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There is No Soft Sell for the Hard Truth

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The American bishops have hired an advertising agency to create a pro-life ad campaign which began in early September 2001. They should have saved the money.

The catchy slogan the bishops’ ad men came up with is: "Have We Gone Too Far?"

That’s it? After nearly 40 million murders in the womb in this nation alone, the bishops’ bold initiative consists of hiring an ad agency to pose a timid question? It’s about as compelling as "Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?"

And how perfectly American the question is. Like every other "issue" in America, baby-killing is a question we can discuss and debate in the great American way. And then we can vote on whether to continue the practice of mass murder in the womb unabated, or to place some restrictions on it, like a 24-hour waiting period. And then unelected judges will tell us whether these limitations on baby-killing are "constitutional."

What has happened to the bishops’ focus on the eternal destiny of man and the law of God? Abortion is murder, plain and simple. Murder is a crime which merits eternal damnation. Would anyone in his right mind ask a woman who murders her child two minutes after birth: "Have you gone too far?" What difference does two minutes or two months make? Murder is murder, regardless of the physical location of the victim at the moment of the crime. Thus, the question "Abortion. Have we gone too far?" is really "Murder. Have we gone too far?" The question, then, is simply ridiculous.

Just how ridiculous becomes apparent when the slogan is applied to other sins: "Adultery. Have We Gone Too Far?" "Robbery. Have We Gone Too Far?" Or how about: "Defrauding the worker of his just wages. Have We Gone Too Far?" Why must the bishops address the murder of the unborn as if its sinfulness were somehow less than apparent than other sins? That very approach perpetuates the notion that abortion, unlike other sins, is morally debatable. Have we gone too far? "No, I don’t think so" will be the liberal’s easy response.

The bishops’ ad campaign goes out of its way to avoid mention of God’s law and God’s judgment, reducing the entire question to one of making the correct "choice." As a recent article in the Newark Star Ledger observed: "The minimalist ads also do not play up the campaign's religious ties. Neither does the Web site of the benignly-named ‘Second Look Project.’" With forty million dead and counting, the bishops should be advocating something a tad more dramatic than "a second look." Please!

I hereby offer the American bishops a whole new advertising slogan, free of charge. Beneath a photograph of a child in the womb with the focus on the child’s beating heart:

"Listen to her heart and yours: Abortion is murder."

That slogan would at least preclude the liberal’s easy answer, for even liberals are reluctant to argue against what is in people’s hearts. And what is in their hearts – even in the hearts of liberals, no matter how obscured it has become – is the law of God, which He has written there.

There is no soft sell for the hard truth.