5/19/2009

Happy Abortionist Day

"I started with a national Foxnews interview along with Fr. Richard McBrien. We were asked our views of the Commencement. My message was: Everyone can imagine people they would protest speaking at a commencement: an avowed racist, anti-Semite, or advocate of terrorism. So the failure to object to one who is unwilling to call for an end to abortion is the failure to see that abortion is as bad or worse than those other evils. We have to stop trivializing abortion."
--Fr. Pavone, at Notre Dame

Abortion trumps all evil because it combines racism with terrorism and worse. But Fr. Jenkins didn't invite an abortionist to the commencement; he invited a President who champions abortionists. The analogy doesn't work, as much as I praise Fr. Pavone's sentiment.

So what is the better analogy? Inviting Obama would be like inviting a President who was pro-slavery. It would be like inviting...Thomas Jefferson. More than one person of color has expressed to me their distaste of President Jefferson: "Sure he said all men were created equal, but he still owned slaves!" I'm sure any university at the time of his presidency would have been honored to have so distinguished a commencement speaker as Thomas Jefferson at their podium. Yet now we find him odious simply because he owned slaves.

At the time, it didn't seem like such a big deal. Half the country owned slaves. Owning slaves was something one did. Need cotton? Buy a slave! Wife got you in the doghouse? Find a negress! It's just how things were. Beating up black people was good sport in those days.

Do you suppose anyone but an abolitionist would have found Jefferson objectionable? Other than the abolitionists, would anyone have given a farthing if he was asked to deliver a commencement address? Now, to keep the analogy clear, it's not like Jefferson personally approved of slavery on principle. After all, he enjoyed his black mistresses, and probably did not equate his sex with them to sex with livestock. He knew that slaves were people too; but it's not like he personally sustained the slave trade. He just owned a few (and kept them very healthy, mind you).

Inviting Jefferson was not like inviting a slave driver to speak at commencement.

huh...Is my analogy failing or did I just prove Fr. Pavone's point?

Oh yes-- giving President Obama this honor fails to recognize his disgraceful record on human rights. It renders legitimate an industry that noone but the modern abolitionists protest. It makes abortion seem like something ordinary or decent, as opposed to the reality.

If aborting children is so honorable a profession, why don't we see women singing its praises? Why don't we send Christmas cards to our family abortion provider? Why don't we hear conversations like, "Can't pick up the kids from soccer today honey, I've got that appointment with my abortionist!" or "Could you pick up my dry cleaning on your way back from the clinic, sweetie?"

Back in the day, if you owned a slave, you could walk with pride through the streets, your little nigger-boy in tow. If your slave misbehaved, you could cuff him publicly, and folks would have nodded their heads in approval, "quite right! put that upstart in his place!" and that sort of thing.

Why were abortions ever done in back alleys to begin with? If it's no big deal, why don't hospitals have Fetal Termination wings next to the Pediatric wing? If it's such a healthy, wholesome activity, why don't we do more of it? Women could stop using contraception: keep the first two and dispense with the rest. Clinics could be combined with spas: get your pedicure while you wait! Maybe Hallmark should start a new line of greeting cards: "Praying that your abortion goes well" or "Some days call for chocolate...but I got you this card instead. Hope your uterus heals~"

Maybe we're all too embarrased to admit that abortion is evil. After all, a goodly sum of our tax dollars pay for it regularly. That would be like admitting we supplied guns to terrorists. No, it would be like admitting that smoking leads to cancer. Some folks still don't understand what the big deal was about plantations: "they got fed, didn't they?"

But did we wait until the slaveholders agreed on principle that owning another human being was wrong before we made it illegal? We'd still be waiting.

President Obama will one day be regarded like Jefferson: "sure he broke the color barrier, but he advocated abortion!" In that hopefully-not-too-distant future, people will say, "gosh, he did so many things well, why was he so wrong on this one issue?" or better yet, people will be unable to comprehend how anyone in their right mind could have supported keeping abortion legal when it did so much to hurt women. They will shake their heads in confusion when they read how the women's rights movement fought for something that completely contradicted their principles.

Just like people speak of Edison, "he was a great inventor...but did you hear he was anti-Semite?" people will hopefully speak of Obama and the many politicians who remained on the wrong side of this issue for so long. Whether or not one owned slaves was not a litmus test in the early 1800s; now we comb through a candidate's logs to see if anything racially prejudiced was ever mentioned in private to an aide.

Is the Jim Crow South a better place for having been forced to stop lynching blacks? They might not agree, but I'm sure the black people think so! You see, it's possible for the government to go against the wishes of a powerful minority (the Klan, Planned Parenthood, etc.) and come out on the other end standing on the right side of history.

Failing to end slavery is now considered a reprehensible skeleton to have in one's closet. Failing to end abortion will one day be considered in the same way: a quaint curiosity of the past.

1 comment:

viverechristusest said...

Great post, Peters!

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