William Wilberforce stands before the British House of Commons. For hours he has presented the facts of the slave trade and presented a case against it. This was his life’s passion, and the time had come for action. He looks at the members of parliament and says these iconic words:
“Having heard all of this you may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know.”
Today, we say the same to thing you. The case has been made against abortion legally. The case has been made against abortion morally. The case has been made against abortion spiritually. The value of life has been presented. Objections have been answered. And a balance of love has been established. Now is the time for action.
I am not a Roman Catholic, but I admire the passion that many of them have for the prolife movement. The following words are from Pope John Paul II, whose example is extraordinary. Despite having Parkinson’s disease, he was firmly against embryonic stem cell research. Even though it could have helped him immensely, he would not suffer the innocent to be slaughtered in the name of “research”.
A “culture of death” seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full… In our own century, as at no other time in history, the “culture of death” has assumed a social and institutional form of legality to justify the most horrible crimes against humanity: genocide, “final solutions”, “ethnic cleansings”, and massive taking of lives of human beings even before they are born, or before they reach the natural point of death…
In much of contemporary thinking, any reference to a “law” guaranteed by the Creator is absent. There remains only each individual’s choice of this or that objective as convenient or useful in a given set of circumstances. No longer is anything considered intrinsically “good” and “universally binding”.
The family especially is under attack. And the sacred character of Human Life is denied. Naturally, the weakest members of society are the most at risk. The unborn, children, the sick, the handicapped, the old, the poor and unemployed, the immigrant and refugee…
You must feel the full urgency of the task. Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life. The church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideas, in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people’s hearts and the structures of society in order to create a civilization of true justice and love.
-Pope John Paul II on World Youth Day (August 15, 1993)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian most famous for his involvement with the Valkyrie plot to assassinate Hitler, was also a voice for those who had none. In his day, it was the Jews who were being slaughtered. In ours, it is the unborn. Regardless, the words of Bonhoeffer should penetrate the hearts of all, especially those who claim the name of Christ:
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed by hanging on April 9, 1945 at dawn. It is said that he preached a sermon shortly before the hour he was to meet his Savior.
We could look at example after example of people who gave their lives in order to save the lives of others, but it will do nothing if the heart is not there. You must be willing! Your heart must line up with your head or you will never be effective for Christ, for others, or for life. As we conclude Sanctity of Human Life Week 2017, I would like to leave you with the words of Christ from the famed Olivet discourse. And always remember: To truly be prolife is more than being merely pro-birth. To be prolife is to help those who are suffering, whether born or unborn. It is to take what you know and turn it into action. It is to be not just a voice, but a giver of time, money, and energy, because none of that is more precious than a human life.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
This concludes “Sanctity of Human Life Week 2017”. For more posts on this topic, see below: