When I Was in the Womb: We Must Not Retreat in Building a Culture of Life
of our opponents that Pro-Life people are "single issue" in their political participation is also a tactic to attempt to marginalize our impact on the culture. Being Pro-Life is holding a worldview which begins and ends with the dignity of every human person. The reason we care should about the poor is because they have basic human dignity and fundamental human rights. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's words that the child in the womb is the "poorest of the poor" exposes the lie of the current administration which was just reelected as champions of the poor. we should quote it every time we get a chance!
Science as our Ally
Science is a Pro-Life ally. It always has been. But recent advances help us unmask the lies of the opponents of the Right to Life. For example, sonograms are showing us a film of our first neighbors in their first home, their mother's wombs. Medical Doctors are regularly operating "in utero" to help these children and then placing back in their first home. Psychologists are speaking of effectiveness of communication between parents and their child in the womb- and encouraging it. Music is being played to children in the womb. Think about that in light of the practice of procured abortion, at any time and for any reason. What song would be played to the child as he or she is being dismembered, burned or suctioned to death?
All of these advances in science have "humanized" the child to an increasing number of people who once bought the lie of those who promoted abortion as "choice". The old efforts to paint the child as a "cluster of cells" or to use other dehumanizing phrases to hide the perfidy of abortion are no longer being used by those who oppose the Right to Life for children. Science and technology confirm what our conscience told us all along, the child in the first home of the whole human race is our neighbor. And, it is always and everywhere wrong to kill our innocent neighbor. Whether a child is "wanted" has become the sole criterion for whether he or she has a right to life. Such an approach is heinous. Decent people are beginning to recognize this and indecent people are having a hard time defending their choice to kill.
A growing number of Americans are beginning to understand that the approach of abortion on demand has dangerous implications for the elderly, the infirmed, the poor and the marginalized in a culture which grows increasingly intolerant of the needy.
The Need to Re-Educate the Pro-Life Movement
We need to re-educate some within our own Pro-life community who have become so used to "opposing" abortion that they do not know how to propose a new culture of life and contend for that culture in compelling and convincing language in the public square. The truth about the dignity of life is a positive, life affirming position. We are on the side of truth. Yet, much of the rhetoric has been framed in terms of opposition. Sometimes this has flowed from a persecuted minority or "victim" approach, developed after years of struggle. Though it may be understandable it is not effective.
Lasting movements for societal change are rarely built around negative language. Oh, of course they oppose what is wrong, but they also propose another way. Our task as a people committed to life is not simply about opposition but also about conversion of the culture. We need to engage this age with a confidence borne of truth and not be afraid of the culture of death. Only a faith filled approach, endued with the hope of the Gospel, will enable us to bring about the conversion that is needed. People's hearts and minds need to be changed.
To build a culture of life and a civilization of love we need a new language. For example, I now regularly refer to children in the womb as our first neighbors. After all, they reside in the first home of the whole human race, their mother's womb. As I use the expression "first neighbors" in my pro-life work in the public square, people inevitably ask me the questions that open the door to explaining this truth. Truth is very convincing. When proclaimed, it defends itself.
Additionally, I speak of our Pro-Life work as working for fundamental human rights. The right to life is a basic human right. It is not simply a "civil" right, in the sense that it depends upon the civil government to confer it. Rather, it is an unalienable right in the words of the American founders. It cannot be taken away by any government because it was nnot given by any government.
As Christians we need to shout from the housetops, while we still can, that the American founders did not invent this concept of unalienable rights. It was derived from the treasury of classical western Christian thought. The right to life was given to all men and women by the One who is the source of all life. Every government should be judged as just or unjust based ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: abortion, Obama, Culture of Life, Civilization of love, activism, Gospel of Life, activism, Nehemiah Wall, Deacon Keith Fournier
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