Is War Necessary to End Abortion in the States?
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Is War Necessary to End Abortion in the States?


Since the abortion/infanticide debate has begun to rage more intensely lately, the question is being asked by various and sundry, ‘What kind of nation do we want America to be?’ 

A better question would be, ‘Is America a nation at all?’

In the States, there have generally been two views on this question.  The first is that the entity referred to as ‘America’ is not a unified nation-state but a voluntary confederation of independent States, each of which may leave the union at any time and resume its life as a separate nation, unhindered by any of her sister States.  The second is that America is ‘one nation, indivisible’ and that the States are ultimately subservient to whatever decrees come out of Washington City.

The way one answers the second question will determine how one answers the first; the conception one has of the States and the union will shape the policies one desires to implement at the ‘national’ level.

What is the answer to the second question, then?  Is America an indivisible nation or a voluntary confederation?  The reigning idea is that America is one nation, and the States, cities, counties, etc. all owe their existence and allegiance to the Great Union, whose collective life is centered in Washington City.  This idea has been promoted by influential men through the years:  John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall, Joseph Story, Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, etc.

But it is undoubtedly false.  One of Virginia’s leading men prior to the War, Abel Upshur (1790-1844), gives ample testimony to this in reply to Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.  On the idea of there being one homogenous American people, he writes,

In order to constitute "one people," in a political sense, of the inhabitants of different countries, something more is necessary than that they should owe a common allegiance to a common sovereign. Neither is it sufficient that, in some particulars, they are bound alike, by laws which that sovereign may prescribe; nor does the question depend on geographical relations. The inhabitants of different islands may be one people, and those of contiguous countries may be, as we know they in fact are, different nations. By the term "people," as here used, we do not mean merely a number of persons. We mean by it a political corporation, the members of which owe a common allegiance to a common sovereignty, and do not owe any allegiance which is not common; who are bound by no laws except such as that sovereignty may prescribe; who owe to one another reciprocal obligations; who possess common political interests; who are liable to [ *15 ]*common political duties; and who can exert no sovereign power except in the name of the whole. Anything short of this, would be an imperfect definition of that political corporation which we call a "people."

Tested by this definition, the people of the American colonies were, in no conceivable sense, "one people." They owed, indeed, allegiance to the British king, as the head of each colonial government, and as forming a part thereof; but this allegiance was exclusive, in each colony, to its own government, and, consequently, to the king as the head thereof, and was not a common allegiance of the people of all the colonies, to a common head.[1] These colonial governments were clothed with the sovereign power of making laws, and of enforcing obedience to them, from their own people. The people of one colony owed no allegiance to the government of any other colony, and were not bound by its laws. The colonies had no common legislature, no common treasury, no common military power, no common judicatory. The people of one colony were not liable to pay taxes to any other colony, nor to bear arms in its defence; they had no right to vote in its elections; no influence nor control in its municipal government, no interest in its municipal institutions. There was no prescribed form by which the colonies could act together, for any purpose whatever; they were not known as "one people" in any one function of government. Although they were all, alike, dependencies of the British crown, yet, even in the action of the parent country, in regard to them, they were recognized as separate and distinct. They were established at different times, and each under an authority from the crown, which applied to itself alone. They were not even alike in their organization. Some were provincial, some proprietary, and some charter governments. Each derived its form of government from the particular instrument establishing it, or from assumptions of power acquiesced in by the crown, without any connexion with, or relation to, any other. They stood upon the same footing, in every respect, with other British colonies, with nothing to distinguish their relation either to the parent country or to one another. The charter of any one of them might have been destroyed, without in any manner affecting the rest. In point of fact, the charters of nearly all of them were altered, from time to time, and the whole character [ *16 ]*of their government changed. These changes were made in each colony for itself alone, sometimes by its own action, sometimes by the power and authority of the crown; but never by the joint agency of any other colony, and never with reference to the wishes or demands of any other colony. Thus they were separate and distinct in their creation; separate and distinct in the changes and modifications of their governments, which were made from time to time; separate and distinct in political functions, in political rights, and in political duties.

