Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – I’ll articulate this vocally, but I’ll let Rachel Lu in a couple short paragraphs articulate it literally. She’s writing about these allegedly liberal Catholic women that say, [mocking] “We have to have choice for this and it’s not all bad. There have to be exceptions and you can’t have this dogma. This is not 1940 again.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
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Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I’ll articulate this vocally, but I’ll let Rachel Lu in a couple short paragraphs articulate it literally. She’s writing about these allegedly liberal Catholic women that say, [mocking] “We have to have choice for this and it’s not all bad. There have to be exceptions and you can’t have this dogma. This is not 1940 again.”
On social media, Rachel Held Evans agonized in characteristic fashion over her “classic stuck-in-the-middle” dilemma: she values the unborn, but aren’t pro-lifers awfully obtuse about contraceptives, social programs, abstinence education and so forth?
The refrain is a familiar one. Liberal Catholics played it ad nauseum in the lead-up to the 2008 election. Instead of banning abortion, shouldn’t we do the things that “really help” to reduce the need? Like sterilizing people (temporarily or permanently), so that they can have empty sex
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to their hearts’ content? Or rescuing them from poverty, so that they feel equal to childrearing?
It’s a beguiling line of argument because so often, this kind of reasoning is absolutely correct. In a conversation about taxes, health care, poverty relief, guns, immigration, crime control or a spectacular array of foreign policy concerns, I would happily agree that prudential reasoning is invaluable. Moral concerns are certainly relevant, but we should not allow cogent reasoning to be swamped by torrents of untrained moral outrage. Our policies should reflect a sober appreciation of real-world circumstances.
Abortion is different. It is not first and foremost a policy issue. Here, the moral problem stands in the foreground, and the prudential calculations properly recede. That is partly, of course, because the immediate and direct ramifications are so grave. Literally thousands of lives hang in the balance. This has been America’s most polarizing moral issue for four decades because it puts flesh (literally) on one of our society’s deepest moral problems.
We find ourselves presented with The Unexpected Child . . .
Mike: Let’s call this, ladies and gentlemen, the unexpected child argument. Hearkening back to last hour, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, to decline a controversy, which basically means the decline of arguments. I’m going to give you an argument, a good one. This argument is called the unexpected child argument. What’s the argument? The unexpected child.
He is a precious human being made in God’s own image designed to reason and to love. He is also a tremendous burden. All children are a tremendous burden. The great good of his life can thus be realized only if someone shoulders that momentous weight.
Sometimes the burden is dropped in the laps of people who don’t wish to carry it. Many resent the imposition; they didn’t mean to volunteer for this. Thus, the unexpected child forces us to decide: will we order our lives around natural law and natural obligation? Or will we free ourselves from the bonds of nature, for the sake of personal autonomy?
We spend a good part of our lives trying to soften this choice. Sometimes that’s reasonable enough; after all, it is good to fulfill our personal potential so far as circumstances allow. Living in a rich and diverse society, we tend to feel that personal fulfillment is our birthright. We’re Americans, after all! We believe in the pursuit of happiness!
It turns out, though, that nature cannot be bought. A woman becomes pregnant, and the hard choice is flung back in our faces. Here’s a baby. His parents don’t want him. Shall we help kill him, or demand at least the minimum sacrifice that would enable him to live? [Mike: This is the conclusion. You got the argument. Okay, what’s the statement?]
Choose ye this day whom ye will serve: the God without, or the god within. This really is the question. [Mike: Remember, think philosophically, which we should. Seek the truth, which we should. Always look for primary causes, purpose.] It is harsh and uncompromising, and we shouldn’t try to pretend otherwise. Natural obligation can be very hard, but the consequences of denying it are hideous, as the Center for Medical Progress has recently shown us.
None of the solutions presented by our “reasonable moderates” are really solutions at all. Contraceptives could rain from the skies, and the unexpected child would still be among us. We could sprout a hundred new social programs and he would still be burdensome. It’s telling that the people who promote contraceptives and social programs as “the real solution” to abortion are often quite dishonest about the true efficacy of these measures. Contraceptives don’t really hand women the keys to their fertility, and no social program can make childrearing easy. Worst of all, both measures predictably undercut the attitudes and social structures that would prepare us to welcome and embrace the Unexpected Child. [Mike: She concludes about abortion.]
It has an effect on the soul of our nation as well, and that battle is still raging. A society that regards the killing of its children as necessary will suffer the consequences. There will be limits on what such a society can achieve or become. How much can any of us ask of one another in a world where even the sacred bond between mother and child can be severed at our convenience? What ideals can we reasonably claim to hold, in light of that gaping omission?
It’s understandable that some would want to bury these stark realities in comfortable layers of nuance. This, however, is no time for the “wisdom of the wise.”
Mike: She ends it with a proper question. This is an argument. This is a controversy. We ought to have a controversy and we ought to have an argument over this. If the other side wins, we leave. We secede or we leave, as simple as that. Do not be a part of this. The conclusion, this is the question. Ask this question. There are yes and no answers. There’s no “I don’t know” or “I’m undecided.” No, you get two choices. You want to be pro-choice? There are two.
Do we wish to be the sort of society that kills our own children? This is the question at hand.
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Mike: That’s the ultimate question that Mrs. Clinton and her gang of culture-of-deathers and her gang members of Gal Qaeda, they’ll answer it in the affirmative. They’ll say: Yes, we do wish to be a society that kills our children. It’s convenient. It’s the modern way. That’s part of our religion, you see. That’s our morality. That’s not a morality. I do not wish to be part of that society, and I therefore withdraw from that society. People are trying to make this convenient. They’re trying to frame the question, which isn’t really a question at all, in terms that are convenient to others. [mocking] “We don’t want to offend anyone.” Yes, we do. To save the life of that little arm that was picked up in that video in that petri dish, yes, we do you want to offend people. I don’t care if you’re offended. Too bad.
As Ms. Lu so eloquently pointed out, either you’re going to comply with nature or you’re not going to comply with nature. What she left out of it, and she probably just ran out of time or didn’t think of it: Who created nature? Where do we get nature from? God created nature. You comply with nature, you comply with God. Do you want to be a society that kills our own children? For your own personal, radical autonomy, [mocking] “I’m a proponent of contraception.” Sure you are. [mocking] “Do you know how many impoverished children?” That’s. [mocking] “Do you know how many children are born in squalor?” That’s nature. Denis Leary once said: Life sucks, get a helmet.
We don’t want to confront that question. That’s a great question to ask 17 Republican candidates for the presidency. That’s a great question to ask Martin O’Malley, Mrs. Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and whoever else runs as a Dumbocrat, too. As a matter of fact, that’s a great question to ask of your alderman, your mayor. That’s a great question to ask of your state senators.
End Mike Church Show Transcript