As the smoke clears and the wounded are tended to following the horrific bombing in Boston yesterday, the case of America’s most prolific serial killer, Kermit Gosnell, has been once again pushed to the back of our collective consciousness. Yesterday’s tragedy, so raw and present in the minds of post-9/11 Americans, leaves little room in our thoughts for the details of Gosnell’s gruesome trial.
But we can’t afford to let this story once again slip out of the eye of the media. Not when it focuses the spotlight on the reality of abortion. Not when it brings to public awareness the atrocities committed by a man who, among other demonic violations of human decency, severed the spinal cords of living babies, beheading them with impunity.
By now, you’ve probably heard these charges more times than you care to count. To be honest, I have mostly avoided the details myself. As a father of six — including a newborn — I can’t even stand to read the stories about Gosnell’s “house of horrors”. I don’t have the stomach for it. But it’s too important too ignore.
Just weeks ago, the media blackout on Gosnell had been almost total, but through social media campaigns like this one, a begrudging change had started taking place. Ever-so-gradually, a number of outlets were goaded into talking about the story. Yesterday on Facebook, I saw the following image about last Friday’s tweet campaign, promoted by whoisgosnell.com:
Glenn Beck, who has the journalistic freedom that comes with owning his own media network, did an 18-minute segment on his 5PM newscast on Monday night:
“This is the most disturbing show that I have ever done,” Beck said. “This is some of the most disturbing information and some of the most disturbing pictures I have ever seen.”
Beck also blasted the mainstream media for not covering the Gosnell trial until they were “shamed into it.”
“For over two decades…Kermit Gosnell convinced people to snip the necks of the perfectly healthy babies. Several per day. Week after week after week, year after year, baby after baby after baby,” Beck said.
Raising his voice in outrage, Beck added: “That means this man killed more children in a single month than all the school shootings in the history of America combined, and no one in the media says anything.”
Until they were shamed into it. But some have no shame. Like our President. When White House spokesman Jay Carney was pressed for some statement from President Obama on the Gosnell trial, the sheer cowardice of the President shined through in his non-response:
“I’ll say two things. One, the president is aware of this. Two, the president does not and cannot take a position on an ongoing trial, so I won’t as well.”
From the Daily Caller:
When pressed about Obama’s vote as an Illinois state lawmaker against a law to provide medical care to a baby born due to a botched abortion, Carney also dodged.
“Well, again, you’re relating it to a case that I can’t comment on and the president can’t comment on,” Carney said. “I would simply say that the president’s position on choice is very clear. His position on the basic principle — that as President Clinton said, abortions ought to be safe, legal and rare — is very clear. I just don’t have comment that could shed light on this specific case.”
Last March, Obama weighed in on the death of Trayvon Martin after the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the case.
“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said at the time.
The Washington Post reports that Carney initially had refused to comment on the case, explaining that the White House was “not going to wade into a local law enforcement matter.”
But it took no time at all for the President to make a speech about what happened in Boston. And that was appropriate, despite the ongoing investigation. Because it’s appropriate for the President to comment on significant tragedies within the country he leads, even unsolved or unconcluded ones.
Of course, we know why he won’t talk about it. It throws his own voting history into question. It highlights, in a very unflattering way, his position on human life.
As the pressure stays on, and the story comes to the attention of more Americans, some are no doubt asking how the Gosnell situation happened. How have we, as a nation, reached a point where something so horrific was taking place right under our noses?
I have a theory: we created this problem through our collective, national obsession with sex.
This condition afflicts people without concern for race or creed, and it dehumanizes us. It starts by disassociating sex from procreation through contraception. Whereas marriage as a social institution was once predicated upon the idea of family-building, providing a stable environment for the raising of those children that were considered the proper fruit of the conjugal act, there is now only state-sanctioned sex, accompanied by a handful of legal rights. Of course, many have wised up to the fact that the commitment of marriage is overrated if they can just as easily have sex in whatever adult, consensual arrangement they wish to enter into. Freed of the stigma of out-of-wedlock birth, sex has shrugged off its social taboos that once confined it to marriage. Fornication is the new normal. Virginity before marriage is increasingly considered cause for pity, even scorn.