The provincial government of Virginia was the first established. The people of Virginia owed allegiance to the British king, as the head of their own local government. The authority of that government was confined within certain geographical limits, known as Virginia, and all who lived within those limits were "one people." When the colony of Plymouth was subsequently settled, were the people of that colony "one" with the people of Virginia? When, long afterwards, the proprietary government of Pennsylvania was established, were the followers of William Penn "one" with the people of Plymouth and Virginia? If so, to which government was their allegiance due? Virginia had a government of her own, Pennsylvania a government of her own, and Massachusetts a government of her own. The people of Pennsylvania could not be equally bound by the laws of all three governments, because those laws might happen to conflict; they could not owe the duties of citizenship to all of them alike, because they might stand in hostile relations to one another. Either, then, the government of Virginia, which originally extended over the whole territory, continued to be supreme therein, (subject only to its dependence on the British crown,) or else its supremacy was yielded to the new government. Every one knows that this last was the case; that within the territory of the new government the authority of that government alone prevailed. How then could the people of this new government of Pennsylvania be said to be "one" with the people of Virginia, when they were not citizens of Virginia, owed her no allegiance and no duty, and when their allegiance to another government might place them in the relation of enemies of Virginia?

In farther illustration of this point, let us suppose that some one of the colonies had refused to unite in the declaration of independence; what relation would it then have held to the others? Not having disclaimed its allegiance to the British crown, it would still have continued to be a British colony, subject to the authority of the parent [ *17 ]*country, in all respects as before. Could the other colonies have rightfully compelled it to unite with them in their revolutionary purposes, on the ground that it was part and parcel of the "one people," known as the people of the colonies? No such right was ever claimed, or dreamed of, and it will scarcely be contended for now, in the face of the known history of the time. Such recusant colony would have stood precisely as did the Canadas, and every other part of the British empire. The colonies, which had declared war, would have considered its people as enemies, but would not have had a right to treat them as traitors, or as disobedient citizens resisting their authority. To what purpose, then, were the people of the colonies "one people," if, in a case so important to the common welfare, there was no right in all the people together, to coerce the members of their own community to the performance of a common duty?

It is thus apparent that the people of the colonies were not "one people," as to any purpose involving allegiance on the one hand, or protection on the other. What, then, I again ask, are the "many purposes" to which the author alludes? It is certainly incumbent on him who asserts this identity, against the inferences most naturally deducible from the historical facts, to show at what time, by what process, and for what purposes, it was effected. He claims too much consideration for his personal authority, when he requires his readers to reject the plain information of history, in favor of his bare assertion. The charters of the colonies prove no identity between them, but the reverse; and it has already been shown that this identity is not the necessary result of their common relation to the mother country. By what other means they came to be "one," in any intelligible and political sense, it remains for the author to explain.

--A Brief Enquiry into the Nature and Character of our Federal Government, ch. II,

It being the case, therefore, that there is no single American people and thus no single American nation either, it begs another question:  Is the current federal constitution a fitting instrument with which to govern a pluri-national confederation of States?  And again we must answer in the negative.

The current constitution of union, written in 1787, is a chimera, incorporating both the one people, one nation doctrine and the independent States doctrine.  It was thus doomed from the outset to be unstable and to cause antagonism amongst the parties governed by its institutions.

But we ought to speak more plainly on this point.  The 1787 charter was not a blundering attempt at a middle way.  It was in fact a counter-revolution waged against the decentralized government of the Articles of Confederation that was set up among the States in 1781 as an attempt at union after declaring their independence from the British Empire:

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, made it abundantly clear before and during the Convention that he thought the national government ought to have the power to veto directly acts of State legislatures, as well as other powers to bring the States to heel for the sake of the ‘general interest’ (Bill Kauffman, Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin, Wilmington, Del.: ISI Books, 2008, pgs. 21-2, 53-5, quote at 53). 

Furthermore, those delegates at the Convention like Madison who leaned towards scrapping the weaker, decentralized Articles of Confederation for a more powerful, centralized system of national government far outnumbered those of who sought simply to fix what was lacking in the Articles (pgs. 19-20). 

