"We're in a battle for the soul of America," the Democratic nominee for president recently said. I happen to think that's true. But my tolerance for listening to Joe Biden talk about it is officially something like nonexistent.
There was a time in my life when I think I could have entertained the idea of voting for Biden. Knowing that he had locked himself into choosing a woman, and likely a Black woman, as his running mate, I wondered about the mayor of Washington, D.C. Muriel Bowser is an adoptive mother. She didn't seem as hostile to religious entities during the height of the pandemic as, say, New York mayor Bill de Blasio, who threatened to shut places of worship down when a Hasidic community had the audacity to mourn their dead. And Bowser, like Biden, is a baptized Catholic.
As a senator, Biden had long supported the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer funding of abortion. But in his old age, the former vice president will have nothing to do with finding common ground with the pro-life camp, even though he's admitted that an unborn baby may be a human life. Even though Biden may personally tell a priest that abortion is wrong, he's all-in as a candidate with whatever the most radical wing of the Democratic Party insists on.
And to think: When Bill Clinton minted the "safe, legal and rare" language about abortion not all that long ago, there was a tone of regret and last resort to it -- even of grief. Tragically, the Democratic party is so blinded by abortion ideology that it cannot see through to smart politics, never mind something more humane.
If you had any doubts about Biden's commitment to the party line, he confirmed it by choosing Kamala Harris, who brings all the zeal of the abortion-on-demand movement.
I fear that a kind of indifference has set into Americans' hearts about abortion. We hear from abortion activists on both sides. But what about the rest of America? Some polls suggest the majority favors restrictions.
We can do better than the current status quo. And somewhere in his heart, Joe Biden knows this, even as he trips over himself to utter every Planned Parenthood talking point there is.
One recent Biden campaign video talks about his love for religious sisters. Here, too, he knows better than his actions. Catholic nuns have played a pivotal role in American history. And yet, these days, they are being persecuted. As you may have noticed, the Little Sisters of the Poor had to go to the U.S. Supreme Court not once, but twice because of the Obama-Biden administration. And back in the early days, behind the scenes, Biden was reportedly among those who advised against mandating that nuns cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in their employee insurance plans. But he gave in and became a disingenuous mouthpiece -- pretending there was no conscience problem at all -- for the policy.
When you talk about the battle for the soul of America, as Joe Biden does, we had better start reflecting on what the conscience of America looks like. Could it be that surrender to the tyranny of the abortion industry has something to do with all the violence, death, and misery that we sometimes seem to be drowning in? There is a poison in our body politic. We need leaders who know this and can lead us to something better. Biden somewhere in there knows the truth -- but he has forgotten, or chosen to ignore it.
God help us all.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-at-large of National Review magazine and author of the new book "A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living." She is also chair of Cardinal Dolan's pro-life commission in New York. She can be contacted at email@example.com.