Posts Tagged ‘Vatican II’

Aphorism XLVIII

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The doctrine of moral equivalence misdirects us from experiencing the true horror of horrific acts, and allows us to remain within a bubble of non-responsibility, not quite comfortable with the horror of evil, but shielded from the necessity of action against it. Within this bubble of non-responsibility, we can live a more or less comfortable day-to-day existence, not overly troubled by the horror experienced by others.

If one were to take a young infant, puncture its brain, dismember him or her and grind him or her up, the horror of that action would exceed that of the tortures of the Tudor tyrants on those they tried for treason. Yet, but for the fact that the young infant is a few weeks later in gestation from that of a child that is aborted, it belies reason to diminish the brutality of the act.

The innocence and defenselessness of the victim, the overwhelming use of violence, and the arbitrary personal choices of those responsible for the act without consideration for the rights of the other, make abortion, as the early Christians and as Vatican II clearly recognized, a horrendous crime.

Christians have therefore been too “nice” and accommodating in refraining from calling abortion “murder” in deference to polite society. If the termination of the life of an innocent and defenseless person through the use of overwhelming violence without consideration for the rights of that person isn’t murder, then what is?

It is a fantasy to declare, with all the obfuscation, misdirection, and uncertainty–subsequently termed “complexity”–that post-modern language can muster, that we live in a post-murder society: especially when the police daily tally the deaths!

Yet the doctrine of moral equivalence continually wills abortion-as-murder out of existence. Abortion is compared as morally and legally acceptable with war or capital punishment, and so the argument goes, “If you Catholics don’t condemn war and capital punishment with the same vehemence that you condemn abortion, then we, the critics of the Catholics, get to abort–that is, kill-with impunity because we are more sincere and consistent than you.”

Another parallel argument mounted by the critics of the Catholics is that, “Since you Catholics don’t adopt all babies that would have been aborted, you are inconsistent and insincere, and therefore we get to keep aborting, that is, killing people, since you are inconsistent and insincere.”

These misdirecting arguments are patently fallacious. One does not simply get to violently kill another person because those who think such killing is wrong are somehow not consistent, not sincere, or not worthy of defending the innocent through some entitlement to speak to an issue they have somehow not merited. The innocent and defenseless have rights for justice and for life in and of their own very selves, not in any way dependent on the standing of those rising to their defense. Otherwise, all those who are “we” would get to destroy those who aren’t “us” with impunity.

As one of my sons recently said, the intentional killing of the innocent and defenseless in war is still considered a crime against humanity.

Abortion is the most fundamental and total crime against a single human because it viciously violates that person out of existence at that person’s supreme point of innocence and defenselessness.

Those willing to confront the full horror of brutal acts and to take a stand against them, such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Maximilian Kolbe, Simone Weil, Edith Stein, Franz Jagerstatter, Elie Wiesel, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, are considered the saints or heroes of the 20th century. It is more than doubly ironic that those who read and venerate these saints or heroes do not with similarly clear eyes recognize, as Christians have done for centuries, that abortion is murder.

© Copyright 2012, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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