“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Robert P. Casey: A Lionheart Among Men

With the Democratic Convention this week in Denver, my thoughts are drawn to a great Pro-Life warrior who was silenced at the 1992 Democratic Convention.

Governor Robert P. Casey was truly a Profile in Courage and a lionheart among men.

One of the most popular governors in the history of Pennsylvania, he turned the political landscape upside down by being a strong vocal supporter of the "Culture of Life" within the Democratic Party and faced the hostility, humiliation and alienation of his party when he was not permitted to speak at his own convention. Governor Casey met his heavenly reward in 2000.

Here are the words of a great statesmen:

“It’s hard to think of anything more foreign to the principles of the Democratic Party or the whole American experience [than abortion]. Far from being “inclusive”, it excludes an entire class of fellow human beings from our care and protection. It’s the only “constitutional right” we’re ashamed of, avoiding the word abortion with contorted euphemisms like “reproductive rights” and “termination” and “evacuation”.

"Far from liberating women, abortion has become a lucrative industry, exploiting young women beyond anything ever imagined. When pregnancy comes at a difficult time, which is the worthier response of society: To surround mother and child alike with protection and love, or to hold out the cold comfort of an abortion clinic? Where is America’s true character to be seen- in an adoptive home or at the abortion clinic? In which role is a woman more empowered – giving life or taking it?

"These are questions that rest uneasily on the conscience of today’s Democratic Party. We have traded our principles for power – the fleeting power offered by loud and well financed factions like NARAL and Planned Parenthood…. "We can choose to extend once again the mantle of protection to all members of the human family, including the unborn. We can choose to provide effective care of mothers and children."”

And from a Speech at St. Louis University in 1993:

"Alexander Hamilton put it this way: "The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of Divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. Even the more secular-minded Thomas Jefferson agreed: the "only firm basis" of freedom, he wrote, is "a conviction in the minds of people that their liberties are gifts of God."

American History has had its dark moments, but only twice has this principle been radically betrayed. Only twice has mortal power, using the instrument of the law itself, sought to exclude an entire class of people from their most sacred rights.

One-hundred and thirty-six years ago, a human being was declared a piece of property, literally led off in chains as people of good conscience sat paralyzed by the ruling of the court. [The Dred Scott decision]
The other time was January 22, 1973. An entire class of human beings was excluded from the protection of the state, their fate declared a "private" matter. That "sunbeam" that Hamilton envisioned, the Creator's signature on each new life, was deflected by human hands. No one has ever described what happened more concisely than Justice Byron White in his dissent. It was an act of "raw judicial power" -- power stripped of all moral and constitutional authority.

Roe vs. Wade was not one more natural adaptation in our constitutional evolution. It was not like Brown vs. Board of Education, a refinement extending law and liberty to an entire class. [It was] just the opposite: It was an abrupt mutation, a defiance of all precedent, a disjuncture of law and authority. Where we used to think of law above politics, in Roe, law and politics become indistinguishable. How strange it is to hear abortion now defended in the name of "consensus." Roe itself, the product of a contrived and fraudulent case, was a judicial decree overruling a consensus expressed in the laws of most states.

It arose not from the wisdom of the ages, or from the voice of the people, but from the ideology of the day and the will of a determined minority. It compels us to ignore the consensus of mankind about the treatment of the unborn. It commands us to disregard the clearest of Commandments. After 20 long years, the people of the United States have refused to heed the command.

Roe vs. Wade is a law we must observe, but never honor. In Hamilton's phrase, it's a piece of "parchment," a musty record bearing raw coercive power and devoid of moral authority. It has done its harm, and will do much more. But those who say we must learn to live with it still don't get it. Ultimately, Roe cannot survive alongside our enduring, unshakeable sense of justice. It is no more permanent than any other act of human arrogance. It is no more unchangeable that the laws which sent Dred Scott back to his master.

...This has been the generation of what Malcom Muggeridge called "the humane holocaust." The loss can never be recovered. Indeed, it can't even be calculated.

Not even the familiar statistic -- 1.6 million a year -- begins to express the enormity of it. One person's life touches so many others. How can you measure the void left when so many people aren't even permitted to live among us?"

I would highly recommend the Govenor's book Fighting for Life. It will change the way you think about how politicians can selflessly serve their constituents.

Post Note, A Profile in Courage Story: In 1990, James Carville, who was running Robert P. Casey's campaign for reelection as governor of Pennsylvania, pleaded with him to modify his position on abortion. Carville bluntly told him that if he did not give in on the question of permitting abortion in cases of rape and incest he would lose the election. "If that's true," the governor replied, "then I'll just have to accept defeat." Casey hated losing. But the prospect of winning with the blood of abortion's tiny victims on his hands was worse. As it happened, Casey stood firm, and won by more than a million votes, carrying 66 of the state's 67 counties.

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