The past few days have seen a spate of news reports indicating that the American people are in dire straits these days and that pro-life Americans absolutely must remain focused on what is truly important. This became even more apparent yesterday when an American Life League staff member explained, after a conference call with other pro-life leaders, that many pro-lifers are convinced that with Obama in office, they have to play what is known in football lingo as “defense.” In other words, holding the wolves at bay is all that can be expected. But not so fast.
This is no time to be satisfied with holding on to the status quo. The struggle between good and evil is already in high gear, so, for me, tolerating prevalent political positions is not an option.
On January 22, the infamous memorial of the 1973 United States Supreme Court decisions that decriminalized the most heinous acts of terror against preborn children ever witnessed in any civilized nation, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops congratulated President Obama on his executive order banning the torture of suspected terrorists.
Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said in his statement:
"Based upon the teachings of the Catholic Church, our Conference of Bishops welcomes the executive order. Together with other religious leaders, we had pressed for this step to protect human dignity and help restore the moral and legal standing of the United States in the world."
Preborn children are criminally assaulted daily, their human dignity is ignored daily, and there is no way that America’s moral standing can be restored as long as our government sanctions the murder of innocents on our own soil. That being said, why would the USCCB spend a millisecond congratulating Obama? What is to be gained by applauding a man committed to continuing the killing and enshrining the "right" to do it in our laws?
The following day, as American Life League was hosting its Personhood 2009 Conference, a reporter for the opposition was busily taking notes. She paid particular attention to Kristi Burton, who ran the personhood campaign in Colorado. In her report on Burton, she wrote the following:
She believes the personhood framework can be adapted to battles like abortion, stem cell research, fetal alcohol syndrome, "fetal homicide" (laws that criminalize accidental or intentional death of a fetus), and emergency contraception. But Burton seemed ill-informed about the "lies" of her opposition: "They said, 'If the Colorado personhood amendment passes, birth control will be outlawed. In vitro fertilization will be outlawed.' All these things that weren't true," she said. "The personhood amendment was a definition. What it said was that in the future, when our courts and our legislators are considering laws relating to those kind of things--I mean in Colorado there isn't even a law on birth control so how a definition can affect a law that doesn't exist, I'm not sure."
Here we have a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of a pro-abortion reporter who is attempting to create confusion by taking Burton out of context.
If we had known she would attempt to muddy the waters this way, we would have explained to her that if a personhood amendment were added to a state constitution, every innocent human being, from his biological beginning, would be protected under the law as an individual, a person. Therefore, IVF and abortive birth control would no longer be acceptable under the constitutional definition of a person, because any action that can cause preborn humans to die would have to be outlawed.
Sadly, either this pro-abortion reporter did not wish to report the statements accurately or she is very confused. Clearly, there is a huge problem with the language of personhood. No pro-abort is going to welcome an honest discussion of the child’s humanity prior to birth, but distortion simply is intolerable. That is why our quest to educate on the subject of personhood grows more important daily.
Here is another example of America's cultural meltdown. In Wisconsin, pro-life troops were galvanized upon hearing that University of Wisconsin officials want to begin committing abortions: “The plan has UW doctors doing abortions at the Madison Surgery Center. The groups don’t want to see UW hospitals and clinics, the UW Medical Foundation and Meriter Hospital opening up a second-trimester abortion facility.”
As this report makes perfectly clear, second-trimester abortions are barbaric. But let's be honest. Second-trimester abortions are certainly no more inhumane than abortions committed at one week or one month. Every abortion is a savage act.
Yet another report touches on a problem that is infrequently addressed: The ways in which America's acceptance of abortion has spawned other acts that, at one time, would have been deemed unthinkable. Just this week, we learned that in Idaho – as in many other states – the number of women volunteering to donate their eggs has doubled. Lest you think, however, that egg "donation" is a charitable act, read the following comments from Nationwide Egg Donation in Meridian, Idaho:
"Well, we've had a huge influx in people wanting to be donors. One because they're looking for alternative income to their situations. We have a lot of single moms or students that want to pay for college," explained Tiffany Valentine, the company's president.
The selected women can make $5,000 for their first donation and up to $10,000 each time after that.
In other words, "donation" actually means that the women are selling their own eggs for cash. This is but another symptom of a culture gone mad with the idea that human beings and their functions are no different than farm machinery and their parts. Legal recognition of personhood from each person’s biological beginning would end this ridiculous manipulation of the act of procreation, which was, in fact, designed by the Creator – not an in IVF doctor or a human embryonic stem cell researcher.
Everywhere we turn, we can see the desperate need for achieving legal recognition of personhood.
Even when it comes to caring for the elderly, the rate of abuse has increased. As one Sacramento,
California reporter wrote recently,
Adult Protective Services in Sacramento handles some 900 cases of alleged abuse and neglect each month, said program manager Elizabeth Foster-Ward. But the actual number of older people who are in jeopardy is probably far higher.
"When seniors are being abused, they typically are ashamed to talk about it, especially if the abuser is a relative or someone they rely on to care for them," she said. So they suffer in silence.
The entire nation is suffering, though far too few realize it. Whether we admit it or not, for 36 years, our country has denied the value of the child growing within his mother, denied the truth about what abortion does to that child and intentionally chosen to ignore the obvious. When disregard for innocent human beings at one end of the life spectrum becomes commonplace, this pernicious attitude spreads throughout the family, the culture and the world.
Pope John Paul II told a group of American Catholic bishops,
Above all, society must learn to embrace once more the great gift of life, to cherish it, to protect it, and to defend it against the culture of death, itself an expression of the great fear that stalks our times.
[T]here are signs of an almost unimaginable insensitivity to the reality of what actually happens during an abortion, as evidenced in recent events surrounding so-called "partial-birth" abortion. This is a cause for deep concern. A society with a diminished sense of the value of human life at its earliest stages has already opened the door to a culture of death. As Pastors, you must make every effort to ensure that there is no dulling of consciences regarding the seriousness of the crime of abortion -- a crime which cannot be morally justified by any circumstance, purpose or law.
Each of us has specific talents that will contribute to the refining of conscience that has to take place in America. Each of us has an obligation to make time for using those talents in a positive way. We must start by teaching the most basic truth of all: Every person is vested by God with his dignity, and therefore no person is disposable. We must not tolerate anything less than a restoration of respect for all human beings, and the recognition of personhood is the best place to begin.