IN a previous post, ‘Numbers’, reflecting on the deathworks in the era of post Roe v Wade abortion in the United States I wrote that our hope in such circumstances lies outside the machinations of our legal and political systems. On the First Things website the same day there appeared an interview with Adrian Vermeule, the Ralph S. Tyler Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, and a recent convert to the Roman Catholic Church. One of the questions posed to Prof. Vermeule touched on the prospects for influencing the culture away from the “culture of death”. His response says much better than my words what I wished to convey:
I put little stock or hope or faith in law. It is a tool that may be put to good uses or bad. In the long run it will be no better than the polity and culture in which it is embedded. If that culture sours and curdles, so will the law; indeed that process is well underway and its tempo is accelerating. Our hope lies elsewhere.