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Freedom itself needs to be set Free

By: Deacon Keith A Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC

"To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom..." Pope John Paul II ("The Gospel of Life," No. 20)

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own sight, and prudent in their own esteem" The Prophet Isaiah Chapter 5: 20, 21

In 1999, a University of Chicago economist (Steven D. Levitt) and a Stanford University law professor (John J. Donohue) released the results of a study entitled "Legalized Abortion and Crime." It made the front page of a number of national newspapers. It was subsequently published in the "prestigious" Quarterly Journal of Economics which boasts that it is "the oldest professional journal of economics in the English language" and is edited at Harvard University's Department of Economics.

The paper's claim was that legal abortion has lowered the crime rate by eliminating many of the potential criminals. The alleged "scientific" research with the attendant "statistics" was also accompanied by feigned neutrality by its authors, and heralded by the new Malthusians and social engineers.

In the authors own abstract they summarized their findings:


"Crime has fallen dramatically in the 1990s. While many explanations for this decline have been offered, each of them has difficulty explaining the timing, large magnitude, persistence, and widespread nature of the drop. In this paper we propose a new explanation for falling crime: the legalization of abortion roughly twenty years earlier. The empirical evidence we present is consistent with abortion playing an important role. First, the timing of the crime drop corresponds to the period in which the first cohorts affected by abortion are reaching the peak ages of criminal activity. Second, states that legalized abortion before the rest of the nation were the first to experience decreasing crime. Third, states with high abortion rates have seen a greater fall in crime since 1985. The estimated elasticity of crime with respect to abortion rates is roughly -.10. The abortion-related reduction in crime is predominantly attributable to a decrease in crime per capita among the young, rather than smaller cohort sizes. Declining crime rates could result from two mechanisms: selective abortion on the part of women most at risk to have children who would engage in criminal activity, and improved child rearing or environmental circumstances caused by better maternal, familial, or fetal circumstances. Extrapolating our estimates out of sample to a counterfactual in which there were no abortions, crime rates might be 10-20 percent higher than they currently are with abortion. If these estimates are correct, legalized abortion can explain about half of the recent fall in crime. All else equal, we predict that crime rates will continue to fall slowly for an additional 15-20 years as the full effects of legalized abortion are gradually felt."


Let's be clear on what these men are saying. We had a falling crime rate in the nineties because we killed potential criminals in the womb! Oh, they sanitize it all in academic sounding language and surround it with statistics, but make no mistake at what the "reasoning" supports. It supports the continuation of pre-emptive strikes on a whole class of persons, children in the first home of the human race.

This is not the first time, in the name of science and using the language of verbal engineering that an intellectual elite has laid the groundwork for eugenics. In pre-World War II Germany, Dr. Karl Binding, a law professor and one of Europe's foremost authorities on criminal law, and Dr. Alfred Hoche, a distinguished psychiatrist and professor of medicine, laid out the results of their "study" in two companion essays entitled "Permitting the Destruction of Unworthy Life." Hoche proclaimed that ".....a new age will arrive --- operating with a higher morality and with great sacrifice --- which will give up the requirement of an exaggerated humanism and overvaluation of mere human existence." Most now agree that this team of intellectual elites laid the framework for the eugenics program of the National Socialist regime.

"Come now," some would say, "we have learned the lessons of history. After all, this was only a study and it was certainly not being proposed as a justification for eugenic abortion." Nonsense. It was only one more brick in the wall of defense built by those that have followed the siren song of the champions of "choice" and compromised the truth that some "choices", even if temporarily protected by unjust law, are always and everywhere intrinsically evil because you simply cannot have a "right" to do what is wrong.

This kind of "scholarly" treachery is one more bad fruit of a poisoned tree. One more chart to be used to support the "death on demand" policy which has resulted from the continuing contemporary drama of atheistic materialism. Eugenic abortion is at the heart of our national public policy. It is sanctioned by law --- called a "right", even though it is wrong. This study acknowledged the disproportionate number of abortions in poor and minority communities. It thereby provided more fodder for the new eugenicists, such as the Guttmacher Institute, which heralded its findings. Margaret Sanger, foundress of Planned Parenthood, a convinced eugenicist and racist herself, would have been proud of these academics and their so called research.

In his prophetic encyclical, "The Gospel of Life," Pope John Paul II spoke prophetic truth to what he rightly called a "perverse idea of freedom" and reaffirmed the "essential link" between freedom and truth. In "The Splendor of Truth," another prophetic encyclical, he encouraged all those who truly cherish freedom to effective action by reminding us that "freedom itself needs to be set free." In an age that trumpets the "freedom of choice" as the highest value, we must again proclaim the essential connection between freedom, truth and responsibility. We may be free to choose, but we are not free to make the objects of our choice right or wrong, good or evil. In fact, in so doing we perpetuate the first wrong choice, the one made at the tree in that garden called Eden.

The substitution of unbridled license for authentic liberty is exactly what John Paul warned of as "a notion of freedom, which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service of them." It has, as the prophet in the chair of Peter warned, resulted from the "eclipse of the sense of God and of man typical of a social and cultural climate dominated by secularism."

When a nation loses its conviction that the right to life is inalienable and that the dignity of every human person is the foundation of authentic human freedom, it loses freedom itself. It kills it --- in the womb --- or at the bedside of the suffering. Oh, it may continue to mouth the word, and even develop a certain veneer of compassion, and language of "tolerance" behind which it hides its barbarism.

But the Lord still "hears the cry of the poor." In His Incarnation He took up residence in a womb and He died on an instrument of torture reserved only for the worst of criminals. From His wounded side He birthed a new creation, which, clothed with the same power that raised His glorified Body from the tomb, has a mission to speak truth to unbridled power, in so doing, to expose the lies of the "cultures of death" throughout the last two thousand years. Sometimes, just when the darkness looks like it will sure sweep the truth away, the Church, through Her members seems to lead the way to a rebirth of truth, life and authentic freedom.

As we labor now for true and authentic freedom in this third Christian millennium, the task has passed to us to build a new culture of life and a civilization of love. In a particular way, it has fallen to Catholic Christians. We have been given the treasury of truth in the Magisterium of the Church. To us has been entrusted the great insights of Pope John Paul II as well as the framework for peace contained in the Social Teaching of our Church. As the scripture makes clear "to those to whom much is given, much more will be required." This treasury has not been given so that we can retreat from this culture. We must not see ourselves as a beleaguered "victim" group and simply protect ourselves. We carry on the redemptive mission of the Author of life and the One who is Truth. He still hears the cry of the poor and He expects that we will be His hands to protect them, lift them up, and to provide freedom to the captives.

It is time. "Freedom itself needs to be set free" It is time to not only expose the evil of abortion but to overcome it with good.


Deacon Keith Fournier is a married Roman Catholic Deacon, with five children and one grandchild. He also serves the Melkite Greek Catholic Church with the approval of Bishop John Elya, the Eparch. Dedicated to living, proclaiming and serving the vision of Pope John Paul II for a "New Evangelization", Deacon Fournier is dedicated to seeing the "two lungs", East and West, breathe together again in the Fullness of the Church. He is a human rights lawyer and a graduate of the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University, Franciscan University of Steubenville and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law. He is a co-founder of the "Your Catholic Voice Movement" and the founder of "Common Good".


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