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Andrew Cuomo and the Sins of the Father

They say the sins of the father will not be passed to the son. In the case of father-son Cuomo, Mario and Andrew, the original sin of the father seems to have spawned the most bitter fruits in the son. Andrew Cuomo is truly his father’s son, and the rancid results were obvious last week in New York. There, with the stroke of his governor’s pen, the son seems poised to outdo his father’s worst efforts to advance what their Church has condemned as a Culture of Death.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and his New York legislature memorialized last Tuesday’s anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which has produced over 60 million abortions since 1973, with a heinous act. They’ve opened the gates for the legal abortion of any unborn child in their state right up until the moment of birth. Specifically, the bill declares (Article 25-A, sections 36-41):

36 2. Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to
37 choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to
38 have an abortion, pursuant to this article.
39 3. The state shall not discriminate against, deny, or interfere with
40 the exercise of of the rights set forth in this section in the regulation
41 or provision of benefits, facilities, services or information.

With intentionally sweeping language, New York’s progressives have engineered one of the most hideous forms of death legislation in the Western world. I would say that their work would make ancient pagans blush, but even pagans of old would bristle at this blatant affront against innocent life. Worshippers of Baal, after all, didn’t have ultrasound machines.

Andrew Cuomo’s very demeanor leaves us unsurprised by this gesture. A mere cursory glance at New York’s governor and one is immediately struck by his outward appearance of anger. The man exudes unhappiness. He looks miserable. Truly, have you ever seen a politician who looks so indignant? Say what you want about the faults of chuckling Bill Clinton or smirking Joe Biden or beaming Nancy Pelosi, but none bear the face of scowling misery that is the fixed image of Andrew Cuomo. That New Yorkers would vote for him in landslides is a crass testimony to how insufferably liberal New York’s big cities are.

And yet, that Cuomo the younger would strike such a blow for abortion is no shock given his roots, which brings us back to the sins of the father.

The original sin can be traced to September 13, 1984, when New York Governor Mario Cuomo gave a historic, infamous speech at the University of Notre Dame, a college named for Our Lady — that is, virgin mother of the child Jesus, who, faced with a crisis pregnancy that could have led to her being stoned to death, nonetheless bravely said “yes.” Formally titled, “Religious Belief and Public Morality: A Catholic Governor’s Perspective,” Cuomo unleashed an interminable treatise, 7,582 words in length, a marathon in self-oration and self-importance — a self-indulgent exhortation to answer to oneself rather than one’s Church. It was a flagrant violation of Church teaching, on the dignity of the person, on the common good, on the proper interpretation of freedom and conscience. Mario made himself Magisterium.

Politically, it was a destructive speech, the green light that signaled a way for an entire generation of liberal Catholics to merrily bypass their faith and separate it from their public life on crucial moral issues. If you want to see the poster-children for Mario Cuomo’s vision, picture Ted Kennedy and John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius — all “pro-choice” Catholics blatantly thumbing their nose at their Church’s longtime teaching on the sanctity and dignity of human life. They eagerly check their faith at the door when it comes to protecting unborn children, but not when it comes to illegal immigration, Obama-care, climate change, hiking the minimum wage, funding Planned Parenthood, supporting same-sex “marriage,” etc. These are deemed matters of “social justice.” But social justice stops at the feet of the unborn. There, suddenly, the commitment to the faith is aborted.

Like his son, Mario was possessed by a haughty hard edge. His language toward his enemies bordered on vituperation; he viewed himself as remarkably clever, and them as laughably stupid. In the Notre Dame speech, Cuomo devised what he saw as a crafty way to counter one of his most vexing enemies: pro-lifers. What he said really wasn’t clever at all; it was silly, but it created a flimsy veneer of cover for dull-witted Catholic politicians who wanted to sell their souls to the abortion lobby.

Mario helped pave the ground to take the abortion Death Culture to new frontiers, at the direct expense of and on the backs of countless unborn babies. In doing so, he stands as one of the most damaging Catholic-American politicians ever.

And now, alas, Mario may have birthed the worst pro-abortion Catholic of all, given the callous actions of his son in Albany last week. Not only did Andrew and fellow Democrats make abortion possible right up until the moment before delivery, but they’ve reportedly even stripped the baby of protections if he or she accidentally survives the scalpel. Further, the legislation expands the field of lawful abortionists, thus facilitating a wider harvest of pre-born children, as Cuomo and friends have permitted a larger array of “reproductive health” (read: non-reproductive) specialists in New York to perform abortions.

One might think this was done stealthily behind closed doors, in the dark of night, with a measure of shame and sadness. Not at all. It was a moment of joy for New York liberals. In celebration of the feat, the governor ordered the city’s Freedom Tower (among other monuments) to be lit up in jubilation over the state’s new triumph.

“I am directing that New York’s landmarks be lit in pink to celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow,” said a satisfied Cuomo.

Yes, a bright light forward. New York: America’s new Shining City Upon a Hill. The shiny Big Apple shall blaze a path ahead for all the states of these United States, a glistening road aglow, from the Mayflower to John Winthrop, from William Penn to James Madison, from Washington to Lincoln, from Kennedy to Reagan — for abortion of children right up until the moment before they hit air. Forward!

“Today we are taking a giant step forward,” Cuomo declared with an unusual grin as he signed the legislation into law.

The governor was echoed by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the New York assemblywoman who championed the bill. “It is time for New York to again serve as a progressive beacon to the nation,” she glowed.

The whole foul scene is perverse, macabre, depraved, wicked, diabolical.

One wonders what Cuomo and Stewart-Cousins might do for an encore. How does one go higher than alighting the Freedom Center? Might Cuomo, in the role of Progressive High Priest, ascend the Empire State Building to perform a ritualistic mock sacrifice of the first survivor of a final-trimester abortion? Or, Aztec-like, take his band of “safe, legal, and rare” abortion Democrats south of the border where pagan sacrifices of children once necessitated supernatural intervention by Our Lady of Guadalupe? That’s assuming Cuomo heard about her in his Jesuit training at Fordham.

Grotesque. And my sarcasm and mockery is a minor offense in light of the mountainous atrocity in Albany. My fictional imagery is nothing compared to the ghastly real-life scenes about to be repeated in “clinics” throughout New York in the years ahead. Very real human lives will be sacrificed to the pagan-esque ideology of “pro-choice” progressivism — which, declares Nancy Pelosi, is “sacred ground to me.”

We should have seen it coming.

We got a sour taste of the bitter fruit to come five years ago, when Andrew Cuomo denounced pro-lifers in his state as “extreme conservatives.” He said these extremists had “no place in the state of New York.”

Presumably, then, Cuomo ought to banish from his state his cardinal, Timothy Dolan, and his pope. Pope Francis, who Cuomo likes to invoke when convenient to his liberal agenda, equates abortion to “Nazis with white gloves.” He compares abortion to hiring a hit man. “It is not right to kill a human being,” asserted Francis in October. “It is like hiring a hit man to solve a problem.”

Does that bother Andrew Cuomo? Well, that’s apparently irrelevant to his actions as governor. Remember, he learned that long ago at the knee of his father, who set that standard back at Notre Dame 35 years ago.

Ideas have consequences. And the toxic ideas expressed in September 1984 by Mario Cuomo in a uniquely damaging speech at Notre Dame now bear bitter fruit in the work of the son.

Hey, you reap what you sow. In the Big Apple, the apple apparently doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Paul Kengor
Paul Kengor
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Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., and senior academic fellow at the Center for Vision & Values. Dr. Kengor is author of over a dozen books, including A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.
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