During the past 2000 years there have been so many advances in science, medicine, language, and technology. And yet, when I heard the cheers and applause for passing late term abortion legislation at the state capital, I thought of the crowds of people who cheered for those who died in the arenas of the Roman Empire, simply to provide entertainment. Some also died because of their refusal to worship the pagan god’s of the empire.
The Roman Empire was the most powerful and technologically advanced empire in the west. This empire reached its zenith, and then began to decline, until its society fell into chaos, and was over run by the barbarian hoards. In the vacuum created by the collapse of political and social order, it was the followers of Jesus, once persecuted, who began to rebuild every aspect of society.
There have been reason’s put forth as to what actually caused the fall of the Roman Empire. My opinion is that it was its lack of compassion and respect for the individual dignity of the human person. In contrast, Christianity was a religion where love for the other was the center of its beliefs and practices. “See how these Christians love each other.” It was the love of God, and the blood of the martyrs that challenged the cruelness of Roman life.
This love has continued to be a force through out history. And the church of Jesus Christ, and his gospel, has survived the collapse of every tyrant and empire for the past 2000 years. Although the church is made up of sinful people, it nevertheless, refuses to define itself by sin, but by the redemptive love of its head, Jesus, who gave his life on a cross for sinners.
The daily killing of the unborn remains our societies greatest sorrow. To take the life of a nine-month-old baby is little more than state sanctioned murder. We have all kinds of laws that make it illegal to kill certain endangered species of wild life and plants, yet there is no protection for the life of an innocent child. If I kill a puppy I can be arrested for animal abuse, but if I kill a nine-month baby it is not a crime; it’s a choice and my right.
When every human being is not protected by law, and recognized as created equal with inalienable rights, then I say be afraid, be very afraid, for no one is safe. When I can kill a child, I can do anything. To kill a child is to also violate the rights of it mother, and the father, who were responsible for the presence of this life. While we can sympathize and offer compassion and support for woman dealing with difficult and unwanted pregnancies, the same must be afforded for the unborn, or partially born innocent child.
If the practice of abortion is allowed to go unchecked, then like the Roman Empire of old, our society will begin to fall apart and descend into darkness and chaos. When the most precious gift of life is taken away from humanity in its most fragile state, then what will happen to the members of a society that has lost its moral compass, its moral identity, and most of all its human dignity and respect for the other.
Once again it will be the faithful followers of Jesus who will provide the moral leadership, and once again bring light where there is darkness, order where there is chaos, and most of all to echo the words of Jesus, “whatever you did not do for the least of these, you failed to do it to.” Perhaps we could add to the words of St. Paul, where he writes about what love is, and is not, in his letter to the Corinthians, and add, love does not take the life of an unborn child.
It is important to remember, that bad things happen, when good people say and do nothing. One day we will all be called upon to give an accounting of life. What will we say when we hear the words, I was an unborn child, and you did not protect my life, and we will say, but Lord when were you an unborn child and we did not protect you? And he will say, whatever you did to this child, or failed to do to this child, you failed to do it to me.
I pray that we will see Jesus and ourselves in the unborn child, and do what needs to done, while we have the opportunity to do something. The practice of abortion cannot continue unchecked without serious consequences to our society and every person in our society. May God give us the grace to live our faith in word and deed, as have the followers of Jesus done through out history. May God also bless the good work he has begun in us and see it to completion.