Sunday, January 21, 2007

Neuhaus on the 34th Anniversary

Richard John Neuhaus reflects on the history of the Roe v. Wade decision in the US. His insights underscore the importance of mobilizing Christians and other men of good faith to vote in accord with basic principles of justice for the unborn.

This Monday marks the thirty-fourth anniversary of Roe v. Wade. On January 23, 1973, the New York Times reported that the Court had “settled” the dispute over abortion. Thirty-four years later, there is no more intensely contested issue in our public life. This is in itself a powerful tribute to pro-life conviction and determination. When Roe v. Wade came down, it was cheered by every major opinion-making institution in the country—the mainstream media, the prestige academy, the legal establishment, the medical establishment, the philanthropic world, and all the major religious institutions, except one.

True, the Catholic Church, headquartered in Rome, protested the immediate evil and long-term implications of Roe v. Wade, but huge numbers of ordinary Catholics, theologians, priests and bishops in America (and Canada) had by that time forsaken Catholic teaching on sexuality and had little moral strength remaining to oppose the new ruling.

Catholics and other Christians in North America need to see with their eyes the horrors of abortion in order to have their consciences reawakened and their voting duties placed in proper perspective.


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