This is Our House. I Won’t Be Part of Burning It Down.

This is Our House. I Won’t Be Part of Burning It Down. January 22, 2020
Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead) public domain

I just published a post which made it clear that I am not going to allow the bishops to vote me in the upcoming elections. 

I also said that we have the votes to overturn Roe on the Supreme Court. While it is true that we do have the votes, it is also true that the Court has sent mixed signals about abortion since Kavanaugh was confirmed. 

I’ve been queasy about some of the more outlandish “pro life” bills that have been passed in various legislatures around the country. In the first place, those bills create laws that damage and attack women more than they are aimed at saving the lives of the unborn. They expose the misogynist core in the hearts of some pretend pro lifers.  

In the second place, these laws are so radical and crazy that they might tip the Court — this court which we have all but destroyed our democracy to gain — into “finding” a right to abortion in the Constitution. That would be much worse than Roe, which did not find such a right. Roe “found” a right to privacy, which is something else entirely. 

I am aware that this distinction seems almost nonsensical to people who aren’t used to dealing with lawmaking. But believe me, it is not. 

I was dismayed by the crazy “pro life” lawmaking because I saw that it had potential to snatch defeat for the pro life cause from the jaws of victory. The question before us right now is whether or not the Court is going to overturn Roe in the next few months. Just as important is how they overturn it, if they do. 

The prevailing wisdom has long been that the Court would de-federalize the issue of abortion and make it a state issue as it was before Roe. However, the flaw in this prevailing wisdom is that it is nothing but conjecture. The Supreme Court can do whatever it wants. There is no way to predict what that might be. 

Which brings us back to the reason why I’m writing this post. I do not want my prior statements to leave people with the impression that just because I think the survival of America is more important than any issue, that I am in any way deserting the pro life cause. Far from it. 

I see the survival of Western civilization, of which America plays a significant part, to be a key pro life issue. If America falls prey to anarchy and nihilism, if it continues this downward spiral into lawless amorality, then the entire edifice of Western civilization will be weakened to the point that it probably could not defend itself against the hegemony of a Communist and industrialized China and a lawless, gangster, oligarchical Russia. 

That is clearly what Putin has been working toward, and he is succeeding. A key component to his success has been the presidency of Donald Trump and the wrecking ball which Trump has taken to America’s role as world leader. 

It isn’t going to do us any good to pass American laws if we destroy America in the process. However, that does not change the fact that the carnage of abortion must end. 

It’s all — all of it — a matter of saving lives and defending the human. How do we thread the needle of bringing an end to legal abortion while defending the human rights of women and girls and also preserving this great democracy which our forebears fought for and built with their labor and blood? 

I think we do it with honesty and courage. We do it by taking responsibility for our country, each of us ourselves. And those of us who are Christians do it by standing firm in our faith in Jesus Christ. 

I know that many people look at President Trump and see a savior figure. But when I look at him, I see a monster. I see a man who is probably a psychopath, certainly corrupt, dishonest and cruel. I see a sexual predator, who is hollow inside, a pretender who doesn’t feel any of the things he pretends he feels, whose only allegiance is to himself. 

I think he is a quisling, a traitor, to this country. I think that he is destroying the edifice of alliances on which we have preserved the peace and avoided world war for decades. I think he has bankrupted this country financially and that this will come back to slam us in the face at some point in the future. I think he has degraded America and its people, and that our religious leaders have made a false god and a false idol of this terrible man. 

I also think that blind partisan loyalty is the hallmark of a second rate mind, of someone who cannot reason their way to their own understanding and take a position there and defend it. 

No. I will not be bullied and morally blackmailed into supporting this man. But I also will not allow him and his unthinking followers to drive me into abandoning the unborn. 

The right to life extends to all people, of every age and condition. It is just as much the right of my 94-year-old mother as it is an unborn baby. It belongs to every human being. 

America has fought a civil war over who is human. We have parried and thrust, quarreled and demonstrated about this question from our founding until now. The right to life movement is a continuation of that discussion. So long as it retains its nobility of purpose, it will prevail. 

But if the pro-life movement becomes just another cog in the wheels of a demagogue, if it allows itself to become an instrument used for evil purposes, then it is doomed to fail. 

If we keep going down this road of empowering monsters in the name of pro life, people will look back and spit on the memory of our movement. If official Christianity allows itself to become the tool of a demagogue who wrecks this country and sets up the destruction of the environment in which we all live, it will be cast aside and regarded as anathema. 

This is grown-up politics we’re playing at. It’s not a game. Wishful thinking and pretend don’t enter into it. I wish President Trump really was the man his blind followers think he is. But he is not. He’s a monster. And the messiah they think they see is someone they have made up in their own minds. 

I don’t have a specific tactic in mind for overturning Roe except to wait and see what the Court does with the law they are set to review. When they rule, then we can formulate tactics for going forward. However, any tactic we devise cannot ask people to support evils such as rape, misogyny or the destruction of America. Satan cannot cast out satan. 

This is our house. I won’t be part of burning it down. 


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