Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (37), February 20, 1986

No Question, Abortion is Plain Wrong

Fred Thompson’s response to my article on abortion declares: “A state religion, which appears to be Mr. Griffith’s ultimate goal, would almost certainly (witness Iran) lead to intolerance and religious persecution.”

Yikes! Is that what I meant?

Not really. I, and every other pro-lifer I know, share Mr. Thompson’s abhorrence of the idea of a state religion. When churches gain official status, they grow politically corrupt and spiritually dead. The best solution, this side of the Millennium, is what we have: a government which tolerates all religions and sponsors none.

The point is not to establish a state church, but to acknowledge and preserve the Judeo-Christian heritage from which our system springs. The Constitution wasn’t created in a vacuum. Political values derive from spiritual values, human laws from religious ones. The Founding Fathers were largely men of faith whose speeches were filled with references to God and the Bible. I believe they would be appalled at modern efforts to purge from public life all trace of our religious heritage, and horrified at the result: the legal destruction if the unborn, in total disregard of the foundational right to life.

Mr. Thompson also criticizes the pro-life movement for being too “sure of themselves” and suggests that a truly moral person “acknowledges the presence of the all-knowing spirit by his very inability to be sure.” Of course it’s important to judge carefully and on the basis of facts, but at some point you’ve got to judge. The Bible speaks of those who “are ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth.”

Some things are plain right or wrong, and abortion is one of them. The facts are in, the biology now confirms that Western law and religion have maintained all along: life begins at conception. Abortion destroys life, causing pain to the fetus, guilt to the mother and violence to our national soul. To affirm that is not the moral equivalent of terrorism, as Mr. Thompson suggests. It is to defend the defenseless, in accord with Jesus’s warning that “Inasmuch as ye did it not to the one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”

Tom Griffith, 13 Lakeview Road, Essex