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Which way Will the Freedom Trail lead?

7/27/2004 - 5:00 AM PST

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By: Rev. Mr. Keith A Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC

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“Now, we’re starting with you Colorado! But when we leave here today, we’re heading east, blazing America’s freedom trail all the way to Boston…And then to Boston, where we’re going to make another revolutionary stand for America." John Kerry

“God gives everyone freedom, a freedom which possesses an inherently relational dimension. This is a great gift of the Creator, placed as it is at the service of the person and of his fulfillment through the gift of self and openness to others; but when freedom is made absolute in an individualistic way, it is emptied of its original content, and its very meaning and dignity are contradicted.” Pope John Paul

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I was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. I love Boston and I treasure my memories of growing up in the Bay State. Boston and the people of Massachusetts have a proud heritage of being freedom fighters, throwing off the yoke of oppression and standing up for authentic freedom. That is why the emerging theme of the Democratic candidates of blazing the “freedom trail” is so appealing.

That is, if it were not so frightening.

Why do I say that? Because, like many vital words in our age, the word freedom is being re-defined in an act of what the late, great C. S. Lewis rightly called “Verbicide.” In his Book entitled “Studies in Words” Lewis coined the word to refer to the murder of a word and its redefinition as a part of a party platform. Well, as my dear mother from Dorchester still says, “If the shoe fits…”

In the past, when I have written concerning the fundamental human rights issue of our age, the right to life, I have referred to the current assault against words as “verbal engineering” and noted that it is often just the first step in social, legal, political, and cultural engineering moving us toward a cultural revolution. With a sense of foreboding about this election, I now issue this warning again. As I follow this campaign, I am gripped with an eerie fear that we are, in the words of that famous song by a band of my generation, “The Who”, about to get “fooled again.” The word freedom is being redefined!

I learned long ago as a human rights lawyer that the one who frames the issue first - and most effectively - often wins the cause or case. The most egregious example of the effective use of Orwellian doublespeak, at least in my lifetime, was the phrase “pro-choice”. It was designed strategically as an acceptable “re-description” of those who advocate abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy. It has wreaked devastation.

The actual origins of the phrase “pro-choice” are instructive as we get ready to hear speeches about a notion of “freedom” that propose ideas that will actually lead to new forms of slavery.

I know one of the masterminds of the “pro-choice” propaganda campaign. He helped to think of the phrase “pro-choice”, along with other abortionists, over cocktails one night. Years, and thousands of abortions later, he discovered the truth about what he was really doing through the use of emerging sonogram technology while performing abortions. He became a “pro-life atheist” and stopped the killing. I was grateful for his pro-life witness back then because it proved a vital point, that the pro-life position is not simply a “religious” position but a human position.

Science has since only further confirmed what our conscience has long known; the child in the womb is our neighbor. Just recently we all saw the pictures from London showing the child in the womb walking, moving, sleeping and being, well human. We all watch the daily reports on the Peterson trial and know that, whoever committed this horrid act, committed two murders. Yet, we continue to hide behind the “verbicide” that covers over the homicide of procured abortion, not only calling it a “choice” but a “right.”

What a powerful weapon this phrase has become for the proponents of death on demand through all nine months of the childs residence in the womb. Anyone who questions whether it is ever the right choice to take innocent human life has now been labeled “anti-choice”, not “pro-life”. See how effective verbicide can be? After all, who wants to be perceived as against “choice”?

My friends’ tenure as a pro-life atheist was short lived. Truth drew him to the One who is Truth. He became a Christian and was baptized into the Catholic Church. To this day he still does penance for the impact that this simple turn of a phrase had on catapulting the current culture of death into predominance.

To oppose “choice” sounds so “intolerant”, it seems to strike at the heart of our freedom loving character as Americans. That is why it has also been so effective. The aftermath of this example of “verbicide” ...

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