Dear Parish Faithful,
Lost amidst the recent euphoria of Tuesday's inauguration ceremonies is the fact that another large crowd will gather today in Washington D. C. Certainly not a crowd as nearly as large and boisterous as Tuesday's, but a substantial gathering that will be notable for its more sober and serious tone. I am referring to the 36th March for Life demonstration that occurs annually in the capitol on the date of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand in our country and which has claimed well over thirty million lives to date. There will be an Orthodox delegation present. In fact, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, will deliver the invocation at the annual Rose Dinner that will follow the march this evening.
Not to rain on anyone's parade; or take anything away from the historically impressive event of Tuesday's inauguration of President Barak Obama; or even simplistically reduce the new administration to one particular issue; but the new administration is openly "pro-abortion" regardless of the rhetoric of working to reduce unwanted pregnancies, and thus the need for abortions. This is simply common knowledge. I just read a lengthy article in which pro-abortion advocates are "elated" and expectant of new policy changes that will reverse some of the funding restrictions that have been put in place. Some predict that these will be among the first acts of the new administration. Pro-life advocates are steeling themselves for these very reversals and realize that the future is dim for those who oppose our nation's liberal abortion policies. In the foreseeable future, it appears to be a settled issue.
The bioethical issues have been solved in that the abortion movement inaugurated scientific research into the beginning of life that has clearly demonstrated that human life is a continuum that begins at "the moment of conception." That battle has been fought and won by the advocates of the sanctity of life. The abortion debate is no longer waged on that particular front. The issue remains one of "choice" and "rights," at least on the ideological level. Abortion advocates are claiming that a woman has a legal right to kill her own child in her womb if that is her decision, knowing full well that the "fetus" is a human being. That is the brutal truth behind the shrill cry for "reproductive rights." This is a legal "right" regardless of the circumstances and the "hard cases." And, in our way of thinking, what is "legal" is moral. In my opinion, what has happened slowly over time - some say from the Enlightenment to the present - is the triumph of the self-autonomous individual over life itself. In other words, the self "trumps" over the life of an unborn child. Or perhaps we could say that this means the triumph of the abstract idea of "rights" over the concrete reality of a human life.
Mother Teresa among others has stressed that the moral strength of a country is determined by how it treats its children - "children" here also including those still in the womb and awaiting the light of this world - its infirm and the elderly. (Euthanasia is the issue at the other pole of life). Where does that place America? Is God supposed to bless all of this when politicians casually repeat as a vapid mantra the formula still demanded of them - "God bless America?" How does that blessing "work" with the abuse of our unborn?
Webmaster's Note: For an ironic turn on the abortion issue, view this new video created by CatholicVote.com: Life: Imagine the Possibilities.