Skip to main content

Re-Thinking "The New Pro-Life Movement"

Nothing could ever remove from me the basic conviction that abortion is gravely immoral, and never acceptable. It still causes me to ask myself, "What would you trade to end abortion?" Would I trade a universal basic guaranteed income? How about universal health care? Strict gun laws? High taxes on the rich? My answer is an emphatic "Yes!" to all of these.

I haven't really thought about precisely what I think about those things in themselves; I might still reserve the right to think all those other ideas are imprudent, or incomplete. But the benefit of asking myself this question is getting at the gravity of "intrinsically evil." If I prefer my ideology to the truths about the dignity of the human person, then I must at least consider that, for all my passion for innocent children, I'm not really prepared to do anything and everything licit to stop it. A Catholic priest in Confession has to weigh all these mitigating factors when assessing culpability, even when hearing sins this grave. If I consent to an economic system that puts such pressure on people that abortion becomes a live option via grave fear, these mitigating factors become aggravating factors in my sins of omission. If we sit and think about this, the NPLM doesn't seem so crazy.

Don't hear what I'm not saying. You are not obligated to support a $15 minimum wage, or Medicare for all, as though failing to do so is the same as holding the abortionist's scalpel. It is incumbent upon us to question a possible correlation between two things, however, and to at least consider that we're not doing much to take the scalpel out of his hand. That he might continue to have demand, because of things we have advocated.

At the very least, I owe it to the truth to consider the merits of other ideas in themselves, and to stop using the scandal of abortion as a substitute for the licitness of my ideology. Some person's advocacy for "choice" might be inconsistent with other advocacy on behalf of the weak, but that is no permission to ignore the weak, or to actively harm them. I cannot really pursue the good, if I do not consider the possibility that I may have caused harm, or consented to it. Because of this consideration, I cannot worry only about intrinsic evils.  Anything that is morally licit is therefore a valid public policy option. Or do I believe that the truth about climate change (for instance) stands or falls on the perfection of those who raise the alarm? If that were so, it's a kind of political Donatism. Whataboutism is the disease of the political Donatist. May we quickly recover from this disease, and get about doing good in cooperation and solidarity with all people of good will.


Popular posts from this blog

Underneath, It's All The Same

 As a general rule, I hate "pox on both your houses" takes on politics. Most of the time, I'm inclined to think that a particular person chooses this take because someone else has made them uncomfortable with a certain aspect of their own philosophy. If they adopt a posture of cynicism, maybe they can escape the moral force of that criticism. That could be bulverism in any one case, but I have seen it before, and I can't paint a picture without generalizing. Anyway, I didn't come here to talk about that. I came here to say that both major parties in the United States--and the people themselves--have embraced the absolute individualism at the heart of classical liberalism. Rightists want freedom from constraint in economics, environment, religious liberty, and a few other things. Leftists don't believe in this absolute individualism with respect to economics or the environment (not to mention religious liberty), but they do embrace it with respect to human sexu

You're Not Going To Die If The Democrats Win The Elections

I guess I'll tell you my gripes with Crisis magazine: the whole thing sounds like a Rod Dreher fever dream. You would think that armies of drag queens were kidnapping children to take them to the infamous Story Hour, in some kind of right-wing dystopian novel that is the reverse of The Handmaid's Tale. Come on, man. In other news, I would like to congratulate the Democrats, on seemingly finding some semblance of an economic message. You know, I'm old enough to remember when they actually were the party of the working class; it seemed like there for a while, they were the party of debt-ridden upper-class English majors, complaining because their slice of the pie lacks cherry sauce. [Wait, aren't they still those people?--ed.] Too soon. Anyway, I am what they used to call a "social conservative". And to be clear, I am not a social conservative for the sake of winning an election; I really believe and try to do the things that I say in this regard. Someone, howev

Final Election Analysis

 We might even say we're mere hours away from beginning to know who will assume the office of president on January 20 of next year. I'll cut right to the chase: I think this is going to be a really big win for Joe Biden. Real Clear Politics has shown a very heavy right bias, in the including of sketchy online polls, and in delaying the release of live voter polls more favorable to Joe Biden. Even so, their national polling average shows the lead for Biden at 7.8%. Keep in mind that if that were to hold, it would be a bigger percentage margin than Barack Obama achieved in 2008. The state polls are tight nearly everywhere, but they show clear leads for Joe Biden. The upper Midwest probably will not make any presidential calls on the night of the election, but Biden's lead in states that Trump should absolutely easily hold in a reelection campaign indicates to me that the president is in real trouble. He achieved a popular vote percentage in 2016 of 46%. He's going to be n