Today marks the historical beginning of Christianity, which is one of the pillars of Western civilization, along with ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and obviously Judaism. The religious, philosophical, cultural and social underpinnings of modern free societies exist because of those four things.
But Christianity was one of the catalysts for the spread of that unique blend across the Western world, which is why the West is Christian.
The West’s success is inextricably linked to Judeo-Christian philosophy and culture, and perhaps the most important aspect of it it is respect for life and the individual.
The caustic effects of movement away from the primacy of life and the individual can be seen in any socialist country, with Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Third Reich, Mao’s China and Pol Pot’s Cambodia as the most awful examples of a world in which communitarianism (a pretty name for The State) transcends the individual.
In an unprecedented move, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk on Friday suspended the Food and Drug Administration’s longtime approval of key abortion pill mifepristone, though he gave the government a week to appeal his decision. If the ruling does eventually go into effect, it would curtail access to the standard regimen for medication abortion nationwide.
I cannot judge the legal merits of this case, and the political aspects of it are fraught with danger for the Republican party (listen to the newest CutJibNewsletter Podcast for more on that), but sending the message to America that the destruction of life is not an unalloyed good thing is powerful, even if the message comes via a legal machination.
Abortion isn’t just about the killing of a baby in the womb. It is about the coarsening of our culture and the loss of respect for life. How can a supposedly modern and enlightened society turn its back on the weakest and most innocent among us and approve of their destruction without a concomitant coarsening of its attitude toward ALL life?
Yes, there is a philosophical argument against abortion that can be made without explicit reference to theology. But they are intertwined, and it would be difficult to separate them. Nor should we. Respect for religious teachings is part and parcel of most of our political philosophy, and the founders of our great nation were in the main religious men who relied on religious teaching for their moral guides.
And…denying that connection is a powerful tool in the left’s arsenal, so supporters of individual freedom and respect for life should push back forcefully when it is wielded in defense of abortion. Acceptance of Judeo-Christian philosophy, morality and ethics is not de facto approval of Catholic Apologetics, or even religion, but it is a recognition that the glories of Western Culture are based in large part on the teachings of those religions.