Ireland has always been known as a place of enchantment, particularly in its poetry, music, and dance. As if to remind us of this, the Emerald Isle itself is even shaped like a harp! But to adopt the metaphor of Don McLean’s classic song, American Pie, May 25 was “the day the music died” in Ireland. Figuratively speaking, Ireland is now a broken harp.
The disastrous abortion referendum in Ireland has given many good people cause to lament. I am one of them. Watching one of the few remaining bastions of pro-life strength in Europe fall to such a devastating onslaught was an agonizing moment for me, especially since “my people,” as they say, came from the old sod.
A Textbook Case of Abortion Assault
Some blame the scandals in the Catholic Church in Ireland for the rejection of the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life. I do not. The scandals certainly contributed to the decline of Church authority, which, when put to the test on so important an issue, was found seriously wanting. But the Irish have been rejecting the Catholic faith for a couple generations. As Russell Saltzman has noted in a perceptive article entitled, “Ireland and the Pagan Resurgence,” the Irish have drunk to the dregs the cup of paganism that St. Patrick had drained nearly sixteen centuries ago. They had finally reached the “critical mass” necessary to vote abortion in.
Abortion does not enter a culture overnight. (Communist countries are an exception, where atheism is imposed and abortion follows quickly.) It takes a great deal of time and effort to install a mentality that accepts the killing of unborn children as a “human right” in a historically Christian country. The abortion referendum in Ireland, however, is a textbook case of how the ministers of death work to implement their agenda – step by step, stealthily, patiently, by coercion and deception. The progress of an abortion assault is the same in every culture that has ever legalized abortion.
Step One: Make them prosperous so they do not need God
Millennials were not the first generation born after Ireland joined the European Union (EU) in 1973, but they are perhaps the first to experience the unfettered economic prosperity and culture change that issued from that decision. The regional agreement symbolized a Europe that was no longer unified by the Catholic faith (as it had been since the time of Charlemagne) but rather by money. It was initially called the Common Market or the European Economic Union, was it not?
The Irish bought into the promise of the “good life” that was assured by their entrance into the EU, and the windfall of materialism was calamitous. Oftentimes the increase of disposable income is directly proportionate to the weakening of religious practice, especially for those whose prosperity is new-found. That was certainly true in the case of Ireland.
It is not my purpose to critique capitalism here (of which we know there are many benefits) but simply to point out its negative effects on a society that had been poor by Western standards until it suddenly found itself flush with cash. In fact, the Irish economy was so robust from the mid-’90s to the late 2000s that economists called it the “Celtic Tiger” with an economic growth rate of between 6% and 9.5%. That is unheard of growth, and the entire Millennial Generation was born in that time period.
Wealth and globalism brought secular influences and anti-Christian ideologies in their wake (environmentalism, radical feminism, pornography, etc.). Neither of these influences had not been there before, except in isolated enclaves of academia and the media. These forces did their inevitable dirty work of loosening the grip of religious faith over the hearts and minds of the people. And they were especially effective when it came to the younger generations. The Bible calls this phenomenon “worldliness” with all its negative baggage (1 John 2:15-17). I call it Step One. The scandals of the Irish Catholic Church were simply served up on a platter in recent years by the atheistic media to strengthen the case against God, faith, and traditional morality.
Step Two: Target and weaken their Christian laws
Step Two was the legal blitzkrieg, accompanied by a slander campaign to vilify Christian values. Ireland voted to cast off traditional legal prohibitions to contraception in 1992, to divorce in 1995, and to gay marriage in 2015. Ireland was the very first country in the world to legalize it by popular vote. And the current Abortion referendum was actually the sixth in a series since the 1980s. These milestones and many other such challenges had an overall weakening effect on the laws and institutions of faith in Irish culture.
The international community piled onto little Ireland with its characteristic arrogance and unrelenting hostility. The practices of hauling Irish officials before boards of their peers, and shaming, blaming, and humiliating them are standard strong-arm tactics of the global elites. They have been very effective at coercing smaller nations into submission to the abortion agenda in this way. Intense pressure campaigns by the UN, the EU, the European Council of Human Rights, International Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International, among other groups, targeted Catholic Ireland with indictments of discriminatory, restrictive, oppressive, cruel, anti-woman, and anti-modern against Irish laws upholding traditional morality.
In recent years, embattled Irish governments simply stopped resisting international pressure and appointed compliant globalists as their representatives. One cabinet-level Irish government official, Katherine Zappone, for example, is a childless, married lesbian. She is also a Wiccan. Zappone aggressively campaigned for gay marriage in 2015 and then effectively used her office to promote abortion. She is the current Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.
