"We were at one, blood to blood, as no other kind of union could make us," the English essayist Malcolm Muggeridge wrote, recalling giving his wife his own blood during a critical medical moment.
"To give life," he continued, "this was what love was for; to give it in all circumstances and eventualities, whether God creating the universe, or a male and female creating another human being; whereas to destroy life, be it in a fertilized ovum one second after conception, or in some octogenarian or sufferer from a fatal illness, was the denial of life and so the antithesis of love."
This "antithesis of love," that Muggeridge wrote about can be discerned in much of our country's political and cultural adulation of Planned Parenthood.
President Obama has made clear that any critics of the pro-abortion health group are enemies of women, saying such critics want to "turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century. And they've been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women's health."
"(A) lot of people want liver," is a very different kind of conversation caught on camera in an undercover investigation by the Center for Medical Progress. A senior director of medical services was discussing the business of harvesting body parts after a partial-birth abortion. Doctors take some care to make sure while killing a viable child to keep parts intact, she explained.
Planned Parenthood believes that the work of harvesting human organs from aborted children is a "humanitarian undertaking," as a public-relations firm associated with Planned Parenthood explained in response to the video.
Which makes one pause -- doesn't it? -- to consider what it even means to be human.
As Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute puts it: "In this instance we see conscience dulled to the point of extinction. The people taking the developing child's organs first took the child's life. Forgetting who these small human beings are, they forget their own humanity."
"The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any higher instance than ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves," Pope Francis included in his recent encyclical on creation, quoting his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
When President Obama said "God bless Planned Parenthood," he was invoking God as a seal of approval. With his remark, he made official what we knew already: Obama is all-in when it comes to the revolutionary ideology of Planned Parenthood, which treats fertility as an inconvenience and life as a disposable object.
Confronting the reality of the commodification of human life and the subjection of creation to our confused wills is a moral necessity.
"We must move beyond the ubiquitous culture of relativism in which everything around are mere objects to use and then throw away as so much trash," Fordham University professor Charles C. Camosy, author of "For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action" and "Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for a New Generation," tells me.
"The moral reality of the babies is simply erased from these scenarios, and they are sources of things we can harvest, while the rest gets crushed and discarded," Camosy says of the organ-harvesting issue.
In his 1980 Human Life Review essay on "The Humane Holocaust," Muggeridge wrote: "We should never forget that if ever there was a killing without mercy, a death without dignity, it was on Golgotha. Yet from that killing, what a pouring out of mercy throughout the subsequent centuries! From that death, what a stupendous enhancement of human dignity!"
"We are confronted today with the essential question of what it means to be human," Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life says. "How we answer affects us all. This is a moral flashpoint for our country that will define our generation."
Sexual revolutionary ideology can't be our lodestar. Harvesting the organs of innocents who were sacrificed on the altar of choice is where it gets us. Recognizing this can be a moment that revivifies, like the gift that Muggeridge gave his wife. And it shows us a life-giving North Star, one that inculcates gratitude and restores life in a civilization of love.
(Kathryn Jean Lopez is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-at-large of National Review Online and founding director of Catholic Voices USA. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)