What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of person, and what kind of society, will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually?- Jesse Jackson, Jr., quoted here
Many people are very, very concerned with the children in India, with the children in Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child - what is left for me to kill you and you kill me - there is nothing between.
Moreover, as author Tracy Leigh Dodds states in the next sentence, “[t]rue recognition of the civil rights of children will not meaningfully progress until America learns to value children at all stages of development.”
This is something I firmly believe – it used to be a tenet of progressivism, witness the Jesse Jackson quotation above – but it is something which has been lost along the way.
In the Guardian last week, Madeline Bunting wrote “…a bias against having babies has permeated our culture. This phenomenon needs a new word - anti-natalism…”
No, actually, I think Pope John Paul, II had a better grasp of what civilization was up against – it’s the culture of death:
Above all, society must learn to embrace once more the great gift of life, to cherish it, to protect it, and to defend it against the culture of death, itself an expression of the great fear that stalks our times. One of your most noble tasks as Bishops is to stand firmly on the side of life, encouraging those who defend it and building with them a genuine culture of life.
- John Paul, II Address of the Holy Father to US Bishops of California, Nevada and Hawaii, October 2, 1998
* In addition, the Journal republishes one of William Hubbs Rehnquist’s more important law review articles, The Notion of a Living Constitution from 1976. I know when he passed away, I wanted to link to it, but it was not on-line at the time. The article shows Rehnquist’s always dry humor (“At first blush it seems certain that a living Constitution is better than what must be its counterpart, a dead Constitution.”) but was really one of the first to scrutinize the arguments for the “living constitution” fallacy.