I’m blearily trying to type through my late-afternoon slog. It was a very late night last night owing to a trip to Hastings for a pro-life banquet featuring Alan Keyes (three-time presidential candidate, UN Ambassador under Reagan, Catholic, conservative). I really don’t even know how to summarize his message; any attempt on my part seems inadequate, but I’ll give it a go despite my sleep-deprived fog. The trip was worth it.
Basically, Keyes, in his no-holds-barred and utterly courageous style, described the very foundational principle upon which those of us in the pro-life movement operate, and to remind us again what it is. It is MORE than struggling to stop abortion. It is MORE than just fighting against pro-abortion legislation. It is MORE than fighting ceaselessly for the preservation of innocent human life. Those things are important, yes. But Keyes brought home the point (in his reasoned, and complex and often impassioned way) that the reason we fight against abortion is because our God-given nature demands it. We are designed to fight injustice, and abortion represents (in the worst possible way) not only an attack upon the right of a human being to live, but an attack upon the fundamental quality of man that separates us from the animals: We were created in the image of God. And only God Himself can create or destroy life. Keyes pointed out that we should never lose sight of that and let ourselves become distracted away from that all-important fact. It is not for us to be in the “god” position.
Keyes also touched upon the ways in which abortion advocates attempt to use language to their advantage, i.e., it’s not a baby, it’s a “fetus.” However, fetus means, in Latin, “child, infant.” So, when abortion advocates cry, “It’s not a baby, it’s a fetus!” they’re really saying, “It’s not a baby, it’s a baby!” And the term “person” itself is derived from “persona.” In ancient theater, the persona was the mask that actors held in front of their faces. The mask—the persona—was the representation of the actor behind the mask. So what, Keyes asked, are we to assume about ourselves—as beings called “persons”? We are beings created in the image of God.
It really is tough to paraphrase last night. Suffice it to say, Keyes is impassioned and he is intelligent and he is formidable. And he detests the worldview of liberals and of Barack Obama, and makes no secret of it. If there happened to be any pro-life Obama supporters there, (which, to me, is an oxymoron), I imagine they were made quite uncomfortable during the presentation, especially during the subsequent Q and A, where I thought he really shone. Hey, the truth hurts sometimes, I guess. I also can imagine what Mr. Keyes might have had to say to any person claiming to be both pro-life and pro-Obama. I’d pay money to witness that.
As for me, I could listen to Alan Keyes say the words “alleged usurper” all day and all night.