Sunday, January 25, 2009

March for Life 2009

If you ask me, it looked like 500 priests and almost twice as many seminarians attended the Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday evening, Jan. 21st. Two dozen bishops and about half a dozen cardinals concelebrated the Holy Mass with a standing room only congregation (seating capacity 3,500). The following day, anywhere from 250,000 to half a million (500,000) men, women & children marched to the Supreme Court. Most secular news agencies boycotted any and all coverage of the March, despite the huge volume of pro-life anti-abortion protesters in attendance. Not surprising since the same secular media were conspicuously silent when 300,000 young people came to Word Youth Day in Rome, 2000. If 1% of the number who attended this years March for Life had been there on the Mall to support same-sex marriages, the press would have given it gavel-to-gavel coverage and told viewers that thousands attended. We could have had a million or more Pro-Life marchers, and the press would have kept quiet OR causually remark that a few thousand participants were in attendance.

More distressing than the miniscule (if any) media coverage of the March for Life is the plethora of rationalizations being offered by Catholics for voting Obama-Biden undid 35 years of Pro-Life blood, sweat and tears of Pro-Life work. Some have commented that the Pro-Life movement needs to forget the political process of changing immoral laws and opt for changing the hearts of citizens to abandon immoral ideas like supporting abortion. What these people do not realize is that it is NOT a question of EITHER/OR (aut ... aut in Latin), rather as Pope Benedict points out on numerous occasions, Catholicism is the religion of the great BOTH/AND (et ... et in Latin). In other words, we need to change the hearts of citizens AND change the laws. Immoral laws do not force good people to do bad things, but they do enable people of weak will or weak morals to do evil under the guise of legality. Good laws will not force people to be good but will make doing good easier and will help those of weak will resist since what they contemplate is illegal. Saint Thomas Aquinas gave the best definition of law:
rationis ordinatio ad bonum commune, ab eo qui curam communitatis habet, promulgata
Hence, for any law to be morally binding, it must be RATIONAL and it must serve the COMMON GOOD. Abortion is irrational since the unborn child is no threat to the mother. There is never a medical condition that requires the killing of the fetus. There may be complications in giving birth but the baby can always be allowed to be born (or removed without directly killing him/her) and also save the lfe of the mother. It is a false argument to invoke the threat to the life of the mother as OB-GYN doctors attest that despite difficult pregnancies, they never HAVE to kill one to save another. Neither baby nor mother need to be murdered. One may die INDIRECTLY and NATURALLY but then there is no unjust killing. Check out the NICU in most hospitals and you will find premature babies being treated and surviving many problems and conditions which are feasibly overcome, yet often a doctor somewhere along the way advises to 'terminate the pregnancy' to avoid a 'complication.' In other words, KILL the baby without even trying to save his or her life. Imagine if we did that to toddlers and teenagers or to middle agers or the retired. Extraordinary means are never obligatory but ordinary means of today were once the extraordinary means of yesteryear.
Abortion is not only IRRATIONAL it is also a crime against the COMMON GOOD. There is more than one victim in abortion. Besides the unborn, the mother suffers from her crime, the biological father suffers, the doctor and nurse who performed the heinous deed hurt themselves (in their conscience), and all of human society suffers whenever an INNOCENT PERSON is UNJUSTLY KILLED. How many diseases could have been cured by now HOWEVER, the discoverer of the cure for cancer was aborted and not allowed to live? Could there have been peace already between the Israeli's and Palestinians had the right diplomat been allowed to be born rather than aborted? God could be sending us the medical, political, economic, scientific and religious heroes we desperately need, yet our sick society has prevented the rescue due to the legality and availability of ABORTION. We could be our own worst enemy.
Therefore we NEED to change the immoral laws just as our nation needed to outlaw slavery and segregation. Should Rosa Parks have not committed civil disobedience in 1955? Should she have gone to the back of the bus and waited for hearts to change in the South? Of course not. She and Dr. Martin Luther King sought to change BOTH hearts and laws and thus restore JUSTICE to all men and women, regardless of color or creed. Why then are Pro-Lifers been told to go to the back of the bus and wait for the hearts of pro-choice pro-abortionists to change? Even the 13th and 15t amendments did not eradicate all forms and instances of racism but the law is still there which the racist cannot deny and if he disobeys can be prosecuted. We need the law of the land, federal and state, to protect the civil and human rights of unborn human children just as we have laws to protect citizens of color, gender and religion. That is serving the COMMON GOOD.


Sarah (JOT) said...

Bravo! I was just telling my children that we must do both: actively seek change in laws to protect all life from natural conception to natural death, but also to actively change hearts. We cannot stop on either front.

Anonymous said...


It seems that lack of media coverage extends to local media and local events.

I attended the "Sanctity of Life" mass and march in Santa Fe, NM on the 22nd. I'd never gone before and was surprised by the size of the event.

The mass at the cathedral was standing room only with people backed up to the steps outside. In fact, there weren't enough consecrated hosts and, towards the end, hosts were broken to allow everyone to receive communion. My impression was that this was the largest turnout in the event's history -- larger than the organizers expected.

The march to the state capitol included both catholics and a large group of evangelical christians who showed up for the event. I haven't seen any official numbers but I'd guess there were around 5000 people in the march. For this small state that's a big number for a demonstration.

Despite this, as far as I could determine there was no coverage at all, none, on local TV or radio. I may have missed the stories but, despite switching back and forth between channels I sure couldn't find them. The only coverage I could find in the Albuquerque newspaper was a single picture with a short blurb below. No story, just a picture.

I've never participated in an event like this before and the lack of any coverage of such a large demonstration really shocked me.



Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Thank you, Father!

(And I was very honored to meet you at the March, as well.)

Anne Marie Marinelli said...

Let us pray for FAITH and REASON & for all the souls of the innocent babies that die everyday.

We need someone to "rally the troops" for life. And, more than once per year.

How to coordinate efforts (as was used against our causes in the election) for the changing of the laws...

cyberguy54 said...

Honestly, I can see both sides. Some pregnancies can be dangerous for the mother, which can put her life at risk. At the same time, ending a pregnancy early also kills the child. I don’t know if the mother’s life or the child’s life is more important. We really need to think about both sides and maybe find a middle ground.

radio45 said...

"In other words, we need to change the hearts of citizens AND change the laws."

In America you cannot change laws without changing hearts. Why did Prohibition fail? Was it because liquor did not ruin many homes? Was it because liquor did not cause heartache and pain in society? Was it because dunkeness was not a problem to this country? Or was it because most people thought Probition was something the government should not be involved in. What did we learn from Prohibition? That when you legislate morality, you had better have the people behind you. Otherwise, laws become a joke and a mockery on well meaning movements. Is that the future for the pro-life movement? Let us pray not. The cart never runs beside the horse... But I can be proven wrong. If anyone believes that it is possible to change laws first and change hearts later, let him run for office, campaign with contributions gained from the electorate. Go for the gold! Run for office! Prove me wrong!

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