Cultivating a Respect for ALL Life

I admit to being a bit distressed to hear about the turkey abuse that went on at Butterball Farms.  Apparently a number of employees kicked and stomped on turkeys, dragging them by their wings and necks, and even worse.   It really was an abomination and points to the inhumane, oddly violent action of these particular Butterball employees. Of course, I would not for a moment imagine Butterball is the only place where this sort of thing occurs.

After reading the news report, however, my thoughts turned to another injustice and how strange it is that people can get their feathers all riled up (forgive the pun, please) over turkeys, yet seemingly be okay with violence against unborn children.  Will the turkey abusers be punished? I wondered, while abortionists are allowed to freely practice their morbid form of “medicine?”

I often scratch my head as I try to understand how it is possible, in this country, that a law was made permitting medical personnel (I won’t call them doctors) to actively engage in the destruction of our children.

Maybe you bought into the woman’s right-to-choose philosophy when it was touted as a reasonable response to pregnancy and a right (it is neither.) Maybe you formed your views before you really understood that to be Catholic is to be pro-life, or maybe you just never really considered the immorality of it all and sort of jumped on the bandwagon. Regardless of where you started, I now invite you to reconsider your thinking if you are pro-abortion.

Most people who accept abortion prefer the term pro-choice, rather than pro-abortion. That’s because the language sells better.  After all, who doesn’t like having choices? Of course, there is a difference between choosing spaghetti or lasagna for dinner and allowing an unborn child to live or die, but that distinction sort of gets lost in the rhetoric.  For the most part, I think this fuzzy terminology worked very well, psychologically, on those who were susceptible to immoral influences in the first place.

I am one of those people who believe there is room for everyone in the church.  Well-informed, thinking people do differ on a variety of issues, and I can accept that.  But when it comes to abortion, there simply isn’t any wiggle room.  If you believe abortion is a moral act, rather than the intrinsically evil act it actually is, then you are not embracing the practice of Catholicism, no matter what you may tell yourself.

A very profound conversion of heart is needed when someone has deeply held convictions that are contrary to church teaching. Conversion can take place through a lot of prayer, study and with an openness to God’s loving plan. Abortion is not now, nor ever has been, of God’s design.

To be Catholic is to be pro-life.  Listen to the words God spoke when he made his covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:5) in the Old Testament.  They give you a sense of the value of life:  “. . . .from man in regard to his fellow man I will demand an accounting for human life.”

This respect for human life continues in the day of Christ, and whoever calls himself a disciple today must assume the same care for the vulnerable as he did.  As a follower of Christ we must take up his preaching about loving one’s neighbor and see in his healings and teachings the absurdity of promoting the death of the unborn.

I must repeat--every act of abortion is intrinsically evil and is contrary to loving one’s brother.  It distances us from a loving Father.  To separate ourselves from Him is step back into the Garden of Eden and pretend that there are no limits to human authority, to live under the illusion that we are fully in control of our own destiny (and others’), and that God is simply a master rule maker who set things in motion and walked away.

Our first parents lost their trust in God and walked the path of deception rather than truth.  We must be careful not to repeat their sin by following those who place themselves above God and who, in matters of life and death, clothe deceit under the umbrella of choice.

Choosing to kill the unborn does not come without cost. God gives us the freedom to choose between good and evil in this world, and we must choose wisely, for in the end, we will indeed be accountable for our actions.

Copyright 2o12 Janet Cassidy