Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Forces of Darkness in Grand Rapids

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | May 11, 2012

The Mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan, speaking at a fundraising event for Planned Parenthood, proclaimed that “every year, the forces of darkness seek to deprive women of the health and education they need by choking off the funding to Planned Parenthood.” This shows as clearly as anything how easily the human person can see white as black and black as white. It also highlights one of the chief dilemmas of a pluralist society.

On the one hand, we have here a salutary reminder of how different our perceptions can be, and how easily we can convince ourselves that any position we prefer represents sweetness and light. On this hand, we recognize that most people who advocate or commit evil do so under the pretense of good, and that they often do not even realize it is a pretense. This hand strikes a blow for mutual respect, reasoned discussion, the triumph of persuasion, and the avoidance of demonizing opponents.

But on the other hand, we have here a salutary reminder that when things pass beyond a certain point, it no longer matters whether someone is well-meaning or not. Certain levels of evil are not tolerable and, if they can be prudently eradicated, then both justice and charity demand that they be eradicated, even through the use of force. This other hand strikes a blow for the idea that objective reality matters, and that ultimately persons and societies must be rooted in objective reality if they are to thrive.

According to the first hand, the Mayor of Grand Rapids has nothing to fear but a polite argument from those who understand that abortion is an unspeakable crime. But on the other hand, should the culture in Grand Rapids grow healthier over time, I would not want to be the Mayor.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: leonardgrotenrathjr7615 - May. 12, 2012 9:49 AM ET USA

    Dr. Mirus: It is understandable that one unfamiliar with the Grand Rapids/West Michigan area might conclude from reading about Mayor George Heartwell's breathless paean to Planned Parenthood and his dyspeptic verbal assault upon pro-life activists that the G.R. area is "unhealthy". I hasten to assure you that the mayor's views, while annoying, remain anomalous within a community that is on the whole dedicated to the defense of life thanks to a fruitful coalition of Catholics and Calvinists.

  • Posted by: - May. 11, 2012 7:07 PM ET USA

    PS. Please keep us in your prayers as next Wednesday evening we go toe to toe with city council in upbraiding them for paying for abortions with the insurance that is funded by taxpayers money. You'll notice from the article on Hartwell that the PP is planning a rally at the same time. May God be praised. We know who wins the battle.

  • Posted by: - May. 11, 2012 7:04 PM ET USA

    The culture of Grand Rapids is growing more towards the light. We had three abortion mills a few years ago and now we are down to one. The only reason PP is yucking it up in GR is because they do not perform abortions but farm them out. 40 Days for Life will give them no peace, not until the last door is shuttered and the lives of women and children are safe from the butchers knife. I guarantee it.