Did you know, my global servants, that ownership of human beings as property was once a lawful right protected by the United States Constitution? The United States Supreme Court in the 1857 case of Dred Scott v. Sandford held that people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S. citizens.
Did you know, my global servants, that disposal of human beings as property is now a lawful right protected by the United States Constitution? The United States Supreme Court in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade held that people of any descent conceived in the United States and held as fetuses are not protected by the Constitution and will never be U.S. citizens.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
Is there any difference between the legal 1857 and legal post-1973 properties, both of which were gained without their consent by the selfish acts of another?
Well, there are a few. The property of 1857 was disposed of by lynch mobs, while the property of post-1973 is disposed of by doctors. And, of course, the property of 1857 could run away. Too bad for the property of post-1973; their itty-bitty feet never get a chance.
And, unfortunately, common sense and conscience prevailed post-1857 and the Americans eventually came around to realizing that black people are people too, and after fighting a bloody war they amended their Constitution to reflect the citizenship of all persons, regardless of race, creed, or previous condition of servitude, and, until 1973, size.
So today in America a bloody war continues, but it’s hardly a fair fight; the blood pours only from wounds inflicted on the “property” by people 100 times their size.
But today’s bloody war, with its massive casualty rate among both the dead and the living, pleases me greatly. That’s why I get nervous, my servants, as should you, when people start asking how Roe v. Wade can be reversed. Of course, Roe v. Wade can be reversed in the same way that all Supreme Court cases can: by a majority vote of the justices to do so. But, fortunately, that’s too simple.
Consider the article by Peter Brown in Tuesday’s The Catholic Thing, entitled, “Do We Know How to Reverse Roe?“ In this well-written article that I do NOT want you to read, Mr. Brown lays out the question and proposes some well-thought-out answers to the question of ending abortion in the United States. He considers the practical question of ending abortion all together, but conveys some well-founded pessimism, recognizing that even if Roe v. Wade were struck down at midnight tonight, abortion could legally continue in the morning.
And he is right.
But let me share some kingdom knowledge, my servants, so you will know how important Roe v. Wade is to my kingdom goals. First, the Supreme Court of the United States often attempts to end social quandaries by judicial fiat, lending legal imprimatur to an otherwise moral dilemma. My servants, never discount the power of legal sanction in forming moral opinions among sheepish people. Implicit moral approval for holding slaves as property or killing the innocent for convenience pleases me greatly.
For this reason alone, I must ask you to fight to keep Roe v. Wade the law of the land; as long as snipping up teeny-tiny arms and legs is legal, lazy thinkers accept it as moral. And although local state laws could keep death-by-doctor alive, the lack of the Supreme Court’s stamp of approval would dampen much of the moral enthusiasm for it.
Second, and more importantly, we must recognize that the Supreme Court, far from being a bastion of value-free, objective legal thinking, falls prey to deciding based on cultural mores. They decided the 1857 Dred Scot case precisely because they believed the decision would calm the public mood and soothe the public conscience. The Justices attempted the same social engineering strategy with Roe v. Wade.
Believing the cultural mores to be on their side, the Roe court decided the time was right for the Constitution to deem abortion a basic right for all already-born humans, and then set out to find it. And once they found it and gave eager Americans magic spectacles to see it for themselves, they overnight transformed a questionable cultural value into an unquestionable legal right. If they were suddenly to take away the magic spectacles of legality, millions of eyes would be suddenly open to the tragic spectacle of reality, leaving all Americans with nothing but their own consciences to decide if dismembering a live baby in its mother’s womb is right or wrong.
As it is, the public conscience has been seared with the hot iron of legal mumbo-jumbo, and it appears that except for a growing band of persistent and vocal anti-abortionists (blechhhh!) the Supreme Court correctly read the true American cultural mindset. This is why Roe v. Wade has not yet been overturned, my servants. Despite the public hoopla, survey results, poll numbers, and petitions to Congress, the dirty little secret is that most Americans don’t want the cultural norm to change, so they don’t want the law to change.
That’s why Brown is exactly right when he writes:
Moreover laws require at least some support in cultural mores to be effective. Practically speaking it would be very difficult to stop by statute alone what is now one of the most common medical procedures in America, absent some profound changes not simply in law and politics but culture as well.
You see, my servants, despite all the surveys showing America is turning “pro-life,” the culture of “baby-as-disposable-property-because-it’s-not-really-a-baby-because-it’s-legal” is very much ingrained in the American psyche. How can I tell? I see all those self-righteous conservatives, Republicans and so-called Christians who are mighty glad Doctor Snippet is around when it’s their daughter “in trouble.” Or their mistress in distress. Or a second mouth threatening a second income. Or . . .
Although I don’t see the Americans gaining a soul in this area, people like Brown questioning the status quo still make me tremble, because his ilk could grow into a true movement. He asks:
But how do we reshape the culture, to the extent that it is even possible to speak of a single American “culture?” I haven’t figured this one out yet and I don’t think anyone else has either.
Don’t tell Brown, but despite his pessimism, the first and most effective way to reshape the culture is to overturn Roe v. Wade. Culture is shaped by what the legal/political systems permit and encourage. The fastest, surest way for the legal/political system to end a practice is to make it illegal.
Certainly overturning Roe v. Wade is the surest way to make abortions “rare” which is what all abortion lovers say they want.
Short of illegality, only those influenced by a conscience loyal to a higher law will choose life over death for the living property entrusted to their care.
But, of course, those people already do what’s right.
I’m worried about losing all the others.
Help me out here, folks.