The upshot of all of this is that people have, by and large, ceased to be lovers, though they may feel something akin to love. They have instead become “sexual partners” — objects for the provision of pleasure, merely to be discarded when boredom sets in, or when someone new, more exciting, younger, or more attractive comes along. Sex isn’t for family anymore, so it certainly isn’t for keeps. We have decided it’s better to keep our options open.
And so we continue to objectify and devalue each other with bacchanalian abandon. Our casual views on sex have lead, unsurprisingly, to a society that is riddled with free, easily accessible pornography, which afflicts even those trying to live good lives and have healthy marriages. Talk to any priest about the sin he hears confessed most, and that one rises to the top of the list. Talk to those who have struggled with it, and the shame and helplessness that they feel in their encounters with this incredibly powerful appetite and the ease with which it can be fed, seemingly consequence-free, is apparent. But we know all too well that an erasure of web browser history does not similarly wipe clean the consequences for our souls, or, perhaps, for our humanity. Something inside us knows, even as our entertainment, educational institutions, and medical professionals try to assure us that porn usage and masturbation are healthy and normal, that something about these things is deeply wrong.
Still, in line with our national embrace of prurience, the FCC is now seeking to loosen decency standards for television and radio content. According to The Hill‘s Brendan Sasso, “The commission asked for input on how it should handle expletives and brief non-sexual displays of nudity. The rules only cover broadcast TV and radio stations—not cable, satellite or Internet content.” The needle moves, gradually but constantly, toward depravity.
As we become increasingly comfortable with viewing other human beings as sex objects, we should not be surprised that human sex trafficking, too, is an enormous problem in the US. It is widely reported that the Superbowl is ranked as the single biggest sex-trafficking event in the world. The nation that is world-famous for fighting a war about slavery remains one of the biggest consumers of slaves — of which, there are an estimated 27 million worldwide, an all-time high.
Orwell knew when he wrote 1984 how important licentiousness was to the building and maintaining of a totalitarian society. Aldous Huxley showed us the same thing in Brave New World. From grammar-school “erotic play” to the pornographic “feelies,” from the widespread distribution of contraceptives to the complete biological and psychological separation of sex and procreation, we were warned by these early-20th century literary prophets that it is sex, not religion, that is the opiate of the masses. As our liberties are taken away, we become increasingly sexually libertine, in seemingly direct inverse proportion. But who cares about religious liberty or the 2nd Amendment if the fleshpots are free?
If consequence-free sex is the norm, there are bound to be…consequences. Abortion and sex are inextricably related. You don’t have the former without the latter. What happens when, despite our best application of scientific barriers to conception, nature still finds a way? What happens when, horror of horrors, a girl actually gets pregnant? We don’t want them “punished with a baby,” do we? Let’s not kid ourselves: once we are accustomed to looking at people as objects, it’s a whole lot easier to kill them.
This is how we arrive at the present moment. This is how we have come to Gosnell, and a media unwilling to talk about the nauseating evil he was capable of. As Charles Krauthammer recently said, “the fact that it’s not covered is very easily explained. It puts the pro-abortion forces in a very bad light. It brings the issue of late term abortion starkly into relief.” And our President, and most of the mainstream media, are abortion promoters.
We have suppressed decency for so long that we have effectively killed it. We have so accustomed ourselves to the selfish pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of difficulty and inconvenience that we objectify human life without hesitation. We have so powerfully numbed our consciences to the reality of abortion that we can live with it, and in many cases, even embrace it. Even those of us who abhor abortion have no choice but to spend every day living, working, and continuing on as normal in a country that has eradicated the equivalent of roughly 17% of the current US population. 54,000,000+ children have been murdered since Roe. To put that in perspective: that’s more than all the American soldiers killed in every war, conflict, and military operation we’ve been involved in since the American Revolution — by a factor of forty.
We have created the monster that is Gosnell. Despite our willingness to watch 24/7 coverage of the Boston bombing, despite our eagerness to share graphic photos of that carnage in the name of “news,” deep down, we are terrified of knowing the truth about the violence committed daily against the unborn. When we are reminded of this violence, when we those have images displayed before us, we recoil in horror. We are in denial, and yet something inside us knows that this is an evil that cannot continue in a nation that calls itself good.
Why is America silent about Gosnell? We are afraid that he is a mirror. We want him to go away. We do not know how to cope with having him held up, only to see our own reflection.
Keep holding up the mirror. It’s time we wake up to who we have become. Maybe there’s still time to change it.