The Washington Post's Dan Zak offered a column last week on his interview with William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist. Blatty's novel rocketed to the top of the best-seller lists more than 40 years ago, and the movie shocked audiences everywhere with its stunning special effects. The devil never seemed so real. Certainly not to this writer.
Blatty is asking the Vatican to strip Georgetown University—America's oldest Catholic institution of higher learning—of its designation as Catholic. His reason is that Georgetown invited pro-abortion Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to be its commencement speaker last year. Zak tells us that Blatty spoke of "a particular abortion procedure in graphic detail." Of course, the Post writer leaves out of his column the graphic detail and won't even name that particular abortion procedure.
Recall how slavery's defenders called it their "peculiar institution." They sought to avoid mentioning manacles, slave ships or human misery. They didn't want to tell people at their Georgetown lunches what happened when a slave ship was in danger of being overtaken by a British man-of-war intent on hanging slave traders: The "cargo" of men, women and children, chained together, were thrown overboard. The weight of the first few would pull the hundreds of others in after them. That's demonic.
The Soviet Union called its slave labor system the Gulag—an acronym for the State Administration for Camps. The bland name concealed what really went on in those camps. Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn survived imprisonment to document the truth for the world in his comprehensive, three-volume study, The Gulag Archipelago. Nikolai Getman was also a zek, from the Russian word for "locked-up ones." The artist painted a series of images to convey the horror of camp life and death. "Waiting to Be Shot" shows starving zeks huddling in the snow on a frigid Siberian night. That was surely demonic.
Blatty is angry because Sebelius is forcing all of us to pay for abortions, for what Ronald Reagan called "the slaughter of innocents." Blatty was so moved by what he learned that his voice shook with emotion as he described what Sebelius approves. When she was governor of Kansas, she made a point of inviting partial-birth abortionists to dinner at Cedar Crest, the official residence.
In the 40 years since Roe v. Wade, America has never had a governor more zealous in promoting abortion than Sebelius. That's why President Obama, who attends abortion conventions and tells them to "keep it up, God bless you," chose Sebelius to run his health care operation.
Here's what William Peter Blatty doubtless described for Dan Zak. This is that "particular abortion procedure" that Zak was too decorous to share with readers of the Post's "Style" section. Nurse Brenda Pratt Shafer gave her testimony to Congress under oath:
"I stood at the doctor's side and watched him perform a partial-birth abortion on a woman who was six months pregnant. The baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. The doctor delivered the baby's body and arms—everything but his little head. The baby's body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. The doctor took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby's head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. Then the doctor opened the scissors up. Then he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. I never went back to the clinic. But I am still haunted by the face of that little boy. It was the most perfect, angelic face I have ever seen."
This is what Obama wants God to bless. The people who do these things are the ones Sebelius invites to dinner.
Is William Peter Blatty right? Is this demonic? We report. You decide.
Robert Morrison is senior fellow for policy studies at Family Research Council. This article appeared on National Review Online Thursday.