Rhetoric, Abortion and Abraham Lincoln
Regular readers of this blog know that I am a big fan of Father Z at What Does The Prayer Really Say. Today he has a post on calls to tone down the rhetoric of those who oppose abortion. He eloquently explains here why he probably will not heed these calls. Let me associate myself with Father Z’s remarks. I have a great many interests and a great many opinions on a lot of issues, but for me abortion will always be THE ISSUE. I am never going to stop speaking out against the obscenity of abortion. I will never stop making abortion THE ISSUE on which I vote. Sometimes in life you simply have to call a spade a spade, and to call abortion the deliberate taking of innocent human life.
Abraham Lincoln had this to say on the issue of slavery and criticisms he and other received for speaking out on that issue in a speech at New Haven Connecticut on March 6, 1860. The text of the speech is here. I have always been struck by this passage from the speech and its relevance as to how the battle against abortion has been viewed by many members of the public:
“What we want, and all we want, is to have with us the men who think slavery wrong. But those who say they hate slavery, and are opposed to it, but yet act with the Democratic party — where are they? Let us apply a few tests. You say that you think slavery is wrong, but you denounce all attempts to restrain it. Is there anything else that you think wrong, that you are not willing to deal with as a wrong? Why are you so careful, so tender of this one wrong and no other? You will not let us do a single thing as if it was wrong; there is no place where you will allow it to be even called wrong! We must not call it wrong in the Free States, because it is not there, and we must not call it wrong in the Slave States because it is there; we must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because that is bringing politics into religion; we must not bring it into the Tract Society or the other societies, because those are such unsuitable places, and there is no single place, according to you, where this wrong thing can properly be called wrong!”
Like Lincoln and his colleagues, pro-lifers must always be willing to say loudly and clearly that abortion is wrong. Many people in our society do not want to hear about abortion. It is an ugly topic, but the reality is infinitely more ugly. We must be unafraid to speak the truth on this issue in season and out of season. We are the only voice the victims of abortion have, and we must never allow ourselves to silence that voice.