Abortion & Muslim Terrorism
At this time of the “changing of the guard” of the two Supreme Court justices in quick succession, many wonder about the future of legalized abortion in the U.S. With a Republican President and a GOP-controlled Congress, could prolife forces finally be about to get the upper hand? Social conservatives hope, and social liberals fear, that a newly formed Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision which quite arbitrarily — in what one dissenting justice called an exertion of “raw judicial power” — mandated that states have no right to restrict abortions.
This hope, indulged in primarily by Christian Right voters who are faithful adherents to the GOP, is easily negated. I won’t belabor the reasons why prolife Bush-backers are naïve in their positive assessments of the current President and his Party, since such observations have already been exhaustively made in these pages. I will simply note that President Bush himself hardly seems eager to touch the subject of abortion, except obliquely when necessary, in order to garner support from his base, and that the GOP today has altogether more enthusiasm about invading other countries in a hubristic effort to spread “democracy” and export dubious American cultural values than it does about preventing the continued, willful, and brazen destruction of innocent human life at home.
Instead of refuting the naïve Christian voters who put their trust in opportunistic political hucksters, I wish to address something deeper and more profound regarding the overall ethos of the prolife movement today. While throwing in their lot with the GOP may be a tactical mistake on the part of prolife activists, this mistake is a symptom of a larger, more complex failure on the part of the prolife movement. The biggest problem is one of attitude. In a nutshell, the American prolife movement suffers from a peculiarly American vice: excessive optimism.
Accompanying this notion of “if there’s a will, there’s a way” is an impatience with abstractions. In fact, we’re so uncomfortable with abstract concepts that our elected leaders frequently declare war on them. Once we had the “war on poverty”; now we are waging the “war on terror.” Similar rhetorical fronts have opened up against “hate,” “ignorance,” and “racism.” Such “wars” are, however, pathetically inadequate in the face of unspeakable tragedy and evil. There are in this world, after all, tragedies so immense and evils so black that no sense can be made of them, that one can only weep endlessly at the spectacular, stupendous horror of it all.
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