The final pressure point was the hysterical reaction of the media/abortion conglomerate to the death of a woman named Aisha Chithira. Chithira died at the hands of a Nigerian abortionist in England after she was refused an abortion in Ireland. An investigation revealed that the poor woman died due to “repeated failures” (as many as 17) of the medical community to treat her properly. But the abortion lobby did not let the facts get in their way. They went into a frenzy to blame the abortion restrictions in Ireland for her death, which, not ironically, is exactly the type of pressure they used to legalize abortion fifty years earlier in England. The abortion playbook never changes.
Step Three: Indoctrinate their youth
With diabolical foresight and scheming, the abortion lobby chose the Millennial Generation as the likely demographic that would vote abortion in. Their “backward” Catholic parents and grandparents had to die off or become the minority before a new generation would accept something as horrendous as the wholesale killing of babies. It is not coincidental that the youth who voted for abortion are the first generation born with cell phones, universal access to cable TV programming, disposable income, and the Internet. These were the effective instruments of Step Three: Indoctrination.
In the lead-up to the referendum there was not a single major political party in Ireland that advocated for the pro-life side. With the openly-gay Irish Prime Minister leading the charge, the Irish nation threw open its doors to abortion on May 25, with two-thirds of the nation welcoming the new culture of killing. A full 87% of the 18-24 demographic – the Millennials – voted for abortion.
No one with a Christian heart or a functioning conscience could stomach the “celebrations” of the right to kill that took possession of the Irish mobs after the abortion vote. They were reminiscent of the atrocious revelries of the Golden Calf generation in Israel that brought a curse down upon the people in the desert (Exodus 32). Will the Millennial abortion vote do the same for Ireland? Those lugubrious voices have largely driven the sacred music from the country’s soul and destroyed the magnificent pro-life, Catholic culture of Ireland.
As I watched those aftermath videos I couldn’t help but think also of the Israelites in the first Book of Samuel clamoring for a king against the Lord’s wishes. Their reason: to be “like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5). The pretentious boast of every society that caves into abortion is always the same: “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15).
The Coming ‘Nuclear’ Fallout in Ireland
To discern the likely fallout of the Irish catastrophe we have only to view the benchmarks of cultural devastation in every nation where abortion has been legalized:
- Division: Irish culture and politics will be irreparably split down the middle between those who want the killing to continue and those who do not. The latter – the moral conscience of the nation – will be demonized as criminals, and the former will advocate for even more heinous offenses. Predictably, Ireland now plans to force Catholic hospitals to provide abortions, and we can expect euthanasia to follow quickly in abortion’s wake.
- Cultural jaundice: With abortion the law of the land, the nation will enter into an uneasy compromise with evil and turn a blind eye to other kinds of evils generated by their deal with death: the maiming of women; abortion as a cover-up for sexual abuse; the link between abortion and breast cancer, among other things.
- Undermining of the medical profession: The Hippocratic Oath will cease to have meaning or give guidance to the medical profession now; doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists and other medical personnel will become corrupted by abortion money or will compromise their consciences as they attempt to avoid various forms of cooperation with a heinous procedure that enjoys the endorsement of the law.
- Degradation of culture: The “altruistic” reasons for abortion (compassion, women’s rights, etc.) will soon give way to a pervasive culture of selfishness. Men will coerce women into abortions. Some 90% of women who have abortions will choose them for perfectly selfish motives, and abortion will become the default back up for failed birth control.
- De-population: Because Ireland is such a small country, it will more quickly feel the long-term effects of abortion, particularly in the population decline that is evident in every European country that has legalized abortion and is a ticking time bomb in China.
Everything the pro-life movement warned would happen as a result of abortion will happen. The nuclear fallout of such a diabolical decision will have devastating effects on Irish culture for generations – just as it has here in the U.S. – until they repent and return to sanity.
The Spiritual Problem and Solution
I am not one to blame the devil for every human problem, but the Evil One is most definitely the chief perpetrator of abortion everywhere. Jesus called him “a liar and the father of lies” and “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44), which is a fairly accurate description of what abortion is and how it comes about.
If the erosion of Christian faith is the root cause of Ireland’s acceptance of abortion, only a return to faith will be its solution. The demon of abortion does not tolerate reasoned argument or any level of compromise. It has to be rebuked and its serpents driven out of Ireland, again; a kind of spiritual warfare that is often necessary in the struggle for the soul of a nation.
Happily, the youthful, vibrant pro-life movement in Ireland is itself clear evidence that Catholic roots run very deep in that blessed soil. Not all the Millennials were corrupted. The astounding number of prayer campaigns, pilgrimages, Eucharistic and Rosary processions, and penitential actions carried out by pro-life youth in Ireland before the referendum was a marvel to behold and would have made St. Patrick proud.
No, their holy efforts did not succeed in keeping abortion out – apparently the Irish have to pay for their sins like every other nation on the face of the earth. But their actions were a brilliant Christian witness that would give my ancestors cause to cheer. In Ireland, as in America, the pro-life youth are the hope of the future. Ireland’s harp may be broken, but St. Patrick’s hallowed music will not be suppressed.