SCOTUS, the Pro-Life Movement, and the Future
By Anthony Daub
Ever since the fateful court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about America’s future and the impact this decision will have on the fight for life. My reflections on our nation’s state of moral decay and the fate of the pro-life movement have led me to several conclusions.
To begin with, the Obergefell decision should not have come as a surprise. Any student of American history knows that the courts set themselves up for decisions like this back in 1803 with the ruling of Marbury v. Madison. In that Supreme Court ruling we saw the birth of judicial activism, or in simple language, the ability of the court to effectively create legislation. So in all honesty, from the very birth of our nation, we as a people should have known that the courts would fail us. This has only become more evident with each passing year.
We have seen time and again that the American legal system is subject to more scandal than just about any other public institution currently in existence. This idea of judicial activism set the stage for the infamous Griswold v. Connecticut ruling which introduced the idea that the Constitution provided a “right to privacy” and, in essence, created an environment of sexual freedom. While the obvious conclusion would be to say that Griswold decriminalized contraception, the reality is that it did far more damage. For society at large, Griswold removed the concept of procreation from sex, creating the notion that sexual behavior is akin to a recreational sport. This led to a dramatic increase in promiscuity and removed much of the perceived value of traditional marriage. This ruling was the true death of the family unit, as the world came to believe that having children was secondary to a person’s feelings and emotions.
Fast forward several years and the nation is faced with yet another moral crisis in the form of Roe v. Wade, which was a logical extension of the ruling in Griswold. The Roe decision should not have been a surprise to anyone at that time. As a society, we had already accepted that sex had no value outside of personal satisfaction, and accepted that procreation was not a function of marriage. It doesn’t take a lot to extend that false logic to justify the murder of preborn children.
Similarly, the recent SCOTUS ruling is yet another logical extension of both Griswold and Roe. The previous two cases created the notion that marriage exists for personal satisfaction. You marry someone because you “love them,” not because you desire to “be fruitful and multiply.” In essence, society had already decided that marriage existed solely for whatever purpose was desired, and could even be discarded on a whim. It doesn’t take much to make the leap from this warped perception of marriage to homosexuality and all of its facets. These events followed a logical progression, and today we see the fruits of our inattention.
So what do we, as people of faith, do about this? How do we respond to the situation we now face? Many people look to their religious leaders for answers, but the pulpit is silent. Why? Because long ago the leaders of organized religion as a whole—both Catholic and Protestant—got in bed with the government to secure tax exempt status. By accepting tax exemption, the Church sacrificed its ability to provide us with the truth. This is why we don’t hear priests and bishops telling Catholics whom to vote for. This is why the pulpit is silent when it comes to condemning pro-abortion and pro-choice politicians or denying Communion to sinful politicians. Even the Holy See is curiously quiet.
So again, how do we respond to this? The solution for people of faith is to take action. Several years ago, one of President Obama’s head aides Rahm Emanuel said, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Despite his lack of integrity, he was not wrong. We should not miss this opportunity to provide people everywhere with the truth. Millions of Americans are searching for the truth, and it is up to us to make sure they find it. We must teach that there is a difference between marriage and the sacrament of matrimony—the sacrament instituted by Christ that intertwines both a unitive and procreative nature. Society will pervert marriage all day long, but it will never touch matrimony. We must work day and night to win the hearts and minds of the people. Rather than squandering our time lobbying and working toward changing legislation, we should turn our attention to the people, for in the end the people will have their way—for better or worse. The people will either demand recognition of their beliefs or they will go silently into the night. It’s our job to make sure they find their voices. So let’s position ourselves as the solution. Let’s tell America that traditional values are still the best for creating a better tomorrow. Let’s remind America that it has a conscience and a soul. Let’s be a voice in the darkness for all those who wander in the shadows looking for the truth.
As Catholics we should still be active in seeking the closing of abortion clinics across the US, but we should also understand that the clinics are merely a symptom of a larger problem. If we won the hearts and minds of the people, no one would use the clinics and they would shut down for lack of business. For all its attempts, the government will never learn that it cannot legislate morality. But the people, galvanized by a sense of common purpose and righteousness, are a force to be reckoned with. As I said before, if you can convince the people of the validity of what you’re preaching, they will take care of the rest. They will force the legislature’s hand during election season. They will picket in front of abortion clinics. They will demand that they be heard.
I encourage everyone who values life to switch gears and reorient themselves and their priorities toward winning hearts and minds for Christ. Where the Church is silent, we will use our voices to show the way.
Now more than ever our world needs leaders. Too long we have relied on politicians and lawyers to regulate our lives and to tell us what to do. It stops here. But simply saying “enough” will not cut it. Each and every one of us needs to search our souls and ask ourselves if we have what it takes to be a leader. Ask God for guidance. And most importantly, be open to His inspiration. In our history as a species, God has always sent us heroes in our darkest hours. Today is that hour. But the solution doesn’t start with the arrival of a mythical hero. The solution begins with you. You must be that hero. You must rise to the occasion and encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to stand with you. Only united—as men and women of God—can we overcome this challenge. Pray that you are ready to answer the call because God is calling you. God is counting on you. The mantle of responsibility for the future of our religion and our species hangs in the balance. So stand, speak loudly, and never give up.
Anthony Daub is a freelance marketing consultant, Catholic, and patriot who has a passion for the pro-life movement and the defense of traditional values.