After Roe

Boston-area friends, do you want to engage in the renewal of civic deliberation?

As I've pointed out to the state's leading papers, even should Roe be overturned, that would not restore the right to life of the innocent in law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Supreme Judicial Court's construction of John Adams's Constitution (in Moe v. Secretary of Administration and Finance) is that it provides a "greater degree of protection to a woman's right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy by abortion than does the Federal Constitution..."

That is, even if Roe goes, we have to win a public argument in the Commonwealth to see the most powerless human life protected in law.

It is an argument I am convinced we can win, but only if we pro-lifers expose ourselves again to the full force of the first principles of social philosophy. We will see some of the tactical positionings of the last decade dissolving under the light of social and self analysis. We'll be able to have a candid conversation with those who support abortion, in which each of us stands under the measure of inconvenient truth.

This is an essential component of my vision for Mass. Citizens for Life: MCFL should serve as the catalyst for a renewed civic deliberation concerning the requirements of the common good, and for a renewed, trans-partisan commitment to securing the conditions corresponding to the equal dignity of each human life.

We began this work with the inaugural year of the Pro-Life Social Doctrine Certificate Program, and we continue the conversation with a summer seminar on Love, Power, Liberty.

Here's the syllabus:

Week 1 (July 7th): C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves; Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae I, q. 20; I-II, qq. 25-28; II-II, qq. 23-27
Week 2 (July 14th): Josef Pieper, “Love”; Romano Guardini, Power and Responsibility
Week 3 (July 21st): Michel Foucault, “Right of Death and Power over Life”; Pamela Cooper-White, The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church’s Response
Week 4 (July 28th): Lord Acton, “The History of Freedom in Antiquity,” “The History of Freedom in Christianity”; J. S. Mill, On Liberty
Week 5 (August 4th): Alasdair MacIntyre, Dependent Rational Animals
[No class, August 11th]
Week 6 (August 18th): Dante, Purgatorio; Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Truth and Freedom”