In this group we find even George Washington himself, ironically.  For he is the most outstanding symbol of the War for Independence, and the Articles of Confederation that he sought to overthrow ‘was a constitutional expression of the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence’ (Merrill Jensen, The Articles of Confederation, quoted in Kauffman, p. 12).  Indeed, Jensen says well that the making of the 1787 Constitution was a ‘counter-revolution’ fought against the political ideas put forward in 1776 that ‘erected a nationalistic government whose purpose in part was to thwart the will of “the people” in whose name they acted’ (The Articles of Confederation, Madison, Wis.: U. of Wisconsin Press, 1970 [1940], p. 245).


The presence of any principles friendly towards State sovereignty in the 1787 charter were mostly concessions to get the pretty little scheme approved.  Once ratification was accomplished, it was only a matter of time before the contradictions within it would have to be solved in favor of one side or the other, as the tensions between the various peoples and their cultures in the union grew:  Either the voluntary union of States would become a consolidated nation, or it would break apart into its individual parts.

Pres Lincoln’s war to prevent a peaceful Southern separation from the other States, which he had the gall to claim was waged in order to preserve free government in his Gettysburg Address, went a long way towards consolidating the States into a Yankee-type culture.  But even now, despite decades of brainwashing, the original understanding of the union, that it is made up of independent States that can leave it if they so choose, has not disappeared completely.  Recent polling shows that significant numbers still support peaceful secession of their States from the union:

--Both links from

These opinions have morphed into full-grown secession movements in some States:

And there is also growing support for the peaceful separation of parts of individual States from one another, as city and hinterland become more and more alienated from one another:

Nevertheless, leave it to the meddlesome and delusional Yankee spirit to bring a halt to good tidings like these.  For just as the War of Northern Aggression (i.e., the ‘Civil War’) was fueled by fanatical Protestant religious fervor, one may discern the same features developing once again on the American horizon. 

The Second Great Awakening of the 1800s helped fuel the idea of Manifest Destiny, the notion that God intended America to expand ever-westward. At the same time that Protestant America was pushing aside supposedly inferior peoples like Native Americans and Mexicans in an effort to fulfill God’s will, it was also combating what it saw as the evils in its midst that would preclude the Second Coming of Christ. The millennial spirit of the Awakening in the North targeted alcohol (a topic that Goldfield neglects), slavery, and Roman Catholicism, and thus were born the temperance, abolition, and Know-Nothing movements. These three movements comprised key elements of the sectional Republican Party, born in the 1850s, that put Lincoln in the White House and the country on the road to civil war.

 . . .

America Aflame shows what a combustible combination is created when crusading fanaticism is allied with centralized power. This is a work that compels the reader to look northward for the causes of the American Civil War and to Washington, D.C. for its ramifications. In so doing, he or she may find that the conflict was the result not of folly or fate, but was instead the design of a relatively few religious and political radicals.

--Stephen Klugewicz,

Protestant Evangelicals who believe in the choseness of an eternally indivisible American Union by God have become so unsettled at the pro-abortion measures being introduced in various State legislatures that they are literally sounding the battle cry for a new war to end abortion in all the States.  Owen Shroyer, an Alex Jones protégé, has done so.  Bryan Fischer, a standard-bearer of Evangelical politics, has nonchalantly mentioned the possibility of it on his program (, listen at 43:30 to 44:08).  This idea is bubbling up in other places as well:

But in attaining their goal of eradicating inhumanity toward unborn children through the fires of war, they are opening a Pandora’s Box that will likely lead to worse inhumanity.  This is what happened with the slaves and most others in the States:  A war fought (in the minds of the Abolitionists, at any rate) to give freedom to slaves created an oppressive leviathan government in Washington City under which all now groan (and also led to death and suffering for hundreds of thousands, black and white):

Like Hummel again, Goldfield suggests that while the war emancipated slaves, its most momentous outcome was the enslaving of free men through its forging of a powerful, centralized government. “By the end of the Civil War,” Goldfield writes, “the government supported an army of a million men, carried a national debt of $2.5 billion, distributed public lands, printed a national currency, and collected an array of internal taxes. This transformation in national power . . . overshadowed the liberation of four million slaves in terms of its long-range impact on all Americans” (302).


What would be the unintended consequences of an army marching through New York, Virginia, New Mexico, etc. to wipe out abortion?  One shudders to think.

