The Golden Rule
Fr. Frank Pavone
Priests for Life
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“So in everything, do to
others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
This teaching of Jesus, called
the Golden Rule, makes it pretty easy to evaluate how we should treat others,
particularly others in need. Jesus tells us it applies “in everything.” That
includes in pro-life strategy.
“Do to others what you would
have them do to you.” It applies when the “others” are unborn children,
living and growing in their mothers’ wombs, and scheduled to be aborted. We are
to do to them what we would want others to do to us if we were in the same
I once asked a pro-abortion
person if he would prefer to have been aborted. His response was, “I would
not have known the difference.” And thus he avoided answering the question,
which was whether he would prefer (now) to have been aborted (then),
not what he would or would not have known then. Put another way, if you were in
danger of losing your life and could not rescue yourself, what would you want
others to do for you?
The answer for every sane person
is that we would want others to rescue us, to save us. According to the teaching
of Jesus, then, we have to do save and rescue the unborn. “In everything,
do to others what you would have them do to you.” Yet most believers in Jesus do
not follow this advice.
Were we in danger, would we want
others to speak up for us, even if they would face ridicule, opposition, and
accusations of being fanatical single-issue people? The answer is yes.
Were we in danger, would we want preachers to sound the alarm and rally people
to come to our aid and protect our lives? The answer is yes. Were we in
danger, would we want public officials and candidates for public office to make
an issue of saving our lives, and restore to us the protection of which we were
deprived? The answer is yes.
If, then, we follow the teaching
of Jesus, we know what we have to do. “In everything, do to others what
you would have them do to you.”
A lot of pro-life people lose
time and sleep figuring out how much risk they should take in their pro-life
activity – how many people should they risk offending, how many positions should they risk losing, and how many legal entanglements
should they risk incurring. It’s time to stop wondering. “In everything,
do to others what you would have them do to you.” Just ask the simple question,
“If it were my life at stake, how much risk would I want others to take to save
Some people today, including me,
are even evaluating whether they should physically intervene by blockading the
doors of abortion facilities to separate the babies from the instruments that
will kill them. Jesus’ words convey an uncomfortable answer: “In everything,
do to others what you would have them do to you.”