Mark Steyn

In praise of ‘Jesusland’

Whatever their faults, says Mark Steyn, America’s Christian fundamentalists are a lot smarter than Eutopian secularists

Whatever their faults, says Mark Steyn, America’s Christian fundamentalists are a lot smarter than Eutopian secularists

New Hampshire

As in previous years, Planned Parenthood has been selling greetings cards for abortion proponents filled with seasonal cheer to send to each other: ‘Choice On Earth’, they proclaim. I can just about understand being a proponent of abortion; I find it harder to fathom someone whose obsession with the subject extends to sending out holiday cards on the theme. Especially as, insofar as the Christmas story is relevant to this question, it’s a season to reflect on the potential of every new life.

Two thousand years ago, if a betrothed woman such as Mary became pregnant by a man other than her intended, she was guilty of adultery and liable to stoning. But Joseph, St Matthew tells us, ‘being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily’ — i.e., a quiet divorce. Given the prevailing social climate back then, had they had ‘Choice On Earth’ — abortion on demand — Jesus would have been first in line for it. There would have been no Christ, no Christmas, no New Testament, no lines about ‘peace on earth’ for abortion fetishists to riff off for their holiday slogan.

Scripturally derivative even in its repudiation thereof, ‘Choice On Earth’ seems an apt summation of the muddled state of Christendom at the dawn of its third millennium. These days we don’t say ‘Christendom’, of course, except in an ironic way. We say ‘the Muslim world’ all the time, without thinking — ‘The Iraq invasion enraged the entire Muslim world,’ declares the Democrats’ website. The notion of a ‘Muslim world’ is acceptable to the progressive mind. ‘The Christian world’ is a more problematic concept.

But it’s still out there, just about, and 2004 was a good year for Jesus.

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