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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Obama in Defense of Life

This is perhaps a confusing title to some of you. I know that when I heard him speak the words I am about to quote, I was momentarily confused. But it's remarkable how clearly our president has laid out a charge for those of use who would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. This was not, albeit, his intention when he said what follows; it was said in response to the tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. When those children were so brutally and viciously killed, it awoke in Americans an awful fear and concern that some of the most vulnerable people under our protection are not being protected. Whether this event is the impetus behind an eventual change in gun control laws is, in some respects, irrelevant. What it has unquestionably done is demonstrate in horrible fashion the irrationality and certain tragedy in the murder of children.

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the supreme court case that legalized abortion in our country and has since led to the murder -- yes, it is murder -- of approximately 55 million of our children. To put it in perspective, that is the equivalent of over 2 million Sandy Hook shootings. Those deaths were not only an offense against the children and adults killed; they injured the parents and families who are left to mourn their dead, left to cry and wonder in anger and confusion and sorrow why it happened. Just so, abortion does not only hurt the child; the mother, who might have been spiritually, emotionally or monetarily in dire straits to begin with, has to live with the scar of the death of her child. 55 million children killed -- 55 million wounded women mourning the loss of their children. If that is not a blight on our society, I don't know what is. Whether you habitually vote democratic, independent or republican, whether you consider yourself a conservative or a liberal, whether you are a theist or an atheist, you can look at Sandy Hook and know that that never should have happened. You can look at something 2 million times worse and know with 2 million times the certainty that it never should have happened either. Obama knows it too, which is why he spoke these words:
They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, weddings, kids of their own. This is our first task: caring for our children. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. That is how, as a society, we will be judged. And by that measure, can we honestly say that we are doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? I've been reflecting on this the last few days, and, if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. These tragedies must end. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true, but that can't be an excuse for an action. If there's even one step we can take to save another child, surely we have an obligation to try. Are we really prepared to say that we are powerless in the face of such carnage?

"The causes of such violence are complex." We all know they are; rape is the obvious case. But it's not an insuperable challenge. I know a young girl who was raped and somehow found the strength to keep her baby. It can be done. And great joy, incredible love, can come from such courage and sacrifice and trust. But what about another cause, one that I think is not given enough attention? What about the young girl from a conservative family and traditional background who fears being judged and ostracized by her family, friends or community in general? This perhaps sounds very Hawthorne-esque, antiquated and unrealistic in our modern day and age. But it happens. Fear of this judgement, judgement which is inappropriate and inexcusable (look at John 8:3-16), serves as yet another argument, and sometimes a very convincing one, for such a girl to do what she never thought she would. It is one of those complex causes, and one that must, like the others, be combated. "Surely we have an obligation to try." Mother Teresa, universally (that means by everyone, regardless of creed or political alignment) acknowledged for her kindness, compassion, defense and understanding of society's most rejected, once said, "A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope." Let us not be that nation any longer. We are not powerless in the face of this carnage. Let us do our duty to protect those weaker than ourselves, those who require our protection, those who are so vulnerable that they cannot even ask for the help that they so desperately need.


  1. A great disaster had befallen Russia: men have forgotten God. That's why all this has happened.
    - Solzhenitsyn

  2. Well said! I wish there was a way to hold Obama to his own words. Sounded like Ronald Reagan just now.