Kermit Gosnell, Trayvon Martin, and Selective Outrage

Posted on April 12, 2013 by

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Abortion kermit gosnell outrageAt their best, our Presidents can fill a psychic void that opens in the context of national tragedy. When the Challenger disaster shook America, President Reagan began the healing process by declaring the astronauts had “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.” Our leaders can also become a focal point for protest and the pursuit of justice when they address issues from their bully pulpit. President Obama has used his lectern to spur a national debate on gun control in the wake of Sandy Hook. Whether you agree with the President or not, or whether you think he has done this well, or not, is beside the point. Part of his function is to take the public’s issues and transform them into policy demands and to, at times, challenge the status quo.

Remember Trayvon Martin? He was the young man who was killed under still legally ambiguous circumstances. His alleged killer, George Zimmerman, was splashed across the media world, nearly convicted in public opinion’s often vile, rushed “court.” The Martin case contained all of the elements of a national phenomenon–violence, race, youth, and death.

President Obama famously declared, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” His outrage was understandable, and his sense of justice offended. The death of the young is a tragedy that seems too hard to bear. Those of us with children pray without ceasing that they will at least outlive their parents. While I consider myself a strong man, for the most part, I am not sure I could bear the horror of losing a child.

Mr. President, I hope you realize that if you had a son, he could have looked like one of Kermit Gosnell’s victims. He could have been “snipped” so that he would cry no more. He could have had the temerity to survive a procedure meant to destroy him, only to meet a speedy death at the hands of a butcher of souls.

This is not a matter of being pro-life or pro-choice. This is an opportunity to use your bully pulpit to condemn the brutality on display. This is a chance to draw at least one clear line–that killing children once they have emerged from the womb is not only murder, it is, by definition, barbaric and beyond the scope of any society that considers itself civilized or enlightened. While we may argue about the nature of a fetus and the moment of viability, we cannot argue about the consequences of killing an innocent baby already emerged from its mother’s womb.

If we do argue about this, we are entering into grim territory best left reserved to the mad men of history.

I pray for the President to simply stand up and make a statement that what happened in that Philadelphia clinic is as gruesome and ungodly as what occurred at Sandy Hook. If our President cannot summon the outrage to condemn Kermit Gosnell’s alleged acts, we will know that his sense of justice is only pricked when it allows him to pander to a favored constituency. He will cease being a moral force and will, finally, reveal himself to be a purely political being.

I hope, for all of our sakes, that this is not true. We should never wish to be governed by such half-men who find their principles only when they examine the latest poll or a donor’s check.

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