ITS QUIET REVOLUTION
How interesting it’s been — no, revealing, actually — to observe the absolute glee with which Ireland’s legalization of abortion has been met.
Facebook is awash in photos and video footage of people celebrating wildly.
There appears to be no mixed emotions, no acknowledgement of moral ambiguity, about this reversal that’s taken place in historically Catholic Ireland. All is joy, merriment, revelry.
Pass around the Guinness, lads! Crank up the volume on that U2 album! Good old Bono was with us!
Now, I realize there are people who voted to keep the abortion ban in place. And doubtless they’re pretty disheartened.
But on the winning side I’ve seen nobody quoted who expresses the slightest reservation about this vote. No one has said something like…
Sure’n it’s a sad thing, but at least young girls who find themselves in trouble won’t have to bear the shame or go out of the country for help.
Not even that much reserve.
On the contrary, euphoria prevails. Unrelieved ecstasy. Uninhibited frolic.
This all follows on the great esprit with which Irish nationals living overseas joined together in organized junkets back to the old sod to cast their votes for reform.
The effort succeeded — quite probably beyond their wildest dreams — and so the party continues. The River Dance goes on.
And what is this great improvement in Irish life that’s being celebrated with such unseemly exuberance?
Have women finally gained the right to vote? Has some historic blow been struck for female emancipation that’s more impactful than no longer having to hop the ferry for the clinics of England?
Repealing Amendment 8 of the Irish constitution — which will now permit passage of abortion-regulating legislation — is being hailed as a moral victory. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who campaigned for the measure, proclaimed…
“Today is an historic day for Ireland. A quiet revolution has taken place.”
…a quiet revolution that has been underway for some years now, and of which Varadkar himself, as Ireland’s first openly gay Prime Minister, is a highly visible sign.
An image of the Emerald Isle as a bastion of Catholic traditionalism is etched deeply into the public mind. But Phil Lawler, news director for the online journal, Catholic Culture, observes that profound change has been underway for the last half-century…
“The referendum was held at a time when the people of Ireland are frantically tearing away any vestiges of the Catholic culture on which their society is based.” Lawler writes.
And he lays at least part of the blame for that “tearing away” on the Church itself…
“…this political battle was not lost last Saturday; it was lost some years ago, when the Irish bishops chose to be satisfied with a complacent, cultural Catholicism rather than an active and evangelical faith.”
Thus yielding the cultural high ground to a strongly anti-Catholic Left with its own version of justice, kindness, and national pride. It’s from that perspective Prime Minister Varadkar could declare…
“Everyone deserves a second chance. This is Ireland’s second chance to treat everyone equally and with compassion and respect. We have voted to look reality in the eye and we did not blink.”
Well, a very large portion of the Irish People certainly didn’t blink. Rising to what Varadkar had called “a once-in-a-generation chance,” sixty-four percent of the electorate turned out, carrying the referendum by a margin of two-to-one across all but a single voting district.
As reported by Reuters, the repeal movement was “pushed up the political agenda” by the 2012 death of a 31-year-old Indian immigrant named Savita Halappanavar from a septic miscarriage, after being refused pregnancy termination in Dublin…
“Her parents in India were quoted by the Irish Times newspaper as thanking their ‘brothers and sisters’ in Ireland and suggesting that the new [regulatory] law be called ‘Savita’s law.’”
Now, this death was a genuine human tragedy — one over which hearts must ache for a grieving family. And it proves the truth of that old legal adage…
Hard cases make bad law.
Interviewed prior to the vote, Irish columnist and author John Waters addressed the implications of repeal…
“If this abomination passes,” Waters told Church Militant, “it will be the first time also that a people have voted to strike down the rights, the fundamental human rights, of a section of their own number [in this case, unborn children]. It’s unprecedented in human history. Not even the Nazis succeeded in doing that. That’s the level of this thing. It’s an extraordinary abomination. It is an obscenity beyond description.”
Abortion advocacy is such an ignoble cause. You can talk about sympathy for unfortunate, abused, exploited girls, or for poor women on the brink of destitution. And who wouldn’t feel sympathy for fellow human beings facing desperate circumstances?
But the inescapable reality of abortion is that children die.
Is there never a reasonable alternative? No other answer but death? Can’t Ireland do better?
Not that we in America should count ourselves morally superior to the Irish. Ever since Roe v Wade, abortion has been considered the sine qua non (“without which, nothing” — the essential element) of Feminism…
Since a woman’s course through life can be profoundly altered by pregnancy and child rearing, we dare not deprive her of this ultimate form of “birth control,” or she will never have full “equality” with a man.
That’s the rationale. Thus, the Democratic Party has made abortion the lynchpin of its social transformation agenda.
Republicans can claim little credit for vigorous, principled resistance.
And the American people?
Polls have indicated time and again that the majority of Americans want abortion limited — safe, legal and rare, as the saying goes — but they do not want it outlawed. Why? Because…
Well, gee … you know … I mean, it could be my daughter … or it could be my girlfriend … or it could be my wife … or it could be me.
Even as we’ve seen abortion mills close, abortion hasn’t declined over all. There’s just a shift from surgical procedures to chemically induced terminations.
So … Happy Abortion Day, Ireland! Let the festivities go on. Let enthusiasm abound.
After all, you may be completing your revolution, but you’re just catching up with us.
I don’t know the source of this image circulating online — which I found in a Facebook post — but it captures the celebratory attitude toward abortion legalization in Ireland.
This message making the rounds has a certain Irish sensibility about it.
“Realistically speaking, practicing Catholics have probably been a minority for some time now. (Otherwise why would Ireland have allowed divorce, or approved legal recognition of same-sex marriage?) But now they are an embattled minority; anti-Catholic forces are on the march, triumphant, ready to press their advantage.”
Read it all at…
Watch the Church Militant video interview with Irish writer John Waters, included in this analysis piece run prior to the referendum. Waters’ words are a cri de coeur for the soul of the Irish nation about to be crushed…
The British online journal Catholica looks at voting statistics and finds, not surprising, that repeal was favored overwhelming by younger voters whose moral formation has suffered during recent decades of catechetical poverty. But Editor Chris Newton pinpoints an interesting fact…
“Another appalling statistic that truly brings shame on once-Catholic Ireland is the exit poll’s 40% of the ages 60+ category who voted in favor. Many of whom would have been raised in strong Catholic families and will have absolutely no excuse before the judgment seat of God.”
Check out the observations of Newton, a young convert to Catholicism, at…