Reform without Repeal

This is Ross Douthat starting with the March for Life, but quickly getting deeply wise and insightful real fast.

I tried to find an excerpt, but its a short op-ed to begin with. Each phrased seems necessary. This is just the conclusion…

For its part, if the pro-life movement wants not only to endure but to triumph, then it needs an answer to this argument. That means something more than just a defense of a universal right to life. It means a realist’s explanation of how, in policy and culture, the feminist revolution could be reformed without being repealed.

He’s right, and this is a call from a practicing Roman Catholic to recognize a couple of things about civil society. However much ongoing harm the sexual revolution has done, repealing it in civil society is not possible, and some portions of it none of us would want to repeal (I’m thinking the equal pay portions and the access to occupations). As Mr. Douthat starts his column, the heroic generation of this cause is passing away. Heroic generations are revolutionaries or in this case counter-revolutionaries. Our generation is about recognizing the limits of revolution. That doesn’t mean making peace with it, but it does mean being smart and finding the places where life can win and start being seen as legitimate reformers instead of calling for the whole structure to be removed by the axe at the root of the tree.

One response to “Reform without Repeal

  1. Excellent food for thought. It is true – we will not win over this generation with our loud preaching against what they believe. That being said, it is hard to try reforming society’s errors without repealing the ‘advancements’ that have been made. (Or sinful ways, depending on who you ask)! I am appalled at how many people find abortion to be a women’s rights issue. Christians/pro-lifers aren’t trying to take away a woman’s right to make her own decisions. Rather we are focused on protecting the soul that has been created. Perhaps a reason women today are so frazzled on forcing pro-choice arguments on us all is because they hope to find others who tolerate it, to ease their guilt over their stance on the issue. (The alternative, that they are unfazed when ending an inconveniently timed human life is too horrific to even consider).