a structural analysis of AHA

Abolish Human Abortion (AHA) is a website put together by some people whose main purpose is what their name states, abolishing human abortion.  They self-identify as abolitionists.  The website gives a description of Five Tenets and Two Modes that a person should adhere to if they want to be identified as an abolitionist.  They have chapters in several cities, they sell signs and apparel with slogans and a logo that can be purchased, and they will send a representative to a church to try to recruit people to their cause.  They do not accept donations directly but one of their modes is crisis pregnancy center, Hand of Hope.  They also say that a local AHA adherent can be supported directly.  They have an unofficial official spokesperson, T. Russell Hunter, who is also their de facto leader since he had founded the ideology and designed the logo.  This is all on their website.  I commend their passion in their fight to end abortion, all abortion, and support them with my prayers.

However, they are not an organization, at least that is what they claim.  They are only a group, for lack of a better term, who all adhere and practice the Five Tenets and Two Modes of abolitionism.  They are almost as passionate at defending that sentiment as they are in abolitionism.  This post is not about going into legal and official government documents.  There is an article that already did that here.  This is about definitions of words and how those definitions apply to AHA because AHA likes to redefine words to suit their own agenda.

Here is the definition of an organization from Dictionary.com, the fifth possible understanding of the word:

5: a group of persons organized for some end or work; association: a nonprofit organization.

That seems pretty straight forward.  AHA has a central ideology that a widespread group of people adhere to and practice, and the ideology is to end abortion.  They have signs and apparel with the AHA logo.  I don’t about you but that definition seems to fit AHA.  I mean, they help people set up chapters in their local cities.  They send people out to churches to recruit the people of the church to their cause.  Stuff that organizations are usually involved in doing to further their cause.  But tell them that they fit the definition of an organization and they get defensive.  They give their own qualifiers, such as no one is paid or draws a salary as part of AHA.  In that definition I gave that is not listed as a qualification in order to be called an organization.  They have no overarching leader or board of directors yet they seem to have the same person speak for them every time AHA needs a representative.

It’s all very confusing.  They do everything that qualifies them as an organization even in the logical sense.  They have a core set of ideals that is central to their cause and people and groups of people organize around those ideals.  That’s the best way to describe it because the gather at abortion clinics with their signs and t-shirts, together.  They send representatives around the country to churches to recruit people but they are not an organization because that is what organizations do.  They have chapters in different cities like an organization would but they are not an organization.

So what do they want to be identified as?  After a lengthy conversation the answer given is that AHA wants to be considered a “movement”.  So what is the definition of a movement?  Let’s see:

a diffusely organized or heterogeneous group of people or organizations tending toward or favoring a generalized common goal

Well, there it is.  Even under their preferred description the definition still incorporates the idea of being organized.  So why is AHA so adamant about not being considered organized?

There can be only two reasons that are really one, accountability and responsibility.  AHA wants to be able to take credit for and boast about, while pretending to defer to God, any success they have in abolishing abortion.  What they don’t want to do is hold anyone who adheres to their tenets and wears their gear accountable for their actions or take responsibility for questionable actions while acting on behalf of AHA.  Whether AHA likes it or not, when someone wears their gear and uses their signs they are representing AHA, good or bad.  And AHA wants to be able to wipe their hands if someone goes off the rails while representing them.  Unfortunately, AHA cannot have it both ways.

So while AHA continues to vehemently deny that they are an organization but are a movement it still cannot be denied by official definitions that they are organized around a shared core of ideology and actions.  They are organized and organization.  No official documents are needed to be identified as such.  If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its probably a duck.

For further reading, click here.

Is abortion the only sin that is legal?

This article was posted on the polemics website Pulpit and Pen (link).  It is a very good article from a proponent for abolishing human abortion but has decided that the polemics website he administers would sever ties with an organization with the same name, Abolish Human Abortion (AHA).  The point of this blog post is to address something in that post that may have been directed towards some of my posts on their FB group.  I want to say now that I am all for abolishing abortion in all stages and in all ways, period.  In fact, during this whole situation with AHA I have been convicted to become more involved in the abolishing abortion.

That being said, my original comments were meant to challenge their assumptions about how abortion should be the one ministry that is highest on the list of all Christians.  I tried to show that their assumptions could be applied to sex trafficking and pornography specifically.  While I was making my point I repeatedly stated that I am against abortion and that it should be stopped.  The unfortunate part is that the two people who commented completely ignored those statements and assumed that I believe that the sex trade should be raised to a higher status than abortion, which seems to be how they react to people who question the a priori status of their position.  This is how they react to anyone who even raises concerns about the level of focus attributed to opposing abortion.

To repeat, I am not against abolishing abortion.  Abortion should be abolished

In his article, the author states the three reasons why abortion should be of the highest concern:

I’m not opposed to calling the Church, or churches to repent of apathy–I believe the church is largely apathetic to this greatest sin. I also disagree with the argument by AHA opponents that other sins or social justice issues are equally as grave and important. Not to write off other issues as unimportant, but I do strongly believe that abortion is a top priority over other issues. It is the only sin in the world that is a.) legal, b.) celebrated in our culture, and c.) directly and immediately takes the lives of innocent children. (emphasis mine)

Abortion is murder, the taking of a life, is what I believe to be true.

Now I will only apply this criteria to pornography because I believe his assertions are incorrect.

  • Pornography is legal and has been legal and a protected First Amendment right longer than Roe v. Wade. Worldwide, a lot of countries have “Red Light Districts”, with Amsterdam having the most infamous.  India has sections of their major cities set aside for the purpose of the sex trade with sex slaves.  In Thailand, children are sold or rented to local sex merchants by parents.  All legal.
  • Pornography is definitely celebrated in our culture. It is a rite of passage for young men to view pornography and even to hire a prostitute.  Pornography and internet porn are a regular punchline in movies and TV shows.  I don’t see abortion as a punchline in movies or TV.  Abortion is usually treated seriously and soberly if mentioned at all.
  • While pornography may not result in the direct and immediate death of a person (but it can), it can indirectly result in the death of the person, mostly women, who are in the sex trade by being kidnapped and forced into performing sex. One could argue they may not suffer a physical death but they are certainly being killed emotionally and psychologically.  The other side of that coin is the effect pornography has on the increase of violent sex crimes (sourcesource).

Abolish abortion, it needs to be stopped because it is murder.

I do not believe that murder of unborn babies is the runaway frontrunner of sins wreaking havoc.  The sin of sexual immorality via pornography is a sin that happens within the church.  It is a dirty little secret that has some seem helpless while under its spell.  I’m sure one could ask a pastor friend how many marriages and families have been destroyed because of pornography.  It may be they could tell stories of pastor friends who lost their flock and family because they could not resist the temptation of indulging in pornography.  Pornography mocks and blasphemes against the very symbol of the relationship between Christ and the church, His bride.

Abortion is evil but all sin is evil.