On January 22, we marked the bloodiest anniversary in our nation's history: 42 years since the legalization of abortion. Over 55 million irreplaceable, unrepeatable human beings directly killed. But how? How did we get here? How is it even possible?
Back in June 2011, I wrote about a phenomenal book called What We Can't Not Know, by Professor J. Budziszewski, former atheist. The book is a primer on Natural Law, and it covers a lot about the human conscience, including how we can circumvent it, ignore it, dull it, lull it, or trick it, but how we ultimately cannot escape it.
In a section called "Denial", Budziszewski hits specifically on the topic of abortion:
We can't not know that it is wrong deliberately to take innocent human life; parsing the rule, we find only six possibilities of rationalization.To follow, I condense and paraphrase the six possibilities he lays out, beginning with what we all know through the light of human reason alone (i.e., the Natural Law):
"It is wrong deliberately to take innocent human life."
So, in order to give ourselves permission to take innocent human life deliberately, we play with the rule.
1) It is wrong deliberately to take innocent human life.
2) It is wrong deliberately to take innocent human life.
"I'm not taking this life, the doctors are doing it. I'm not really involved in this act, it's on the abortionist."
3) It is wrong deliberately to take innocent human life.
"The fetus is not innocent. It is an aggressor, an intruder, an uninvited parasite, practically a rapist."
4) It is wrong deliberately to take innocent human life.
"The embryo or fetus is a thing, not a human person with human rights. It's too small, it's not sentient. It has the potential to become a human."
5) It is wrong deliberately to take innocent human life.
"It's not really alive. It's just a blood clot or a blob of tissue."
(This one is harder to slip by the conscience in the age of ultrasounds.)
6) It is wrong deliberately to take innocent human life.
"But sometimes we have to do what is wrong."
Budziszewski's take on #6 (emphasis mine):
This is the most disturbing rationalization of all, because it embraces the wrong with eyes wide open. The temptation is ancient: "Let us do evil that good may result." .... [I]n the present state of the revolution that began with sex we go on past abortion and explore other kinds of killing, like infanticide and the slaying of the weak, the old, and the sick. You cannot justify one evil yet expect the others to keep their place. The cloth of the moral law is too tightly sewn for that; it is made of a single strand. Pluck loose one stitch, and the rest unravels too.... If we have already reached killing, what comes next?
I would argue that what comes next, specifically within the human psyche, is not a pretty place to be:
Please read it. It's so important. And it all makes sense, doesn't it?
It's often only after we fall into that dark and terrible place that we are moved to turn around again and face the light. Thank heavens for the workings of the conscience (however terrible), the truth of what we can't not know, and the severe mercies of God.
|It is wrong deliberately to take innocent human life.|