in his YouTube video, “Open Rebuke on Facebook: Right or Wrong?,” in which he would not answer that question, by the way.
This denial of responsibility has become increasingly ludicrous, particularly since AHA now has many chapters, or “societies,” around the country and even in Australia, has trademarked its logo, has incorporated (in which “principals” had to be legally be named, see left) as the International Coalition of Abolitionist Societies, Inc., and has a for-profit “small business” side venture called The Basileian Group, through which it sells its wares.
In fact, it is opening the door to anarchy to deny anyone is in charge of a group.
Such as concept may work in hippy communes but not in real life, though Cooper tries (beginning at 18:56):
If indeed it was wrong what this person did in, you know, rebuking this person on Facebook, then that needs to be proven, that needs to be argued out, that needs to be, “Let’s show in the Scriptures where that’s wrong, or let’s show that the person” – you can’t just say it’s wrong, and you need to apologize for it. That’s not how it works.
Now if we were like a cult, if we were like an organization that was run by one person or maybe like this small board of people, then you could do that. The Pope of the organization could say, “Ah, you broke our rules you’re out of here. Ah, I declare that’s wrong. There’s no discussion, no debate. You can’t try and defend yourself. This is wrong, because I as the leader have decreed it wrong, and so be it. I interpret the Scriptures to say you are wrong, and that’s that. Now let’s move on.”
If the abolitionist movement or Abolish Human Abortion was that kind of entity, then that would work, right? But it’s not. The abolitionist movement is a body of believers, people who in – there’s no hierarchy of organization to say this person’s in charge except for Jesus Christ.
This is so mixed up. To even wonder whether posting a one-sided tome itemizing another person’s perceived sins on Facebook is right or wrong – is WRONG. That’s just WRONG, Don.
Some of those accusations were highly personal and embarrassing, dare I say earth-shattering to some, and the Internet never forgets. Google a person’s name, and AHA accusations pop up? (Will someone sue?)
Then to create a straw man, in this case the Pope, to rationalize why leaders of an organization can’t censure behavior that might go so far as to send a weak or unstable person over the bend to harm him or herself is also WRONG, Don.
So if AHA leadership can’t come out and say it, I will: STOP with the Facebook witch hunts before someone gets hurt, or worse.