Monday, June 01, 2009

Murder in the Cathedral - But Only An Experience of Mystery Can Save Coherency

Dr George Tiller is murdered. He was one of the three providers in the nation of late term abortions. The paucity of the number of facilities for late term abortions means that there is a growing consciousness in the country that abortion is indeed murder (as the recent 51% against it indicates). Of course, this will mean that Homeland Security will target the entire Right to Life Movement as terrorist and consequently clamp down on it to the full extent of the law. The Administration was just waiting for this.

But perhaps we could deeper. Notice our entrapment in ideological absurdity. By that I mean the riot of “ideas” or concepts pitted against each other in the public domain in straightforward contradiction.

1) There is no doubt that the conceptus (a) in the womb is a human person in act, or is in direct potentiality to be so.[1]

2) Another concept is the “good” flourishing life of the mother that consists in freedom to do with herself and her body as she understands the “good” to be.

3) Another is the abortionist who aids the pregnant woman in her flourishing from the perspective of disentanglement from a subjectively undesired pregnancy.

4) Another is the killer of the Abortionist who wants to defend the lives of future children who, once conceived, have the right to life.

I want to suggest that this riot of contradicting “ideas,” that sit there in plain sight in the public square, in direct violation of coherency, shows a want of a deeper context that is called “consciousness,” and that consciousness can be formed only by an experience of what it means to be a human person. That experience can only take place in some form of catharsis.

We are lacking that experience at the present moment. I quote from David Walsh: “The logic of the postmodern experience suggests the necessity of undergoing some form of cathartic release. Modernity is a spirit or a frame of mind so deeply embedded within us that we can break free form its influence only with great difficulty. An event or process of shattering impact seems to be virtually required if we are to get a glimpse of reality beyond our restricted contemporary horizon. Having been enveloped by the climate of opinion for such a long unthinking time, we need to be roughly shaken into an awareness of reality. If the nightmare of the twentieth century has been the result of this dreamlike condition, then a powerful shock is required to rouse us into a state of wakefulness. Like Koestler’s sleepwalkers, we need a penetrating experience to pierce our somnambulance. It is not so much a question of knowing about an alternative to the closed rationality of modernity, but of apprehending the truth of that alternative so profoundly that it makes all our previous sense of reality appear ephemeral.”[2]

[1] “Do Embryos Have Souls” Life and Soul Pauline Books and Media, Spring 2009, 14-15.

[2] David Walsh, “After Ideology,” CUA (1995) 242-243.

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