Abortion, the Unholy Sacrament of the Sexual Revolution - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Abortion, the Unholy Sacrament of the Sexual Revolution
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A gay couple participates in the annual San Francisco gay pride parade on June 30, 2013. (Shutterstock/Kobby Dagan)

Liberals mourning the apparent collapse of Roe v. Wade can take heart in the defensive reaction of many “conservatives” to the news. They immediately reassured liberals that their other cherished unconstitutional rulings, such as the court’s preposterous declaration of a right to gay marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, will go untouched. Republicans eagerly told reporters that Obergefell is “settled law.” “It’s not dangerous, like taking a life is,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.

The sexual revolution is here to stay, these “conservatives” seemed to be pronouncing. Yes, we will quibble over abortion, their attitude goes, but don’t worry about the rest of your libertinism. That can proceed as normal.

But if that is the case, if the GOP and conservatives are raising the white flag on everything in the sexual revolution but abortion, how long could Justice Samuel Alito’s apparent defeat of Roe stand? Abortion, after all, is the unholy sacrament of the sexual revolution. Is it really realistic to think abortion will fade away while the sexual revolution upon which it depends not only continues but morphs into ever more egregious forms?

The shrieking of the Left over the Supreme Court leak reflects the centrality of abortion to the sexual revolution. Liberals know a culture of ubiquitous promiscuity can’t advance without the killing of the unborn. But if liberals had a little more perspective, they would calm down and realize that their control over American culture’s direction remains largely unhampered.

Would that their alarmism about the GOP were true. But it is not. The GOP has no intention of uprooting the godless culture that underpins abortion. The GOP delusionally thinks a pro-life culture can coexist with a libertine one. It can’t. A “house divided cannot stand,” said Abraham Lincoln, who recognized the impossibility of Americans remaining permanently divided on a fundamental moral issue like slavery. The same holds true for abortion. America can’t be half libertine, half pro-life.

Consequently, it is hard to take seriously “conservatives” who predict a “pro-life future” for America while casting most of the sexual revolution as harmless. Liberals have nothing to fear from such a toothless and incoherent conservatism. In the end, it is just another version of liberalism uncommitted to the natural moral law.

Nor should liberals fear a conservative movement and a GOP that only object to unconstitutional rulings if they are seen as polarizing or unpopular. That isn’t “originalism,” but just another species of the Left’s “living constitution” nonsense. Obergefell was as much a repudiation of the Constitution as Roe. A right to gay marriage had no basis in the text of the Constitution or the history and traditions of the country. It was invented out of thin air. If Republicans consider that “settled law” simply because Americans became corrupt enough to accept it, how are they any different than the Democrats, who interpret the Constitution not according to the intentions of the Founding Fathers but according to “evolving” times?

A vacillating and unprincipled originalism is a very weak branch on which to sit. Indeed, the logic of the GOP’s capitulation on Obergefell is sure to boomerang back on Alito’s ruling should it become widely unpopular in the future. If America stays on its libertine course, the Supreme Court will simply revert to Roe, saying that Americans have reconciled themselves to an unenumerated right to abortion.

A principled GOP would oppose all unconstitutional rulings, not just the ones that appear politically fragile. It would assess the rulings not on the basis of their popularity but on the basis of their objective harm. Who cares if Obergefell is seen as a less polarizing decision than Roe? It is still an immensely damaging ratification of the sexual revolution that will doom America if it goes unchallenged. Is the GOP’s moral philosophy so shallow now that it fails to recognize the importance of the traditional family to America’s survival?

Instead of reviving the traditional family, the GOP is abandoning it and seconding the propaganda of the LGBTQ movement. And while a few Republicans put up a fight on transgender issues, even the ones who do seem unaware or indifferent to that agenda’s connection to the sexual revolution Obergefell blessed. The transgender revolution grew out of the gay rights revolution. The two revolutions are finally one and the same.

How can a GOP that accepts gay marriage and gay adoption credibly oppose immoral sexual education in public schools? If the GOP now thinks depriving children of a biological mother and a father is no big deal and exposing them to an unstable and immoral home life is benign, it can’t convincingly oppose the rot in public schools.

If Alito’s opinion holds, the GOP will have the opportunity to persuade Americans throughout the country to go pro-life. That is undeniable good news. But the bad news is that the GOP doesn’t look like it is up to the task. Its message from last week is: we don’t mind the sexual revolution, except for the abortion part. But who, except the fatuous, is going to find that compelling? And how could that possibly generate durable change, the kind that would protect Alito’s ruling for many years to come? If the GOP is sincere in stopping abortion, it will have no choice but to oppose the sexual revolution for which the killing of unborn children exists.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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