Several years ago I attended the graduation of my son David from High School, and found myself appalled at what I heard as a commencement speech from a county politician. For, the whole message was simply that each student owed it to himself-or to herself- to make it to the very top of a chosen career. Absent was any idea of serving a community, or of doing good for others. Absent was any idea of ethics, any appeal to honesty, or any exhortation to let moral judgment and conscience provide restraints or challenges.
“If you are going to be a lawyer plan not to be anything less than a Justice on the Supreme Court,” and so went the speech after this pattern about other possible careers. The speaker held up models of “success.” One of them was Thurgood Marshall, the first black Justice on the Supreme Court. In the eyes of the world, and of the speaker, he was a success and example to follow. But, he was a moral failure, a bad example that I would teach my children not to follow. For Justice Marshall used his high office to further abortion, voting yes in the Roe vs. Wade decision, and voting several times thereafter to defend it in all of its most horrifying emanations.
Perhaps the Christian lawyer would not climb to power or even riches, that is if his vocation is to serve the poor who also need a voice. But, doing good is its own success, and has the approval of God.
Most of us were taught as children to condemn the notion that might makes right. And yet, this is the creed of modern society (or post modern, if you prefer). Become powerful and assert your will, get ahead by any means necessary. And, it is this idea that causes individuals to consider their own problems more important than the problems of others, or their own plans, ambitions or desires to be more important than the life of a child in the womb. No matter how disadvantaged a girl in trouble may be, she is the party who has power, and the child has no might and no voice. So, the mother of an unborn child is told by society, even by the Supreme Court, that her might, that is by comparison to the helpless child, makes right.
We can and should offer practical help in any way we can. We can and should be available to those who feel overwhelmed and think they have no option. We must show the compassion of Christ to those in trouble and in need. The only pastoral recourse, if compassion is not enough to persuade the woman or girl, or her parents, or the useless selfish stud (who took an opportunity to donate his sperm the fun way), is straight talk. “Your life is not more important than the life of the child. You do not have any greater right to your life than that child has. You are not more important than that child in the womb.” Does this sound shocking? It ought not to, for it is the obvious truth of the matter.
“She has her whole life ahead of her,” but so does the child in her womb. Her inconvenience of little more than nine months does not compare well to the whole life of that child. “She should not have to pay for a mistake,” or “For someone’s violation of her.” But, the child should not pay with the sentence of death. That is simple injustice. “She has legal rights.” But the child’s rights are dictated by morality.
The root of abortion is embracing the idea that might makes right, and that people who have the advantage owe nothing to a weaker party. So it is that the children are not given protection and love, no, not even the right to live. This is pure evil, and the root of complete selfishness runs as deep as sin.