Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lie-la Rose and the Planned Parenthood Exposé

Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' 'no', anything more is from the evil one. - Mt. 5:37
Today's Gospel is providential in so far as it speaks to the huge ethical debate going on regarding Live Action President Lila Rose and the group's undercover activities to expose Planned Parenthood corruption and alleged cooperation in illegal activity.  All the moral theologians and ethicists are arguing about something many pro-life people would probably prefer to turn a deaf ear to - if not condone.  However, it is an important discussion, and one that at least one major news source took notice of.  (CBS) 
The brouhaha centers around the fact that in an effort to discredit an 'evil' organization, the 'good guys' have resorted to the evil of lying.  Perhaps no longer a big deal in contemporary culture where the flip expression, "I lied, so sue me!" is frequently used to defend self-interest.  Nevertheless, Catholic moral teaching is clear on the subject; the Catechism "unequivocally says that lying is 'the most direct offense against the truth.' It goes on to state that 'by its very nature, lying is to be condemned.'"
Planned Parenthood, an organization based on lies, assists in killing babies - a far greater evil than lying to save a life.  From what I understand, John Chrysostom and John Cassian defended the use of lying to save an innocent person.  Lila Rose defends the group's tactics pointing to the fact some Christians used similar deceits to save Jews in WWII, as did undercover priests under Communist regimes.  Likewise, priests and religious during the civil strife in Spain and Mexico in the early 20th century used undercover methods and false identities, as did those priests ministering to Catholics during the English persecution under Elizabeth I.
What I find most provocative about this discussion is the renewed focus it poses upon lying in our culture.  We live in a culture of lies and cover-up, where just about everything is 'marketed', hyped and manipulated in order to deceive.  It's actually pretty amazing this debate has even become news.
Pro-life group's video stings spark ethical debate.  CNA/EWTN News (for quotes and original news source for this post)

Additional good commentary:
Building a Culture of Lie: The exorcist and Lila Rose, by Dawn Eden and William Doino Jr.


  1. The Blog Post tag is under "Truth Be Told".

    The author, Terry Nelson, quotes accurate scripture on truth:

    "Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' 'no', anything more is from the evil one." - Mt. 5:37

    Roughly 20 years ago, a child of God was created. She is now a college sophomore. Her name is Lila Rose.

    But a choice has to be made.
    Does one call her as God ordained her to be know, the TRUTH?
    Does one embrace the culture, and go along with the latter part of said scipture, and advance the cause of the evil one, by distorting Lila into "Lie-la" to make a point?

    It is not the same as lying to save a Jew in the Holocaust, nor myriad other examples.

    We even term the phrase "little white lie" to endorse that, some are just fine, even though Christ says when you lie you speak your native language, for those from satan speak the language of the Father of All Lies.

    Conveniently, when confronted with truth, many bloggers simply delete the comment, or even turn the combox on and off, as if it were a radio, not a source of commentary on the written topic.
    This is how bloggers, can and do, control "TRUTH".

    I say this with charity as your "Leave a Comment" directions compel:

    "Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks".

    Please forward this column to Lila Rose and ask if the distortion of her name, for the author's personal means, edifies her as Christians are called to do, or diminishes her as a woman and a child of God, as the evil one compels us to do?

    The topic is in dreadful need of discussion.
    Beginning it with a "lie"-la diminishes any credibility of thought that follows.
    God resides within the temple of that clay jar vessel named Lila.

    Those who malign will one day be held accountable. Your choice is a grand example of how all of us are swallowed up so easily by this culture of lies, we are brined in.

    Please correct your title Terry, so the Truth can be discussed in detail here...even by Lila.

    Thank you.

  2. When Planned Barrenhood finds it convenient to call the news outlets themselves it's usually to be seen as the 'victim.' Sort of like 'oh look at us, we are performing a needed service for poor women who would only end up living in poverty and abusing their kids and now those bad pro-lifers are resorting to lying to discredit our organization that exists to make women's lives and health better. Oh and we fired the person that didn't live up to our standards. See how moral we are?!'

