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When America Finds Her Heart, America Will Find Her Soul
How killing babies is killing our country
By Roger Koopman
September 27, 2022
I see the faces.
The little girls in pretty sun dresses. The little boys proudly showing off their new sneakers and baseball caps. Playing in playgrounds on swingsets that now lie empty.
Can we see their faces? Do our consciences ache for them? Do we feel an abiding sense of loss, knowing that we’ll never have the opportunity to know them? Is there any compassion, any empathy in any corner of our hearts for them?
These kids were created to live and to thrive, but instead they became a sacrifice for someone else’s idea of life, someone else’s idea of liberty. Yet, the specter of discarded children bespeaks of neither life nor liberty. We see not. We feel not. We know not. And America continues to lose its soul.
The chilling messages on pro-abortion protest signs tell the story. Slogans such as “Every Child a Wanted Child,” “No Mandatory Motherhood,” “Abortion, Where Accidents Unhappen,” “I Didn’t Want It. Take It Off Me,” and “Our Bodies, Our Futures, Our Abortions.”
The common theme in these messages is unbridled selfishness, and the assertion that my rights, my life, and my future take precedence over anyone else’s.
We Americans strive to teach our kids a very different ethic, based on personal virtue and service to others. We want our children to be givers, not takers—to be kind to their friends and share compassionately and sacrificially. In doing so, we’re forming in their little consciences the very essence of humanity—the brick and mortar of community and of civil society. Putting others first, and setting aside one’s own desires for someone else’s sake. Showing the humility of Jesus, who bent down and scrubbed his disciples’ feet. The very soul of America is based on these core values that formed our uniquely American concepts of self-government.
Two British ministers, visiting America in 1834, wrote: “America will be great if America is good. If not, her greatness will vanish away like a morning cloud.”
Signs such as “Our Bodies, Our Futures, Our Abortions” reflect none of the goodness, the charity, or the sacrifice that the ministers observed. The signs say only that there’s no room in the human heart for the person on the other side of the suction tube—the person who has no signs to carry and no voice with which to speak.
Our Founders recognized that the foundation of a free society rests on the bedrock principle of putting the rights of others ahead of our own. Those rights are natural, God-given, and bestowed equally upon every individual. In those days, Americans understood that respecting—and indeed prioritizing—the rights of “the other guy” was essential in the future of a free country.
Since Joe Biden’s first day in office, we’ve witnessed the unraveling of America at a pace none of us thought possible. It almost feels like we’re living in a country we no longer recognize, surrounded by fellow citizens with whom we no longer have anything in common. By definition, such is not a country, just a rude and brutal collection of warring interests—a witches’ brew of greed, victimhood, and self-pity, with virtue signaling on the top and selfishness at the bottom. No area of American life has been left untouched by the rot that’s taken hold of our culture and our foundational institutions.
We keep asking ourselves, how could things have gone so crazy, so fast? What set us up for such a sudden and dramatic decline in all the unifying principles and traditions Americans once held so dear? Where did all the power and influence come from that’s extinguishing the American spirit and numbing the conscience of our country? What’s causing Americans to become so downright mean—and so paranoid and insecure about competing viewpoints that, for the first time in our history, the immediate reaction of many Americans is to ridicule and censor the opinions they don’t like?
I would suggest that while the evidence of America’s decline is external, the rot itself is internal. While we can talk about a puppet president and the political opportunism of the authoritarian far left, we still need to answer the question, “What is it that swung the door wide open to a fundamental remaking of America?”
The real transformation has been on the inside—the gradual shifting of the basic values, visions, and beliefs of most Americans, a process that has effectively seared the American conscience and created a complacent, compliant society that shrugs at their lost freedoms and at the human cruelty and depravity they see, yet choose not to see, all around them.
How else can we reconcile the deadness of the American heart to the daily human carnage we passively call “abortion”? For indeed, America’s soul dies a little more each day with each baby that’s killed and forgotten. Sixty-three million and counting.
Society has certainly come to a point where we understand as “settled science” that what grows in a mother’s womb is human life. It’s fully human, not any other kind of creature or organism. It’s fully alive and growing, not in any sense an inanimate or discardable object. It’s also fully complete. From the moment of conception, the human fetus is genetically “all there.” That single-celled zygote has everything that the full-grown adult will be. The only thing he or she needs is time—and the right to be left alone.
Furthermore, unlike animals, the human fetus is uniquely a person, possessing a spirit (soul) that distinguishes that person from everyone else who has ever lived on this earth—a spirit with the capacity to have a personal relationship not only with other human beings, but also with the creator and ruler of the universe.
It follows, then, that there’s no greater calling for the government of a free society than the protection and preservation of innocent human life. And we must again ask ourselves, is there any human life more innocent than that of the yet-to-be-born child in the womb? Is there any greater act of justice and compassion than the defense of that child from violence and death? Is there any greater measure of our society’s civility?
I can understand people’s appeals to the rights of privacy and of personal choice. As Americans, we value these assumed liberties. But liberty begins with life. Life trumps privacy. Life trumps personal choice. Life trumps everything. The beginning of life is the beginning of liberty. Without life, there’s no liberty.
This brings us back to the question of what happened to America’s soul. That soul began to die when we first became morally indifferent to the killing of our fellow citizens who were waiting to be born. It’s fundamentally impossible to embrace the founding principles of American freedom while ignoring the horror that’s going on in the wombs of many of America’s women—women who were given the inestimable privilege of carrying and bringing a new human life into the world. Instead, they “chose” for these children pain, violence, and death.
It’s fundamentally impossible for the spirit of liberty to survive while we allow the lives and liberty of millions to end up as incinerated medical waste.
It isn’t about our universities, our TV networks and major dailies, our corporate wokeism, or even the political crooks and hoodlums who call themselves our leaders. It’s about us. When we tolerate the execution of precious human life, we tolerate all the rest. We have created in our moral apathy all of the ugliness and depravity we see around us. All of the censorship and authoritarianism that’s laying waste to our liberties. It won’t stop until the killing stops. Until we have found our national and individual moral conscience again.
You want to save America? Save the babies first.
—Roger Koopman is a former small businessman, two-term state legislator and two-term public service commissioner. He lives in Bozeman, Mont.
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Thanks for reading!