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I just read the results of a poll taken by Rasmussen stating that 47% of Americans now think that abortion is morally wrong “most of the time.” This is the first time, Rasmussen says, that the question, framed exactly that way, has been answered at under 50%. In other words, it could be argued that abortion is slowly gaining in popularity.

A couple of decades ago I came across this poem, written by the great teacher Elton Trueblood.

Above all else love God alone;
Bow down to neither wood nor stone.
God’s name refuse to take in vain;
The Sabbath rest with care maintain.
Respect your parents all your days;
Hold sacred human life always.
Be loyal to your chosen mate;
Steal nothing, neither small nor great.
Report, with truth, your neighbor’s deed;
And rid your mind of selfish greed.

It quickly became the device I used to teach my grandchildren and the little ones of the parish of which I was then the pastor the pillars of our civilization.  Dr. Trueblood  wrote this version in 1946, as the basis for his little book Foundations for Reconstruction, trying to show his countrymen that, after the conflagration of World War II we did indeed have a moral compass to guide us as we tried to rebuild a decent commonwealth.

While Dr. Trueblood and Bishop Fulton Sheen (hosting the most popular television show, 1951-1957) and Billy Graham and others led a significant religious revival in the United States that lasted about fifteen years, the sexual revolution of the 1960s turned all that around in less than a decade.  By 1973 the true evil genius of the 20th century, Margaret Sanger, had triumphed.  Women were “liberated” from their own biology.  When the utter fraud that was Roe v. Wade was forced upon us, relatively few Americans believed that abortion was either “choice” or moral.  Four decades and fifty million deaths later, it appears that pollsters are finding that the (at least abstract) votes are tipping in favor of pro-death.

This, despite the overwhelming empirical evidence that the sexual revolution has produced moral and social disaster.  If you don’t believe me, read Mary Eberstadt’s new book, Adam and Eve After the Pill.

I wonder, if Rasmussen were to put each of Dr. Trueblood’s lines in the form of a polling question, which, if any, would gain the approval of a majority in what is supposedly “the greatest country on earth?”

By the way, such questions are the bottom line for what any decent person might call “conservative.”

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2 replies to this post
  1. Thank you, John, for reminding us that the Permanent Things are not determined by public opinion polls. It is so clear that decoupling the act of coupling from its fruits has been poisonous for individuals and for our culture. Theology of the Body anyone? I remember being dumbfounded while doing research on the Soviet Union when I learned that before communism ended, Russian women had on average seven abortions each. On AVERAGE. It was their form of birth control. What does it do to the hearts and minds of a nation that embraces death rather than life? Have we all become T.S. Eliot's women casually chatting about abortion The Wasteland's pub?

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