Roe vs. Wade vs. Reason

Ecologists champion life. If so, why do some ecological advocates support abortion, which is, by any account, the ending of something living? Hence the dilemma in which so many environmentalists find themselves: Life vs. choice.

But as it turns out, this choice is not new.

 The ancient text known as the Didache admits this in its opening words: “There are two ways, one of life and one of death.” The Didache also recounts a Christian understanding of the Ten Commandments, which includes this: "thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born." Keep in mind, this text was written in approximately 50AD.

The Didache, circa 50AD

For Catholic Ecologists, the link between ecological advocacy and abortion is obvious. And denying this link results in angst for many so-called “pro-choice” environmentalists. Well, perhaps angst is not the best word. Maybe we're speaking of madness.

All this crossed my mind the other day when watching the movie 2010: Odyssey Two. The 1984 film was a poorly executed follow up of Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1969 motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey. Putting all the sci-fi nuances aside, both 2010 the novel and the motion picture explain why HAL-9000—a sentient computer that had been programmed to support human life and help fulfill life’s mission—in the end murdered the humans it had been programmed to protect. The reason? The machine’s programming had also been instructed to lie. The resulting conflict between life and lie consumed the logic centers of this computer, and so HAL went mad, and found no other choice but to kill.

The modern culture of abortion as a free choice, one supported by the state, leads to similar lies and a kind of madness that future generations will find horrifying.

And so as we reflect on the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade—and as we pray fervently for the souls of the justices that allowed this law to come to pass, as well as the American Catholics that stood by silently, and especially for the 50 million babies murdered in America since this decision—let us remember that in this age of reason and ecological hyper-awareness, we can dialogue with the secular world by connecting the desire to save all human life with the desire to protect all other life.

As I’ve written about before, ecology is a life issue. And if authentic ecologists seek to maintain their sanity, they must understand this simple truth: more and more, science is showing us that human life begins at conception. We are all called to protect this most fragile form of life. In doing otherwise, we will become like HAL. We will become the polar opposite of what it means to be authentically human.

Here, we must give the last word to the Holy Father, who spoke the following words the day before America mourned Roe v. Wade. In discussing a different but related topic, Benedict XVI said that

Our world, with all its new hopes and possibilities, is at the same time affected by the impression that moral consensus is breaking down and that, as a consequence, the basic structures of coexistence are no longer able to function fully. Thus, many people are tempted to think that the forces mobilized to defend civil society are, in the end, destined to fail. Faced with this temptation we—Christians in particular—have the responsibility to rediscover a new resolve in professing our faith and doing good.

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About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.