The Pro-Choice Moral Headstand

March 28th, 2011 by BEBlogger

In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt
But, being season’d with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil?  In religion,
What damned error but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.

(Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice; Act III, Scene II)

I recently recalled this text after reading a Marvin Olasky essay in World Magazine (“The ‘Blessing’ of Abortion;” 5/9/09).  Olasky covers Katherine Ragsdale, soon to be president of Episcopal Divinity School.  According to the article, in a 2007 speech Ragsdale repeatedly referred to abortion as a “blessing.”  To cite one example, she said “The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts is simply blessing.”  She also referred to those who provide abortions as “saints” devoted to a “holy work.”

Let’s leave aside the self centeredness of Ragsdale’s position, where one can kill her child for the sake of education, career, or for the extremely dubious desire “to put to use God’s gifts” (aren’t children one of God’s gifts?).  Instead let’s focus on another aspect of Ragsdale’s position.  As Olasky points out, for years the pro-choice lobby has told us people like Ragsdale don’t exist.  “No one is pro-abortion” we’ve been told.  Abortion is a “terrible tragedy,” and entails a “heart wrenching decision,” a practice to be made “rare.”  Supposedly no one thinks abortion is “good” or desirable.

But yonder stands Katherine Ragsdale, with “sober brow” approving the “damned error” of abortion, “hiding the grossness with fair ornament.”  In the name of God she openly proclaims that killing an innocent baby for career or educational advancement is a moral good, a blessing.  Perhaps those who claim to be “pro-choice” but not “pro-abortion” are embarrassed that a person of Ragsdale’s stature would make statements which sound decidedly “pro-abortion.”  But in reality, isn’t her position part and parcel of what the “pro-choice” position has been all along?

Shakespeare’s words apply to Katherine Ragsdale, and all who think like her.  So do those of the prophet Isaiah:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
(Isaiah 5:20).

Abortion on demand has always been a great evil, but now we have reached the point where its supporters call it good.  We can expect nothing less (or better) from a world that rejects transcendent moral standards, and where designer gods are created to suit our own self-indulgent moral agendas.  How much longer will the One True God tolerate such a moral headstand?  May our nation repent of the great crime of our age, and find forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  May He “purify us with hyssop that we may be clean; wash us, that we may be whiter than snow.”