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“Life, Law & Love”  

Fr. Walter J. Quinn, OSA,
Priest Associate 

Jan, 2003

Good afternoon:  My fellow citizens, my fellow Americans & fellow Lovers of LIFE

….today, I’d like to speak to you….about 3 things that effect us all….Life, Law & Love:

Modern day Americans give a great deal of attention to improving the quality of Life.  We see this in our health care service, efforts to eliminate poverty and suffering and never-ending steps to improve education at all levels.   Ecology, anti-war and environmental activism seem to be going on constantly.  Efforts to abolish Capital Punishment are commonplace.   For the vast majority LIFE should be protected, preserved and prolonged as much as modern technology will permit.

And yet at the same time threats, danger and destruction of LIFE has never been greater, and we see this all over the world.  In our Country abortion has been the Law of the Land for the past 30 years resulting in over 40 Million deaths of Unborn children.  Euthanasia, Sterilization and Assisted Suicide are often in the news.  Many people are apathetic, complacent and often confused.

This REAL LIFE PARADOX is truly tragic because the 3 most basic Foundations, the 3 greatest  Needs, the 3 most important Concerns, the 3 great Pillars, the 3 supporting Rocks, the 3 most important Life Supports…that encourage & enable every  Human being….. to seek….. AND to achieve…. happiness & contentment in this world .....LIFE, LAW & LOVE…..are being denied, destroyed, abolished, ignored, re-invented….. & given meaning and purpose by creatures that the Creator never intended.



The number of abortions in America has now soared to 1.3 million each year as an ever increasing number of people and Governments around the globe simply no longer care about the inherent, intrinsic dignity due to LIFE itself,…. even the very existence of LIFE itself.  Although we can see, film & record the presence of LIFE of the Unborn, movement, a beating heart and pulse, reaction to pain stimuli, the world’s garbage cans are still being filled daily with the dead bodies of millions of unborn babies - even with unwanted BORN babies….after Birth!

The Utilitarian ethic “What is useful is good” is now the prevalent rationale used by individuals and governments to justify Federal and State supported destruction of Life on a massive scale.   The word games and euphemisms designed to soothe conscience and smooth the way for public acceptance drip like sweet cyanide:     the good death…the peaceful death….death with dignity…the legal death….physician assisted suicide…partial birth abortion…only a blob of’s my body…..benefit science and research.…find cures for disease…put an end to suffering….and so on!

WE ASK….Will this “What is useful is good” mentality continue to push the boxcars of our own American Holocaust  upwards towards 80 million in the next three decades?  Not so long as millions of Citizens…&…Right-to-Life Americans stay united….. and speak out, speak up, dispute, demonstrate and protest….. peacefully for our rights…. guaranteed to ALL citizens by the 1st Amendment.

Let me tell you a TRAGIC STORY I recently read about a young woman at a Midwestern university who left the campus for a stroll in the woods on a lovely spring day.  The sky was blue, birds chirping,  flowers just in bloom, a cool breeze whistling through the branches of the trees – ALL came together to make one…..happy, vigorous and thrilled to be alive.

Near sundown a farmer passing by thought he saw something strange dangling from one of the trees.  When he got closer he saw the young woman’s body hanging from a low stout limb.   At her feet lay an open book on which she had written these words:  “Life is a joke and all things show it.  I thought so once, but now I know it”

This incident is unspeakably sad because the girl didn’t know or realize the value, the sanctity and the unique dignity of each & every single human life.  She didn’t know the intense bond and relationship….. between Life, Law and Love.

The U.S. Bishops in their Pastoral letters have pointed out that the great danger of a technological society is a tendency to adopt a limited view of man, to see man only for what he does.  Such a view overlooks the source of man’s dignity; that his dignity is intrinsic in his very nature, in his very being, in his very existence…the powerful fact that he is made in the image & likeness of God.


In the name of LAW ……the life of the innocent, human, live Unborn baby, so helpless and dependent, is brutally killed, dismembered, destroyed by the knife…. by those who no longer grant the same dignity, care, love and respect to a helpless human infant that they daily demand & desire for themselves.

In the 2000 years since King Herod brutally ordered the slaughter of all male infants under two years of age to protect his own rule and kingdom, the world has seen Leaders, Heads of State, Legislators, Courts, organizations  and individuals seek, call for and demand that this very same atrocity is a RIGHT guaranteed by Law to every person.   As a result Personal Convenience, Euphemisms and the Utilitarian Ethic have now become the wheels moving our American Boxcars along the legally protected rails…… of a world-wide Culture of Death mentality….the very same mentality that the world witnessed in Nazi Germany the 30s & 40s…& later on so resolutely condemned by the whole world!

Those who daily insist on moving this Engine of Death….should be reminded that our own American boxcars are now filled with over 40 Million dead – FAR MORE than the Nazis Holocaust – whose tragic impact upon individuals, families and Nations is beyond measure.   Like the Rachael of Old Testament Scripture….. all Lands & all peoples tolerating and promoting these horrors today… will witness and will hear the crying, the weeping & the Lamentation for generations yet to come!   The disastrous effects of the present world-wide Pro-Death mentality are without measure!

In 1787 The United States Constitution – Article 1 – has the famous 3/5ths Clause whereby a Slave was declared 3/5ths of a person for purposes of apportionment and representation in the Congress…so you could torture, lynch & kill a slave & it was not a crime.   The 3/5ths Clause has since repealed by the 14th Amendment….but only after a hundred years…. and a brutal Civil War which divided this Country and tore us apart – North from South – brother from brother!  And

so…Love of Neighbor – Love for one’s fellow man was shattered….requiring many, many decades to heal.

