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Human Rights for All Justifies Labor Day

This weekend we will take time out of our busy schedules to recognize the value of the worker, the just wage and, on a practical level, time with family and friends. This time is usually celebrated with an outdoor barbecue—a tradition in America, but one badly in need of assessment.

For the past 38 years, the labor force has been losing its most valuable commodity—individuals who can contribute to the good of the nation. More than 60 million of them have died needless deaths because of a clash of values. It is an absolute loss of justice.

St. Thomas Aquinas brilliantly stated in Summa Theologica, “[A]ll laws, in so far as they partake of right reason, are derived from the eternal law. Hence Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i, 6) that ‘in temporal law there is nothing just and lawful, but what man has drawn from the eternal law.’”

Therefore, any law that deviates from the natural law is, in fact, an unjust law. Blessed John Paul II taught in The Gospel of Life, “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.’”

Contrast this logical argument against the act of killing the innocent with the fundamental principle of Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood Federation of America, “We believe that reproductive self-determination must be voluntary and preserve the individual’s right to privacy. We further believe that such self-determination will contribute to an enhancement of the quality of life and strong family relationships.” The rationale for Planned Parenthood’s existence is that “reproductive self-determination” can and must defy logic, common sense, and the natural law because abortion is the defining act that affirms the “individual’s right to privacy.”

Such a convoluted sense of what it means to defend the rights of women translates into a massacre of innocents the likes of which few of us will reflect upon as we turn the burgers on the grill this Labor Day. Be that as it may, it is the single most evident example of the moral, ethical, and financial collapse of this nation.

Ignoring the facts, failing to examine the results, and choosing to carry on with life as usual is tantamount to celebrating not a national day of equal justice for the laborer, but rather a denial that all individuals—born and preborn—are entitled to legal protection of their basic human rights regardless of age, health, or condition of dependency. Without that central tenet established as the foundation of all our laws by America’s founding fathers, there can be no justice for the vulnerable. In fact, there can be no justice for anyone.

Let this Labor Day be a time for us to contemplate the plight of those who will never join us at the holiday picnic because they are dead—dead to a massive injustice that exists because America is apathetic toward her most vulnerable citizens. Such thoughts may not bring joy to our holiday, but they might inspire resolve to reverse the trend.

Perhaps, then, Labor Day 2012 can be a time for celebrating justice for all—born and preborn.