By Peter Baklinski
People often wonder why many people involved in the pro-life movement are also interested in homosexuality-related issues. They especially wonder if defending traditional marriage really has anything to do with being pro-life.
The answer to this is simple: Being pro-life is much more than saving babies. It’s also about fighting for the flourishing of the human person every step of the way, from conception, through birth, through childhood, through adulthood, till natural death. It’s about promoting a “culture of life.”
That’s why many pro-lifers aren’t just concerned about abortion: They also tackle euthanasia, cloning, homosexuality, and other life and family issues, which, after a second glance, are found to be all interconnected. If you’re a big-picture looker, it’s easy to see that these are the hot-button items on a massive international scale, leaving no nation or locality unaffected.
The reason why the pro-life movement puts so much time and energy into ending abortion in particular is because denying someone the “right to life” is the gravest injustice. The right to life is the basis for the enjoyment of all other rights. When this right is taken away from the most vulnerable among us, then no one’s rights are secure. There is no real justice, just the domination of the weaker by the stronger, the survival of the fittest. Abortion is really the deadliest kind of bullying.
At the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Mother Teresa called abortion the “greatest destroyer of peace today.” She said abortion was a “war against the child—a direct killing of the innocent child—murder by the mother herself.” She shrewdly pointed out that “if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”
Yes, we pro-lifers must fight for unborn children and secure their right to life. But we must also fight for children to be born and raised in circumstances that will allow them to flourish as human persons.
The environment that is the most conducive to the flourishing of human persons—bar none—is the human family composed of one man united to one woman in a lifelong union called marriage. Study after study has shown this again and again.
WAR ON MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY
But there is an unprecedented war on the family today that apparently wants to extinguish this most fundamental social unit. The war has been waged most intensely in the last 100 years or so.
The destroyers of the family began by splitting husbands apart from wives. They did this by introducing contraception into the sexual act under the guise of “sexual freedom.” With contraception, spouses took each other’s intimate treasure of fertility and sacrificed it on the altar of sexual freedom so as to increase their sexual availability with “no consequences.”
But in disregarding the “whole person” by excluding fertility, contracepting husbands and wives began to relate to one another merely as stimulating occasions for orgasm. Their respect and love for one another suffered since nobody likes to be devalued and nobody likes to be used as a tool for someone else’s pleasure. The contraception movement started gaining traction in the early part of the 20th century and reached its heyday in the late 1960s. Marriage was weakened and the destructive fallout of the contraceptive movement is ongoing to this day.
Widespread use of contraception led to the need for legalized abortion as a solution to failed contraception. Couples who had closed themselves to the gift of life demanded a quick and easy way out from “unwanted” responsibilities. With children no longer being viewed as the crowning glory of marriage, marriage was weakened further.
Closely following the contraception movement came the no-fault divorce movement in the mid 1950s. Contracepting couples who had tasted the bad fruit of using each other for selfish enjoyment needed a quick and easy way out from what was supposed to be a lifelong relationship but that had gone horribly wrong. With permanence taken out of marriage, marriage was weakened even further.
BROKEN, CRUSHED, AND HURTING CHILDREN
The above-mentioned “social innovations” have always resulted in the suffering of innocent children. Contraception hurts children in that it closes an adult’s heart and mind to the gift of new life. Abortion hurts children by killing them in the most brutal and horrific ways imaginable. And of course divorce wreaks total havoc on a child’s physical, psychological, and moral formation.
These social innovations bankrupted marriage, practically stripping it of its natural function of nurturing new human life.
Then came the most extreme social innovation. Marriage would now be stripped of its biological “male and female” quality. The logic leading to this push was unstoppable. Once marriage was no longer viewed as a union for the sake of creating and nurturing new human life, then there was no longer any reason to keep that union exclusively between a male and female. By now, the cultural framework of traditional marriage was so ravaged by contraception, divorce, and abortion that it was unable to withstand the carefully planned assault by homosexual activists.
The homosexual activists’ battle cry for “equality” has brought us where we are today, with Canada having changed the definition of marriage in 2005, and with many of the U.S. states having recently followed suit. And they were able to pull this off because of the weakened state of traditional marriage. Homosexual activists have successfully tricked the Western world into believing that their absolutely sterile homosexual activity is of equal merit to society as the fruitful act between a husband and wife that naturally produces children. With the social push to change the definition of marriage came a corresponding mindset that masculinity and femininity, fatherhood and motherhood, are completely irrelevant to a child’s formation.
Now with traditional marriage practically defined out of existence, children will suffer more than ever. They will suffer because the institution where they best thrive has become socially bankrupt. Men and women, abandoning marriage as a “meaningless social frill,” will still have children together, but not in the environment that best favors the flourishing of a new human being. Children will suffer further as gay and lesbian couples, walking proudly under the legal banner of newly redefined “marriage,” will attempt, and have done so already, to raise and form children.
Research released this year indicates however that the social experiment of homosexual “marriage” will cause nothing but serious harm to children. Children raised by gay and lesbian parents have significantly more social and mental-health problems when compared to children from an intact biological family. The research not only showed that there was a major difference between the children from both groups, but it highlighted that family instability is a “characteristic mark” of same-sex relationships.
The social mistakes we as a society have made, and are making right now, weigh heavily on the shoulders of children. They are the innocent victims of social experimentation who have become morally and even physically crushed and broken. They are the ones who have become pulverized in the name of so-called “freedom, equality, and progress.”
BEING PRO-LIFE TO THE CORE
These startling facts illuminate why so many pro-life activists are constantly highlighting research that supports traditional marriage. It’s why they take so seriously homosexual-related issues, calling attention to the rampant attacks made on traditional marriage.
Leaders in the culture war know that education on this issue is the necessary first step to building a massive campaign to protect children from being deliberately denied a mom and dad in a stable marriage. They know that the well-being of children depends on turning the cultural tide to favor true marriage. An unstable, morally disordered environment is no place to teach a child how to live, how to become all that he or she is meant to be, how to learn to be a free and responsible human being.
This is why pro-lifers must fight for traditional marriage, never compromising in the belief that marriage must be entered freely by one man and one woman, that spouses must give of themselves totally holding nothing back, that the relationship must be faithful until death, and that it must be fruitful in raising up new lives. This is simply the best situation for a child’s moral, physical, and mental flourishing.
To be pro-life is to be on guard against anything that threatens this most precious social institution necessary for human flourishing. In fighting for true marriage, we are fighting on behalf of children. We are fighting for them to have a life lived to the fullest. In our fight for them, we are securing the very future of humanity.
Defending authentic marriage has everything to do with being pro-life. It’s to be pro-life, right down to the core. So, let’s roll up the sleeves, get to work, and do what pro-lifers do best—fight on behalf of children.
Peter Baklinski has a masters in sacred theology with a specialization in marriage and family. He is pursuing a Ph.D. from the John Paul II Institute in Australia. He enjoys composing on the piano, hunting, and reading. He strives with his wife and four children to live the Gospel without compromise in today’s post-Christian environment. Peter is a journalist with LifeSiteNews and lives in Combermere, Ontario.
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