In the late 1980s, a West Virginia legislator proposed increasing the fine for killing a baby eagle, or destroying an eagle’s egg, to I believe $25,000. I wrote a letter to the editor observing that the same legislator’s support of state-funded abortion of babies was morally and intellectually contradictory. He called to tell me he didn’t see any connection between the two issues.
In the recent Supreme Court decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, the court upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 in a 5-4 decision. A dissenting minority opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “The notion that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act furthers any legitimate governmental interest is, quite simply, irrational.” Irrational that our government should not care about a procedure that turns the full-term healthy baby around in the birth process, leaving just the head in the womb while the skull is pierced and the brain vacuumed, so it can still be considered “unborn” and killed as an abortion?
Former Sen. Rick Santorum tells that when he was speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate arguing in favor of overriding President Clinton’s veto of the PartialBirth Abortion Ban Act, another senator on the floor likened the procedure to a simple appendectomy.
According to news reports, Virginia Tech English professor and official school poet Nikki Giovanni compared the recent school shooting tragedy to “the unfairness of baby elephants losing their habitats because of man-made development.”
These for anecdotes reflect a narcissistic thought disease that plagues and divides our nation. Psychologist and author David Coon calls it “cognitive dissonance” — a psychology theory that people tend to reject new information that contradicts ideas they already hold. How to penetrate cognitive dissonance with higher moral ideas must be the challenge of the century. Brad Adkins Scott Depot, West Virginia