Shades of Gray
It’s been a long hiatus, busy moving our household across town while the world changed. Terri Schiavo’s judicial homicide by starvation is a fait accomplis for the culture of death. Our beloved Pope John Paul II was released from his earthly burdens, and the newly-elected Defender of the Deposit of Faith is the orthodox and competent former-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
Prior to the announcement of his election yesterday, I wrote three words on a notepad: “Shades of Gray.” Moral relativism was going to be the first subject I tackled on my return, one of many that have been bouncing through my head with nowhere to land. Pope Benedict's election was Providential in that regard, but I was actually prompted by an earlier criticism from a pro-choicer who thought I was unable to see in shades of gray. My first response to the accusation was childish and not worth recording except in an email whine to Ashli at The S.I.C.L.E. Cell (an excellent blogspot that deserves as many plugs as I can fit in): “the world has shades of gray - oh, my, did I, the baby-killer, not know that?”
Childish, yes I am, but I am also often amazed at the childishness of the pro-choicers who spout patent arguments off the cuff without any thought at all, apparently. I am post-abortive – is that a secret somewhere anymore? I have a pretty good idea of how to look at the world through the screen of gray shades, thanks. Been there, done that, and tired of saying it to people who don't pay attention. Please, change your arguments or think them through when you are talking to a woman who exercised the choice you fight so hard to protect.
The problem is that there are absolutes in the world, legitimate shades of black and white that every one is capable of seeing, but which not everyone can accept, and one of those black shades is the color of death. And that’s what abortion is about – it’s about death, and death is inarguably absolute.
It’s not about women’s health, or we would regulate the abortionists and the abortuaries – but we don’t. It isn’t about poverty or financial responsibility, or thirty years of legalized abortion would have reduced the number of children who live in poverty in this nation. It hasn’t. It isn’t about letting women decide whether they want to be pregnant or not – they already can without legal abortion. Abortion is not contraception, because it occurs after conception. It is murder used as contraception, and this black truth bears repeating as often as it takes, until we no longer deny that it exists.
The simple fact, in plain black and white, is that abortion is about killing the child and the responsibilities that come with him or her. It is this truth that causes problems for women who procure abortions. Unlike other cases of abuse or trauma in which the victim is purely a victim, the post-abortive woman has to point to herself as one of the instigators. Not only was she a victim, she was a victimizer. She wasn’t just abused by abortion; she abused her own child with it, and he is absolutely dead because of it. This scar penetrates the psyche in a different way because it carries the black weight of guilt. In helping the post-abortive woman who seeks recovery understand the consequences of abortion in her life, we cannot deny the impact of grave sin on her soul. In doing so, we short-change her because apparently we don't think she can grasp right from wrong. We don’t give her the opportunity to repent and heal if we don’t help her stop denying that it is the knowledge that the abortion was wrong, that she sinned against life – a life she helped create - which is tearing her apart inside.
Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics would prefer the pro-life movement say that women “submit” to abortions, rather than saying they “have” them. Yes, women submit to abortions. They are coerced, present company included, and they give in to the pressure of others. But he misses a point that is salient to recovery programs and to turning the tide against making the poor choice. All post-abortive women are victims of abortion, yes, but many of us don’t just submit – we choose. We elect. We opt. We procure. We engage.
In doing so, we accept the lies and cheap rationalizations, the gray area that frees us to make the choice to kill our unborn children. We have to identify with the argument, no matter how briefly or transparently, that abortion is okay, or we aren’t going to be able to go through with it. I accepted this lie: “it will be as if it had never happened.” Yeah, right. Unfortunately, the catch phrase is as black as truth can be. I didn’t not become a mother by choosing abortion. Just like they say, I became the mother of a dead child. The abortionist could not undo conception. He had to kill the child to make me un-pregnant. There was no other way, no gray area in which I could think of myself as having been a “little bit pregnant,” or think of the child as not quite alive, yet, so the abortionist is simply removing some inanimate tissue (but if the baby is not alive, essentially dead already, why does he have to be torn to pieces? Most doctors remove a tumor intact if they can...but no, I can't bear thinking of that, because it is all black, there, and I get lost in the darkness). Does anyone remember when being a little bit pregnant was a joke, and few would argue with it because of the absurdity of it all?
In our current “dictatorship of moral relativism,” it is entirely possible to convince ourselves that obvious fallacies such as this can be true. “If it’s true for me, then it’s Truth, whether it conflicts with what you think is true or not. If what you think is true is different, well then that’s Truth for you, and your Truth equals my Truth.” It hurts just to write such unreasonable reasoning. Thinking in this manner creates complete anarchy in the psyche. If there are no absolutes, then I cannot find my way. There are no landmarks to guide us on this gray plain, so it is no wonder we act as if we are lost.
Truth is immutable – it is unchanging by its very nature. Truth comes in one shade, and isn't gray. Otherwise, it is not truth. It is opinion. Opinions come in all the shades of gray that range between black and white, and we all know the old saw about opinions: everyone has some of them, along with other equally unattractive features.