January 21, 2016
Greeting a Somber Anniversary With a Smile
It’s strange in a way...
I’m referring to the January 22nd anniversary of the morbid Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion
One would think this would be a terribly depressing, somber, tearful memorial. After all, the lives of millions of innocent, fragile, pre-born babies have been taken away. The “culture of death” described by Saint John Paul II, and the “throw–away culture” mourned by Pope Francis, are nowhere more painfully evident than in the abortion industry. Adding to the dismal character of this anniversary is the scary fact that, now, not only is abortion a right, but we’re more and more coerced to pay for it, provide it, and accept it, even when it violates the deepest convictions of our conscience.
No wonder we call for reparation and penance on such a dreadful day.
Yet, here’s what is strange. I’m here in Washington with a quarter million others to “March for life,” and the spirit is upbeat, hopeful, and joyful! The only folks who seem threatened and angry are the few groups (who usually get more attention from the press than we do!) who are protesting us!
Why this confident, buoyant spirit?
Well, for one, most of the people here are believers, who actually mean it when they profess we are “one nation under God,” and are convinced that America is at her best when she listens to what God has revealed about the sacredness of human life. So, these believers know that good will ultimately prevail over evil, life will trump death. That keeps us from discouragement. It’s not a question of if America will return to its historic commitment to the right to life, but when.
Two, abortion has become a civil rights issue. Our opponents try to make it a religious, theological, or denominational one. Americans more and more see it as an issue of basic human rights, guarded by our constitution: does not the baby in the womb have a civil right to life, or is he/she merely property or chattel of the mother and father?
No wonder recent histories of the pro-life movement point out that its early leaders had been allies of the Reverend Martin Luther King, and had marched in Selma!
Three, everyone comments on the youthfulness of the marchers. We have the young with us! Their idealism shows as they work hard for a society, a country, where every person is loved and cherished.
Four, the pro-life movement is active not only in embracing the innocent life of the baby in the womb, but in welcoming the immigrants, feeding the hungry, protecting the right to natural death of our elders and sick, opposing capital punishment, and working hard to see that pregnant women in need are helped and supported. We are not anti-abortion, but pro-life!
Five, science is more and more on our side. As one college student remarked, “I didn’t learn to be appalled by abortion in my religion class, but in biology class.” This is the “sonogram generation” who see abortion for what it is: extinguishing a truly human life.
The few “protesters” will scream at us again, “We cannot go back!”
We agree: we need to go forward, renewing the civil right of the baby in the womb, rejecting government coercion to subsidize it and impel people to provide it, and rebuilding a “culture of life” where every person, every baby, is protected and safe.
Don’t look for frowns on January 22nd; look for smiles. Don’t expect discouragement, but confidence.