Patrick J. Buchanan
October 27 2004
In 1940, more than a year before Hitler's
Reich began the transfer of Polish Jews to concentration camps, Bishop
Clemens von Galen strode up into the pulpit of Munster Cathedral.
Word had leaked that the regime was engaged in "mercy-killing." The "useless eaters" of wartime Germany – deformed infants and the severely retarded – were being systematically exterminated.
This is "plain murder," thundered von Galen. He called on German Catholics to "withdraw ourselves and our faithful from their (Nazi) influence so that we may not be contaminated by their thinking and their ungodly behavior."
It's called moral clarity. Regrettably, it appears in short supply in the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Thirty-one years have elapsed since Roe v. Wade. Since that decision declaring abortion to be a constitutional right, 43 million unborn have been put to death. The equivalent of the population of Canada and Australia together has perished in the womb in "God's Country." Year in and year out, the death toll rises, with the equivalent of the population of Estonia done away every 12 months.
Yet, there is a possibility that in the next presidential term, three or four new Supreme Court justices could be appointed – more than enough to overturn Roe.
This would not end abortion. In socially "progressive" states like New York and California, it would likely have no effect. But it would return the issue to state legislatures, where some would vote to padlock abortion mills, others to restrict the practice, others to require parental notification, others to insist on a waiting period so women could be fully informed of the psychological, medical and moral consequences of what they were about to do.
If President Bush is re-elected, we have no guarantee he would nominate justices like Scalia, Rehnquist and Thomas, who would vote to overturn Justice Blackmun's 1973 decision. But the hope exists, for George Bush once said that the justice he most admires is the pro-life constitutionalist and conservative Antonin Scalia.
And Sen. Kerry? Well, the senator has a litmus test for Supreme Court justices. In the St. Louis debate, he said he would not nominate any judge who would imperil a constitutional right. And Kerry believes abortion is such a right. Should he win, Roe v. Wade is constitutional law, probably forever.
Where President Bush has denied any taxpayer funding of abortions, Kerry – asked in St. Louis if he would force pro-life Christians who believe abortion is murder to finance them with their tax dollars – said he would not deny poor women abortions they could not otherwise afford. In other words, a President Kerry would renew federal funding for abortions.
But Kerry went further: "I am a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life ... But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that."
Thus, President John Kerry would not act to protect the life of a single unborn child, because that would be imposing his religious beliefs on dissenters. But he will impose the moral beliefs of pro-abortion atheists and agnostics on Catholics and Christians by forcing them to fund what their faith teaches is the killing of innocent unborn children.
Kerry's position on the great moral issue of the age, an issue as great as slavery, is now as clear as his voting record.
He is a pro-choice extremist. He voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion. He voted against having parents notified when their teenage daughter is about to have an abortion. He believes we all must subsidize abortion for those who cannot afford to pay for them.
For Supreme Court applicants, John Kerry has hung out a shingle: "No Pro-Life Catholics Need Apply." That goes as well for Protestants, agnostics, atheists, Jews and any jurist who is either pro-life or a "strict constructionist" – i.e., one who would reinterpret the Constitution the way the Founding Fathers intended, rather than the way Earl Warren and Harry Blackmun distorted it to conform to their secularist ideology.
If Kerry wins, the pro-life movement in America becomes a hopeless cause for a generation.
John Kerry is the beau ideal of the National Abortion Rights Action League, an implacable foe of the pro-life position of the Catholic Church. Yet, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, who heads the panel of bishops debating what sanctions to impose on Catholic politicians who champion abortion rights, says, "I have not gotten to the stage where I'm comfortable in denying the Eucharist."
Let us hope His Eminence reaches his comfort level soon, before his silence contributes to the victory of a candidate committed to the death of a pro-life cause the cardinal professes to lead and love.
© 2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
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