Gutknecht: His justice cannot sleep forever

Look no further than Minnesota to see the depths of moral and religious decay.

U.S. Supreme Court building (Mark Thomas/Pixabay)

(Townhall) — We cannot say we weren’t warned. From the beginning of our American experiment with self-governance, we were told that our liberties were inextricably linked to a shared set of moral and (dare we say) religious principles. Indeed, John Adams reduced it to a simple phrase, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” That expression sounds more like a warning siren today.

Look no further than Minnesota to see the depths of moral and religious decay.

As their first official act of the legislative session, the newly elected Democrat majorities passed the most ghastly abortion legislation, not only in the United States but perhaps the world. The Democrats blocked every amendment that would have put reasonable restrictions on abortion procedures. It allows abortion for any reason, at any time, right up to the moment of birth. Even grisly late-term abortions are now legal in Minnesota. The governor, who once claimed that he was raised on Catholic values, cheerfully signed the bill.

Gone are the hollow claims that the Left wanted abortion to be safe, legal, and rare. Without apology or even blush, they have declared open season on the unborn.

Gone also are the claims that they only wanted our laws to look more like the enlightened positions held in Western Europe. Take Germany for example. In May of 1933, the brutal, bloodthirsty National Socialists imposed very strict restrictions on abortions and the doctors who performed them. Those laws have been modified only slightly since. Until just last year a medical doctor in Germany could be fined €6,000 for even advertising that they offered abortion services. While they do allow abortions to be performed within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, counseling for the woman is mandatory.

When a member of their Bundestag was asked about the restrictive attitudes towards abortion in Germany, the answer was direct and sober. “We know what can happen when some members of humanity are treated as less than human.”

Isn’t that what is at the heart of this debate? Once there is a human heartbeat don’t these pre-born babies acquire some rights as part of humanity? We know for example that in Minnesota the unborn have property rights. If either or both parents should die during pregnancy, the as-yet-unborn child acquires a legal right to a share of the estate.

Like the Germans, Americans have traditionally believed that when we diminish the rights of any in our society, we diminish the rights of all. We even apply this principle to animal rights. In our meat packing plants, we have strict rules to ensure that the animals are slaughtered as humanely as possible. No such requirements exist for the victims of late-term abortions in Minnesota.

Ironically, the Left in the Minnesota Legislature supports regulations that impose a $100,000 fine for disturbing the unborn egg of an eagle while opposing every amendment to put reasonable restrictions on the killing of an unborn baby. We have seen numerous graphic news reports of the clubbing of seal pups, but you will search in vain for a video of a doctor sifting through the tiny arms and legs to make sure that all the parts are accounted for after a bloody abortion. Our media has made clear that the body politic’s right to know does not extend to that gruesome reality.

Anyone who has visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington leaves with the troubling question, how could an otherwise advanced and educated society allow such brutality to humanity? Is it past time for us today to ask the same question? What kind of a society have we become to have elected people who would open wide the door to such inhumanity?

Without a moral and religious anchor, can our Democratic Republic long survive? John Adams wasn’t the only founder who warned us about the relationship between an eternal God and our temporal liberties.

It was Jefferson who understood that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and that first among them is life. He also wrote ominously, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”


Gil Gutknecht

Gil Gutknecht is a former Republican congressman from Minnesota.