Joe Biden’s 800-Pound Gorilla

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We’ve been hearing a great deal of noise lately from Democrat politicians about Judge Amy Coney Barret, in whose dark soul they are horrified to find that “the dogma lives loudly…” So intolerable is the threat she poses, they tell us, that in thwarting her nomination to the Supreme Court they are engaged in the most noble and necessary task imaginable. Keeping the nation safe from Roman Catholic bigotry, you see, has become a full-time job.

What they really need to do is to lighten up. Because, quite simply, there are no dogmas requiring her, or anyone else for that matter, to believe in the humanity of the unborn child. Acceptance of that fact is not a dogma of faith, it is a datum of science. Why on earth would anyone need faith to affirm the most obvious truth about life in the womb? Doesn’t everyone already know babies are human? They are certainly not pumpkins or squirrels. Perhaps someone should sit down with these people and parse the difference between a dogma of religion and a datum of reason. It needn’t take a trained specialist in embryology to point out a reality as plain as a potato. Isn’t that, after all, the usual sequence of events that takes place when women become pregnant? That they suddenly discover they’ve become mothers, too, which is why they’ve been equipped with wombs intended to shelter the child until birth? This is not rocket science.

Unless, of course, the child’s natural trajectory is interrupted by violence. Which is the whole point of abortion, isn’t it? To inflict terminal damage upon a child who has been adjudged by others to be unwelcome. Why doesn’t Joe Biden know this? Is he that mentally challenged? Someone should reacquaint the former Vice President with the facts of life, distinguishing along the way between faith, the exercise of which involves belief, and facts, about which we simply know. Otherwise the country will never escape such idiocies as the following stock response delivered anytime he’s asked to account for his position on life. “I’m prepared to accept,” he will invariably reply, “as a matter of faith, the Church’s teaching on the issue of abortion; but what I’m not prepared to do is to impose a precise view that is born out of my faith on other people who are equally God-fearing…that have a different view.”

It is all a function of faith, you see, and faith being a gift, those who don’t have it can’t be expected to know (much less defend) the child in the womb. Have you got that? Any more than, say, believers in the Holy Trinity can legitimately tell the state to impose that particular dogma upon an unbelieving citizenry.

What an unholy cop-out. It is, moreover, an astonishing piece of nonsense. So transparently moronic that even a ten-year-old child could refute it. In fact, I know of a ten year old who has. My granddaughter, who, in a letter she recently wrote to the former Vice President, reminded him of certain hard truths he has conveniently chosen to forget:

You are pro-abortion. And yet your mother said yes to life in order to bring you into the world. You think your life is more important than the lives of the innocent. I am proud to say that I have four siblings. The youngest, my baby sister, is a joy to have. She brings laughter to our family. I love her so much. Mr. Biden, the lives of babies are important to the human race.

Now there’s an ice-breaker. Will he answer her letter? Of course not. On the other hand, if enough people vote against him next month, he’ll likely have time enough on his hands to go through all his mail. Who knows, maybe he’ll thank her for speaking truth to power.

Meanwhile, the eight hundred-pound gorilla continues to go unnoticed. And yet it is the defining issue in this election. I say that despite what the media have long conditioned the rest of us to believe. Because, in the absence of the right to life, no other right is secure; it is the linchpin on which everything depends. On no other issue can it be said that to disregard and destroy innocent life is an evil intrinsic to the act itself. No amount of good done elsewhere, from immigration reform along our borders to uprooting poverty and racism in our cities, can redeem the failure to protect children in the womb.

Isn’t it ironic that on this issue of life, the position taken by Donald J. Trump should prove to be no different at all from the one taken by Abraham Lincoln on the matter of slavery? If it is not wrong, then nothing is wrong. And that for all his personal shortcomings, an exhaustive inventory of which we’ve been treated to these past four years, both Trump and Lincoln are on the exact same page. Under a Biden presidency, the cause of innocent human life in this country hasn’t got a chance. It will be as dead in the water as all those babies left to die in their mothers’ wombs.

And here’s the final irony. That a truth which even ten-year-olds are prepared to defend—indeed, to go on record in giving public witness to—so many of our clergy and laity have chosen not to uphold. By their silence, they add to the sum of the world’s evil.

[Photo credit: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images]

Regis Martin

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Regis Martin is Professor of Theology and Faculty Associate with the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He earned a licentiate and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Martin is the author of a number of books, including Still Point: Loss, Longing, and Our Search for God (2012) and The Beggar's Banquet (Emmaus Road). His most recent book, also published by Emmaus Road, is called Witness to Wonder: The World of Catholic Sacrament. He resides in Steubenville, Ohio, with his wife and ten children.

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