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The Dignity of Each Person

By Judie Brown

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. When Pope Pius IX proclaimed this feast day, he wrote: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.”

This single event affirmed beyond doubt the undeniable value of each individual human being. If this were not so, God in His wisdom would not have created each and every one of us. But He did. And hopefully you know how precious you are to Him.

But in our frenzied world today, it seems that even the existence of a person can be questioned, nuanced, and/or excused from life.

The thinking advocated by this culture of death is essentially contained in these words, excerpted from an article in the Independent Online, a South African news service:

Human dignity is a nuanced concept that means different things to all of us, but it is an attribute inherent in every human being that should be respected. South Africa has the most liberal constitution and laws surrounding abortion. It is legal by request (no reason needs to be provided) when the pregnancy is under 13 weeks and it is provided for free at government hospitals, but dated in terms of giving its citizens the right to choose to live or die. A right that should not be controlled by any state.

Such a perspective is equivocal in every sense; it is a perfect example of a morality-free zone where personal choice trumps the inalienable right to life. But it goes further than that, for those who promote aborting children, controlling the birth of children, and otherwise playing God extend their influence to questions and actions at the end of life. This is why euthanasia by any name—including assisted suicide and aid in dying—is also on the rise.

Clearly the flawed logic of abortion demands euthanasia. And the misguided logic of euthanasia demands abortion. Ethically, abortion and euthanasia are inseparable twins, for both of them share the same value—the absolute denial of the inherent worth and dignity of every human being.

People who respect life and cherish this precious gift from God stand in the way, defending justice and equal respect for every person from the first cell of his or her life until he or she draws her last breath. Though despised by enemies of life, our ranks grow daily as citizens realize that their own lives are at stake in this struggle.

Justice is defined in these words from Luke 18:7-8: “Now, will not God see justice done to his elect if they keep calling to him day and night even though he still delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of man comes, will he find any faith on earth?”

We respond to that question every minute of the day by our strength in the wake of the culture of dehumanization, destruction, and worse. As the evil one cries for more blood, we reject his wiles and teach truth—the truth of Christ that exposes for one and all the dignity of each person without exception and without compromise.

America is a nation where people say yes to protecting the life of Fido, our dog, but no to Grandma. Our country is clearly not immune from all stain of sin, especially those acts that take innocent lives with abandon. Thus we continue to say loud and clear that the dignity of each person is paramount to restoring justice for all—born and preborn.

Mother of God, intercede for us.