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Justice Vaporized

President Joe Biden recently nominated a pro-abortion woman to replace pro-abortion Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. Some may think this is a simple trade-off of one pro-death judge for another, but the signal that has been sent is far worse, especially for the babies.

According to one pro-life leader, Biden’s choice, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, is “backed by many of America’s most radical pro-abortion groups. She is on record opposing the free speech rights of pro-life advocates pleading to save lives outside abortion centers and supporting the false claim that abortion is ‘health care.’”

It isn’t simply this one judicial nomination that should concern us but rather what kind of a nation we are living in where justice is evaded, avoided, and misrepresented by those in positions of power. It is long past time for us to revisit the real meaning of justice, not according to politicians but according to Christ Himself.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor.”

Given this teaching, we can safely say that there has been no justice toward men in our nation for many a year. In fact, our laws have denied the humanity of an entire class of people—those not yet born—for 50 years or more! Many forget that this careening toward hatred for the human being did not start with the cruelty of abortion but rather with the promotion of contraceptive chemicals that kill the youngest of our fellow human beings. To this very day most women have no idea that ingesting the pill can result in the death of a preborn baby during his first few days of life.

The Supreme Court can do nothing about that. Mankind has lost its way, and the larger challenge that we face is not who sits on the Supreme Court but rather who is telling the truth to us, our children, and future generations. If this sounds outrageously out of the question, it may be time to take a step back and examine what it means to tell truth, teach truth, and act on truth.

What does that word mean? Truth is a virtue “which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and in guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy.”

Truth stands on its own and does not need a majority on the Supreme Court or anywhere else, for that matter, because truth never changes. But in today’s cultural framework, the truth has become fungible among mainstream Americans—a matter of opinion that alone destroys respect for truth itself.

This is why we hear so many publicly proclaim that every individual has his “own truth,” which is a problem St. John Paul II recognized and wrote about in the encyclical The Splendor of Truth: “There is a tendency to grant to the individual conscience the prerogative of independently determining the criteria of good and evil and then acting accordingly. Such an outlook is quite congenial to an individualist ethic, wherein each individual is faced with his own truth, different from the truth of others. Taken to its extreme consequences, this individualism leads to a denial of the very idea of human nature.”

St. John Paul reminded us of a fact that holds as accurate today as it did when he wrote about it: “These different notions are at the origin of currents of thought which posit a radical opposition between moral law and conscience, and between nature and freedom.”

Among the results of such skewed ideas we encounter laws that permit evils, such as contraception and abortion, with euthanasia in all its forms not far behind. These are the deadly consequences of “independently determining the criteria of good and evil.”

Into this culture come those of us who are willing to stand up and proclaim that there is but one Truth and that in Him we find justice, liberty, and freedom. We will not stop pointing the way as we pray for those who are lost in the sea of vaporized justice.