(EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter was sent to The Ledger Independent before the confimation hearing for Judge Kavanaugh began.)
As much as some of us long for a time of quiet and repose for our country, almost certainly we will not have it before enduring even greater division, troubles, and conflict. The country is more divided, without yet being at war, than at any time since the decade before the Civil War. The upcoming Senate confirmation hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh will highlight the division, the animus, and the cynicism of lawmakers anxious to pose and posture in support of the progressive delusions of the political left. The Democrats have stated that abortion and Roe v. Wade will be at the center of their assault on Kavanaugh.
If Kavanaugh is pro-life, it would be refreshing to hear him candidly and passionately make the case that Roe is based on constitutional fiction, that abortion is a moral abomination, and that the principles of natural law and natural rights should be given new life, and once again be a living part of Constitutional law. This will not happen, for a variety of reasons. But if I am surprised, and it does happen, I hope that he would include in his response a trenchant commentary on a Ruth Marcus column that appeared in your newspaper a few months ago.
I don’t remember from reading history any reports that people with Down Syndrome were involved in holocausts, genocides, massacres, enslavements, child sacrifices, or any other desecrations that have so shamed humanity. I don’t recall it being reported that any have a marked propensity for greed, lust, pride, malice, or envy that weigh so heavily on the rest of us. They have a good record, if I can put it that way; far better than the record of those of us who were conceived and born otherwise; a record that was apparently not taken into account by Ruth Marcus whose justification for aborting a Down Syndrome child, if she had conceived such a child, was stated in your newspaper a few months ago: “That is not the child I wanted.”
I am with those, past and present, who think that human dignity and human rights do not derive from what we can or cannot do, or whether or not we possess physical beauty or certain talents or characteristics. I am with those who hold that our dignity and our rights are intrinsic to being human. (For the many who have discarded it, an insight into the principle of natural law was dramatically provided when recently the Thai boys were trapped in a flooded cave, and there was universal rootingfor their rescue. What was right and good and ordinate was universally felt across all political, cultural, and religious boundaries. Personal convenience, comfort, wealth, proclivities, ‘liberation,’ and otherinterests had not bled the life out of the principle in this application as it has in so many others in our society. ). Marcus (and her progressive cohorts) apparently denies the existence of natural law and natural rights, thereby enabling her to say and promote: “That is not the child I wanted”.Marcus’ views are impossible to reconcile with the tribulations of her own people. She is of Jewish parentage, married to a Jewish man, writes for a newspaper that is located not so far from the Holocaust museum, and no doubt all her life has been keenly conscious of the almost unspeakable abomination suffered by her people on the orders of others who thought that Jews were ‘not the people we want.’ Her advocacy of bigotry and discrimination is therefore stunning.
To come to such a view as Marcus’ it is required that she claim that the “I” is sovereign and autonomous; that what “I” want and feel has a claim and authority superior to objective truth, natural law, and natural rights; and that the natural law principle as expressed, for example, in the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence and, for another example, the claim and concept of a ‘higher law’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ on which the Nuremberg trials (which punished the perpetrators of the Jewish Holocaust) were largely based are bogus and inoperative. Further, although it is not essential to my point to cite religious influence on social or personal morality, her own ancient ancestors, the authors of the old books, the psalmists, and the prophets, must be also be rejected and scorned; and the divine image they found within man effaced. Today’s progressives-Marcus, and generally, the media, academia, Hollywood, the coastal cities, National Democrats-take it as an article of faith that natural law, natural rights, and the old moral teachings of Judeo-Christian western civilization are superstitious and outdated. Their standard-the standard of the modern and the liberated- is this: What I want and what I feel are the supreme standards for determining the morality of personal behavior. Disastrously, both the courts and the culture have largely bought this line.
I don’t think that most people in this valley accept the Marcus view of people with Down Syndrome or, more largely, with her view of life. Marcus wants the ‘beautiful’, the ‘intelligent’, those who will be credentialed, those who can move smoothly within the inner circle, the enlightened, and the elite. In a word, she wants the superficial; that which reaches only the surface of humanity, and soon passes away. A child who is morally good, who is filled with almost mystical wonder, who draws from others as yet undiscovered depths of sacrifice and love is not good enough for Marcus or for the other seekers of an always elusive utopia.
There is a scene in G. B. Shaw’s play Back to Methuselah in which the following line is whispered: “Some men see things as they are and ask why; I dream things that never were and ask why not”. The Kennedy’s often quoted the line; it has an emotional and beguiling attractiveness in its progressive appeal. But should not a wise person -and a civilized society- demand to know: “What things have you been dreaming?”; and to some sordid dreams that ask ‘Why not?’, should we not answer: “Because nature and reason, conscience, millennia of tradition and moral teaching, and the logic of love tell us it is wrong”, or to answer more directly, “Because we are not God”. This should be our answer to the serpent who, in a garden in the play, whispered “Why not?”
Let the children live. Let all the children live, and by the light of reason recognize the universal right to life, and by the logic of love see in all children the image the psalmist saw in man; an image, as Augustine would later say, of “Beauty, so ancient and so new.”
Joseph P. Gallenstein