Tuesday

From the Notebooks

Black magic, the soul killing of Faustus, and political magic come together in abortion. Abortion contains it all. It reflects the ugliness of black magic. It preserves the career path of the Faustian. It's a tool in progressives' attempts to establish a better society without unwanted pregnancies and resource-absorbing children.

And it's not without historical precedent. In The Everlasting Man, Chesterton wrote that “certain anti-human antagonisms seem to recur in this tradition of black magic. There may be suspected as running through it everywhere, for instance, a mystical hatred of the idea of childhood. People would understand better the popular fury against the witches, if they remembered that the malice most commonly attributed to them was preventing the birth of children.”

He went on to point out that the man of progress is often allied with the magical man, and that the two come together in their attempts to produce earthly goods, as seen in mercantile Carthage and its worship of Moloch, the

god of child sacrifice. “There is always a sort of dim idea that these darker powers will really do things, with no nonsense about it. In the interior psychology of the Punic peoples this strange sort of pessimistic practicality had grown to great proportions. In the New Town, which the Romans called Carthage, as in the parent cities of Phoenicia, the god who got things done bore the name of Moloch. . . These highly civilised people really met together to invoke the blessing of heaven on their empire by throwing hundreds of their infants into a large furnace.”

Chesterton also pointed out that the Carthaginians (and their predecessors in Tyre and Sidon) were highly practical men of commerce and expanding markets. The parallel to today is too obvious to merit much comment. Our society, too, consists of highly practical men, especially in commerce. And our society, too, is willing to sacrifice its children in the form of abortion. Abortion promotes practicality on all fronts. Individually, it frees the enterprising woman from an unwanted pregnancy that could stall her career. Familially, it keeps couples free from the time-consuming demands of children, especially retarded children, who are subject to the “seek and destroy” missions through amniocentesis tests and abortions. Regionally and nationally, it prevents a county's or country's resources from being “squandered” on the births of lower-class children. Globally, it helps guard against overpopulation.

Eric Scheske

Eric Scheske