Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Cries of The Innocents

True story: many centuries ago, an interloper king learned that a rightful heir to the throne had been born. He only learned this because some mystics from a far country happened into his palace one day, asking to see the future king, whose birth they had perceived through the signs of astronomy.

The king, inwardly outraged and frightened, played it cool for the mystics and said he knew not of this new king but asked them to let him know when they found him so he too could pay him homage. His plan was, of course, to slay the infant to further secure his grip on the throne.

The mystics, however, being very wise men, discerned his true intent and did not report back to the king once they found the baby. This further outraged him, and he did a horrible thing: he ordered that all infant males in the whole region be slain. He sent his soldiers out from town to town, village to village, farm to farm, on this gruesome mission of self-preservation.

What a horrible job for those poor soldiers... they were used to facing armed men in open combat, fighting skillfully for king and country. Instead they were ordered to butcher helpless infants, snatching them from their screaming mothers' arms when possible, or running both of them through if she held on too tight. Dozens of babies were slain in that terrible winter.

Like I said, this is a true story.

The coming of Jesus into the world, the very sign of hope, peace, and the love of God, was accompanied by the death of an unknown number of innocent babies, and the bitter mourning of their families. News of the massacre must have reached Joseph and Mary, who had been warned by an angel and fled Bethlehem before King Herod could unleash his wrath. How strange they must have felt upon hearing of it: to be told you were to bear and raise the promised Savior of the world, and to have him whisked away from a premature death... I cannot imagine that they didn't question what kind of loving God would allow such a tragedy as part of his master plan of salvation.

Today, we have fairly firm numbers telling us how many babies are killed in Canada each year.


We lose more people to abortion than we do to any other cause of death.

Don't mistake me: I'm not anti-choice. I'm pro-life. Life is a greater cause than "choice." That's the trump card here, people.

We've got to wake up: this is an evil, evil menace upon our society, upon our world, and we keep saying that we support a woman's right to make her own decisions, that it's between her and her God/doctor. That's a ridiculous argument. Innocent lives are being taken every day - an average of one every six minutes (and that's just in Canada). We sit by and call it choice, because we have to. There is no other reasonable way to accept this genocide in our culture, after all. "It can't be human," we tell ourselves. "That would be just too unthinkable."

I truly hope and pray that Canada wakes up from this nightmare, for it's making it hard for me to sleep.
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25 comments:

  1. How do you feel about cloning then?

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  2. Like any "progress" I must know first what its aim is. What is the end goal of cloning? And are its means morally acceptable? From what I know, scientists must first strip a human embryo of its own genes in order to supplant those of the clone.

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  3. but is it life?

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  4. If you're asking if the embryos in storage under President Bush's ban against embryonic stem cell research are human beings, yes they are. It is specifically because harvesting these stem cells would cause the destruction of human life that Bush put a stop to it. Plus, there are countless other sources for stem cells that don't require taking a life.

    While the question of what happens when the genes of a human zygote/embryo/whatever (but still definably human) are removed and replaced with another set of genes is unanswerable, we must default to a protective stance and state that it is wrong to take the life of the original. That's the line to defend.

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  5. Interesting.....I do agree that life in itself is the most precious gift we could ever receive but I feel your opinions are from the 1800's.

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  6. From G.K. Chesterton: "I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday."

    What exactly about an 1800s opinion renders it invalid?

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  7. My dear son I feel that you are far too young to have such formed opinions.

    Go forth into the world; immerse yourself with the world around you no matter how ugly you may think it is. Embrace it, as it is. Help to cure the problems you see instead of sitting in front of your computer viewing it from the comforts of home.

    You have a great foundation for your beliefs but I feel that you need everyday experience to know the world we live in. Once you can relate to those who you are judging, it will not look as though you are looking down upon those who may be less fortunate than you.

    As for your beliefs being from the 1800's, they way that you view women as though they cannot think for themselves, makes me think of a time where women had no voice. They did as us men told, we unable to vote or have an opinion at all. They are equal beings and are quite capable to decide what to do with their bodies and unborn children. After all they are the ones god blessed with the mothering skills that will nurture and care for the human race and this planet we live on.

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  8. My dear Carl - I too feel that I am much too young to have the opinions I have. In all humility, most of the older men I know frequently express to me how much they wish they had been as enlightened as I am when they were my age. I thank God for forming me the way he has, and for sparing me from decades of shallow foolishness. So puh-leese don't talk to me about being young.

