Once again the issue of “life” seems front and center, both in the media and in my own personal life. The nomination of Elena Kagan has brought to the surface, yet again, the great struggle we have in our culture between life and death. Personally, and on a much happier note, I am expecting our fifth child to be born in January, and so naturally, I have been mulling this “issue” called Life. It seems like there are many others who are mulling this thing we call Life too. Everyone from Pundits to Politicians to Priests. News anchors, talking heads, and the moms at the bus stop. What a dichotomy that Life seems to present sometimes. On one hand we are told that Life is precious, yet, on the other we are told that its only precious if you want it. Only precious if it fits someone’s individual idea of perfection. Why? Why this controversy? Why is Life so threatening to some people? Why isn’t is celebrated? Why isn’t it cherished? Why isn’t it protected?
These are hard questions, and many have tried to answer them succinctly. I, for my part, offer my thoughts here, but I also want to expand the discussion. When we talk about “Life” as an issue, we automatically assume that the discussion is going to center on abortion, but the discussion is much larger than that. Eugenics, Euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, and infanticide should all part of the discussion. If a society feels it has a right to kill its most vulnerable and innocent members – inside their Mother’s Wombs, what is to stop this society from killing its old or infirm members next? What then is to stop the ‘discarding’ of ‘non-productive’ members of the society – and who the heck gets to decide what is considered productive? What is to keep that society from deciding how many boys and how many girls it should have? Nothing. When Life ceases to be viewed as unique and precious, the so-called Right to Life no longer has meaning. Life instead becomes a priveledge – and that, my friends is just plain wrong.
Some things in our nation are privileges. Driving, owning your own home, taking a great vacation, driving a fancy car, and eating out every Sunday – those are privileges, and individuals who work hard earn them. Thats the American Dream. With enough hard work, and by the Grace of God, you can do or have those things. The opportunity is there. LIFE, however is NOT one the things that should ever be considered a privilege. The Founding Fathers were amazingly accurate when they said that Man, endowed by his Creator, has certain unalienable rights: most namely the right to Life. This Right doesnt begin at a certain time after birth. This Right isn’t earned. This Right isn’t afforded only to some – it is endowed.
Endowed means “provided, supplied, or equipped with.” Who endows Life? God. Its that simple. How amazing is it that hundreds of years ago, when this country was founded, the men who wrote out what we stood for as Americans, knew it was important to spell that out? They knew that no government can truly give somebody the Right to Life – that Right is bestowed by God and God alone, and this it should be the job of the Government to protect that right. So what has changed?
While many in our country hold staunchly to the idea of individual freedom, Pope John Paul II explained to us, “that the most basic moral error in the world today divorces human freedom from dependence on God.” It is frankly atheistic. Each person’s conscience is given the status of a supreme tribunal of moral judgment. Here the subjective conscience becomes ruler in moral matters apart from the mind and will of God. What happened to conscience? The [late]Vicar of Christ declares that conscience then becomes the final judge for each person of what is right or wrong, independent of the objective laws of God. Does this mean that we do not have any true freedom? Ironically many who exalt human freedom at the expense of obedience to God’s laws are the very ones who deny human freedom altogether. This is not surprising when you realize that true freedom resides in the human will. Anyone who denies this freedom actually denies that we are ever truly free in anything we choose to do. (1) Without God, without a relationship with Him, you can never be truly free! What a paradox that seems to present – yet it is the most basic Truth of Human Freedom!
This is the crux of the problem here in America. While the Founders understood that this country was founded with a reliance on God (and if you don’t believe that I urge you to read The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States by Benjamin F. Morris – recently re-released) nowadays most of the politicians in powerful and influential positions do not. They have succumbed to the moral relativism that fuels the debate over the Sanctity of Life in this Nation. This leaves us in a dangerous position. It also leaves us with a very important duty.
As women, we have been entrusted with the Human Person (I know, I know, I go back to this quote from Mulieris Dignitatem quite often!) It is in our nature to want to protect the vulnerable. It is also therefore, imperative that we do not be silent when it comes to Life – in all its stages. We must witness to the Truth. The Truth that all Life is sacred – all Life is a gift – a gift that is not meant to be returned. Have you ever returned a most beloved gift – even after the gift was older and maybe a little less efficient? No thats absurd. Why then should we ever think that Euthanasia is permissible? Would you ever make yourself as many gifts as you could just to destroy them and experiment with them – even after you’ve learned that your experiments do not produce the desired results? No, that’s silly. Why then is Fetal Stem Cell Research still considered necessary? Would you return a cherished gift even if it didn’t work right anyone? Not if it was truly cherished. Why then should it ever be considered OK to ‘discard’ (meaning kill) disabled children or adults? Do think that I am going too far? Google search “kill disabled children” and you’ll see that this debate has already begun. This is the madness that ensues when God is no longer Who we as a society look to for Freedom. This is the insanity that occurs when we believe that we can “decide for ourselves” what is right and wrong. This is the lunacy that evolves when God is pushed to the side and His gift of Life is viewed as a privilege, not a right.
We need to witness to the Gift of Life. Whether you are young, single, a mother, or a grandmother (heck even a great grandmother!) you have a important role to play in the witness to Life. In all the stages of your life you must witness to the gift and beauty of it. Get involved! Be pro-active and unabashedly pro-life! Never be afraid to stand up for Life and speak the Truth- at work, with friends or family, in the social sphere. Speaking the Truth Boldly is the only way we can change this culture of ours! The Truth always stamps out the darkness. Never be afraid to evangelize! You are an ambassador for Christ! If we are to stem the tide of moral relativism than we must show Christ to others. We must invite them to relationship with Him. Whatever your age, state in life or vocation you can be this powerful witness. Whether you have children, are disabled or have a loved one who is disabled, the world needs your courageous witness! The culture needs older adults to show us younger ones how to age gracefully. Our culture needs women! For it is Woman – to whom the human person has been especially entrusted! Woman – the life bearer! Woman – who has a unique genius, which allows her to see the dignity of each individual! Our Nation needs you!! The vulnerable of our society need you!
This collective subjectiveness of conscience that threatens the very fabric of our Society must be replaced by a return to God as the true giver of Freedom and author of Life. It is important to not forget that this country of ours does have a Judeo-Christian foundation. (again I refer you to The Christian Life and Character…). We should not allow this historical fact to be written out of our history just because this fact makes it more difficult for those who have an agenda of death to achieve their goals. There IS an absolute Truth, not a “truth for you, and different truth for me.” That’s absurd. By its Nature Truth is singular. There is only One. We must re-evangelize this culture of ours – so that those who are confused by Moral Relativism and subjective “truth” may have the opportunity to learn that Truth is absolute, and that this Truth tells us all Life is Scared. THIS is the change that must occur if we are to be victorious in protecting the Right to Life here in America, and you my dear reader, can help to bring about that change.
Until next time, may God continue to bless your beautiful feminine heart!
(1) Our Catholic Answer to the Sexual Suiced of America, by Fr. Thomas Hardon, S.J. <http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Faith_and_Morals/Faith_and_Morals_004.htm>
(2) Morris, Benjamin F., The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States. American Vision Press. Powder Springs, GA. 2010.