Untrammelled Will v. The Truth
Truth is the mortal enemy of Sin. There is nothing sin hates and fears more than the truth. Few issues illustrate that reality as starkly as abortion. Truth has been the theme of a number of my discussions here recently (“I Show You The Times: The Truth v. The Narrative,” “Rights, Solidarity, and the Truth“). It’s only fitting that we return to the topic today on the 49th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, in which the court sacrificed the Truth of Human Life to the Untrammelled Human Will.
Before we get to the main topic, however, I’d like to look briefly at today’s anniversary. I’ve seen and heard more than one Catholic commentator hopefully suggest that this year’s March for Life, which has taken place in Washington, D.C. every January since 1974, may be the last. The Supreme Court is hearing another abortion case this year, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, and opponents of the abortion regime are hoping that the current court will have the nerve to overturn Roe. Then, as Katherine Jean Lopez writes in the National Review, “If it’s overturned in June, I’m hoping the march will move to June. The march would then be in thanksgiving.” Such a decision would be cause for rejoicing indeed . . . but I’m not holding my breath.
I don’t mean to sound negative, but hear me out. In the best case scenario, the Supreme Court completely overturns Roe, as well as 1992’s Casey v. Planned Parenthood. In that case, states would be free to restrict or even outlaw abortion, but it would need to be fought out state by state. The pro-life movement would need to keep going strong for years to come, both working to outlaw abortion, and to fight off the inevitable challenges to any pro-life laws that are passed.
As it is, I don’t expect the best case scenario from this court, although, pray God, nothing would please me more. Whatever the outcome, total reversal of Roe, a widening of the loopholes in the old decision, or a ringing endorsement of Roe’s unrestricted abortion regime (which I admit is also unlikely), the struggle won’t be over, now or ever. Abortion is just one front in the eternal war. I’m reposting below a revised version of my discussion of this topic on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, “‘Choice’ and the Father of Lies’:
The Father of Lies
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
As we mark the ugly anniversary of Roe vs. Wade this week, it is only appropriate that we take a look at “Old Scratch” himself, the Devil. In John’s Gospel our Lord tells us everything we need to know about the Devil: “He was a murderer from the beginning”, and “He is a liar, the father of lies”. And what is his first lie, the Big Lie that is still his primary murder weapon? “You will not die . . . you will be like God, knowing good and evil”. (Genesis 3:4-5) No worries, there will be no eternal consequences, Satan tells us, we can decide for ourselves what is good and evil, we are gods. For this reason he is called “the Devil”, from the Greek διάβολος (diabolos), which means “slanderer, perjurer, false accuser, and can also mean “deceiver, one who misleads”. It derives from the verb διαβάλλω (diaballo), whose original meaning is “drive through”, or destroy. Satan seeks to destroy us, eternally, by using falsehood and deception to separate us from God.
A Unique Set of Prayers
I got to thinking about all this the other day due to an obervation from my Lovely Bride. She had just run across this article [here] from the National Right To Life News, detailing certain pro-abortion “prayers” that are being circulated by our old friends at Planned Parenthood. She couldn’t help but think of the observation of C.S. Lewis (and many others) to the effect that Satan can’t create anything on his own, all he can do is mock and falsify God’s creation. I think she has a point. PP calls their campaign by the inelegant title “40 Days of Prayer For Women Everywhere”, an obvious mockery of 40 Days For Life. Here is a sample of a few of the Planned Parenthood “prayers”, from the NRTL News article:
“We give thanks for the doctors who provide quality abortion care”
“We pray for a cloud of gentleness to surround every abortion facility.”
“We pray for all the staff at abortion clinics around the nation. May they be daily confirmed in the sacred care that they offer women.”
“We give thanks for abortion escorts who guide women safely through the hostile gauntlet of protesters.”
“We pray for women who have been made afraid of their own power [of choice, i.e. abortion] by their religion. May they learn to reject fear and live bravely.
”National Right To Life News notes that these “prayers” were composed by a group calling itself “Faith Aloud”, and that “Infamous late term abortionist Dr. Leroy Carhart is a member of the board.”
“To Whom It May Concern . . .”
My first reaction on reading this was: do these people really believe that God will surround their butchery of unborn babies made in His image and likeness with “a cloud of gentleness”? That this butchery could be in any sense called “sacred care”? That the Lord would smile upon their request to separate women from their (most often Christian) religion?
Well, maybe they don’t, because these petitions are not actually addressed to God, or to anyone else for that matter. Is it due to a lack of faith, or perhaps a realization that a just and loving God would not be likely to answer prayers such as these? Whatever the case may be, these are the same people who mocked the words of the Heavenly Host with “Choice on Earth” Christmas cards (in Planned Parenthood newspeak, “choice” always means “abortion”); these are the same people who thought it a generous gesture after the terrorist attack on 9/11 to offer free abortions to pregnant widows of men who died in the World Trade Towers.
This macabre mockery of religious faith has been a part of the pro-abortion industry/movement for a long time, and it isn’t limited to that movement’s flagship enterprise: immediately after the Roe decision in 1973 a group calling itself the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR) was founded, which soon, recognizing that the truth in this case was a rather unlovely thing, removed the explicit reference to abortion and changed their name to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. And the ugly truth about abortion is the reason for the euphemisms and the bizarre, phony prayers: if they’re honest, they lose, and so they must pretend to be something they’re not. Abortion, like all sin, can’t survive in the Light of Truth.
Spiritual Hosts of Wickedness in Heavenly Places
The battle against the Spiritual Hosts of Wickedness, then, calls for a two-pronged strategy: first prayer and reliance on God, next a bold proclamation of the truth. That’s why, before the March for Life in Washington and our local marches, we attend Mass or a prayer service. We need to remember that it’s not simply a matter of politics, it’s not even primarily a matter of politics: it’s a matter of Good and Evil, the God of Truth and the father of lies. Let’s make sure we stay on the right side.