    And you know what - Joe and Mary Average American will believe it.

    In Abby Johnson's book unPlanned she exposes many of the lies and tactics that PP uses to manipulate the public (and themselves).

    When this story broke about the expose it prompted me to read Corrie ten Boom's 'The Hiding Place' again. Lying was condemned in the book, even though telling the truth sent one Jewish girl to jail. However,she was released (as hard as that is to believe). In another incident there was a raid at the home of Corrie's sister. When the Nazi's came they asked her niece where her brothers were and she told them the truth. The soldiers took a quick look, didn't see them and left. These women told the truth and God protected them.

  3. In every court in the land, all parties who speak are "sworn in".

    "Do YOU swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you GOD?"

    We take an oath NOT to court, but to God, to tell the truth.

    But if we are gonna tell the truth, why do we need to also swear to the "whole truth" and "nothing but the truth"?

    Let's say a bunch of boys decide to play a prank on the neighborhood mean woman. They fill a bag with dog crap, and late in the afternoon, when she is relaxed inside, they approach her doorway and set the bag on the cement, and light the top of the bag with a match.

    Next, they ring the doorbell and run to hide to see the action.

    The woman opens the door, finds a small fire there, and does what anyone would do, stomps it out.
    She now owns a shoe covered in dog crap, and the boys own a lifetime memory of what they did for a momentary laugh at someone else's expense.

    But one boy is caught by a passing cop car and arrested for the misdeed. Off we go to court.

    The other boys sit in the benches to watch. The boy is sworn in as above.

    "Are YOU the boy who set fire to a bag of dog crap on that lady's porch?"

    The boy can answer his oath to tell the truth, with "NO", for he did not light the match. (another boy did that).

    So we need MORE than the truth, to arrive at truth.

    What about adding "the Whole truth" to arrive at our desired destination?"

    "Are YOU the boy who set fire to a bag of dog crap on that lady's porch?" is asked again.

    TRUTHFULLY, the boy answers "NO".
    It was a group activity, and every perp is in the room, but this young fellow has twice told the truth. He watched in the distance.
    Another child put the bag on the porch, albeit he knows who did it.

    To arrive at the TRUTH, we must also close the error of ommission, not just commission of a crime.
    So we swear to God to tell the truth (done), the whole truth, (done) and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.

    The above question is now asked a third time, Here the lad is boxed in. He did not set the fire, nor did he put the bag on the porch, but he KNOWS all who participated, and the specific person who actually did this deed to the woman. He knows the WHOLE TRUTH.

    His answer in court must be "Yes", in order to tell the WHOLE truth.
    [Indeed, as part of the group, he is just as guilty as the match kid; this came to the forefront in the Vietnam trial of My Lai Massacre....all did it, one convicted].

    Though the little boy here, did not light the fire, nor put the bag on the porch, causing damage to the woman's heart rest, and shoes, and porch, but he also participated in the scheme, and has the ability to identify Mr. Match lighter...the whole truth!

    In Criminal Court, and in Family Court to wage war on crime, or to wage war on your family in divorce, all parties are sworn in just as above.

    In the next sentences, all parties proceed to tell precisely the opposite story, in each and every case in the land.

    Our system of life, apparently demands we lie, eh?

  4. The supposed lie of Live Action is that they "pretended" to be something other than they are in order to expose the truth and defend and protect those who have no voice. Are those who are so offended by these "lies" also offended by the undercover work done by our police forces, CIA and FBI? Are those who are offended by Live Action's pretending also offended by Blessed Miguel Pro who pretended and dressed in costume as someone else in order to carry on his secret ministry? Live Action hired actors who went in and acted in order to lure the truth.

    Satan will even use the scrupulosity of the pious in order to distract from the truth so that he can protect his business of child sacrifice. Now the focus has been wonderfully derailed from the atrocities of PP and instead to how they are victims to the undercover operation of Live Action.

