This is a tale of two men.
Of lost opportunity.
The modern-day tragedies of Nelson Mandela and our own Missouri U.S. Senator Thomas Eagleton.
Tragedies that put the Greeks of old to shame.
Both Nelson Mandela and Senator Thomas Eagleton came to power to represent those who had no voice.
Victims of the apartheid of South Africa and the apartheid of abortionists respectively.
The recent death of Nelson Mandela generated a worldwide outpouring of praise and adulation. As did Eagleton’s death in 2007.
For Mandela there is a movie to boot.
But in spite of Hollywood’s selective memory, Nelson Madela’s legacy will forever be tarnished by the deaths of almost a million human beings victimized by the abortion law he promoted and signed in 1996.
Would that, having been freed from the horrendous injustice of apartheid, he had extended to unborn human beings in his country the same freedom he finally experienced.
Instead he chose to unleash the abortionists of South Africa on them: the most deadly form of apartheid.
No amount of good can erase such a legacy of injustice by someone who should have known better…..
Our own Missouri U.S. Senator Thomas Eagleton was once a champion of the unborn.
In fact his name is attached to the only Human Life Amendment to make it to a formal vote in Congress in over four decades since Roe and Doe: the Hatch-Eagleton Human Life Federalism Amendment (1983).
Every January he would personally greet the thousands of citizens from Missouri who made the 1,674 mile round trip pilgrimage to D.C. to protest SCOTUS’ infamous Roe and Doe decisions.
But in a twist mindful of a Greek tragedy, Senator Eagleton, turned from champion of the unborn to the chief proponent of state program mandating the killing of unborn children through embryonic stem cell human experimentation. Eagleton took his scandalous support for this hideous practice to the grave. In fact it was just a few months after he succeeded in his effort to enshrine this betrayal into law that the good Senator died.
A reverse “good thief” story.
As a result his funeral, much like Mandela’s, included a gathering of the who’s who of the Culture of Death, including pro-abortionists Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Dick Durbin, Walter Mondale, Robyn Carnahan, Dale Bumpers, as well as Eagleton’s Senatorial sidekick, Senator Jack Danforth who joined Eagleton in his eleventh hour betrayal of the unborn. The latter three were among the four eulogists allowed on the altar at the funeral Mass.
It’s noteworthy that Eagleton’s own list of accomplishments, read at his request upon his death, included not one reference to abortion. Zero. Nor, not surprisingly was there any such mention by the host of pro-abortion eulogists.
In fact Eagleton, in that same letter, actually managed to reach from the grave in the 12th hour no less, to take a final swipe at the Catholic Church, with whom he battled publicly in the year before his death.
In fact his betrayal cost him a funeral at the Cathedral with the Archbishop as celebrant. Instead it was the Jesuits who would accommodate him. One can only wonder if the St. Louis Jesuits would have accommodated him had his betrayal been in the form of support for racial segregation. Or some other “social justice” issue: other than abortion that is.
The words of Eagleton’s “letter from the grave” also included the idea that the Church needs to change to be “relevant” and adapt its dogma to the culture.
And praise for the only Archbishop know to have stood on the steps of an abortion mill, while children were being killed inside, not to stop it, but rather to instruct those who were there to rescue those children to “go home.” Perhaps they were “the Christian Right” he decried in the same letter.
It would seem Senators Eagleton and Danforth’s betrayal of the unborn says much about why attempts to protect the unborn made such poor progress in Congress. Even the one Human Life Amendment he managed to get to a vote, failed by one vote.
So we have the tale of two men.
Each of whom did much good.
Both of whom, at least on the surface, faced down much evil in their respective time.
But who, in the end, chose to abandon the Gospel of Life for the “culture of death”.
The final irony may well be that while the culture of death was busy canonizing Senator Eagleton and Nelson Mandela, those of us who know better will be doing the only thing that may benefit them: praying for the repose of their respective souls.
So please join with me in prayer: May the souls of Nelson Mandela, and Senator Eagleton as well as the millions of souls of those victimized by abortionists, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.