[Full disclosure: I served on the board of directors for Wisconsin Right to Life. I am personally a monthly donor to the work of Wisconsin Right to Life. I count its Executive Director, Barb Lyons, as one of my dearest and most admired friends whom I first met in 1979 when she was the legislative director for what was then called Wisconsin Citizens Concerned for Life.]
William Tyndale was a protestant reformer who lived from 1494 to 1536, when he was burned at the stake for challenging the Scriptural validity of King Henry VIII’s divorce from Catharine of Argon in favor of Anne Boleyn. His most significant contribution to church history, however, was being the first to translate the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew languages into English.
Tyndale is credited for solidifying the phrase “filthy lucre” into the English language when, in 1526, he translated Titus 1:11 as: “Teachinge thinges which they ought not, because of filthy lucre.” Ever since, the term “filthy lucre” has been synonymous with ill-gotten gain or getting rich unethically.
That phrase came to mind when I read the front page story of the 8/11/13 issue of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the head of Wisconsin Planned Parenthood and the head of Wisconsin Right to Life (“Abortion divides similar pros” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sunday, August 11, 2013).
Teri Huyck is the 59 year old president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Keep in mind that Planned Parenthood is the largest private provider of abortion services in America.
When asked in the article about those who oppose abortion Huyck indicated that she doesn’t know what motivates them and added, “I think they are entitled to their own beliefs, but I don’t think they’re entitled to force them on us or anybody else.”
Huyck lies. The abortion-rights movement has long evolved past the stage of “not understanding” the pro-life movement. The pro-life position has been the same since it was first articulated – abortion stops a beating heart. Abortion takes a human life. Abortion is killing. How disingenuous to suggest that 40 years into the abortion debate Huyck does not know what motivates the pro-life community.
Huyck and her peers work hard to avoid calling abortion what it is. “Intellectuals” in the movement have been arguing at least since 1995 to accept that in abortion a life is ended, that abortion is murder and that the essential abortion-rights position is that a mother’s life is more important than the life of her unborn child. Abortion kills a human being!
Those in the trenches who make their money from abortion, however, cannot be so candid. They must claim ignorance and divert attention. To suggest the pro-life position is being “forced” on others ignores the reality that supporters of abortion rights have been forcing their position on others for years. It is a tired argument of no substance.
Lies and deceits in order to accomplish gain is what Titus 1:11 was talking about and what Tyndale referred to as “filthy lucre.”
So, you ask, how “filthy” is the lucre? According to the article, Huyck had a base compensation in 2011 of $242,340. In contract Barb Lyons had a base compensation of $63,083 in 2011. Huyck earns nearly four times what Barb Lyons gets paid.
In my tenure on the Wisconsin Right to Life board I argued with fellow board members that Barb should be making at least $10,000 to $20,000 more per year, commensurate with her responsibility and influence. Barb did not like me making such arguments. She preferred the money go towards education.
While I knew Barb she is way out of the ballpark compared to the ill-gotten gains of the leadership for the movement to keep it legal for women to kill their babies. It is in every sense of the phrase, “filthy lucre.”
I suppose, when considering the money is earned in part for killing children a dollar would be “filthy lucre.” What makes this most offensive is that while tax dollars are not supposed to fund abortion services, Planned Parenthood receives a bucket load of tax dollars to do their other services while raising donations to support their abortion industry.
I do not begrudge anyone making money – even very good money. Perhaps within the abortion industry it takes big bucks to attract those who are articulate enough to plead ignorance, evade the truth and still look credible.
Huyck added insult to injury pleading ignorance about the pro-life position. As she wipes blood from her hands she will claim not to know where it came from. That is an awful lot of money to pay someone so naïve!