Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Equal Justice Under Law

The area immediately surrounding the Supreme Court of the United States resembled a religious convention, as people of faith from all walks of life began to assemble and to voice their opposition to abortion. By chance, my visit to the capital coincided with the annual commemoration of Roe v. Wade and the resulting March for Life.

The public display of of faith was both moving and disturbing. On the one hand, people of many cultures and backgrounds came together to engage the democratic process, but some used shocking methods. One woman carried an over sized placard bearing the image of dismembered fetuses under a large banner reading: "American Holocaust."

Looking up from the Supreme Court steps, I felt a sense of reverence as I read the inscription above the great marble columns, "Equal Justice Under Law." No doubt, the hope of justice brings comfort, and yet I'm struck by the irony of that statement against competing ideologies across the land. Both supporters and opponents of abortion would likely point to those words to sustain their respective causes. Pro-choice advocates would suggest Equal Justice Under Law protects the right of every woman to choose to end her pregnancy, while pro-life advocates would say Equal Justice Under Law protects the right to life of all unborn children. Both sides appeal to justice and equality under the law, and yet both sides are divided with scarcely a chance of compromise.

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