In answer to the Christian charge that pagans have bloodthirsty tastes, the author of The Sacrament of Abortion, Ginette Paris says that martyrdom, sacrificing for a cause, euthanasia or heroic suicide…—all suggest daily that death, under certain circumstances may be preferable to life. Abortion always has been and continues to be another way of choosing death of life. To abort an unwelcome fetus, to Ms. Paris, is simply a shift of emphasis. She falsely opines that Christianity has always sacrificed the mother rather than the child, as if the mother always dies in childbirth.
The pagan-inspired author erroneously contends that millions of women have died through the ages because of clandestine abortions. She contends that there’s no telling how many died because of strict monotheism over the centuries. Consequently, she considers abortion as murder as readily as pro-lifers would but with a polar-opposite reason. When a Christian chose martyrdom, he acted in the name of his spiritual life… The same kind of thinking allows us to choose abortion when we are incapable of offering the child the best of our selves and our resources.
Her warped logic equates the sacrifice of one’s self for the good of his soul to the involuntary sacrifice of the unborn child because of the insufficiency of the mother. Self-sacrifice is equated with a narcissistic inability for the pagan mother to recognize her own natural and moral responsibility to her child. This is a far cry from the equality of all people echoed in our country’s founding documents. This misunderstanding of martyrdom has recently entered the conventional wisdom with the production of Martin Scorsese’s controversial film, Silence.
It becomes all too clear that at the heart of her presentation is the feminist core belief in self-actualization, an existentialist Weltanschauung that defines its behavior in terms of self-fulfillment without any sense of personal responsibility. It was this definition of self that the Casey v. Planned Parenthood decision declared would serve as the pro-choice anchor in maintaining the status quo of Roe v. Wade in 1992. Paris also says that Artemis, unlike the maternal Goddesses, invites us to retreat from others, to become autonomous.
Ms. Paris is a fallen away Catholic. While in Catholic schools she developed a deep hatred for many Catholic traditions, especially patriarchy. She saw the Church and religious people in general, as having effected more pain and suffering in this world than people like her who were merely bound by practicality and pragmatism. To her it had been religious doctrine and ideology that gave us the crusades, the Inquisition and several religious wars. We have taken more lives in the name of Faith, race, Regime, Party or Progress…than the archaic societies who sacrificed to their most bloodthirsty Gods. This justifies abortion, in her mind, because of the overt hypocrisy evidenced by two thousand years of history.
Without admitting so, Paris recognizes the steep decline in maternal death from abortions is due mostly to medical advances. Yet she shifts gears to the realm of psychological duress in another attempt to project guilt onto the accuser. This clever tactic falls neatly into the Doe v. Bolton (1973) exception that optioned all abortions under the health of the mother rubric, including the infanticidal, the so-called partial birth abortion misnomer. As Paris proclaimed: forcing an unwanted pregnancy on a woman is one of the deepest wounds to the spirit that can be inflicted on a human being. She compares this condition to slavery and then goes on to argue how the Church has looked the other way with regard to serfs and other forms of human bondage. In this manner while the Church put women back into an inferior status, in effect, it legitimized slavery in the name of divine guidance…Of course there is no mention of the mother’s irresponsible behavior that 99% of the time was a voluntary assent to sexual behavior that carried with it a moral responsibility to any being that might result in such a coupling licit or illicit.
But guilt does often occur after a woman has had an abortion. To combat this frequently overwhelming sense of guilt, Ms. Paris stresses that our culture needs new rituals as well as laws to restore to abortion its sacred dimension, which is both terrible and necessary…. While she rightfully admits that in too many cases a woman goes through a clinic like a car going in for an oil change and the fetuses are put in the trash. She proposes that rituals well adapted to the circumstances can help them feel the love, sadness and the regret associated with an interrupted of pregnancy without recognizing their own volition in this vicious attack on motherhood.
On a similar note, in another effort to change the focus from the abortive woman’s guilt, the author resorts to the overworked excuse of economic pragmatism. She firmly believes that if prolife people really want to save lives they should have to pay for the consequences of their backward Christian morality. By “demonstrating” the other side’s “obvious” hypocrisy, somehow, validates in her mind, the destruction wreaked in the abortion clinics. She resents tax dollars being spent for children whose parents refuse to abort when they would be a burden on the state. This attitude can happen in this country too. The public has already suffered through its early conditioning about the elderly and the mentally unfit whose lack of a quality of life makes them a burden on their families and eventually the state that must take care of them. While everyone has the right to his or her own moral choices, the integrity of the social fabric and the planet has to bear the consequences of unwanted children.
In what must be considered an exercise in surrealism, there is a growing trend to develop a new ritual for this pregnancy loss. This is after subjecting the nation to several years of denial and propaganda campaigns, touting the benefits and inherent goodness of the abortion choice.
However their idea of forgiveness and reconciliation consists in excusing any abortion because there is nothing you did or did not do to cause this. This is at the heart of Paris’ views on abortion. Paris sees absolutely no reason why women should feel guilty after having an abortion since it is actually an act of love they perform in ending their unwanted pregnancies.
Ms. Paris is miles off the mark on this. To include abortive women in this pregnancy loss ritual, and refuse to deny their necessary guilt with women, who did nothing to end their pregnancies, is an affront to all concepts of traditional decency. It will do nothing to assuage their inner self-hatred, engendering an inner despair that will probably poison the rest of their lives.
While Ms. Paris’ classical paganism proclaims that there should be no guilt in any behavior with regard to sex and reproduction, she has no similar qualm when it comes to environmental pollution. Borrowing a large leaf from Vice-President Al Gore’s best-selling tome, The Earth In the Balance, Paris contends that shame should be reserved for those who pollute the atmosphere, not to mothers who kill their unborn children.
Pagans, such as Paris, have booked a prominent circle in hell for those who wantonly destroy animals and the ecology of the planet. Allied with their pagan cohorts in the abortion community, pagan ecologists just append a surreal prospective to the abortion debate.
This movement towards religion and abortion has made great inroads as many witches have come out of the closet, declaring that Yes, abortion is a sacrament! They emphasize it as a ritual sacrifice in which a live baby is offered up to the Great Goddess. New Age gurus, who have infiltrated and captured much of the environmental movement, teach that the spirit of the unborn baby wants to be tortured and sacrificed so that his or her “life karma” can be balanced.
The stark truth is that this way of thinking is no longer relegated to the social fringe but has been making great inroads among the guardians of the public conscience. Paris is proud of being a pagan. Paris was part of the vanguard of those who were trying to overcome the opprobrium that her paganism rightfully deserves. If her twisted theology ever captures the national imagination, there is no telling to what extent our “culture of death” will go.
It is not hard to envision that if this were ever the standard moral practice of the land, that the same arguments will be made to eliminate the elderly, the infirm, the handicapped and the mentally deficient, not unlike what the Nazis perpetrated in the 1930s. After all there is not much of a leap from the slippery slope of prenatal butchery to the practical rise of geriatric euthanasia.
At the center of the culture war, of which abortion serves as the defining metaphor, is the desire of these abortion proponents to exert the godhead within, to be simply “like gods” themselves. This is the trend towards neo-paganism and it is serving as a major underpinning of the evolving abortionist mind. Given our deification of the separation of church and state shibboleth, it might be a much harder mountain to scale. Catholics must always be vigilant, lest we lose our control of the rhetorical high ground. This war has many battles to go before we can truly say Life is victorious!