Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A sad day in Mexíco

While driving this afternoon after posting my initial comments on the Mexico City law allowing unrestricted access to abortion in the first trimester, I have been having a debate between Archbishop Chaput's call-to-action in his speech in Philadelphia last Saturday and Senator Binetti's response to Archbishop Amato's pointed remarks about euthanasia, abortion, and same-sex marriage. I see no essential contradiction between the two positions and see the need to always exercise prudence when speaking or writing about serious matters about which people care a great deal. I have concluded that from time-to-time it is most helpful to have a leader of the stature and hierarchical position of Archbishop Amato, or Archbishop Chaput, speak frankly and unambiguously on these issues, lest we loose sight of what exactly what is being discussed and the ramifications of immorality on a mass scale. Of course, regardless of civil law, we are to be joyful witnesses of life. But we must not turn our backs on injustice just to keep the peace. On that note, I am posting my initial response to the Mexico City law, my decision to go ahead and post it was also influenced by listening to a news commentary talking about this as "progress" and denouncing the Church for impeding "progress" across Latin America. I sincerely try to foster a Thomistic optimism, but my Augustianian realism keeps getting in the way.

Warning: This post contains uncontrollable sarcasm

In Mexico City this week a victory was struck for a woman's right to choose. Choose what, you might ask? Choose to freely abort an in-utereo child, but only during the first tri-mester of pregnancy, would be the response. So, it seems that the Mexico City council is keeping their laws off the body of Mexico City's women, thus allowing these women to legally permit abortionists to put their hands on unborn children for the purpose of killing them. For champions of so-called progress, this will go some way to making up for the U.S. Supreme Court's roll back of "progress" last week, when they upheld a federal law outlawing a "particular practice"- partial birth abortion, which is a gruesome form of infanticide. If you believe the news media, the Mexico City council's action, on a 46 to 19 vote, is a clear victory for human rights.

President Felipe Caldéron deserves much credit for vigorously and publicly opposing this unjust law as does Mexico's First Lady who marched Sunday in a massive pro-life demonstration. Mexico's bishops and many thousands of the faithful who also witnessed on behalf of justice and the dignity of the human person, also deserve credit for their efforts. However, I was saddened to read about the level of discourse on the street, one abortion supporter called pro-life protesters "damn fascists" to which a pro-lifer responded, "they should have aborted you, bloody murderer." Neither outburst has any place in public discourse. It is instructive that pro-life demonstrators carried placards with "Yes to Life" written on them, while pro-choice demonstrators, blissfully unaware of ironies and contradictions, had placards that read, "For the right to decide." Since when is the life of an innocent person the subject of a another person's choice? Well, far too frequently, especially during the bloody twentieth century, if the truth be told.

This erosion of a society's moral underpinnings is painful to watch. It is not indicative of a merely moral relativism, but an even more troubling ontological relativism.

This is where the first post begins.

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