Wednesday, January 22, 2014

GET SMART

When I was in college I was eligible for Social Security benefits because the government felt that my father did not make enough money.  But, don’t you know, just as I was entering college they raised the threshold just enough that I would not receive any benefits.  Go figure.
 
But that was Okay, for the very next year my father was retired for half of the year and his income was less and therefore I was once again eligible for benefits!  Except that they had changed the standards again and I was out of the group.
 
But that was Okay, because the next year my father would have been retired the entire year, making substantially less than he did just two year ago and once again I was eligible.  Except, of course, that they changed the requirements once again and once again I was left out of the group.

 

This is not about a social security check.  The fact is that I didn’t need it although it might have been fun.  But it is an example on how slight changes in law can leave you out in the cold if you are on the margin.  One slight change and you can go from favored status to non-favored status.
 
That is what the pro-life movement is about.  When any person is considered Okay to put to death, the pool of what it is to be human with dignity and rights grows smaller and those not at the center of the pool see the edge move closer toward them. 
 
The scary thing is that it doesn’t take much to be moved from the center of the pool to the edge.  An accident, a false accusation, a disease, old age, loss of a job, an incident that can take place in the twinkling of an eye can move you from the center of the pool to the edge.  (Look at the minister from Hudson in jail in a foreign country accused of human trafficking.  Though seemingly innocent, things could go terribly wrong very quickly.)  I remember being shocked at a Pro-Life march in Washington D. C. seeing people in wheel chairs holding signs that asked the question, “Am I next?”  That they could even think that a possibility says something about where we are going as a people.
 
Today, in particular, we are encouraged to pray for the legal protection of unborn children.  Masses for Peace and Justice are being celebrated.  Thousands of people are weathering the bitter, bitter cold on the Life March in Washington today.  You are encouraged to pray and fast.  It doesn’t even have to be a full fast.  Give up the last cup of coffee.  Leave the last cookie on the plate.  Don’t grab that handful of nuts.  And every time you have the urge and wish that the beautiful, steaming, yummy mug of coffee was at your hand, offer it up with a prayer for those whose lives are not held as dear and worthy as yours.


1 comment:

Chris Antenucci said...

You make very good points here. This is a topic that's very important to me for several reasons. 1)My father abandoned me at birth and there was a good chance I could've been one of those aborted babies, but my mom chose to keep me and raise me by herself and 2)I got into the abortion fight as a freshman at CWRU, which is about as secular as you can get and pro-abortion to the core. I remember handing out pro-life literature across campus on the anniversary of roe v wade and getting all kinds of hostility I wasn't prepared for, which brings me to my main point. We need to train our youth to be better prepared to make the arguments necessary to defend the unborn and to counter the narrative that has dominated our culture for so long about this being an issue of "women's rights" and a matter of choice. We need strong pro-life advocates in the public eye who have the tools necessary to articulate the pro life message and point of view while debunking the claims of pro-abortion advocates. To your point about moving the line of what is acceptable for killing someone, I always ask people who support abortion this question: if it's just a matter of a woman's choice, why isn't it ok for her doctor to kill her baby after it's born? Why is it ok to kill the baby in their eyes while it's in the womb up until the moment of birth, but not ok the second it's born? The only difference is one minute it's in the womb, the next minute it's not. It's just as alive the minute it was in the womb before birth as it was after it was born, so why the inconsistency, if it's truly about choice? I haven't gotten an answer yet, and don't expect to.