This week I’ll address the controversy of abortion. As college graduations and commencement ceremonies go this season’s were relatively uneventful – except on the campus of Notre Dame University. This year the Catholic school had a very special guest for its commencement address: President Barack Obama.
Having President Obama speak at Notre Dame is like having Ted Kennedy address graduates at BYU – not that it’s shocking, in and of itself, but that it’s out of character. And, frankly, there’s nothing really wrong with being forced out of character once in a while.
But there is something wrong willfully choosing to entertain someone who represents a few very serious things you don’t. In this case, President Obama represents the culture of death that its host does not. Obama supports abortion and the raft of ancillary issues that go with it. The Catholic culture of Notre Dame is pro-life and supports the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
As you’d expect, the President’s visit wasn’t without controversy. Pro-life protestors lined up for days to express their views. As did several students and faculty members in support of President Obama.
Abortion is a protracted policy conflict. In these days, it will not go away. It heats up fervently and then dissipates quickly. It has to – there are no nuances to play with that allow reasonable people to find middle ground. And that’s because there isn’t any middle ground.
Abortion is either the taking of human life or it’s not. The dividing lines are pretty stark.
Conservatives believe in a right to life. We read those words in the Declaration of Independence. This inalienable right to life derives from the “self-evident” truth that our ideas about the world we live in are guided by “Nature and Nature’s God.” In other words, conservatives view law and culture in terms of natural law.
What this means for you and me is that our laws and policies should match our behavior to our identity. Who we are should dictate what we do. The fact that we are human beings should dictate our behavior. Our behavior should always reflect the essence of what it means to be human.
Of course, that point is the basis for the modern culture war. Secularists don’t believe in God to any useful degree, so natural law – and, evidently, the Declaration of Independence – is meaningless to them. And even liberals and civil libertarians, who might believe in God, but who believe in themselves more, invoke an ideological view of the separation of church and state when they choose to act selfishly and contrary to what they know in their hearts about what they ought to do.
There are few acts less selfish than killing an innocent baby in the womb. Natural law is pretty clear on this one. You don’t unnecessarily kill the very thing you are. You don’t reach inside a human being and rip apart another little human being unless you have a greater cause at hand. The greater cause for liberals is pure selfishness. Most abortions are on demand, meaning most abortions occur because of selfishness.
Conservatives understand that greater causes do exist, such as the life of the mother or horrific circumstances that create life but can hardly be lived with. Even then, natural law instructs us to be very careful about the decision to take the life of an innocent baby in the womb.
Rather than consume it upon their lusts, secularists and liberals should look in the mirror on this issue of abortion. Can you really say that you’re not taking a human life – that you’re not really killing an innocent child?
Thankfully, Utahns consistently vote to protect life. May it ever be so.
I’m Paul Mero. Thanks for listening.