NEWS FROM THE CENTER FRIDAY DIGEST - June 3, 2022 The End of Roe, Back to the Voters, a Return to Civility?
There is nothing like being there. Because of my work in Washington, D.C., I have been present at the Supreme Court for the two days that could change our country. First was the day that the Dobb’s Case was argued before the Supreme Court back in December 2021. And the second, May 3, 2022, was the day of protests fueled by the illegally leaked Dobb’s “potential- outcome” brief, leaked before the final ruling in June. Simply stated, the Court would finally do what it should have done those many years ago. It would state unequivocally that Roe v. Wade is not a “constitutional” matter. No matter what your views on abortion, this ruling would merely return it to the voters. So, a move that has been anticipated by jurists, politicians, and average folks on both sides of the question, now is coming to fruition.
But what has been the response? True to form, the methodology, evident these past few years in Washington, D.C., and around the country, “the literal shaming and intimidation of one particular, public policy position” is being ramped up like never before. It does not matter how rational the pro-life argument or how protective it is of everyone’s First Amendment, conscience rights, or how shaky the “viability” counterargument is, such views are met with outrage, threats, and violence. Demanded is obeisance, not compromise, submission, not dialogue . . . or else. Having witnessed much of this firsthand, that is not an overstatement, but an unfortunate reality of today’s politics. Whether it was the smearing of Judge Kavanaugh at his hearings, or the ubiquitous violence around the country, or the de-platforming of various constitutional opinions (ours included), or the intimidation of senators and congressmen/women in at their homes, or even the bullying of peaceful diners in restaurants by flash mobs, this strategic response (now being orchestrated illegally at Supreme Court justices’ homes) of violence and intimidation is monodirectional. The reason? The justification? One side is outraged!
But, what if, overall, they (we) are not? What if the moves of the Court are merely returning these contentious issues back to the people where they belong? What if, despite the outrage, these issues are finally given back to all of us, back to the voters and their elected, accountable representatives. How can that be an “outrage to the people”? At the latest protest on May 3, I listened to Senator Warren, amongst others, proclaim over and over again that she was mad, angry, and not going to take it anymore. I, and many others, wanted to know “What in the ruling are you angry about?” The potential ruling—whose leak should make us all angry because it is a blatant attempt to intimidate the justices—demonstrated that the justices are actually trying to put this contentious issue back where it belongs, no more, no less. Even the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg—no pro-lifer for sure—realized that Roe v. Wade was on shaky grounds constitutionally. This latest potential outcome is taking NO SIDES on the issue of abortion. Why? Because abortion is, in fact, not in the Constitution, and everyone who takes this moral issue seriously sees that. In fact, at the time of Roe in 1973, the nation was trending towards the pro-life view state by state. The Court literally ruled against the people then. Might it finally be ruling in line with the Constitution and the “people” finally today?
But some are outraged . . . outraged that we cannot continue to target the most vulnerable among us barbarically as disposable commodities not persons; outraged that we might stop the abortion number at 60 million children—the elimination of babies of all races, colors, and ethnicities who were dismembered, burned to death, vacuumed out of the womb, all to be discarded like trash; outraged that the gruesome, billion dollar industry of abortion, which traffics in the death of children, even making money by trafficking in “unused” baby parts, might be mercifully be stopped in its tracks. The Supreme Court, sadly, is not dealing with any of this.
Maybe those of us who believe that both the mother and the child are precious should be outraged. Why? How about the fact that the abortion industry does not deal with pre-natal, post-natal care? It has never been “healthcare” for the baby and there’s no real “healthcare” for the mother either, truth be told. There’s just abortion, the most violent of final solutions. Then there is the growing industrial complex that is the abortion industry, making millions of dollars from this barbaric practice. So, maybe we should match the “outrage” of this week with more “outrage!” But that is not what the Church and the pro-life movement have been doing for the last 50 years. “Speaking the truth in love,” we must continue to move forward with civility, with grace, with a love for the sanctity of life FOR ALL PEOPLE.
That is where we are. And from what I’m seeing both here in Washington, D.C., and around the country, that is where most people of goodwill are from both sides of the aisle. Many, in fact, do not think that abortion is a “good” thing. Most feel it should be regulated, especially when the baby’s heart is beating etc. For those of us who know scientifically that the baby is a baby from conception, who also know that God Himself values every soul, man, woman, and child from the moment of conception, maybe even that is not sufficient. But we all know deep in our hearts that disposing of children like trash as a “protected” right is never the “right” answer for a civil country. There has to be a better way.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, the Supreme Court, in their ruling, is not going to even hint as to what that way might be. They will leave that to the people. It will be left to citizens who, with their First Amendment conscience rights and responsibilities, will try to live moral/virtuous lives for their families, friends, and communities in this regard as well. For those of us who are pro-life (Democrats and Republicans), we will still be left with this generic ruling that takes no stand on the morality or immorality of abortion on demand as a method of contraceptive, but one that overturns it as a constitutional issue, putting it back in the laps of those who have the right to determine this discussion in our society, the people of the country.
I am beginning to see people who are past the anger, those trying to come together around principles that honor all. The March for Life events have argued away many of the shibboleths of the pro-abortion movement. Pro-life is pro-woman, pro-science, pro-family, pro-husbands, pro-culture, and most of all, pro-child in the womb as a living, breathing, human being, a gift from God. There are 20 million pro-life Democrats (DLP); there are many millions of pro-life Republicans. But did you know that on the day of Dobb’s in 2021, I even met atheists for life, progressives for life, and pro-life people from every ethnicity, race, and economic strata of our country? There was no anger, but there was a common bond of the principle of life. There was no vitriol, but a mutual understanding that this is an issue that cannot be dealt with by government or judicial fiat. It is time to move forward with the principles that bond us, that can help us move forward with dignity and even more important, civility. And who knows? The truth might be that the rest of the country is already there.
So, something to think about and pray about. Maybe the vitriol inside the Beltway, in the mainstream media, and in a small sliver of politicians (remember again that there are even 20 million pro-life Democrats) isn’t among the American people at large. Let us hope so. Let Roe be overturned. Let the abortion debate be returned to the citizens. And let civility return as each of us cherishes the other as the sacred life that we are and should be.
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz is the executive director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty.
Need something to listen to on the drive home today? Learn more about the dangers of Planned Parenthood in an Issues, Etc. interview with Carol Tobias, the executive president of National Right to Life.
Why does God say that each person matters? And where does a human’s innate value come from? Click here to read more.
“The Christian reason for opposing abortion is ultimately theological: We believe and agree with what God says about human dignity. While there are compelling economic, scientific, and moral arguments against abortion, ultimately they all fail to explain why a person in the womb—or any person—matters and has a right not to be murdered. Only the God who created humans, and therefore ascribes us value, can do that.” – Allie Beth Stuckey
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