Of the Constitution: Strengths and Weaknesses
January 20, 2009
Over 1000 people (students, staff, faculty) gathered in the gym at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Excitement, elation, enthusiasm, and electricity filled the air as the Inaugural ceremonies danced on the huge screen set up for the occasion.
Inaugurations always fills me with hope and pride in the United States. Having lived for three years in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship (1981-1984), I do not take for granted the incredible achievement of "we the people" as power is peacefully transferred to the newly elected President. There are many places on earth where such peaceful transfer of power cannot be presupposed (and some would say the election in 2000 made it worrisome here in the USA). Such elections and transfer of power did not happen in Chile for many years because of the unjust political choices made by people like Kissinger and Nixon. May our nation never repeat such injustices.
Yesterday we saw once again the vision and wisdom of the nation's founders still strong and vibrant. The Constitution lives (the Constitution Center here in Philly is a national treasure). Someday we hope the unborn will be afforded the rights the rest of us presuppose. That day will necessitate a change in the Constitution, not just a change in who sits in office.
Those who, many Catholics included, decry Obama as a "pro-abortion" President are wrong. I disagree with his stand on abortion, but I do not believe he will work to see abortions increased. He is not "for" abortion. Mostly, when we blame the politicians for not being "right" on abortion, we are shirking our own duties to challenge our young people, especially our young men, in their sexual attitudes and actions. The way to stop abortion is to change the minds of young women who think that abortion is a solution to their problem, to help them see that they carry a small person within them, and that to give birth and lovingly give the child up for adoption are just and loving choices. It is not our politicians who parent and pastor our young people. We do. The day no one shows up at the abortion clinics is the day abortion ends.
Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions. A short plane ride to another country, and the deed will be done. Leaving it up to the states (McCain's position. So why did anyone think he was pro-life?) just assures abortion will be forever legal, at least in some of the fifty states.
The only way to stop abortion is to help women want to give birth to the babies they and their male partners conceive.
In the movie Juno, the young woman experiences metanoia when the her high school classmate tells her the baby has fingernails. That makes the pregnant girl rethink her options. What is really pathetic is the zombie like attitude taken by the young boy who fathered the child. He is completely incomptent to decide anything, let alone the life or death of a child. Boys must be taught there are consequences to their actions.
May the new administration see that the blessings of prosperity and liberty reach not just from "sea to shining sea" but also all across the globe. May we all work to see that life is respected and protected, not simply by government, but also by the people, i.e., "we the people," who create and give power to the governments under which we live.