Before I had ever met my husband, I worked as a full time pro-life activist with Campus Life Tours. During my time traveling with the organization – mostly working in a photojournalistic capacity covering lectures, protests, and political events – I had the privilege of working with and meeting some rock stars in the human rights activism world.
During a trip to Washington, DC I found myself working alongside Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Reverend Frank Pavone with Priests for Life.
Reverend Pavone has been a very vocal and very active player in the fight to restore human rights to ALL human beings, regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality, or age. He serves as the president of the National Pro-life Religious Council and as the national pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He is also the national director of Priests for Life, the largest Catholic pro-life organization in the world.
While I am not Catholic myself, I am quite fond of Father Pavones writing, and I am big fan of his human rights efforts in America. So when I saw this book up for review, I jumped at the chance to give it a read. (And truth be told, were it not available for review, I would have purchased it myself!)
About the Book:
Book description from Amazon.com:
The struggle against abortion in our nation has been going on a long time. Sometimes it seems like an evil that will never go away. People want to get involved in the fight, but it feels futile, and increasingly the culture tells Christians to stay out of politics.
Longtime activist Rev. Frank Pavone counters this frustrated mindset with challenge, encouragement, plain facts, and a healthy dose of strategy. He explores biblical, moral, historical, and legal reasons Christians belong in the public square and challenges both churches and individual Christians to full engagement.
Pavone argues convincingly that the battle against abortion not only can be won, but must be won. The soul of our nation depends on it.
My Thoughts on the Book:
While much of this book contains the usual arguments against the act of violently stopping a beating heart in the womb, there was a lot of useful information that I have yet to see in pro-life literature (and I have read quite a bit!)
Chapters five through eight alone make this entire book a stand-alone piece you should have on your shelf if you are looking for unique pro-life content. These chapters focuses on the legal realm of the church’s rights in regards to speaking on politically controversial issues such as abortion.
This is an area that personally maddens me. So many churches in America stay silent on this issue, indulging in the worst form of cowardice, hiding behind fear of the state if they get too political. Meanwhile, organizations – including churches! – have no fear of proclaiming a pro-choice culture with no fear of repercussions. It seems the legality of free speech in the realm of religion is somewhat muddied these days, to the detriment of culture that COULD and SHOULD protect innocent human life.
In this book, Pavone dispels the confusion and lays to rest unfounded fears, and explains the guidelines and foundation for having and maintaining a 501©3 status, as well as fascinating information about the Johnson Amendment. It is actually amazing just how much freedom the church actually has.
As Pavone explains, “Incredibly, in the sixty year history of the Johnson Amendment, among the three hundred thousand churches in America, only one church has lost it’s tax exempt status, and that just for one day.”
He continues to exhort churches, “What so many of us are afraid of – namely that the state is going to require our church to pay large sums of taxes as a result of its political intervention – has never happened, not even once.” Pavone rightly uses this shocking information to strengthen the resolve of churches and Christians to speak the truth without fearing consequences; especially those fears that are quite unrealistic.
Churches SHOULD NOT have to fear that exercising free speech might result in being shut down, fined, or persecuted. Especially on an issue as important as the slaughter of innocent children. Christians should not fear boldly proclaiming the simple biological facts of prenatal development.
With the current release of the chilling and barbaric undercover Planned Parenthood videos, and the fresh outcry and protests that have been launched across the nation to defund Planned Parenthood, this book has hit the book stores at just the right time. I sincerely hope and pray that this book encourages churches to not fear preaching pro-life sermons from the pulpit and distributing pro-life leaflets and voter education materials during election time.
Anyhoo, I highly recommend this excellent book to ANYONE who seeks to better understand the legality of free speech rights in the arena of 501©3 organizations, especially in the realm of abortion. 5 out of 5 stars from me!