Monday, May 28, 2007

Venom is produced by the Snake

Even if you are hard-hearted enough to think partial-birth abortion is not a crime against humanity, you still should have been appalled at the editorial cartoon produced by Tony Auth of the Philadelphia Inquirer to criticize the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision upholding the federal law that bans the procedure. Coming from an artist who would consider himself open-minded, tolerant, and enlightened, it was a grotesque example of bigotry against people of faith.

In fact, "grotesque anti-Catholic bigotry" is precisely what Chuck Colson and a raft of other prominent Christian leaders called Mr. Auth's work when they released a statement condemning the cartoon this past week.

In addition to Mr. Colson, the list of leaders signing the statement included prominent conservatives whose doctrine is beyond reproach: Gary Bauer of American Values, Frank Page of the Southern Baptist Convention, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Louis Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association, and Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America.

But if you think Mr. Auth's doodle represented bigotry, you should consider the venom spewing from Ken Silva at Legalists never miss an opportunity to miss the point, and Mr. Silva is the master. Rather than raise his voice in support of the ban on partial-birth abortion, instead of taking a stand against gross prejudice on the basis of religion, Mr. Silva chose to rant about how the statement supposedly endorsed "apostate Roman Catholicism." Somehow Mr. Silva thinks these leaders (including Mr. Silva's favorite whipping boy, Rick Warren) are endorsing the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church when they protest the prejudice of Mr. Auth's cartoon.

The "Not Grace" Party can always be counted on to change the subject and distort the truth if it serves to draw attention to their "look at me! look at me!" blog sites.

Nothing in the statement remotely endorses Roman Catholic doctrine. There are many points at which people like Mr. Colson and Mr. Warren would seriously disagree with RC teaching. But if you have to agree with everything one group believes and does before you defend them, Mr. Silva better hope a lynch mob doesn't show up on his doorstep. His neighbors will pull their blinds. One wonders what injustices he would allow, what courageous stands he would criticize, simply because it suits the self-serving agenda of his messiah complex.

It took me half a lifetime to realize this basic fact of nature: Venom is produced by the Snake, not the Lamb.