Building the culture of life

Column: Why wasn’t abortion the preeminent election issue?

by Ron Kelsey

One would have to acknowledge that abortion was not the major issue based upon the national election results and the preceding media coverage.

One could argue that it was not even one of the major issues. Even though Archbishop Naumann and many other bishops spoke out clearly and authoritatively, many Catholics did not place abortion among the prominent issues. I would like to reflect on why this is the case.

First, after 35 years of legalized abortion, we have become somewhat desensitized to abortion and perhaps tired of the battle. However, we must remember that we are dealing with the killing of unborn babies — 50 million since 1973. No other intrinsic evil in society even begins to approach this magnitude.

As a democratic society, we have within our power the ability to correct this problem, yet we continue to tolerate this intolerable evil. Ironically, contrast this acceptance of the killing of unborn children with the elaborate security systems that many hospitals have put in place to protect newborn babies, or contrast it with the Amber Alert system for locating and protecting abducted children.

Society’s love of born children is very evident, and therein lays hope. However, one can only conclude that society does not love the unborn child. Without love, we are able to consider abortion a minor election issue compared to the economy — a morally corrupt prioritization.

While there are many other reasons why abortion was not a deciding issue in the election, let’s consider some of the more fundamental reasons.

God told Moses that the Israelites were a “stiff-necked people.” We share that characteristic with our ancestors. We are not a humble people — we do not want to recognize our dependence upon God. This then frees us to do our will, rather than God’s. We can love who we choose and choose when we love.

This lack of humility also contributes to our lack of faithfulness and our unwillingness to recognize the authority of the church and to follow its teaching, Christ’s teaching. Thus our consciences are poorly formed; we make poor moral decisions and we vote for pro-abortion politicians.

So how do we elevate abortion to the most pressing societal problem that it is?

Fundamentally, we must first ask how we can remove the stiffness from our necks. Our Blessed Mother provides us with the remedy for this malady by her perfect example of humility. We need only to fervently ask her for help. And just as she brought Life to the world, she brings Life to our nation and asks that we follow Life with his call to humility and love: “Deny yourself, pick up your cross daily and follow me.”

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Ron Kelsey

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