    Besides which, I've been in the world, and I know it intimately well. Despite its ugliness, it is beautiful. You don't know me; how can you presume that all my opinions are formed in front of my computer?

    All I am doing with my blog - and through my evangelical Catholicism in general - is trying to show the light to the people still trapped in the darkness in which I too once despaired. I would never presume to judge the eternal fate of any soul. But it is my civic duty to stand up and shout, "NO!" when a life is on the line.

    When have I ever said women can't think for themselves or were less than equal to men? Bah. Stop throwing around those tired old accusations - they hold no sway in the real debate here, which is a simple, simple question: at what precise moment in time should human life become legally defensible? I maintain that moment has to be at conception, or else it is concretely indefinable.

    For if the single-celled wonder of a fertilized ovum is human, it will be either male or female. If it's a female, should she not have a choice of what to do with her own body? An abortion is not nearly quite as inconsequential as a tattoo or a lip ring. There is an innocent person involved, and the only way anybody can justify its extermination, whether it be for a trivial or a severe reason, is by denying its humanity.

    One would never advocate putting down a 3-year-old child because of the derivative financial, emotional, and physical trauma in the life of the mother. We know that that child is human and entitled to protection under the law, and the mother is expected either to tough it out, or to get help from family, friends, church, or state (ideally, these will all be proactive in offering their assistance). I am extremely hopeful that as a nation we will come to our senses and make that expectation extend fully to pregnant women as well. It is precisely your type of permissive thinking that continues the cycle of self-destructive sexual activity and unhealthy family configurations. You, Carl, are part of the problem. Since by your tone I conclude you are at heart a truth-seeker and not afraid to confront the possibility of being wrong, I urge you to think deeply on these matters.

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  9. You seem a little upset that I challenged you.

    I have one more question for you. What do you think then about the morning after pill or plan B? In your mind is that ending a life?

    I am not "talking" with you to make you upset but rather just to make yourself question if your beliefs are as solid as you potray them to be.

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  10. It's true that I've been known to let my passions run aflame when in a heated discussion; don't take it personally. I'm not upset per se.

    I'm curious why you feel compelled to test my beliefs though.

    As for your question: you can probably infer my answer from my answer to the Ultimate Question of when life begins. If it's at conception, which usually happens in the fallopian tube, then denying it the opportunity to become implanted and further develop (which even the regular birth control pill can do) is equivalent in result to an induced abortion.

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  11. I just love messing with your head Doogie :)

    'cuz I know who ya are!

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  12. Then it appears we have something in common. I, too, know who I am.

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  13. So let do you really think that birth control is bad...if so I must shake my head at you....pat you on the head...then smack it from behind!

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  14. You have issued no rational argument in favour of birth control. I dare you.

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  15. Not nearly to the extend to which you're kidding me. This is my blog, so the burden of proof is on you. After which, I shall effortlessly pick apart your argument and expose its flaws.

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  16. ohhhh your on..I just need to do research and I will be back...

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  17. How telling that you are unprepared to defend your position. It makes me wonder if you have ever truly thought it through before, as opposed to swallowing everything our corrupt culture has fed down your gullet.

    I'll pray that you are led to the truth in your research, and that you will recognize it when you see it.

    You might want to start here.

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  18. Dearest James,
    I am not ill prepared. I just want to go through my thoughts before I present them to you. In going through what you have already written I am not positive where you stand.
    Oral contraceptives do not allow the egg to fertilize therefore not ending a pregnancy, therefore does not end life and is not a form of abortion.
    I am not going to throw out my opinions and tell you what to do because that is between you and your wife. In reference to your asking about birth control, that is such a broad question. And to if one should use it; I can tell you that you most likely have used some sort of birth control even if you didn't realize you were.
    With different methods ranging from oral contraceptives to body temperature, controlling when the sperm fertilizes the egg is our marital responsibility. If you do not like the medical route there are methods such as a condom, coitus interruptus, behavioral methods, and fertility awareness.
    The thing that keeps coming back to me is the reverse of this question. If you and your wife were infertile would you seek medical help? And if so then why would you not turn to it to help control the timing of when the sperm and egg unite? I admit you make beautiful babies but you must admit that raising them with what you see as a proper upbringing will be a lot harder when you have 12 children.