  5. Nothing has been "derailed". The stuff that Lila Rose does is what's the distraction. The stuff that Lila Rose does is useless Fox news fireworks. PP is protected in adamant against these "stings". They do not even need to resort to protection in these cases. Just fire the workers. If they have to, they'll make it policy with all their minions that all people coming with questions pretending to be pimps and whatnot do not get helped. Tactics are simply not going to bring an end to abortion. Have people forgotten how far up the government's ying-yang PP is? People like Thomas Peters wonder why all the silence. It's precisely because this sort of thing is not at the heart of the pro-life movement.

    We can only expose them when we can get them coming after us - on our ground. Not us on theirs. I like what CBR does.

  6. The "stuff that Lila Rose does is the distraction?" People complain and whine about how horrible PP is and how the rest of society doesn't see it. People complain and whine about how their tax dollars pay for abortions. Live Action goes in to expose the evil truth and show clearly to all how horrible PP is AND the footage provides lawmakers to move harder on defunding PP tax status. I'd say that the stuff Lila Rose does shines the light in the darkness.

  7. If someone exposes PP actually helping real pimps, that will get them defunded.

    Playing Mr. Dress-up with them won't do it.

    Doesn't PP do enough evil on its own that we shouldn't need to bluff?

  8. So the Vatican's forging documents to give new people IDs to escape the Nazis in WW II was wrong? As well as all the fake baptismal certificates? Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro's going into jails in Mexico disguised as a police officer & claiming to the jailers that he was there to interogate them rather than what he was really there to do, bring them communion, was wrong???? & that is only 1 of the many disguises he used. So, if those actions of his are wrong, why are they considered as a part of his living out heroic virtue?

  9. They are not the same or remotely similar.

  10. Why????? Fr Pro lied about who he was to do the work he did, lying about a sacrament, why is that different?

  11. The difference I see is this: these people going to PP are basically luring PP into unmasking what evil they are willing to stoop to - for that sake alone, to bring down PP. Somewhat like the police women who pretend to be hookers to lure men and then arrest them.

    Fr. Pro and the people who helped those persecuted under the Nazi regime were simply not doing that - not just in their means, but their ends. They were penetrating barriers in the regimes to get certain immediate matters done: rescuing people and bringing the sacraments to people. The penetrating of those barriers was not the end point of their actions. The "lies" were like meaningless formalities under which they carried out their pressing duties for their neighbours.

    They were not doing "sting" operations, and then going to the media with it. It is an entirely different thing that makes for entirely different points to be made on how it ought to be done.

  12. So, you are saying that under some conditions lying is OK,like saving Jews from being murdered by the Nazis but not to save babies from being murdered by Planned Parenthood. I thought the premise of the original argument was it is never OK to lie for any good. Which you have admitted is how you see what the vatican & Fr. Pro doing.
    So, do you disapprove of all Police stings as well or just when it involves hookers?
    & do you disapporve of what Live Action did because it involves Planned Parenthood covering up child prostitution, rape & incest?
    Because that is sure what it is comiong across to me.

  13. +JMJ+

    The next time someone tells me that Catholics are big, fat liars, I won't have an answer.

    But that's okay. I'm not an apologist.

  14. Paul - you are saying it better than I could - thanks for making this understandable.

  15. I guess you all never heard of Judith, a famous Jewess heroine that lied.

    Book Of Judith: Chapter 13 (Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible, online).

    She knew what to do with the enemies of God’s people.

    While the men cat chatted about the problem, she took action.


  16. Pablo - Jacob lied too and received an inheritance. King David had Uriah killed after taking his wife. If it is the Bible it must be okay then, right?

    Did you hear Sunday's first reading? "No one does he (God)command to act unjustly, to none does he give license to sin." Sirach 15:20

    Lie if you want to. I'm going to try and avoid it - and I will continue to disapprove of it.

  17. "...Those who malign will one day be held accountable..."

