This morning I woke up early to the sound of birds who are a little too excited about springtime. This gave me a little extra time to catch up on some online reading.
One of my favorite sites is the "online magazine" Slate. Its founders were ahead of the curve in terms of online news and opinion and they have a sophisticated site. Its politics are "left leaning," but I don't know a better place online to find thoughtful, or at least interesting, cultural commentary.
Today I read a fun story about the NBA playoffs - basketball's my favorite sport, so you can't beat that. I was helpfully linked to a YouTube replay of Michael Jordan's top 10 buzzer-beaters. Thanks, Slate!
More significantly, I read a great piece called "Sex, Life, and Videotape: Ultrasound and the Future of the Unborn." Its author, William Saletan, is a long-time Slate contributor described on Wikipedia as a "liberal Republican." Nevertheless, his commentary about abortion ran on the "front page" yesterday (and perhaps over the weekend) and contained words like these:
Pro-lifers are often caricatured as stupid creationists who just want to put women back in their place. Science and free inquiry are supposed to help them get over their "love affair with the fetus." But science hasn't cooperated. Ultrasound has exposed the life in the womb to those of us who didn't want to see what abortion kills. The fetus is squirming, and so are we.
Saletan's point is that the ultrasound is the greatest enemy to abortion. I encourage you to read his piece here.
Laws affect morality. Legalizing abortion did not only make it a "right," it granted public sanction. Now that partial-birth abortion has been declared unconstitutional (in one of the best Supreme Court decisions in recent memory), the unacceptability of abortion is gaining a long overdue - if still faint - hearing.
The idea that public laws and public morality are totally separate issues is simply unrealistic. In a nation such as ours, the trickle-down effect of public policy is actually a torrent of peer pressure and political correctness. Therefore, we desperately need lawmakers who are wise, competent, and noble.
We also need that which is required in every age: backbone to stand against the torrent of public opinion when it is unjust or unrighteous. There aren't many people eager to defend partial-birth abortion now that it's becoming clear how gruesome it actually is. But there are nevertheless babies losing their lives every day to all other forms of abortion.
We need more than an ultrasound, but an ultrasound won't hurt. It certainly won't hurt the baby inside the womb if it serves to teach the mother just what it is that God has given her.