Nothing But Nihilism

Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:14 AM

On the heels of Hillary Clinton's now-famous question about "what difference . . . does it make" why four Americans in Benghazi were killed comes this appalling piece from Salon, titled "So what if abortion ends life?" 

And with these two nihilistic questions, we see the hypocrisy of the supposed "compassionate" left -- indeed, one might go so far as to speculate whether a determined lack of compassion for the smallest, most vulnerable among us ultimately helps to create people for whom a political agenda routinely trumps every nobler impulse.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, the writer who proudly declares, "I believe life begins at conception. And it's never stopped me from being pro-choice," is perhaps more honest than other pro-abortion liberals, but isn't there something a little bit sad in her evidently unembarrassed declaration that women should have a right to kill the living human creatures inside them at their whim?  

Anyone who has decried the moral "slippery slope" of abortion -- and I'm thinking of the Catholic Church here -- has to feel vindicated by Williams' assertion that "All life is not equal."  Once that proposition has been accepted, the implications are ugly: Are the lives of the handicapped (mentally or physically) "less equal" than others -- and if so, is it okay to kill them? How about the elderly? And who gets to decide? 

I think most people believe -- with regret and compunction -- that in some instances (like rape, incest, life of the mother), abortion rights are a necessary evil.  That's not because the lives of the unborn children of rape or incest are "less equal" or less valuable than the lives of any other unborn child, but because forcing a woman to carry a child against her will under those circumstances is no less inhumane than an abortion.

But that's a far cry from Williams' proud admission that she feels no concern whatsoever at the prospect of women snuffing at the lives of their own children for no reason, or for any.  From asserting that the lives of some human beings (the unborn) don't matter, it isn't that big a leap to wondering "what difference" it makes about how and why some (born) human beings died.  

It's all a piece of the same ugly nihilism that asserts that nothing much (besides oneself) matters anyway.  And sometimes not even that.

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