Jan. 16, 2011:
By Fr. Michael Phillippino
In the 1980’s, I would enjoy watching episodes of “The Bill Cosby Show.” I enjoyed his humor and the values he was portraying to the viewers. Of course it was a television show and there were nice neat little problems solved in a nice little package by the end of the show. Real life is a lot more complicated but there was one episode that stood out for me and that was the episode where they were listening to Martin Luther King’s speech “I have a Dream.” On the show, they all began to gather around and listen with reverent silence. I love that speech, I wish I could write and talk like that, but I digress. The point is that he was articulating a dream of human rights for everyone.
This is so important for all of us as we honor Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, we also observe the week of Christian Unity beginning on Tuesday, January 18th and on January 22nd we also mark one of the most infamous decisions ever made which permitted the killing of unborn children. It was a decision for convenience and pleasure over life itself.
As I write this, I have just finished reading the story of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several others in Tucson, Arizona. And it occurs to me, brothers and sisters, that if we continue to flaunt the rights of others, especially our unborn, we can only ensure that our society will become more and more violent. Mother Theresa of Calcutta used to say that abortion is the father of nuclear war. We must come back to that sense of respect and reverence we used to have for life itself, and especially for the most vulnerable and weakest members of our society, the unborn – a reverence that was ultimately rooted in a belief in God.
There is a contraceptive mentality in society today that is very much anti-life and ultimately anti-God, because the whole point of Christ’s birth, baptism, suffering, death, and resurrection was in many ways to affirm human life. Despite the many losses and sorrows and senseless suffering, life is still a great gift from God, a gift that must be welcomed, accepted, loved and treasured in all circumstances.
Certainly as followers of Christ who are striving to live by God’s word, we need to recognize and affirm the belief that life is a precious gift from God. Who of us can say we are sufficient unto ourselves? We need God, we need each other, and we need our unborn. They are our most precious resource, for they give us hope, they inspire us to seek new horizons, and they give us joy. Without them, we die, we become a dying race.
No, brothers and sisters in Christ, do not be deceived, abortion is not a right. It cannot be, we have no right to take an innocent life, and doing so will only be harmful to us and to our society. It will eventually rob us of our humanity. How low have we gone to think we can take such a life? What person or persons would dare to do that? Perhaps the same type of person who would nail a man to a cross. Would we not be repulsed if we saw someone doing that to an animal? How much more a human being?