The issues surrounding the Church’s position on the protection of ALL life are complex; too complex to cover in a few hundred word blog post, so I’ll leave the more technical stuff to others. What I’m posting about today is why it’s cool to be Pro Life. I suppose the short answer would be that it’s so uncool to be anti-life.
While the technical issues surrounding human life are best left to the experts, the simple fact is that God creates all human life and that we must respect all life. In fact, we must do everything in our power to protect all human life from conception until natural death. Anything less than that puts us in the position of trying to play God. It doesn’t matter if the human person is a cute little baby, a vicious criminal, or an elderly person whose continued life is just so darned expensive and inconvenient.
Unless your reading this on the intergalacticnet on some far-away planet, you were born of a human mother. Give thanks to God that your mother was Pro Life. Otherwise you might not be reading this or anything else. Everyday human criminals snuff out the life of innocent (or not so innocent) victims. Your head may be telling you that murderers should get the death penalty. But your heart, and your God, tell you that when the state murders someone on our behalf, we’re just as bad as the criminal. “Thou shalt not kill” applies to everyone.
One day (hopefully) you and I will be old. (My kids think I’m old already.) When we get to the point in life when we’re bedridden and in need of constant care, the temptation is there to end it all, either to be free from pain, or just to stop being a burden to our loved ones. We don’t get to make that call and neither does anyone else. That’s why you and I, even if we’re past child-rearing age, have a stake in the abortion discussion. The society we live in values life less every day. Many of our brothers and sisters, half of our political “leaders”, most of the news media, and most of Hollywood, look at abortion as just another medical procedure. This anti-life crowd likes to refer to “safe abortions.” Isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard of. If an abortion is effective it’s anything but “safe”. If it’s effective the baby always dies!
Unless we Catholics and other people of faith keep fighting the good fight, we’re on a slippery slope. The more society accepts abortion, the closer we come to legal euthanasia. Call me an extremist if you want, but the day may come, possibly sooner rather than later, when bumping off Grandpa because it’s just too expensive to keep him alive is considered just as reasonable as aborting an unborn child because she may have an expensive disease.
But getting back to the coolness of Pro Life, consider this. While the Catholic Church isn’t the only faith tradition that opposes murder in any form, most people, if you gave them a word association test, would put “Catholic” and “anti-abortion” together. By supporting God’s gift of life in all cases, the Church has opened herself up to ridicule, bad jokes, and disdain by those who feel life decisions should be made by mere mortals rather than by the Author of Life Himself.
It would be so easy to throw in the towel and say, “OK, we tried. We marched and protested and prayed and prayed, but we haven’t gotten the job done. Go ahead and do whatever you want.” We might win the popularity contest but we’d threaten our own mortal souls. Thanks be to God, the Church is never going to do that.
Maybe you don’t have the time or the money to go to Washington DC for the Pro Life Rally. Maybe you’re embarrassed to speak out against murder, whether it be in a doctor’s office, at the state prison, or at the nursing home. But rest assured, the Church will continue to fight the good fight for you. The Church will continue to offer help to women who have become unexpectedly pregnant. There will still be people praying outside prisons when someone’s life is about to be taken away. And the Church will continue to advocate for the elderly and others whose quality of life has declined.
Remember that Jesus was the all-time champion #$%^ disturber. He refused to accept the status quo. He made waves. He spoke out against injustices. And, He entrusted Peter and the other Apostles to build His Church on those same principles. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to belong to a church that’s afraid to lead. Right and wrong don’t change. Black is black and white is white. My Church doesn’t compromise and say black is really red, if that’s what the majority want.
Thank God for a Church that’s willing to stand up for the least among us. Thank God for a Church that speaks out. Look out, moneychangers. Jesus is about to turn over your tables and throw you out of the temple.
How cool is that?