I oppose abortion for one reason: Abortion kills a living child.
I don’t have any other reason for opposing abortion. If abortion didn’t kill a living child, I would not oppose it. In fact, if abortion did not kill a living child, then opposing it would be wrong.
But I do not just oppose abortion. I am pro life. That means I also oppose the misogyny, violence and discrimination (both legal and social discrimination) that leads to abortion. For a long time, I bought into the idea that the pro life movement was both pro woman and pro life. I believed that the movement believed its own cant about the sanctity of all human life, from conception to natural death.
Then along came Trump and the big reveals of true motivation and amorality that followed. Donald Trump’s reign over the minds and hearts of the pro life movement has been like a dark soul reveal party. Suddenly the demons of racism, misogyny, indifference to human life and destructiveness for the sadistic pleasure of burning things down took off their masks of politesse pretend and came out as themselves.
In one all-encompassing act of hate-chanting at rallies and he-didn’t-mean-what-he-said dissimulation, his followers gave their souls away. Lying, stealing, sadistic cruelty, complete indifference to the lives and welfare of other people, rape, sexual assault, racism up to and including murder by cop, destruction of our country, insurrection and dictatorship all became values that the “pro life” movement, including its clergy, openly supported. That weaselly little psychopath, Donald Trump became the moral pied piper, leading pretend Christians and pretend pro lifers away from the cross and the idea of the sanctity of human life and straight into the jaws of anything goes amorality.
“Pro life” became meaningless political quick silver, a talisman that right wing politicians wore to get past the gatekeepers of morality in our society. And those same gatekeepers put their imprimatur on every sin described in the Gospels and the Ten Commandments.
Suddenly, lying, raping, killing, stealing became ok. Because abortion.
Ignoring health safety measures during a worldwide pandemic was preached as righteousness. Two — count them — two Catholic bishops went to the Supreme Court to get themselves and the Church exempted from following safety measures designed to save lives in a deadly pandemic. One of those same bishops can’t say enough about the need to excommunicate pro choice politicians because of “pro life” and neither he nor the right wing politicos who wrap themselves in his pretend righteousness acknowledge the stink of his hypocrisy.
In their eagerness to deify Trump and his minions, priests and preachers lied about the Gospels and eliminated Christ from Christianity. They taught that if a politician is part of the right wing, that politician is assumed to be “pro life,” and that gives them a free pass to commit any sin, up to and including paying for abortions for their girlfriends, and they will be given public absolution without so much as a mea culpa.
These clergy batter their flocks to vote for these same politicians. They use emotional blackmail to terrify people by claiming that they will go to hell if they don’t vote for the politicians the religious leader has chosen. Christians are told that they are required on pain of going to hell for eternity to vote for amoral, death-dealing, misogynist, racist sexual predators who are puppets for a select group of billionaires. They are told that no matter what these people do or how many people they kill or what they destroy, faithful Catholics have to vote for them. Because abortion.
The Church itself — The. Church. Itself. — has become an enabler and an enforcer of racism, rape, sexual assault, misogyny, corruption, lying, stealing, insurrection, lawlessness, ignorance, superstition, greed and its cohort impoverishment of the many. At the same time, the Church itself — The. Church. Itself. — is cashing in with payback for its political activity on behalf of right wing criminals. The Church is acquiring favorable changes in the tax laws, court decisions that define it as a protected class, and literally billions of dollars in aid that was supposed to go to ordinary people.
My friends, this is not pro life. It is the opposite of pro life. It is a national murder and suicide cult.
It has nothing to do with the simple fact that abortion is wrong because it kills a child.
Abortion is wrong because it is wrong to kill people. At a more basic level even than that, abortion is wrong because people matter.
Human life matters because human beings matter. White people matter. Black people matter. Brown people matter. Men matter. Women matter. Children matter. Old people matter.
Dementia doesn’t change that. Male and female doesn’t change it. Race doesn’t change it. Age doesn’t change it. Disability doesn’t change it. Poverty doesn’t change it. Wealth doesn’t change it. Power doesn’t change it. Powerlessness doesn’t change it.
Human beings matter.
I favor laws that support the sanctity of human life, including ending abortion, and I’ve got the scars to prove it. Abortion is wrong because it kills a living child. If it didn’t kill a living child, it would not be wrong.
By the same token, ignoring or fighting public health restrictions in a worldwide pandemic is wrong because it kills human beings. Human beings are made in the Image and Likeness of God. Human beings matter.
Lying is wrong because all human beings deserve the truth. We know lying is wrong because Jesus specifically singled lying out. He even called Satan the father of lies. Rape is wrong — every bit as wrong as abortion — because it is an attack on the humanity of half the human race and it is a direct attack on maternity, and on Our Lady. Rape is an attack on the life force itself, a kind of murder.
Cheating, stealing, corruption, bullying are wrong because they deny the sovereignty of God Who says they are wrong, because they create poverty, destroy justice and lead to despair. Cheating, stealing, corruption and bullying destroy the common good which allows people to live together in peace.
Greed is wrong because it is idolatry of money. It is wrong because it deprives other people of the goods of life. Greed leads inevitably to other sins against God and humanity.
Human beings are unique because we are free. We are moral agents. We can do good, and we can do great harm. We are the only creatures on this planet who can do evil. Because we can chose. Because we understand the consequences of our choices. Because we can know. We can think and understand. We can plan and remember. We can communicate with one another through the generations by the written word. We can build on what we know. We can chose. We can decide.
We don’t just kill. We murder. We don’t just breed. We rape. We don’t just use. We steal and hoard and deprive others, and ultimately, we destroy. We exploit, deprive and kill. We share, love, help and build.
We are moral agents. We can choose.
We can sin.
That is the signifier, the burden and the privilege of being made in the Image and Likeness of God.
Abortion is wrong because it kills a living child.
But this same right to life belongs to every human being, not just the unborn. You can’t kill people.
You can’t cheat people, steal from people, lie to people, rape people, subject people to discrimination, deprive people of the goods of life, impoverish people to feed your greed. You can’t in any way reduce a human being made in the Image and Likeness of the Living God to a thing or a chattel.
Catholics adore the Eucharist. We treat it with utmost respect. The thing we sometimes forget is that the unborn child, the elderly person with dementia, the raped girl, the murdered black man, the impoverished child searching through garbage for food, are the Eucharist in human flesh.
If you do it to the least of these, you do it to Me, Jesus told us.
Being pro life is an expression of that. It is not confined to politics and its end game is not making abortion illegal. “Pro life” is a simple political slogan expressing in two words the most basic teaching of Christ.
People are the Eucharist.
And you may not kill, cheat, lie to, steal from, exploit, rape, or deliberately harm them for your own selfish purposes.