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Planned Parenthood: Compare and Contrast

When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of “gay” marriage, one ranking Churchman declared that the decision is now the “law of the land.”  Not exactly fighting words, those.  Complacency is a serious threat to the moral and spiritual life, and democracy (or if you prefer a “democratic republic”) provides temptations to complacency. When a behavior becomes lawful through democratic means, we somehow think we have to relinquish our right to judge its morality. Or if we do judge it, we must be pathologically serene, lest we be labeled “judgmental” or “harsh” or “mean-spirited.”

The “compare and contrast” literary approach many of us were taught in rudimentary English classes is useful, I think, for breaking such patterns of complacency. That’s why, in my parish bulletin, I’ve compared Planned Parenthood to the ISIS terror organization. ISIS beheads Christians; Planned Parenthood beheads unborn babies. But the comparison wasn’t well received by everyone.

ISIS "caliph" Abū Bakr al-Baghdādi
ISIS “caliph” Abū Bakr al-Baghdādi

A very nice, politically aware parishioner objected, although she professes to be pro-life and opposes the practices of Planned Parenthood. By my reckoning, she likely represents a good number of church-going Catholics – call them, “Catholic establishment types.” A Catholic establishment parishioner generally goes along with Church teaching and can’t quite admit that a good deal of our popular culture and of America’s legal system has become irreconcilable with the Catholic faith. (A lot of priests and bishops are Catholic establishment types.) It’s sheer complacency, and insensitivity to profound evils.


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