As we begin the year 2000, the contrast with the early years of the twentieth century could not be more striking. The America of 1900 was a young, vibrant nation full of large healthy families and teeming with immigrants from all nations. It was an America inebriated with the dream of an aborning new world in which technology and economic progress would resolve all problems and the headlong pursuit of happiness would be the sole rule of life.
In that optimistic atmosphere, however, lay the seed of a secular culture that called for throwing off all the restraints of morality.
As a logical consequence, that seed later produced the bitter fruits of moral laxity, including the drug-laced sexual revolution of the sixties and the nefarious abortion movement.
Today, as we look both backward and forward, the extravagant optimism of a materialistic redemption is waning. We have witnessed the bloodiest century in all history, with its devastating wars, famines, and civil strife. The sexual revolution has left in its wake countless shattered families, ruined lives, and the sad legacy of an aborted generation. In the United States alone, forty million Americans have been aborted and sacrificed to what has been so accurately called the “Culture of Death.”
A Vigorous Crusade Goes on
The onslaught of this Culture of Death has been so great, so total, that it has permeated all fields. For some, resistance would seem futile; the year 2000 should have marked the complete triumph of this culture. But that did not happen.
As we enter the year 2000, the very existence of a powerful reaction in favor of the unborn marks a glorious milestone of which we may be proud.
The Anti-Abortion Movement Stands Firm
Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, a vibrant resistance has had to brave the most daunting obstacles. The anti-abortion movement has faced hostile and biased treatment by the news media, betrayals by those who should be our staunchest allies, and hate-filled slurs of abortion advocates. We have resisted calls for unacceptable compromises and overcome internal difficulties. Persecution has only heightened our resolve.
Today, the anti-abortion movement stands erect before the nation in the presence of God, calling for a great common effort. The movement is alive and thriving, with widespread grassroots support from clergy, youth, students, and families across the nation. Anti-abortion activists around the world look to America for inspiration.
Nevertheless, we cannot rest upon the laurels of past achievements. We face the reality of a future ever more hostile to Christian morality.
Promoters of the Culture of Death are not satisfied only with crueler methods of abortion or more sophisticated means of contraception. Other ways of further undermining family, religion, and morality are constantly appearing.
For example, we are seeing increasingly blasphemous portrayals of God and religion on television and in theaters.1 Supporters of homosexual “marriage” and other moral aberrations militantly seek to destroy the family. The innocence of children is shattered at an increasingly tender age.2
Reaching a Crossroads
In face of these attacks, the year 2000 represents a crossroads.
In this moral crusade for America’s soul, there are some who feel overwhelmed by the power of the adversary. They tend to isolate themselves and accept with resignation the encroachment of the Culture of Death.
To this, we respond, Never! In the anti-abortion fight, we cannot be intimidated. God does not want us to isolate ourselves in resignation; rather, He asks for undaunted strength and hope. Just as when we overcame the formidable obstacles of the past, we can count on God’s help for the future.
The Lesson of Covadonga
The fate of nations has frequently depended on the efforts of people —often fewer in number. When the Moors thought they had dominated Catholic Spain, a handful of Catholics refused to give up and, from a small stronghold in a place called Covadonga, began the long but successful reconquest of their country.
With similar resolve, we must continue doing all that we can, while calling upon God’s help, in this moral crusade for America’s soul.
- In 1998, Terrence McNally’s play Corpus Christi portrayed a Christ-figure who engaged in homosexual relations with his apostles. Kevin Smith’s 1999 movie Dogma mocks all that Catholics hold sacred. The American TFP mobilized millions of Americans to voice their opposition to these productions.
- Today’s scandalizing of children calls to mind the prophecies about our times made by Our Lady of Good Success to the Conceptionist nun Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in Quito, Equador, in the sixteenth century. Referring to the twentieth century, Our Lady said: ” in those times, the atmosphere will be saturated with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy sea, will engulf the streets and public places with incredible license…..Innocence will scarcely be found in children or modesty in women.”