Abortion Is Our Red Wave

In this election there was one big red wave, the certainty of which has continued its all too predictable march through every precinct in the land, signaling yet another triumph at the polls for abortion.

So, here we are a little more than a week following the unexpected debacle, and it looks as if we shall simply have to shelve the idea of the red wave we were all promised in the heady hours leading up to the election. Indefinitely.

In other words, there will be no sweeping of the scoundrels and scamps out to sea anytime soon. Because it didn’t happen. There were some victories, to be sure, and these we may savor for the time being. But as for the clean sweep we were all hoping to see, it just didn’t materialize.

But there was one big red wave, the certainty of which has continued its all too predictable march through every precinct in the land, signaling yet another triumph at the polls. In fact, a barely anthropoidal candidate in Pennsylvania, now headed to the U.S. Senate, owed his easy win to riding the crest of that particular wave. It could scarcely have been the result of his speeches, which went mostly undelivered owing to major neurological damage—all happily concealed, of course, thanks to corrupt media and party handlers determined to drag him across the finish line. 

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He was not alone, however, numerous others across the country having benefited as well from the huge red wave. They, too, are grateful for its ongoing success.

What am I talking about here? I’m talking about abortion, concerning which it is business as usual. Thus, protocols require that we not rock the boat as it sails merrily along a thoroughly red wave. I mean the shedding of innocent blood in the womb, where untold millions of human beings continue to be destroyed in this country.

A more barbarous business this side of the Shoah cannot be imagined. Utterly unworthy of a civilized people, it has yet gone on since 1973. And not a single national election has done anything to stop it, leaving a deep stain on our nation’s soul, one which we not only do not wish to remove, but which more and more we no longer care to see.    

“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?” asks murderous Macbeth following the foul undoing of his friend Duncan, the king. “No,” he cries out: “this my hand will rather / The multitudinous seas incarnadine, / Making the green one red.”  

What is Macbeth saying but that there will never be enough water, not even in the entire green sea, to cleanse such hands. Indeed, his guilt is so great that the ocean instead will turn bright red from all the blood splattered upon his hands. It will poison the world itself.

Yes, abortion is our red wave. And we all have a bit of Macbeth in us. It will do us no good, therefore, trying to deny it. We are all more or less complicit. Only God can absolve us, and it doesn’t appear too many are asking. And why would we? Not as long as we continue to disdain the life of which He is the Author.  

Yes, certainly, there are gradations of evil here; some are surely more culpable than others. Democrats, for instance, are fully on board with baby killing, many of them right up to the moment of birth, which makes them the real Party of Death. But the Republicans have never been too far behind, having by their silence suffered it to continue pretty much unabated. 

Talk of fifteen-week lines in the sand, beyond which protections would then apply, is not just feckless but incoherent, as if real life only begins once the line is reached, before which no life in the womb is safe. When did the question of whether it is life or not turn on geography? Since it cannot be rocket science knowing when life begins, and not as a dogma of faith but as a datum of science, why then would God withhold ensoulment (read: personhood) until week fifteen?

Of course, it is all so absurd. But abortion persists all across the land and thus too the sacrifice of innocent blood to appease the appetite of those who want it. It will not go away. At least not until enough hearts are converted to turn this country around. And only God knows when that will be.

In the meantime, three things must happen in order to hasten that blest day. One, we have all got to pray harder that God will succeed in moving even the most obdurate of hearts to accept the gift of life. To see that here is a blazing sacramental gift that not only keeps on giving but, because it comes from God Himself, is of imperishable value. “God was in love,” says Fulton Sheen, “but He could not tell the secret. The telling of it became creation.”  

But God will not be disposed to help a people that will not pray to Him. We really must ask Him to help us protect—and reverence—our youngest brothers and sisters. 

Two, we need—those of us already enamored of life—to give the most generous witness to that life by remaining open to it, always rejoicing when it comes, so that others will see in us and in our children the surpassing splendor of a gift that God alone can give. It is the best and most credible witness we can provide to those who are adrift in a throwaway culture. If the birth of a child, as the poet Carl Sandburg once said, “is God’s opinion that life should go on,” then we need to show others by our example that we share that opinion as well. Which includes, let’s not forget, helping to look after that life, along with the mothers and fathers whom we have encouraged to welcome that life, even after birth.  

And, finally, point three: we need to be prepared, with resolute mind and will, to engage in the political struggle to persuade others to uphold the right of every child to be born. That means, of course, leveraging our leaders to enact laws aimed at their protection and which support the families who nurture and love them. Knowing that if abortion is not wrong, then nothing is wrong, we have got to insist that the right to life is fundamental; indeed, it is the defining condition of any society that wishes not just to grow and thrive but to survive. When the womb is unsafe, so too is the world.

[Image Credit: Unsplash]


  • Regis Martin

    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, published by Scepter, is called Looking for Lazarus: A Preview of the Resurrection.

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