Saint Paul, Minnesota’s city council recently announced they will celebrate an “Abortion Providers Appreciation Day”. This decision clearly sets the tone; Christians must draw the lines at every level to counteract the evil being promoted and accepted in our culture.
I remember during the Cold War how the message that we were in a monumental conflict for the “hearts and the minds of the people” was often expressed and taught in our schools, churches and in about in every element of our society. There was a recognition that the conflict with the communist mindset versus that of the west was real and had to be dealt with diplomatically, militarily, and educationally. The efforts bore fruit. The fall of Soviet Russia in 1990 is seen as the moment but it was the result of an almost 50-year struggle. While the big international conflicts between nations have been somewhat subdued there are remnants, that are seen in our current political discourse over socialism versus capitalism, the tyranny, and dictatorship in China to name a few. The battle over winning the hearts and minds has moved from that of people’s political views to that of morality and our view of humanity. It is a battle that the warrior in me is forced to engage in.
Abortion and the Political arena
The current political squabbles and political one up man ship where it seems both parties are about getting “points” for their side at the expense of dealing with problems makes one want to “tune” it all out. However, the St. Paul City Council’s act should get our attention that the political arena is being increasingly used to promote the evil and false propaganda that abortion is a positive and honorable thing. That act will probably prompt many more such acts of recognition for abortion supporters by governments, schools and who knows what else. It wouldn’t surprise me in the future to see a Kennedy Center award ceremony for the Abortionist of the Year. While that may be “over the top” at this time, I do believe that the progressive moral movement (of which abortion is the poster child) feels very emboldened to actively and aggressively go after the hearts and minds of us at all levels of our culture.
Besides local abortion advocacy, the national efforts are ramping up. An example is the Senate’s rejection of the Born-Alive Act. The legislation was to guarantee the life of a child that was born alive after an abortion. The bill did not pass because of the Democratic Senators voting against it that reflects their party’s’ stated party platform tenant advocating for abortion rights as a human and women’s right. It reminded me of the appalling celebration and cheering that occurred in 2019 when the New York State Assembly passed a bill that was just the opposite of the Senate bills intent. It allowed late-term abortions and the death of a born-alive child from abortion. In both cases, it was a cause of celebration for abortion advocates as something wonderful and of value. It is becoming very clear that for almost all Democrats in state and federal government that the right to abortion is being promoted as a right that extends beyond pregnancy and involves nothing less than the right to kill a child born alive.
Another recent example is Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders’ health care plan to guarantee free abortions for anybody wanting one. If elected President he is on the record that one of the first things he will do is to work to overturn the Hyde Amendment that prevents federal dollars to be used for abortion. The point to be made is that in the political arena, abortion is actively being promoted advocated and crafted as something that is good, beneficial and should be celebrated. It is an ever aggressive propaganda approach to win hearts and minds.
Not So Strange Bedfellows
Coalitions with abortion advocates are being established with those supporting assisted suicide and the variety of sexual freedom of expression issues from transgenderism to the entire LGBTQ agenda and are merging their energy to win the hearts and minds to an underlying concept – unlimited rights of self-creation. The right to abortion is being crafted with other so-called “rights” causes as part of the bigger effort for a new and expansion of human/feminine/sexual or “whatever” rights. So, get with the program – get on the “right side of history”. If not, then be regulated to being labeled hateful, bigots, xenophobes, etc.
I am firmly convinced it is not just an attack on the sanctity of life but an attack on one of the pillars of life support – the family. Drag Queen storybook hours and school health curriculums are further examples of an agenda being promoted across the country that is aimed to win the hearts and minds of our children to a new world view of the human person and the new view of unlimited rights that go against our human nature created by God. A recent example is seen in the United Nations Report on Religious Freedom which appropriately came out strongly that laws that criminalize people based on their sexual orientation should be repealed. Of note, is that the report grouped laws that restrict abortion in the same category that should be repealed.
Unlimited Freedom of Rights Propaganda
The messages being mobilized are very “slick” and subtle. It’s crafted as being tolerant of others’ choices, of being fair to other’s wants and needs. The agenda being expressed is presented in positive terms as being about guaranteeing our basic rights of self-determination and fostering human freedom to “be who we want to be”. Who isn’t for that? After all, we all want to be tolerant and fair and as the argument goes “who are we to judge”. I maintain that we do have a right to judge and should do so on matters of life, death, and the natural order and should call out the lies and false narratives.
Besides the narrative that abortion is positive and beneficial the scandalous views of Catholic politicians provide “political cover” for supporting abortion is, in my opinion, a significant factor influencing hearts and minds. The often heard hypocritical statements by Presidential candidate Biden and Speaker of the House Pelosi about personally being against abortion but that they don’t want to be unfair and force others to have to follow their morality is a sham because it isn’t just about their personal or Catholic morality. It is a morality regarding the sacredness of human life since creation. If they truly believe what the Church teaches that abortion is the taking of human life, then what they are really saying is I don’t personally want to kill a baby but its OK for you. The message that is sent is very clear. Abortion is acceptable and even as a Catholic, as they profess, it is OK to support it. The right to do what I want for my desires and needs trumps the right to life.
The Pro-life efforts since Roe vs Wade have been multifaceted and have met with some success but what I see now is an enemy gathering significant strength within the culture with all the advocates of allied causes. Being an election year the battleground is the political arena. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops put out there 2020 Forming Consciences for a Faithful Citizenship. As in the past, the notion of voting for a candidate who supports intrinsic evil such as abortion is expressed as a priority concern. However. there was a quite a dispute over watered-down statements by progressive Bishops such Cardinal Cupich of Chicago to treat abortion as just one of many social justice issues all of equal concern, Fortunately, their approach was voted down.
The intent to downplay the significance of voting for pro-abortion candidates should be a warning. It suggests a message that is being communicated more and more that all social justice concerns are equal so we can just pick our favorite and vote for who supports it. The problem is that abortion and related family and moral issues go way beyond “social justice” they go directly to the protection of life and a vote for a pro-abortion candidate is a vote for intrinsic evil.
Drawing the Lines
It is imperative that we draw the lines – the distinctions at all levels of our culture. The various pro-life activities such as 40 days for life, the prayer vigils, and the support for pregnancy centers, the outreach to those hurting and contemplating abortion must be supported and sustained. It is the face of the pro-life cause and goes a long way to winning hearts and minds.
At the same time, we cannot minimize the threat from the political and propaganda front that is being increasingly waged that paints abortion in a positive light. The false presentations must be confronted. In turn, those brave Bishops such as Strickland of Texas, Paprocki of Illinois, Burke of Wisconsin and Daly of Washington who stand firm that pro-abortion politicians should not partake of the communion should be supported.
Now is not the time to be quiet or timid. The message about the evil of abortion needs to be asserted and the contrast between life and the darkness whenever abortion is celebrated needs to be challenged. As Mother Teresa stated. “If a mother can kill her own child – what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me – there is nothing between”.