    Yes, they will be.

    But those who remain silent will be Punished.


  18. Mr. Nelson,

    I agree with your statement.

    The girl was not forthwith while dealing with Satan's camp.

    We should not lie, but I don’t believe deceiving Satan’s children is un-Catholic.

    Maybe a few Padres that read your blog could weigh in.

    I will ask my Priest and Confessor about this.

    I did not go to Mass yesterday, so I missed the reading.

    Once I paid attention during the Sermon part of Mass, but I can’t remember which one it was.

    Oh, by the way, Feliz dia de San Valentin.


  19. My apologies Pablo - I'm kind of crabby today.

    That's no lie.

  20. Funny Mr. Nelson, very funny.

    You would be crabby on Saint Valentine's Day.

    Is there a story behind it?

    Perhaps a heart broken on a day of love?

    The only time I get angry is when people prove me wrong.

    Talked to the Padre and was told the girl was wrong to lie.

    I have the artwork you sent to me in a place where I think it will do much good.

    I will be mailing a little something to you...

    is the address on the tube still good?

    Cheer up; thank God Almighty you weren't born me.



  21. I have gone back and forth on this subject and have felt incredibly frustrated because I have not found anyone who has been able to explain to me in a thorough way how what Live Action was doing was any different than undercover work and actions of Saints that we honor. I think I have now found that at this link.
    It explained exactly what I was having trouble with which was causing a lot of frustration and I wanted to share that link with you here. I have very much enjoyed the comments here. Thank you.

  22. +JMJ+

    How about this, KM?

    Lila Rose is like a woman who knows that her friend's husband is sleeping around and whose only way of convincing her friend of the truth is to seduce the husband and video tape it.

    It was mean.

    And if I understand the rest of the story correctly, she's using unborn babies as her human shield. ("If you disagree with me, you want these babies to die!")

  23. @ Enbrethiliel -I think you may have misunderstood my last comment. I was saying that the link I provided in my comment above explained to me what I was not understanding. It discusses broad mental reservation vs. strict mental reservation and that really was what I was having difficulty with. While I appreciate your example it doesn't quite touch on what was hindering me from seeing this sting operation as a "wrong." But the link I provided does! And it even thoroughly explains in another article my trouble understanding the differences in Live Action's undercover work and the supposed undercover work we approve of in society (police etc.).
    So in essence--I get it! I get now. I really encourage anyone to go read it. He did an awesome job explaining it, and I agree with you.

    I think though, that it's important to continue these discussion without vilifying Lila Rose. She isn't mean. She's just very passionate about protecting babies and young girls and her dedication is admirable. This has been a very tricky subject and obviously many are confused (my previous self included). And being as dedicated as she is I am sure she experiences much spiritual warfare -some of which may come in the form of rationalizations in these very tricky ethical situations. She and her colleagues need our prayers. I've really enjoyed the learning and the information on both sides. Thanks much to Terry for the opportunity!

  24. +JMJ+

    I didn't say she was mean. I said what she did was mean.

  25. As an addendum to Enbrethiliel's comment: "And if I understand the rest of the story correctly, she's using unborn babies as her human shield. ("If you disagree with me, you want these babies to die!")"

    Somebody please procure the baby that Lila Rose saved, as those before her saved Jews from the Nazis.

    Somebody please procure the baby that the twit who posed as a pimp before her saved.

    After all, they're saving babies from being murdered by Planned Parenthood just like the people did who saved Jews from the holocaust.

    They are getting their fifteen minutes on Fox news, of course, but saving babies? That's rich. I know people in the pro-life movement who do actually save babies. You'll most likely never hear their names. I know of one man who is a veritable Oscar Schindler; lived beside an abortion clinic for some time.

    If you do a "sting" then please stick to saying what you are doing.

    Anyone notice how they are justifying their original lies with more lies - we are doing just what the heroes did who saved Jews!

    Liars just don't know when to stop I guess.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.