Saturday, January 7, 2012

Evil with a Capital "E"

Many thanks to Mark Steyn for highlighting the Left's decided lack of empathy (you know, the trait they pride themselves for having a monopoly of) in the case of the newly prominent GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum.  I'm referring to their shameless use of the details of the birth and very short life in 1996 of the Santorum's son Gabriel and, more to the point, of how Santorum and his wife decided to deal with their grief.
I was watching FOX News the other day when I first heard both the story and the mocking of it by the very liberal talking head Alan Colmes.  I was speechless, but thankfully National Review's Rich Lowry, who was appearing alongside Colmes at the time, was not and he quickly and forcefully expressed disgust with Colmes for bringing it up.

While I was speechless, my mind was still working just fine and my first thought was to wonder, of all the things with which and for which they could attack Rick Santorum, why this?  It was just too obscure an anecdote to be anything other than a very calculated talking point.  They were somehow ready for this, even waiting for it.  Which made me ask myself once again, why?  The answer came just as quickly: This is about abortion, the "right" to a dead baby.  It is now clear that Santorum is perceived by the Left as a potential threat to this "right" and as a result he must, at all costs, be stopped, stopped even before he gets started.

Just in case it wasn't already obvious, abortion is the defining issue of contemporary liberalism.  As others have described it, it is the sacrament of the church of the Left.  Think about it, among Leftists almost any departure from strict liberal orthodoxy is one.

But even knowing that beforehand, I was still amazed in this case at the raw speed with which the Left responded.  As we know, Santorum didn't even win Iowa.  Nevertheless, the Left's spokesmen were already armed with information intended to discredit him with voters, make him too "weird" for the presidency, as columnist Eugene Robinson said while appearing on MSNBC (where else?) to continue the attack.  

As I said, this is disgusting to me, but it's more than that as well.  My sense is that it's bigger than Alan Colmes, Eugene Robinson, and even Rachel Maddow, who was effectively high-fiving Robinson when he made his comments on her show.  How big is it?  See my title.

I remember that when Mother Teresa won her Noble Prize she used her moment in the sun of an already bright and shining life to bring attention to the evil that is abortion.  Among the many things she said about and against the practice, one of the most important and profound was this (forgive me as I'm paraphrasing from memory): "If a mother can take the life of her own child, then you can kill me and I can kill you."

Let me unpack that for you.  If the social bond that exists between a mother and child, the most natural and reflexive, and therefore the strongest, of all social bonds can be broken because it has come to seem inconvenient, then no other social bond of any kind can ever be expected to hold, not the bond between brother and sister, between husband and wife, between fellow countrymen, and certainly not the bond between generic human beings.  When we find any of those relationships inconvenient, we will break them, by any means necessary, to include murder.  What is worse, we will not only excuse, we will actually justify ourselves in the breaking of them.

This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is unalloyed Evil and it ought very much to frighten you.  It does me.  But it also frightens me for people who on occasions like the current success of the Santorum campaign reveal themselves to be so zealously Pro-Choice.  My hope and prayer for them is that they really don't know what they are doing.

I'm reminded of two scenes from two famous films, both, as it happens, by British Director David Lean: The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia.  In the latter, in order to forestall a severe complication to his military plan, Peter O'Toole as Lawrence kills in cold blood a man he had earlier very heroically risked his own life to save.  Later, in the scene I'm thinking of, he is very disturbed by what he has done because, as he confesses, he realizes that he actually enjoyed killing the man.

The second scene I have in mind is from The Bridge on the River Kwai and is the film's very last.  Alec Guinness as Colonel Nicholson is confronted by the dying presence of William Holden who has returned to blow up the eponymous bridge.  Nicholson finally realizes that his otherwise inspiring effort to raise the morale of his men through the construction of the bridge has in fact resulted in his unwittingly assisting the enemy in their prosecution of the war.  Just before collapsing in death on the detonator that triggers the destruction of the bridge, he memorably intones, "What have I done?"

As I say, my hope and prayer is that one day the Left will awaken to the truth that is the Evil of abortion.  That, like Lawrence and Nicholson in the films, they will one day achieve a similar self-awareness and, who knows, perhapos begin their journey to redemption with the very same question: "What have I done?"

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