John Clark is an author and speechwriter. His first book Who’s Got You? reached #1 in the Amazon Kindle “Fatherhood” category and his new book How to Be a Superman Dad in a Kryptonite World, Even When You Can’t Afford A Decent Cape was just released by Guiding Light Books. He has written hundreds of articles and blogs about Catholic family life and apologetics in such places as Seton Magazine, Catholic Digest, and Homiletic and Pastoral Review. A graduate of Christendom College, John and his wife Lisa have nine children and live in Virginia.
In the past few weeks, a number of states have passed (or attempted to pass) ordinances that allow infanticide. Faced with current regulations like those that allow abortion at 20 weeks, some politicians—including those who claim to be Christian—are apparently not content with any legislation that would ban full-term baby killings. I know I’ll be called “childish” for pondering such things, but I wonder if Christian politicians ever worry about going to Hell.
Full disclosure: When I think about my sins—though I am comforted by sacramental forgiveness, my charitable actions, and my hope in Divine Mercy—I worry about going to Hell. My suspicion is that, even though they may not admit it, plenty of other people worry about it, too. And not just Christians. In fact, if you had to decipher one common denominator of eschatological belief among societies across time and place, it would be the belief in a place of punishment for evildoing after death.
Today, however, the notion of Hell has been muffled to the point where politicians promote infanticide without even an apparent pang of conscience. On a subjective basis, we cannot know the politician’s level of culpability for this evil, but we know that infanticide is an objectively grievous evil: even within the category of serious evil, infanticide is uniquely grave. Truly, abortion is bad enough—similarly, an indefensible action in any case, though it is often promoted through euphemisms and deception (such as hiding the image of the unborn child). This push for infanticide (though, in effect, it has been legal since Roe and Doe) has reached the level of superlative callousness.
There are those reading this who may think I’ve misplaced the blame by calling out politicians. After all, politicians are not the ones actually performing abortions. Robert Jackson, chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremburg trials, made an observation about Nazi officers that applies here. He said, “These defendants were men of a station and rank which does not soil its hands with blood. They were men who knew how to use lesser folk as tools.” The same could be said of politicians who cheer on infanticidal legislation, as was witnessed in that ghoulish scene recently in New York state. If infanticide is Satan’s choicest fruit, New York really is The Big Apple.
There are those who will think I’ve gone too far in my reference to Nazis. Good point. Because to be fair—judging purely on the basis of objective actions—it’s not Adolf Hitler that provides the best comparison to Christian pro-abortion legislators; it’s Judas Iscariot.
In the Inferno, Dante envisions Judas perpetually clenched in the mouth of Lucifer. Of course, Dante had no way of knowing who goes to Hell and who doesn’t any more than I do, but it’s worth making one observation: Judas never raised a hand to Jesus—that is to say, Judas committed no personal act of violence against Jesus; his betrayal simply allowed others to do so. For 30 damnable pieces of silver—a contribution to Satan’s bloody campaign on earth—Judas paved the way for others to crucify Christ.
Thus, it’s hard not to draw a comparison between Judas and Christian politicians who once followed Christ—or even claim to continue following Him—but now eagerly pass laws that allow others to murder babies. And, judging by the cheers and clapping and grinning, they seem to have no worries about eternal punishment in doing so.
On some level, maybe this shouldn’t be surprising. In her Diary, Saint Faustina writes about her mystical tour of Hell:
Today, I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell… The kinds of tortures I saw: the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one’s condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it…the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell…the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell.
One last point. It’s no accident that these Luciferian pieces of legislation are being passed at a time when the Catholic Church has been weakened from within.
The ghastly sins of prelates against children, the orchestrated cover-ups, the reticence to teach doctrine, the promotion of renegade priests, the suspicious statements directed toward those actually living the Catholic Faith—all this has served to eat away at the heart and mind of the Church.
Further, the reluctance—nay, absolute refusal—to ecclesiastically censure pro-abortion politicians is at fault for this diabolical legislation, at least in large measure. There are those who claim that the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church has lost her moral authority in the eyes of the public to do things like excommunicate. But the moral authority of the Catholic Church will not be strengthened by adding another helping of accommodation.
The refusal to excommunicate inveterate pro-abortion politicians is a profound injustice to the Church, a scandal to the faithful, and a staggering act of spiritual abandonment toward the person who is not excommunicated. Excommunication is not damnation; rather, it is a great act of mercy toward someone whose heinous actions place him in serious jeopardy of Hell. It is a chance for him to begin to understand the evil nature of his or her actions and have a chance to turn again toward Christ. It is the greatest and strongest ecclesiastical tool to mercifully admonish the sinner. And if Canon Law does not currently allow the excommunication of pro-abortion politicians, then Canon Law is incomplete and must be amended immediately.