The Christian's Voice For Life
By Fr. Frank A. Pavone
What does being a Christian mean in terms of daily behavior? If someone comes up to you
and slaps you on the face, is that person acting like a Christian? Certainly we would say
"no". Yet, while it is so clear that you can't be a good Christian by slapping
people, some people say that you can destroy a baby within his/her mother's womb by
abortion and still be a good Christian. Something is deeply wrong with this way of
thinking. How can killing be OK but slapping in the face be wrong? To be Christian means
to stand on the side of life. It means that we oppose the killing of the innocent at all
times. It means that we respect human life at all its stages and in all its conditions.
There are many assaults on human life in our society. In large measure, however, people
have recourse to the law to protect their rights and receive compensation for damages.
There is an entire class of people, however, who are assaulted daily and have absolutely
NO recourse to the law at all. In fact, the law doesn't even recognize them as persons. We
are referring, of course, to the pre-born boys and girls in their mothers' wombs. They
have nobody to speak up for them....nobody, that is, except us. Are we Christian enough to
recognize their needs and to speak up on their behalf?
Blessed Margaret of Castello was a holy woman who may well be called the patroness of the
marginalized. She was born hunchback and blind and ugly. Her parents, who were prominent
townspeople, were embarrassed to let her be known as their daughter, so they kept her
hidden. They actually confined her to a dungeon twenty-four hours a day for thirteen
years! There were people who knew of this injustice, but did they speak up? NO, they
lacked the courage to come against Margaret's parents. If we were there and we knew
Margaret's plight, would we have spoken up? Would speaking up be the Christian thing to
Brothers and sisters, we ARE there! It is not just the life of one, but of millions,
that are at stake. Our pre-born brothers and sisters are destroyed by abortion at the rate
of 4400 a day in this country. Where is the outcry? Who will speak for these little ones
who cannot speak or write or vote or protest or even pray!
Don't let anyone tell you these children are not human. They are human from the moment
of conception. That is not an opinion, that's a fact. It can be verified in any embryology
textbook. Whether someone is human or not is not a matter of preference or belief, but of
fact. If these babies continue to be destroyed and we continue to be silent, we are
betraying our Christianity and our very humanity! Furthermore, we betray the mothers of
these children, because abortion harms women, physically, emotionally, psychologically,
socially, and spiritually! To be pro-life is to be pro-woman! To save the child is to save
the mother as well!
So do not be afraid to speak up for life! Do not be afraid to speak up against
abortion! Never think that you cannot change a person's view on this issue. The truth is
that you can, and when it comes to abortion, to change a person's view may mean that you
save another person's life! Even if there is a person you feel you cannot change, speak up
anyway! In this way at least you are being faithful to your respect for life! And speak up
continuously! The importance of a matter is often measured by how much you speak about it.
We must keep this issue before our eyes and the eyes of the public, whether by private
conversations or statements at meetings or letters to the editor or bumperstickers on our
car. One way or another, let us speak up! Never let anyone say that you are talking about
"the same old issue." Abortion today is not the same as abortion yesterday,
because the 4400 babies who died today never died before! Every abortion is a NEW tragedy
and it demands a new response, a new voice of protest!
History will judge us on this issue. When future historians look back on the people of
our day and on the incredible loss of some 30 million lives by abortion, what will their
verdict be on us? What will they say about us? Will they call us cowards, who didn't speak
up, or will they call us true Christians, who didn't keep silent?
Some people say, "Father, we who come to church don't need to hear this as much as
the people OUT THERE". All right, then, GO TELL THEM! Let us love the babies, let us
love the mothers, and let us love Christ, who calls both them and us to LIFE. Amen.