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  19. "Carl",

    1. The pill operates by combining three methods - prevention of ovulation, prevention of fertilization, and prevention of implantation (admittedly the least common effect, but still scientifically possible). That small risk alone is justification to avoid the pill like the plague.

    2. If my wife and I were doing something wrong, I hope and pray that you would be bold enough to confront us on it for the sake of our souls. I presume that behind your pseudonym you are a Christian - so remember that we are one body of Christ, and the sins of one member undeniably impact the other members. You are responsible to speak the truth, as am I.

    3. Neither I nor my wife have ever once used any form of barrier or chemical contraception. We have chosen to space our children through awareness of her fertility cycle and by abstaining from intercourse during her fertile time. This is not birth control; it is self-control. We are not removing anything from sex by not indulging in it, but the couple who has intercourse while turning off its procreative aspect is not partaking in the fullness of sex. Remember the rush you felt when you first held hands? Imagine if your girlfriend/boyfriend insisted on wearing rubber gloves before holding hands. It wouldn't feel quite as nice emotionally or physically; perhaps you'd even be a bit insulted at the implication. Same principle.

    4. If we were infertile we would seek medical advice. If that advice was to implant dozens of her eggs with my sperm and toss a bunch of them in her womb and see what came out, we would view that as morally unacceptable. On the flip side, my wife's parents were told they could never have children, but through the use of fertility awareness (the same method we use to space our children) they maximized their chances and had two children.

    5. You state that "controlling when the sperm fertilizes the egg is our marital responsibility." I couldn't disagree more. Nowhere in my marriage vows did I make such a promise. I did promise to welcome children lovingly, as a gift from God, and to raise them in the faith. The timing of the meeting of their origin components did not factor in, and still does not.

    6. I refuse to believe that having lots of kids impedes proper upbringing. Yes, we'll have to choose to go without certain luxuries, but it's a no-brainer to me. On my deathbed, I'll take more comfort knowing that I'd brought 12 children into the world than knowing that I'd had 700 cable channels. And I would even go as far as to maintain that having more kids helps them become less self-absorbed and more able to share, to cooperate, and to work well with others. Any spoiled brats I've known have been from 1 or 2 child families. Large families produce children that know they aren't the centre of everybody's universe.

    Got any other points for me to refute?

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  20. we have ten children...the older ones help the younger and in the process learn to share.It also gives us a little break.

    also many birth control pills contain abortificants as a backup...read the pamphlet.

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  21. I didn't say I had a problem with lots of children infact I welcome them. I didn't say having 10 or 12 was a bad thing. Do you know how many I have? I think not!

    I also didn't say that birth control was either good or bad but abstaining is also a FORM of birth control !?!? Just a thought!

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  22. So by that definition Carl, was I practicing birth control as an abstinent unwed man?

    It would seem to me that "birth control" in the popular lexicon implies sexual activity, and not the lack thereof.

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  23. From your mind....define birth control.

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  24. There is a distinct difference between birth control as society in general understands it and birth control as the Catholic Church understands it. Elemental to the morality of each approach is not only the purpose of its use but also the method itself.

    You're trying to get me to say that birth control is the responsible spacing of children. And it so happens that my wife and I use a technique which enables us to space our children responsibly - at which point you think you'll have your "Ah-hah!"

    But birth control is not the responsible spacing of children. That is simply called wisdom.

    Birth control as you and I know it is a barrier to marital intimacy. It increases sexual promiscuity and the rate of disease transmission by spreading the lie that sex outside of marriage is OK and consequence-free. It demeans women by giving scoundrels permission to use them and move on, and it demeans men by denying them an opportunity to be responsible. It demeans children by regarding them as a burden and an expense, rather than a blessing and an honourable duty. And it increases the abortion rate by giving couples an "out" if the sperm and the egg defy the odds and find each other. THAT is birth control. That is called foolishness. I say a hearty no thank you to that.

    Instead, I've discovered the great joy of knowing my wife fully and completely. She feels respected and loved when I show how I value her as a person (as opposed to a mere sexual object) while we abstain. And when the time is right, we can unleash our passions with no interruptions, no obstacles, no barriers, no chemicals - that, my friend, is true and profound intimacy. It is beautiful, and this beauty alone is reason enough for us to continue on the path we have chosen. All the negatives and pitfalls of birth control could never convince me to reject it if I didn't see this great beauty of pure, holy, unbound sexuality.

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