Published October 3, 2023Turning further from the Christian heritage of protecting life regresses society to a time when only the powerful mattered.
Christians who work in politics to end legalized abortion do so because innocent lives are at stake. That would be enough cause in and of itself. However, abortion isn’t just one of the many issues that we should care about. In many ways, abortion, perhaps more than any other single issue, symbolizes our society’s core beliefs. Simply put, Christian societies do not kill their smallest, most vulnerable members. Pagan societies, on the other hand, do.
In a fascinating recent essay published at First Things, Louise Perry argued that the fight over abortion is really about whether we will remain, in any real sense, a Christian society, or we will re-paganize to the beliefs and values of pre-Christian times. Perry, author of the recent book The Case Against the Sexual Revolution, isn’t a Christian, though she admits she finds Christianity attractive. Her academic journey seems to have become a spiritual journey, one that has led to a recognition that many of her secular and humanist values are, in fact, remnants of a Christian morality that remade the world.
Perry opened her article by citing Scottish poet Hollie McNish, who wrote that archaeologists know they’ve found a Greek or Roman brothel when they unearth “a pit of newborn babies’ bones.” Hearing this poem gave Perry the same “painful, squeezing, swooping sensation” she first felt when hearing a graphic description of abortion. She realized something pro-lifers have long argued: Abortion is really a form of legalized infanticide and not so different from the baby-killing of the ancient world.
Though Perry is still pro-choice in certain cases, she’s clearly uneasy about it. This is in part because she’s a mom, and because she sees how abortion and infanticide exist on a “continuum” that includes other ancient practices like slavery, the sexual exploitation of women and children, and general disregard for the weak and poor. Historically, only one group of people objected to these things...