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Another Souper Candidate?   

DANIEL P. COYNE

As life-affirming generations in the future look back at us, few will be treated more harshly than the modern soupers. Highly educated, outspoken, and passionate, they could have made a difference. They knew the truth. And, for a short time, they were willing to speak out for the unborn. But then the price got too high. They became cowards.

George Watts,
The Irish Famine, 1849-50
 

During the Great Irish Potato Famine in the mid-1800's, anti-Catholic zealots would occasionally bring large kettles of soup to Irish villages. The soup was free, but there was a catch. Before a starving Irishman could have even a sip of the soup, he would first have to renounce his Catholic faith. Today, we are witnessing a similar real-life morality play. Only this one doesn't involve Irish farmers starving for food. This one involves ambitious politicians starving for power. So strong was the Catholic faith in Ireland at the time that many starved to death rather than selling their souls. However, a few did drink the soup. They became known as "soupers" a derisive label that would stick to their families for generations.

Today, we are witnessing a similar real-life morality play. Only this one doesn't involve Irish farmers starving for food. This one involves ambitious politicians starving for power. The soup these politicians are being asked to drink is a concoction of lies and distortions brewed up by the radical feminists and abortion profiteers who now control the Democratic Party. The reward for drinking this soup of death is the right to run for president as a Democrat.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Teddy Kennedy was among those first in line for a taste of the soup. In a 1971 letter, the then pro-life Teddy Kennedy wrote, "The legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old." By 1980, Teddy had sipped the soup and was running for President as an outspoken supporter of abortion.

Likewise Jesse Jackson, before deciding to run for president, called abortion "black genocide." In 1977, Jackson wrote an article for National Right to Life News that said: "It takes three to make a baby: a man, a woman and the Holy Spirit. What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually?" By 1988, Jackson had also sipped the soup and was running for President as an outspoken supporter of abortion.

Al Gore and Dick Gephardt are two more former pro-lifers who indulged in the soup and discarded their support for the unborn in preparation for a run for the presidency. And of course, few have gulped down the soup of death with the gusto of Bill Clinton, a man well known for his insatiable appetites. In a 1986 letter to Arkansas Right to Life, Clinton wrote: "I am opposed to abortion and to government funding of abortions. We should not spend state funds on abortions because so many people believe abortion is wrong." As we all know, Clinton went on to become the most radically pro-abortion President in our nation's history.

56-year-old Congressman Dennis Kucinich appears to be the latest addition to the Democratic Souper Club. Over a long political career, Kucinich maintained a near perfect pro-life voting record. As recently as last May, Kucinich press secretary, Kathie Scarrah, stated: "He absolutely believes in the sanctity of life and that life begins at conception." Then Kucinich began to think about running for President. It was time for some soup.

Less than a week after announcing his decision to explore the possibility of running for president, Kucinich wrote a letter to his local newspaper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, wherein he publicly renounced his long held pro-life position: "I don't believe in abortion; few do. I do, however, believe in choice." In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Kucinich goes even further; not ruling out his support for publicly funded free abortions for poor women. "I am going to continue to take a thoughtful approach, and that doesn't preclude the poor from having the government support their right to choose." Amazingly, Kucinich has been trying to make the argument that his position on this fundamental issue has not really changed. "The position I'm taking now is an expansion; it's not a reversal," Kucinich told Tim Russert on Meet the Press.

So let's get this straight. Less than a year ago, Kucinich believed that life begins at conception and that this unborn life is sacred. Now that he is running for president, Kucinich believes that the 51% of Americans who believe that abortion is homicide should be compelled to pay for free abortions for poor women. So much for "choice," Americans, you are going to pay for other people's free abortions even if you think they are committing homicide.

To confound matters further, Kucinich also says he wants to promote policies that will reduce the number of abortions. But of course, free abortions for poor women are not going to decrease the number of abortions. What's next? Free cigarettes for the poor in an effort to reduce smoking? In truth, if Kucinich seriously wanted to promote life while leaving Roe v Wade in place, there is much that could be done. Indeed, what would be necessary is a government funded educational campaign unprecedented in size and scope.

This campaign would use the latest and best medical evidence and technological advancements to call for tolerance, compassion, and mercy toward the least of our brothers and sisters, the unborn. Focused on fetology and the humanity of the unborn, such a campaign would include public service announcements on television and radio as well as billboards throughout the country with a particular focus on inner city neighborhoods where the abortion rate is at epidemic proportions. This information would also be brought into classrooms across the country.

We know that up to ninety percent of women considering abortion choose life if they are permitted to view the child on an ultrasound. Bring these ultrasound videos into our public schools and make our unborn children the stars of scientific and factual public service announcements.

An ambitious public education campaign focused on the humanity of the unborn child is the least we should expect from a committed progressive like Kucinich, who has not yet renounced his belief that life begins at conception. But sadly, Kucinich is no longer permitted to promote life. Instead, he strictly abides by Democratic protocol and uses the callous euphemism "choice" to describe the mass destruction of what he believes to be sacred human lives. He has suddenly and not unexpectedly stopped mentioning that life is sacred and begins at conception.

There will come a day in history when our society as a whole awakens and unanimously recognizes the horror of abortion. When that day comes, historians will look back at our time trying to figure out how such a national tragedy could have occurred. These historians will read our newspapers, pour over our correspondence, view our news programs, and examine our voting records. And just as today's historians look back at Nazi Germany concerned solely as to whether or not individuals bravely fought for life or silently consented to a regime of death, historians in the future will be solely concerned with whether or not we spoke up for our unborn brothers and sisters or silently consented to a Culture of Death.

As life-affirming generations in the future look back at us, few will be treated more harshly than the modern soupers. Highly educated, outspoken, and passionate, they could have made a difference. They knew the truth. And, for a short time, they were willing to speak out for the unborn. But then the price got too high. They became cowards. Starved for power, they each drank the soup of death. May God have mercy on their souls.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Daniel P. Coyne. "Another Souper Candidate?" Catholic Educator's Resource Center (March, 2003).

THE AUTHOR

Daniel P. Coyne is the President of Cleveland Right to Life and the President of the Cleveland-based St. Athanasius Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith. He is also on the Board of Trustees of Padre Pio Academy, a private Catholic school opening this Fall in Cleveland. Dan can be reached at danielpcoyne@aol.com.

Copyright 2003 Daniel P. Coyne

 

 

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