at Catholic Online
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand."
Our house is divided and may not stand much longer. We've been bitterly divided once before, and just as the evil of slavery nearly tore our nation in two, so will the evil of abortion and the desecration of marriage. We seem poised on the verge of a new Civil War. (The difference now, of course, is that those who value the sanctity of human life will not wage war on fellow citizens. We cannot kill in the name of stopping the killing.)
The modern-day battle is for true marriage and the humanity of the child in the womb.
There's no way to satisfy the demand of full "equality" for cohabiting homosexuals in a newly-invented view of "marriage" and still protect religious liberty. Any exception written into same-sex "marriage" laws to protect those people or institutions who define marriage as between a man and a woman will always be rejected by homosexual marriage equivalency groups.
The two views of what constitutes marriage are irreconcilable; there's no way to accomplish so-called "equality" in marriage and still allow individuals or institutions the freedom to reject that so-called "marriage equality" based on their faith teachings or upon the Natural Law. The stage is set for a bitter clash that has no solution. The writing on the political wall right now clearly says that the Constitutional right of religious freedom will be sacrificed on the altar of the homosexual equivalency movement.
This is the divided state of America.
It is the same with abortion. It comes down to a stark and unyielding difference: one side says the unborn are human beings from the moment of conception; the other side says it's just tissue, just cells, an insentient thing that has no right to anything. Both cannot be true. Both cannot be even partially true. One is entirely true and the other is entirely false.
Science tells us that at the moment of conception, a genetically unique human being is created and exists. The size of the human being is not the issue, nor is that human being's independence or awareness or intelligence. There exists, in point of fact, a human being who did not exist before.
With science against them, those who demand abortion now switch their argument to whether or not this human being is a person. Personhood, under their rules, requires physical separation from the mother, as well as the ability to survive apart from her. Many go even further and insist that personhood requires a certain degree of intelligence, self-awareness, and function. By their standards, a newborn, a 2 month-old infant, even a toddler is not a person.
Mostly though, their demand for abortion revolves only around the woman and her "rights" to do whatever she pleases with her body. Do not bother them with the logic that it is not the woman's body being destroyed in an abortion, nor with the logic that the woman's actions (her choices) are the reason the baby is now residing in her womb. They insist that the baby is nothing more than a parasite and no woman is obligated to play host to such an unwanted intruder.
So which is it? Will we decide once and for all that a newly conceived child in the womb is a meaningless, parasitic clump of tissue or a human being? We cannot continue to have it both ways. A choice -- a real choice -- must be made. We can dispassionately look at reality and science and acknowledge the truth, or we can continue to write our laws based on sophistry and willfully blind, self-interested, and unjust emotional demands.
No longer can we continue to hide behind euphemistic rhetoric. We take cover under the deceiving phrase "terminating a pregnancy". Childbirth terminates a pregnancy, but it doesn't kill the child. A pregnancy does not happen apart from a baby. We're terminating babies, not pregnancies.
We spit out the word "fetus" with a pejorative tone and use it as a shield, as though the term magically empties the child of all human value -- because that's exactly what we want the term to do for us that we might more comfortably live with our "choice."
When we scream for "choice", we have to summon the guts to admit what choice we're talking about. We want the right to kill our babies. We want the right to kill our babies. That's what we're talking about. Is that who America is? Is that who America wants to be?
We want the right to take a chemical poison and cause a 9, 10, or 11-week fetus to die and be expelled from the womb as though he or she were nothing more than a large blood clot. We want the right to suction a baby out of the womb as though we were vacuuming out our cars of junk and stray french fries.
We want the right to reach into the womb and dismember a 23-week fetus. We want that right so badly that we delude ourselves into thinking it's moral and just and even compassionate. Which of us would find it compassionate to dismember a 2 month-old infant? Why is it any different simply because the dismembering is done on a smaller baby who is still in the womb? Does that make the dismembering kinder? Does it make the dismembering less grotesque? Does it make the act itself respectable? Of course not.
We can't delicately operate on a 23 week-old fetus in one room and stab the heart and crush the skull of a 23 week-old fetus in the room next door. We call the first an example of life-saving, miraculous medical advancement and the other a sacred "right" and protected "freedom." One child is considered a patient and the other child is not considered anything at all.
How long can we perpetuate this absurd incongruency?
This intellectual dishonesty is leading us toward national schizophrenia. We simply cannot insist that to kill one child is moral, right and respectable while to kill another child is abhorrent and criminal.
Either it is moral, right and respectable to kill a child at any age and stage of development or it is abhorrent and criminal and the height of evil. It must be one or the other. Either we will protect our defenseless children from harm, or we'll inflict the harm ourselves and call it our right.
It's time for honesty. Those who demand abortion must come clean and say out loud, "We want the right to kill our babies." Those who legislate for abortion on demand must come clean and say, "We will make sure it's legal to kill our babies and pay for it with our taxes."
Those who want to sit on the fence rather than "tell someone else what to do" must come clean and say, "I'm content to let it be legal to kill our babies. That's okay with me."
The issue is not "reproductive rights" but the humanity of the child in the womb. The question is not one of "equality" in marriage, but of defending the foundation of the family, and the unchangeable meaning of marriage.
In both cases, the conflict demands a final and coherent answer. Government does not have that answer. The Church does. But we're not really "one nation under God" anymore, are we? Soon we may not be one nation anymore either.