‘We’re in a battle for the soul of America.” I happen to think that’s true. But my tolerance for listening to Joe Biden talk about it is officially something like non-existent.
There was a time in my life when I think I could have entertained the idea of voting for Joe Biden. Even this year, I did a few conscience exercises. Knowing that he had locked himself into choosing a woman, and likely a black woman, as his running mate, I wondered about the mayor of Washington, D.C. Muriel Bowser is an adoptive mother, bringing awareness, perhaps, to the foster-care crisis in America. She didn’t seem as hostile to religious entities during the height of the pandemic as, say, New York mayor Bill de Blasio, who threatened to shut places of worship down when a Hasidic community had the audacity to mourn their dead. And Bowser, like Biden, is a baptized Catholic. I’d like to think that there is some sacramental instinct that might occasionally kick in. As a senator, Biden had long agreed to a line in the sand on abortion — the Hyde amendment, which meant no taxpayer funding of abortion. But in his old age, the former vice president will have nothing to do with finding common ground on abortion, even though he’s admitted an unborn baby may be human life. Even though he may tell a priest that abortion is wrong, as a candidate, he’s all-in with whatever the most radical wing of the Democratic Party insists on. Abortion expansion is what the kids are into, if that’s what we can call, say, another New Yorker, Andrew Cuomo.
And to think: It’s not actually ancient political history to remember that Bill Clinton was far from an elder statesman when he minted the “safe, legal, and rare” language about abortion. There was a tone of regret and last resort to it — even grieving. It recognized that abortion was very far from anything like a desire of the heart. Tragically, the Democratic Party is so blinded by abortion ideology that it cannot see through to smart politics, never mind that which is more humane.
If you had any doubts about Biden’s commitment to the party line, he confirmed it in choosing Kamala Harris as his running mate, bringing to his campaign all the zeal of the progressive commitment to abortion on demand and hostility to some of the best of America — in Harris’s case, most infamously the Catholic Knights of Columbus.
So, don’t show me photos of Biden with Pope Francis. That’s smoke and mirrors, and the stakes are too high — not only for the soul of America, but for each and every one of ours, who gave in to this culture of death.
One of the saints whose lives we mark in the month of August is Maximillian Kolbe, a priest who was killed at Auschwitz when he volunteered to die in place of a Jewish husband and father. He wrote about indifference. And there is something of indifference that I fear has set in to Americans’ hearts about abortion. We hear from the people who are motivated by abortion activism on both sides. But what about the rest of America? Polls suggest the majority favor restrictions. They know that freedom is for life. Whether you call it a baby or not, some parents are ordering cribs, while others are seeing a problem they are desperate for a solution to. Frequently that’s a single parent, a woman who feels nothing like a choice, since many if not most cultural and practical expectations point her toward an abortion-clinic door. We can do better than this. And somewhere in his heart, Joe Biden knows this, even as he trips over himself to utter Planned Parenthood-approved talking points.
One recent Biden campaign video talks about his love of religious sisters. Here, too, he knows better than his actions. Catholic women religious have played a pivotal role in American history. And yet, these days, they are not just the counterculture, but the persecuted. As you may have noticed, the Little Sisters of the Poor had to go to the U.S. Supreme Court not once, but twice, because of the Obama-Biden administration. And back in the early days, behind the scenes, Biden was reportedly among those who advised against mandating that nuns cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in their employee insurance plans. But he gave in and became a disingenuous mouthpiece — pretending there was no conscience problem at all — for the policy.
When you talk about the battle for the soul of America, as Joe Biden does, we had better get reflecting on what the conscience of America looks like. Could it be that surrender to the tyranny of the abortion industry has something to do with all the violence and death and misery that we sometimes seem to be drowning in? There is a poison in our body politic. We need leaders who know and lead us to something better. Joe Biden somewhere in there knows the truth — he has forgotten, or chosen to ignore.
God help us all.
This column is based on one available through Andrews McMeel Universal’s Newspaper Enterprise Association.