Moral Spills Versus Oil Spills

June 14, 2010 09:00 AM

As the tragedy in the Gulf continues to grab headlines and tug at the heartstrings of Americans who realize just how devastating the disaster is for families, businesses and wildlife, several thoughts have been flowing through my mind. One of them deals with the disparity in the media regarding the power of a picture. It is, as one pro-life friend expressed it, a real example of hypocrisy.

He said, “Isn't it hypocritical for those who oppose any public images of aborted fetuses to post the most horrific photos of oil-soaked sea life? It's the de-sanctification of human life.”

Perhaps you think he has gone over the edge by attempting to equate the pictures and live shots of struggling birds and delicate plant life with images of preborn children murdered by the most grotesque practices, but he makes a very valid point.

Over time, America has grown increasingly insensitive to the reality of what abortion actually is, why it is done and what the result is in terms of dead children and wounded mothers. Today, the common argument is quite simply that abortion is a “constitutional right” upon which no law or judicial decision should be permitted to trample. Statements like this exemplify morality run amuck—murder is good, environmental damage is bad.

While oversimplification is not always appropriate, it applies in this case. Consider the bumper sticker:  “ABORTION? If it’s not a baby, you’re not pregnant!”

Exactly! Yet the same news media that harps for hours on end about spoiled plant life and oil-saturated birds would never consider exposing the simple truth of the bumper sticker statement. In fact, it isn’t really a far stretch to suggest that the oil spill has become the poster event for a set of public standards that places increasing value on the planet and decreasing value on the dignity of the human person.

I am not suggesting that we should not be unified in our horror at the event in the Gulf: foremost, the deaths of 11 men, the mismanagement of the spill, the lax leadership from Washington, D.C. and so on. But what I am putting forth to you is that there is an alarming disparity between the public attitudes toward this tragedy versus the public’s reaction to the direct murder of America’s progeny.

Dennis Howard, who is not a rocket scientist but is a student of numbers, has repeatedly pointed out that the economic crisis, for example, can be directly tied to abortion. We as a nation have been planning our own financial destruction for the past 40 years, and yet nobody wants to hear this or even consider the legitimacy of such a statistically plausible explanation for the devastation to our families, businesses and future.

But let British Petroleum make an error in mechanical engineering and the crowd goes wild. 
Assessing the risks and weighing the probabilities of disaster, as Jeffrey Weiss wisely points out, should have been part of the original planning strategies at BP. And this very same levelheaded, objective thinking should have been brought to bear on the question of decriminalizing abortion. Why haven’t concerned intellectuals and moral leaders come to the conclusion that legitimizing a practice to rob our nation of more than 40 million citizens should have been stopped early on? 

After all, it is not farfetched to propose that perhaps one of the aborted millions might have been a gifted engineer at BP who suggested years ago that its drilling practices were a hazard too great to be realized. One could then hypothesize that the moral spill of Roe v. Wade is perhaps the reason for the oil spill of today. No one knows for sure and, sadly, no one cares.

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