Guest Post by Derek Caudill
Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, on which the Church remembers the events described in chapter two of the Gospel of St. Matthew: when, in an attempt to kill Jesus, Herod ordered the extermination of all boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and younger.
I find it interesting that the Church has traditionally observed this feast day as a celebration of martyrdom. The word “martyr” comes from a Greek word for “witness,” and the Catholic Church uses the term to designate someone whose death is somewhat a result of testifying to the Christian faith. St. Augustine said that since these children died in the place of Christ and played an important role in salvation history (Herod was killing them because he was hoping one of them was Jesus), God graciously gives them the heavenly recognition and reward for martyrdom out of his loving kindness, even though they were too young to choose this sacrifice. Such and more is the intensity of The Father’s desire to give good to all us humans, whatever age we are.
That was two thousand years ago, and the story has a happy ending. But I now turn my attention to a modern massacre of young children happening around the world, even if it’s not exactly the same kind of act or motivated the same way as Herod’s. I’m talking about “direct” abortion. The fullest arguments for the wrongness of direct abortion can be easily found by many other resources. What I want to do here is draw a connection between the Holy Innocents and aborted “babies,” “fetuses,” “embryos” – whatever linguistic label you like; we all know I’m talking about the distinct, human form a woman conceives and which is living, growing inside her, whatever age it is.
Notice the name, “Holy Innocents.” Actually, when we think about it, aren’t the victims of direct abortion also always “innocent” in the face of the reasons that confused, misled, or hurting people use to justify the act? I only have room here to address one of the most controversial reasons: conception by rape. Now, it must be hard beyond my imagination for a woman or young girl who has been abused like this to then feel like she has to contemplate and maybe go through with an abortion because, perhaps, she’s afraid of being forever reminded of her trauma. I don’t claim to understand that thought process, and I don’t rashly condemn anyone who has been in such a situation. Neither does Christ condemn. But, I still have to beg the reader to see that direct abortion is no solution and a wrong choice.
The child’s right to have a future has nothing to do with the way he or she was conceived. The conceived is innocent of the rape; we can’t condemn the innocent to lose his or her chance at life as a result of it. Why make him or her pay the ultimate earthly consequence – losing life – for something surely twisted and horrible, but that was nevertheless out of their control? It’s immensely unfair, not unlike the killing of the Holy Innocents: both scenarios involve people taking young, helpless lives in order to accomplish something. The conceived human being is innocent and deserving of our love and care. There are real, healthy ways for the mother to begin to cope with such trauma without paying that terrible price.
Abortion will never destroy events of the past, anyway; only one present result. And a good result! Isn’t all life precious, especially human life? In fact, think about this: the child might be the one best thing that comes out of such an otherwise evil event. And for all other situations where direct abortion is in question, the same universal principles stand. Human life is always infinitely valuable, and any developing person is always innocent of supposed inconveniences of his or her birth. Therefore, to either take or prevent that life through unnecessary abortion is always wrong.
For life and love, may God help us to help heal those who have been victims of sexual abuse or who have been involved with abortion, to open our eyes to the truth, and to put an end to direct abortion forever. Amen. Peace.
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Derek-Caudill.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Derek Caudill is 20 years old. He lives in Northeast Georgia and converted to the Catholic faith in 2009 after serving as a non-denominational evangelist. He studied English Education and Philosophy at North Georgia College and State University for a couple years, and is now preparing to transfer to Franciscan University next Fall to complete his B.S. He hopes to get married, teach, and write. He enjoys thankfully participating in a balance of all kinds of physical, social, and mental activities for the glory of God, because that glory is found in “man fully alive.”[/author_info] [/author]