Valuing All of the Facets of Life

[ 2 ] July 21, AD 2013 |

Earlier today, I watched “Hello Herman,” a movie that explores the subject of school shootings in an interesting format. The film taught me nothing that I did not already know, but its methods of display shook me to my core. While it is not distinctly religious (the main character takes a swipe at religion early on, but then is later seen in a Christian chapel; make of that what you will), I would recommend it. It inspired me to reflect more on the value of life and it inspired this column.

A couple of months ago, a tragedy involving a few teenagers occurred in my relatively small city. The primary victim was left in a comatose state. I lent the customary prayers for his soul, then thought little of him afterward. It was not until the event came up in a conversation with a friend that I realized that most had already resigned themselves to the victim’s death. It had only been a few days, but many thought that “pulling the plug” was the best solution (and it was the option eventually chosen). It later struck me that I, by caring so little, was at least somewhat morally complicit in this fellow being’s euthanization.

We are all complicit in the “culture of death” that has rocked the world. How many of us can honestly say that we have done our best to ensure the protection of all of the vulnerable, whether they be in a womb, in a wheelchair, or in a coma? I, for one, certainly cannot. And, judging by the poll numbers on life issues, most other Americans cannot, either.

Why are we in this predicament? We have far-left media that purport to report the news and cover issues of import, but refuse to cover things like the Gosnell trial. We have politicians that claim to be religious, but ignore Exodus 20:13, Psalm 127:3, Proverbs 6:16-17, and other verses. And, worst of all, we suffer a complacent public. Americans, the legendary crusaders for justice, have been willing to set aside the fundamental right to live. Plenty would rather watch The Amazing Race than sweat standing outside of an abortion facility.

Politicians promise lower taxes, higher welfare benefits, cheaper gas, and a cleaner environment, while staying silent on the millions of children slaughtered every year. But let us not be so quick to place the blame solely on D.C., or the titans of state capitols. They work for us. We must write to our representatives, hound them (if need be) at town hall meetings, and make absolutely clear to them, in no uncertain terms, that a single vote against life will result in their loss of our support.

But what causes should we unequivocally support? All that relate to the sanctity of life. Of course, this will sometimes require the crossing of deceptively comfortable political boundaries. One might march alongside Democrats in opposition to the death penalty, but later vote for a Republican with a better overall record in a presidential election.

Like Cardinal Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, said in 2010, Catholics have “a very serious moral obligation in voting to vote for those candidates who would uphold the truth of the moral law, which of course also serves the greatest good of everyone in society.”

We must act now. We have reached the point at which otherwise sane people proudly invoke the name of Satan in order to advance their nefarious causes, and then face little else but outpourings of support from the elites.

A faithful Christian option must always be put forward and sold to the public. This witness is called to support every facet of life, not just taking a stand on traditional issues like abortion, but also taking care to not neglect issues like health care and familial support.

Mere lip service to the value of life accomplishes nothing. Life must be constantly, consistently, and boldly be defended, nourished, and cherished.

 

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Category: Religion, Social Teaching

About the Author ()

Matthew Olson is a college student in the Diocese of Little Rock. He was raised in multiple Protestant denominations before eventually converting to Catholicism on 7 April 2012. His primary interests are theology, Church history, and ecumenism. He is privately discerning the possibility of God calling him to the priesthood. He has a blog, Answering Protestants. He also has a Twitter account, @crucifixwearer.