On the occasion of this 48th annual March for Life, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) joins the multitudes of Americans nationwide who see procured abortion as a preeminent moral issue in the battle for America’s soul.
This year, we are in the throes of a multi-faceted crisis involving the coronavirus, civil unrest, electoral turmoil and financial uncertainty. This crisis is shaking all our institutions and certainties. It creates a “new normal” where anything becomes possible. The crisis makes the fight against abortion all the more necessary.
The Illusion of Maximum Freedom
Indeed, our crisis is the product of a liberal philosophy that has long dominated the nation. It promotes the illusion of maximum freedom, in which all are equally free to pursue their choices as long as they do not limit the choices of others. In this ideal world, infinite options are possible if all agree to follow the same rules of cooperation, and people do not impose on others.
Many believe that they can maintain the prosperous and gratifying lifestyle they have always known by seeking this unrestrained freedom. For them, happiness consists of the frenetic intemperance of modern life where they can have everything instantly, effortlessly and without consequences. Thus, life consists of opening up choices and breaking down barriers that hinder these lifestyles.
One major problem with this liberal outlook is that it neglects the choice of the unborn baby. The innocent baby is seen as an obstacle to promiscuous lifestyles and is therefore expendable. Indeed, the Sexual Revolution becomes impossible without abortion. We cannot accept such a conclusion. That is one reason why we seek the end of all procured abortions. We work to legally, peacefully and prayerfully secure its defeat.
The Limits of Freedom
Thus, a great battle has emerged inside this liberal framework that has created two intermingled Americas. One desires unrestrained, absolute freedom. The other acknowledges freedom’s limits in issues like abortion.
The two perspectives have maintained a precarious co-existence and framed the political debate. However, the more aggressive and tyrannical the pro-abortion side becomes, the more the pro-life side sees the broader picture and the need for a moral law beyond the liberal order.
Indeed, recent elections reflect how difficult it is for the two visions to co-exist inside the same nation. Abortion was at the center of the electoral debate. Most Americans see the results of elections as a validation of the liberal and conservative lifestyles that they have always lived. Thus, America keeps producing seesaw elections. The nation’s shifts to the left and right end up canceling each other out in a display of frustration and polarization that gradually trends leftward.
Abortion Exposes the Illusion of Liberal Freedom
Now, the multi-faceted 2021 crisis has destroyed the notion that we can coexist and live as we always have. The upheaval has exposed and aggravated the factors dividing us. In the chaos of the crisis, those defending unbridled freedom treat those upholding morality with indifference and brutality. Getting things done becomes next to impossible.
In the present crisis, abortion has exposed this falsity of the liberal order, the illusion of its “freedom” and the contradiction of its premises. The same liberals who lock the world down to save all COVID-threatened lives keep abortion clinics open to kill many more lives. The same liberal protesters who declare that black lives matter openly support abortion, in which black baby lives do not matter. The liberal politicians who call for unity and cooperation make no concessions whatsoever when it comes to procured abortion until birth. Essential business restrictions close churches but not abortion clinics, thus revealing the skewed priorities of many lawmakers and governors.
Double standards are appearing everywhere. Massive un-distanced protests—even riots to defund police and destroy order—are allowed to happen. However, the March for Life in Washington and similar marches countrywide are crippled by restrictions. Social media giants censor conservative posts while leaving the other side free to enjoy freedom of expression. The liberal order is turning totalitarian.
America Must Change
Thus, the message of the 2021 crisis is that Americans can no longer live as they always have. Political seesaw shifts back and forth no longer work. We must change our lives. Keeping everything as it is will only lead to a clash of proposals, the suppression of opposition and ever more intense polarization that will ruin the country.
We who have long opposed abortion must declare to our wayward fellow citizens that America’s problem is, above all, a moral one. A profound change is needed if the present crisis is to be resolved. People need to take personal responsibility to change their behaviors to reflect Christian norms. Doing so leads to social harmony and virtuous living.
Failure to effect this moral change will lead to ever more radical forms of our hypersexualized, materialistic culture corrupting all society and destroying the lives of individuals, families and communities.
Americans can no longer keep living as they always have because those lives are increasingly sinful and destructive of the common good. Conversion to the Ten Commandments and Christian principles is the only solution. Nothing else can thwart the left’s efforts to “convert” everyone to its socialist tyranny as it has done in every country where it establishes itself.
Those Who Oppose Abortion Must Also Convert
However, the conversion of America is not limited to those who support abortion. We who oppose abortion must also convert so that our lives are more virtuous. We share in the decadence of modern society by our omissions, complicity and sins. We do not sufficiently reject and oppose our hypersexualized culture that makes possible abortion’s “culture of death.”
We cannot be satisfied with isolating ourselves. We must also give witness in the public square. We must fight against the moral disorders of the day and do everything possible to facilitate the practice of virtue through good laws and social mores. There is no “Benedict Option” possible in our world that seeks out and corrupts the good.
We must also realize that many who should be helping us in this fight are notably absent. Too many bishops and clergymen fail to condemn abortion or take action, as they should. Christian politicians forsake their duty when they encourage vice. Some even distort Christian teaching to the point of directly supporting abortion.
As those who oppose abortion and moral decadence, we must convert and return to God. In God alone, will we find the grace and strength to fight the culture and win.
Making the Link to Fatima
For Catholics, this call to conversion is familiar as it echoes the 1917 message of Our Lady at Fatima. The Blessed Mother warned humanity of disaster during World War I, a time of supreme political strife. She spoke of the “errors of Russia,” referring to the same communist ideological menace and moral decadence that threaten America today.
However, the Mother of God did not bring a political program. Politics had failed a world at war, just as politics have failed America today. Her message asked for prayer, penance and amendment of life. She told a sinful world that they could no longer live as they always had because God was already greatly offended. She called upon people to change their lives radically. The Blessed Mother also asked for a formal consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
Our heavenly Mother’s program applies to us today. In 2021, America faces the multi-faceted crisis of COVID, civil unrest, economic uncertainty and a radical communist agenda. Each of these has political implications that must be addressed.
However, the perils are greater than the power of politicians to resolve alone. America must change and return to God for Whom nothing is impossible. This is the great lesson to be learned from the 2021 general crisis.
Uniting Around the Need to Change
Let us then unite around this message of moral change. Either we embrace a life of virtue, or the culture will drag us into vice. There is no middle ground in this fight that has reached a point of no return.
As important as the pro-life struggle is, it is not the full war. We must expand our horizons. We must defend the entire moral code found in the Ten Commandments and written on the hearts of all men, applicable in all times and places. Only then will the culture of death be destroyed. Only then can we rebuild Christian civilization based on God’s law. Only then will America have harmony and peace. We must fight for God and His eternal law and trust in Him alone.
Hope and Confidence Are the Path to Victory
As we march this year, let us hope and confide. The worse the general crisis gets, the more it becomes obvious that human solutions are insufficient. We must call upon God, knowing that everything is in His hands and under His control. God awaits America’s prayer to intervene and win.
The TFP urges everyone to never give up on this great return to order. As practicing Catholics, we turn to God and His Blessed Mother for succor and help. Let us confide in the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, as promised at Fatima.