Klavan On The Culture

Death Versus Life

Happy Mother’s Day!

Even when I was an abortion supporter, it always seemed odd to me that abortion should be such a sacrament to the left, so central to its agenda. I understand why a person of good will might argue in favor of legalized abortion. You might say it was a tragic necessity; you might say it was a small tragedy needed to avoid a bigger tragedy; you might even say that, up to a certain point, it isn’t really a moral issue at all. Whatever. But to say that it’s a good thing? A positive thing? I don’t get it.

Yet whenever I hear a leftist saying abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” I suspect her position is like Obama’s “evolving” position on gay marriage: a convenient lie, a delaying tactic meant to bring a reluctant public along, a political deception.

In fact, many on the left, especially the feminist left, seem actually to prefer the idea of abortion to the idea of giving birth. Witness this terribly sad (to me) mother’s day post from Slate writer Rebecca Helm, “The Worst Thing You Ever Did to Your Mother”:

This Mother’s Day I’d like to apologize for what is probably the worst thing I’ve ever done to my mother. And you did it to your mother, too. Dear Mom: I’d like to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for manipulating you, stealing from you, taking control of your blood supply, and consuming part of your body. I, like everyone else alive today, did all this before I was even born…

Really? Wow. You’re apologizing for being conceived? For being born? You think your mother wants that apology? You think she wants you to feel guilty that she gave you life?

Or take the equally pathetic Emily Letts, who videotaped herself having an abortion as if it were a live birth. She said it was “as birth-like as it could be,” “a special memory,” and that she loves “how positive it is.” Of course, the miserable thing about this is that you can bet cash money that within a few years she’ll be writing her memoir about how awful it was, and how she fooled herself and then came to her senses and realized blah, blah, blah. But by then, of course, she’ll have already inspired others with her self-deception.

In a brilliantly insightful post, the Catholic blogger Elizabeth Scalia, The Anchoress at Patheos, screen captured a picture of Letts’ face as she sang abortion’s praises a month after the procedure.  “If you let yourself become distracted by what is coming from her mouth,” Elizabeth writes, “you miss all that is revealed in her face, which tells the whole, and very different story.”

Well, right.

You know, it’s almost as if, having lost the doctrine of original sin and Christian forgiveness, these poor women are left with nothing but the free-floating, universalized guilt that makes them hate themselves and life. Maybe that’s unfair. I don’t know these ladies. But life hatred — humanity hatred, self-hatred and ultimately God hatred — seem to permeate so much of radical leftism. Feminism and Marxism with their revulsion at human nature, environmentalism with its elevation of greenery over humankind, radical groups like PETA that put the love of animals before the love of neighbor, the sweaty insistence on self-esteem and feeling good about yourself, giving praise, praise, praise for nothing, nothing, nothing, the ceaseless need to define your opposition as hateful…  and abortion as a positive. It all smacks of self-hatred, doesn’t it? The love of death over life.

C.S. Lewis once said that in the modern age, before you could deliver the good news of Christ, you had to deliver the bad news of original sin. But frankly, I think we carry the bad news inside us. Life itself poses the terrible question. If you’re not going to become mired in self-hatred and death love, you have to go looking for the answer. Indeed, maybe you were born to make that journey.

Happy Mother’s Day.