In the 5th Century A.D., a heresy in the Christian Church called Pelagianism took form. Essentially, it taught that man was not burdened by original sin and could attain forgiveness and lead the life he chose with no assistance or grace from God. In other words, man fully controlled his own destiny in all facets of his life; there was no real need for a higher power or calling or redemptive grace. Man controlled everything in his midst.
That heresy was put down in the Christian Church by St. Augustine, but in many ways, it continues to this day in our own society. The advent of technological and medical wonders combined with the modernists’ emphasis on the autonomy of the self, men and women as never before think they are fully in control of all facets of society, to the point that many now believe we can not only determine when life begins and when it ends, but who lives and who dies. And this “faith in man” has been bolstered by what what might be called “ Roeism.”
When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a woman, or for that matter, a physician or politician or bureaucrat, could determine when a life begins and ends, our society set down a path that today’s culture now fully and willingly travels, if not embraces.
And the results of this journey are all around us. Unborn infants who can feel pain and are literally weeks from birth are killed in the womb in the most brutal manners possible—by medical acts even the Nazis or Stalinist Russians would not fully adopt in the mid-20th century. Young people and mentally unbalanced individuals heartlessly kill innocents for no other reason than a desire to do so. Homeless men are beaten to death or set on fire by teenagers who did not grow up believing in the dignity of every human life. Young girls are sold and bought into sexual slavery because of a society committed to the autonomy of the individual and the pursuit of pleasure and comfort, even if it dehumanizes another person.
It cannot be mere coincidence that this is the society that has taken hold since our nation’s highest court ruled in Roe v. Wade in 1973 that a woman could kill her unborn child and that the child had no rights in the matter. And we do not talk about the roots of this ruling: an organization now called Planned Parenthood, founded by a woman many consider the “patron saint of feminism” and who advocated the forced sterilization of African-Americans, Irish and Italian-American Catholics, as well as coerced abortions to limit their population. It was Margaret Sanger’s views on coercive eugenics that informed Adolf Hitler’s own eugenics programs: an ugly truth, but truth nonetheless. Yet this organization receives hundreds of millions of federal and state tax dollars to perpetuate its goals with the imprimatur of our nation’s highest court.
When people wonder why so many in America seek the overturning of Roe, it is for all these reasons. It is a policy and ruling based on one of humanity’s greatest shames, more in line with the Dred Scott decision than with a truly enlightened and civilized people. It was a legal challenge based on a philosophy of hate and evil by an organization that today is protected by men and women who either have no sense or knowledge of history or who actually believe that the slaughter of tens of millions of our fellow man is simply no big deal.
And yet is a big deal because it has defined us as a society and a culture.
You can believe if you want to that Roe was decided in favor of the pro-abortion side simply because the court felt concern for women “trapped” in an unwanted pregnancy. But thoughtful and moral people will ask more questions. They will ask about the baby. They will ask about humanity. They will ask about the dignity of all people, and now, with the proof of technology backing profilers’ claims, they will ask about the role of reason and science in determining this important issue. They will also ask what truly motivates those who seek to protect the abortion industry, now a powerful and well-financed interest in America.
Our society now has little respect for human life because we foolishly believe that we are the masters of our life and our fate and need not answer for our actions.
But our society is answering for our actions: we sowed the winds of a culture of death and now we are reaping the whirlwind.
We saw it in the shootings in Annapolis last week, and we saw it in Florida earlier this year. We see it when states pass “right to die” laws with no protections for the mentally or physically infirm, yet won’t pass “right to use” laws that would allow terminally ill patients access to experimental health care procedures or drugs. We see it in the manner in which we choose not to address homelessness, or poor educational systems, or our immigration system.
In short, we live in a society of our own making in which we no longer respect the fundamental, God-given dignity of every human being, of every immortal soul. And until we do—and we won’t until we acknowledge our human failing and frailties—our society will remain the raw, open wound we experience daily.
Overturning Roe will not solve our society’s problems because it will not resolve the inherent tension between conflicting belief systems, one which claims we are products of chance, the other which holds we are the ultimate end of an intelligent Creator and are imbued, therefore, with eternal souls. In fact, it is almost certain that even the promise Roe being overturned will divide our culture even more than it is divided now.
But consider this: those of us who support extending the opportunity for happiness and peace to the unborn are not doing so to limit or hinder the same for women or their husbands or partners. We do so to right a terrible wrong: the empowerment of an idea and its chief organizational enabler that are grounded in the most hateful and despicable philosophy and acts humanity has ever imposed on itself. We do so to renew again a culture of respect and dignity for every human life, not just the single life we so misguidedly believe we own and control through the power of our own birth.
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