In 1927 30,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized to limit the number of mentally retarded – all in the name of Eugenics.  30 States adopted these Eugenic laws & over 65,000 Americans were sterilized involuntarily. The US Supreme Court in 1927 in the case of Buck vs. Bell declared such involuntary sterilization was perfectly legal.  In May 2002 Gov Mark Warner of Virginia publicly apologized for the 8000 Virginians who were so sterilized from 1927….. until as late as 1979….

….stating that “the Eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state Government should never have been involved.”

 In 1970…(& I have this in some of my sermons of this time)…the California Medical Association stated that “we must separate the word abortion from the idea of killing…for the notion of killing is socially abhorrent.”   Having accomplished this America is now practicing Infanticide on a massive scale….ALL  for the sake of convenience, utility and unlimited personal legally protected freedom.  The Pro-abortion lobby…& the AMA….says this is not murder by Infanticide; it’s “post-natal abortion”.  I was a Chaplain in several hospitals… & I remember when this change in terminology took place!

OUR American Culture of Death has continued to expand with Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide,

In-Vitro Fertilization, Surrogate Motherhood, the Production of Embryonic Stem Cells & the Cloning of human embryos for research, experimentation and destruction.  All this is being justified by appealing to one’s own conscience as the final, ultimate arbiter and judge of truth and reality.

If one accepts Situation Ethics, which has been taught in American Public schools for generations, …..and which holds that Truth is not absolute, but is relative and flexible and can change according to time, age, person, place or situation, then one can easily fall into grave error.  This is what has happened to ALL those who have succumbed to this pro-abortion, this pro-death line of reasoning.  They are ignoring objective reality and absolute truth, as they place themselves at the center of all that exists.   Therefore, THEY…are the ones who re imposing THEIR beliefs on the rest of society!

In America LIFE, as a result of this line of thinking, has now become cheapened.  We don’t have to talk about China!   For LIFE in our Country, as in NAZI Germany, is ALSO being weighed on the scales of  falsehood, subjective belief and cultural relativism, rather than on the scales of justice, objective reality and absolute truth. 

Pope John Paul in his Encyclical “the Gospel of Life” reminds all that we are now witnessing the crumbling of the very foundation of civilization itself. 

“ Too many are living as if GOD did not exist, so that man not only loses sight of the mystery of  God,  but also of the mystery of the world, and of his own being…that is of LIFE itself.

“An  eclipse of the sense of God and of man with all its deadly consequences for LIFE is taking place, because it tolerates and fosters behavior contrary to LIFE, because it encourages the Culture of death by creating and consolidating actual structures of sin which go against LIFE.  There is confusion between good and evil precisely in relation to the fundamental Right t o Life.”


LOVE gives an indefinable quality to LIFE.  LOVE is immeasurable, Love is limitless, Love is eternal, Love is selfless!   LOVE enables a person to live Life to its fullest potential as children of God……as the Creator directly intends for each and every individual human SOUL HE creates.

St John says GOD is Love, and THE GOD OF ALL…WHO… is LOVE ITSELF… has created each one of us in His own image.  The spirituality of man’s soul, which is manifested and proven by his intellect and his free will…. is what makes him or her….an image of our God… who is Love itself…… which is why LOVE (or Charity) is the supreme virtue.   In heaven…Faith & Hope will no longer be necessary…but LOVE….. will always be present…always remain!

GOD has shown His LOVE for man….not only by creating the Soul of each person ...&… directly

… but also by raising man to the supernatural level….. and… by destining him to the Beatific Vision of Himself,….that is… to participate in the Divine Nature…&…to share in the knowledge and love that God has for Himself.  The immortal soul of man and his very being…..ordered to eternal union with God in heaven….. is the basis… of his inherent dignity… a human being…

…..a human person.   God intended that….. LIFE, LAW AND LOVE….. exist in harmonious order, that every person, society, institution, organization and government….. cherish, defend and promote each one of these THREE ROCKS OF HUMANITY….. so that both the individual…. and the common good…. may always prevail.  When anyone of these – LIFE…or LAW…or LOVE – are changed, distorted, denied, destroyed, or ignored……then…. CHAOS comes to the soul….. and TYRANNY reigns in the State.

Let the whole world know that….the Pro-Death people & NO ONE ELSE…. are the on-going CAUSE of the destruction of LIFE….THEY  are the ongoing CAUSE of the Usurpation of LAW

….&…THEY are the ongoing CAUSE of the…. Impossibility of LOVE’S continued existence….. in every Human heart!

By permitting abortion on demand the U.S. Supreme Court….. took LOVE itself….. out of LIFE. When we humans do the same….. LIFE then….is not worth living….for it then has no purpose, no meaning, nothing spiritually present or permanent, nothing supernatural.

Hence, the only way back to sanity and sanctity, to truth and goodness, to peace and happiness in the whole world is to see each LIFE….. as a very precious gift of God…. to ennoble and to enrich every LIFE…..with all possible LOVE….. and for ALL LAW….. to protect, defend and preserve all LIFE…… so that every person….. both born and unborn….. may pursue happiness in this life….

….until he joins the GOD of LOVE… the eternal life of heaven.

More From Fr. Walter Quinn


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