Is killing children, whether born or unborn, a great evil?  Yes, without a doubt.  But the sudden, violent suppression of an evil often leads to worse consequences than the gradual elimination of it.  Consider again the case of slavery in the States:

“If, upon Lincoln’s inauguration, the government had purchased the freedom of four million slaves and granted a forty-acre farm to each slave family, the total cost would have been $3.1 billion . . . . And not a single life would have been lost” (305-306). 


If a proposal like this had been offered and agreed to, how much misery would North and South have been spared?

Furthermore, as Robert Lewis Dabney points out in his helpful book A Defense of Virginia and the South, New England did not practice immediate emancipation herself but allowed for a process of gradual freedom for the slaves in her respective States which lasted decades (from the 1780s to the 1840s).  Yet allowing the South to work out a similar plan for herself was ruled completely out of the question by the Yankees.  Thus, alternatives to war for bringing slavery to an end did exist at the time.

Therefore, we plead with all those whose consciences are in anguish over abortion:  Do not be goaded by the demons into hasty, violent action, which will only beget more bitterness and death for generations to come.  That is the fearful, histrionic way of the Yankees.  But ‘there is no fear in love’, as the Blessed Apostle and Evangelist teaches (I John 4:18).  Let us follow that path instead, the path of our God-bearing fathers, who by their forbearance and gentleness with the unbelievers, not their rashness and anger, converted them to Christ.  Here some examples from the Orthodox Church’s history:

March 7

Holy Hieromartyrs of Cherson: Basileus, Ephraim, Eugenios, Capito, Aetherios, Agathodoros, and Elpidios (4th c.)

These seven holy Bishops give a vivid picture of the dangers endured by those who traveled to proclaim the Gospel of Christ in the early centuries of the Church. All seven were sent as missionary bishops to Cherson on the Black Sea, and all seven died there as Martyrs. Hermon, Bishop of Jerusalem, first sent Ephraim and Basileus; Basileus raised the son of the prince of Cherson to life, after which many believed and were baptized. The unbelievers, though, bound him by the feet and dragged him through the streets until he died. Ephraim was beheaded when he refused to make sacrifice to the idols. Eugenios, Agathodoros, and Elpidios were then sent by the Bishop of Jerusalem; they were beaten to death with rods and stones. Aetherius was sent during the reign of Constantine the Great, and was able to govern the Church in freedom and peace, and to build a church in Cherson. Capito, the last to be sent, brought the Gospel to the fierce Scythians. To prove the power of his God, they asked him to go into a burning furnace, saying that if he was not consumed, they would believe. Putting all his trust in God, the holy Bishop vested himself, made the sign of the Cross, and entered the furnace. He stood in the flames, fervently praying, for an hour, and came out untouched. The spectators cried out 'There is one God, the great and powerful God of the Christians, who keeps His servant safe in the burning furnace!', and all those in the town and the surrounding countryside were baptized. This miracle was spoken of at the Council of Nicea (325). Later, Scythian unbelievers captured Capito and drowned him in the River Dnieper.

 . . .

--John Brady,

February 7

Our Holy Father Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus (4th c.)

He was an illiterate fisherman, but always listened carefully to the readings of Holy Scripture in church, and strove to put their teaching into practice. Whatever he earned from his trade he gave to the poor, keeping back nothing for himself. His charity became so well-known that Philetus, Bishop of Melitopolis, ordained him to the priesthood, charging him to travel throughout the diocese visiting Christians. Parthenius fulfilled his mission admirably, and his many miracles and healings — even raising the dead to life — showed that divine favor rested on him. Ascalus, Metropolitan of Cyzicus, made him Bishop of Lampsacus, at that time an almost completely pagan city. By virtue of his preaching, prayer and fasting, St Parthenius in time converted the whole city to Christ.

 . . .

--John Brady,

Such complex problems as abortion must be dealt with gradually, in different ways in different places, according to the character and practices of the local people.  Instead of war, let us fast and pray and make prostrations and weep many tears over this sin, but especially for our own personal sins; let us encourage respect for life in our own towns and counties/parishes rather than focus so heavily on distant capitals; let us truly love our neighbor as ourselves, pouring out our whole lives for them; let us be abused at the hands of those who support abortion without responding in kind.  And as we do these things, Christ will be born in us more and more, and His holy presence will dispel the darkness that alarms so many today, bringing an end in due time to legalized child-slaying in the States.

Author: Walt Garlington