Throughout the world the Church celebrates Respect Life Sunday, although as Catholics we are called by Christ to respect human life every day. The basis of the Church’s teaching on life is rooted throughout Scripture, especially in the very beginning of the book of Genesis. The Trinity chose to create life, “Let us make man in our imagine and in our likeness.” In doing so, every human person has integrity and dignity, not just on his/her own merit, but because he or she was created by God.
God chose, at the moment of conception, to give us an immortal soul, and decided if we are to be male or female. One of the current problems we face in culture and in politics is thinking we have rights that we don’t really have. We don’t choose our sex, God does. We don’t have a right to do with our bodies whatever we wish, because they are not solely our bodies. Each of us belong to God; we are stewards of our bodies and stewards of the world we live in.
Even given domain by God over all creation doesn’t give us the blanket right to destroy creation; we have a duty to care for and use creation in keeping with Divine Law. The greatest travesty man has committed is not war, slavery, or holocausts – rather, abortion. It is unnatural for a parent in the animal kingdom to destroy offspring; the natural reaction is to protect and nurture their offspring.
Abortion existed before Christianity, but it was Christianity that rooted it out of the civilized world. Sadly, the bishops in the early 70’s, along with others, remained largely silent, and when good people do nothing, it opens the door for evil to enter. It is hard to believe that for nearly 50 years citizens of this great country continue to be divided on an issue which would unite us – the gift of life. And if we don’t safeguard the most basic of all rights – the right to be born – other issues like poverty, racial injustices, the environment, education, euthanasia, etc. make no sense; they become arbitrary.
How could one be morally obligated to care and respect other people’s rights after they are born if we have no duty to protect the right to be born in the first place? It always goes back to God has the arbiter of life, and then to first principles. May we no longer remain silent on the murdering of the innocent. Instead, let us speak with our words, our actions, and how we vote. Because if we continue to allow politicians, rather than God, to determine what rights we have or don’t have, then the rights we hold so dear today may not be there tomorrow.
And finally, let us pray for the conversion of those who reject God and currently stand opposed to life, because our enemy is not other people, but the devil and his lies and evil ways.