The thirty-sixth March for Life in Washington passed with relatively beautiful weather and no troubles. The sky was clear and the sun shone. I do not know how warm it was, but, well layered, I had to take off my coat during the noon rally.
My brother brought many boys from his high school to D.C. for the march, and we spent the morning in the Capitol complex. I finally visited the finished Capitol Visitor Center. It is impressive, though I see now why certain legislators have problems with its Leftist interpretation of American history and government. See, for instance, Senator DeMint statement:
Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on the opening of the new Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) in Washington, D.C. He recently fought to include prominent displays of our national motto, “In God We Trust,” and the Pledge of Allegiance within the CVC. The Architect of the Capitol has also been instructed to consider the rich faith heritage of our Nation when selecting the content of any future display.
“The Capitol Visitor Center is designed to tell the history and purpose of our nation’s Capitol, but it fails to appropriately honor our religious heritage that has been critical to America’s success,” said Senator DeMint. “While the Architect of the Capitol has pledged to include some references to faith, more needs to be done. You cannot accurately tell the history of America or its Capitol by ignoring the religious heritage of our Founders and the generations since who relied on their faith for strength and guidance. The millions of visitors that will visit the C.V.C. each year should get a true portrayal of the motivations and inspirations of those who have served in Congress since its establishment.
“The current C.V.C. displays are left-leaning and in some cases distort our true history. Exhibits portray the federal government as the fulfillment of human ambition and the answer to all of society’s problems. This is a clear departure from acknowledging that Americans’ rights ‘are endowed by their Creator’ and stem from ‘a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.’ Instead, the C.V.C.’s most prominent display proclaims faith not in God, but in government. Visitors will enter reading a large engraving that states, ‘We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution.’ This is an intentional misrepresentation of our nation’s real history, and an offensive refusal to honor America’s God-given blessings. As George Washington stated clearly in his first inaugural address:
‘…t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge.’
“The fundamental principles of the freedom we enjoy in this country stem from our Founding Fathers’ beliefs in a higher power, beliefs put forth in the Declaration of Independence and manifest throughout our Constitution,” said Senator DeMint. “If we cease to acknowledge this fact, we may cease to enjoy some of the freedoms we take for granted. We must not censor historical references to God for the sake of political correctness. And we must truthfully represent the limited form of government the Constitution lays out so that our ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’ So help us God.”
Sadly, Senator DeMint is in the minority, both politically and culturally. As Jay Nordlinger notes in “When up is down,” the Left has gained uncontested dominion in our society. A Leftist world view informs the government, the educational establishment, almost all international N.G.O.‘s, philanthropic trusts, the publishing world, the media in general, and more and more cultural pillars, including religious institutions. I am no Hegelian or Marxist, but modern history tempts me to consider the last centuries the inevitable logical-historical consequence of the so-called Enlightenment. I suspect that the only way out is the way of the Phoenix—after Western civilization self-destructs from having become insanely unfit for reality. What a pity!
The March for Life rebuffs my pessimism. Though a minority, there are millions of Americans left with their moral compass intact. As always, thousands upon thousands of prolife supporters came to Washington to forestall for our nation the fate of Gomorra.
Personally, the march is one of my favorite days in the year. Like the marvellous film La Vita è bella brilliantly depicts, there is no greater triumph of good over evil than to rob evil of its power to instill despair. Joy is the ultimate weapon in the divine arsenal. The Right to Life movement has turned one of the ugliest days in American history into a meekly defiant celebration of what the late Fr. Neuhaus called first things.
After I escorted my brother’s group to the Metro following the march, I returned to the Supreme Court to see the crowds dissipate. The Silent No More campaign had provided a forum in front of the high court for women who have had abortions to tell their stories. I cannot fathom their pain.
There were also four abortion rights supporters in front of the court with the familiar blue circle N.O.W. signs that read “Keep Abortion Legal.” Sardonically, I wondered in how many media reports would these four counter-protesters feature. A group of four is the larger, more newsworthy crowd in a sea of two hundred thousand when the media agree with their view. Anyway, I walked over to them to see how their martyrdom to folly was proceeding. I found an effeminate fellow with a N.O.W. sign chatting with a marcher holding a “We Vote Prolife” sign about football, which amused me greatly. Political differences end where the first down begins. I asked the abortion rights supporter how he had been treated today. He responded that most people were respectful, though he was shocked that so many people asked him questions, given that he was a man. I then knew that I would not engage him; for logos was not to be found in him. I also wondered if he realized how the reverse situation would be very different. You know how the satanic harpy hordes of N.O.W. would treat a few prolife counter-protesters. Isn’t it odd that the barren fig tree never notices its sterility?
Well, such is the human condition. Until next year, please remain active in resisting the new Democratic political stronghold’s attempts to embolden the culture of death. Write your congressmen to oppose the Freedom of Choice Act. More importantly, do what you can to cultivate the culture of life. Discuss the issues. Reason with folks. As Saint Paul orders us—walk as children of light.