Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Spirit & Life - A People Who Can't Say "No"
This week's Spirit & Life is by Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International.
Spirit & Life is the weekly e-column of
Human Life International.
A People Who Can't Say "No"
annual celebrations of the Church are her way of bringing the temporal
and the eternal into conversation, allowing us to, if you will, listen
in to what Our Lord is telling the Church, again. Today's Feast of the
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is another such occasion, an
especially poignant one for those who answer the Church's call to defend
human life, marriage and family.
complete openness to God and His holy will are reflected in her haste
to the home of Elizabeth. This is not a mere visit between two mothers
or relatives, but a profound joyful sharing in the fulfillment of God's
promise of salvation carried in Mary's womb. Indeed, upon hearing Mary's
greeting, the babe within Elizabeth's womb leapt for joy!
meeting between the two saintly women was also the first meeting
between Our Savior and the one whom Scripture foretold would pave His
way. While we can't reduce the entire depth and beauty of this encounter
to our struggle today, I think it's fair to say that on the question of
the humanity of the preborn child and on the goodness of his life, God
has spoken quite clearly.
you'll allow me, I'd like to take the message of this great meeting a
further step that may not necessarily be obvious at first. While
absolutely affirming the humanity of the unborn child and the joy
spontaneously expressed by those who love God, we also see as the Gospel
unfolds that John the Baptist expressed his love for God by preaching a
radical message of repentance. His love did not lead him to pat
everyone on the back and say "The Lord is coming and it's all gonna be
fine! Compromise with the culture and get along! Just chill!"
many Christians are acting as if this is what Christ wants -- just to
find accommodations with a culture that is increasingly at odds not only
with God's law, but with God Himself. How else do we understand the
baffling decision by the Boy Scouts to undermine their own principles
and allow "openly homosexual" children, children mind you, to be scouts?
and nourishing a Culture of Life is not possible until we acknowledge
there are realities and behaviors harmful to us -- as individuals and a
society -- and embrace with a total yes the teachings of Jesus Christ.
For a long time, the Scouts bucked the public pressure brought by a
small minority of radicals -- radicals who will never be long appeased
by any compromise -- to drop their Christian identity.
principles teach scouts to be obedient to God; however, these same
Scouts now find themselves in an organization that is wavering on a key
moral issue. While the resolution itself stopped short of an open
endorsement of homosexual activity, it does represent the abandonment of
any principle that the organization can later call upon to resist what
will soon again be massive pressure to allow openly homosexual Scout
leaders. And inevitability, scouts will pose questions to their leaders
about homosexuality. Will they be told it's wrong to act on such
feelings and attractions? Moreover, should not young boys struggling
with sexual orientation/identity be guided from a potential danger and
pointed towards the good?
remember that the Catholic Church counsels love for those struggling
with a homosexual orientation, but is firm in her teaching that acting
on those inclinations is morally illicit, just as any non-marital sexual
dilemma for BSA will continue because the toxic culture cannot accept
that there are limitations. There is never enough. To welcome young boys
into the BSA and provide them with a healthy approach to life,
including the proper role of human sexuality, is not acceptable to those
who can't say "No." One can imagine that troop leaders will soon be
required to attend "sensitivity seminars," and to defend homosexual
actions and identity. Eventually the BSA that has identified the
importance of being reverent to God and His laws will compromise even
is a slippery slope to be sure, and it is in no way an act of courage
that they have demonstrated to their young scouts. Instead of being a
remedy to the corrosive influences upon young boys and men, their
decision only weakens their stance against an increasingly toxic
I being unreasonable? Let me answer the question with another: can you
name one major moral compromise that did not lead to further ones, and
to major societal problems as a result? Consider: It was once believed
that if restrictions on divorce were minimized that marriage would be
better protected and the number of divorces would lessen. Yet nearly
half of marriages end in divorce. What about contraception? It was said
that if we legalize contraception it would limit the number of
abortions, and marriage would be strengthened. Yet we have seen abortion
rates skyrocket, promiscuity now being treated as a positive by the
"experts" who teach sex "education" in our schools, STD rates are
through the roof and there is further confusion about the nature of
marriage and really any male/female relationship.
of acknowledging the beauty of the sexual act expressed between husband
and wife, society continues to relegate it to a recreational activity
without limitation or consequence. Liberation from all restraints is the
new "good." This is what happens when we are unable to say "No" to our
appetites. And when a person doesn't have the freedom to say "No," he
doesn't really have the freedom to say "Yes" either, since he is at the
mercy of his appetites.
we must be able to say "No" to certain things if we're to say "Yes" to
what is truly good for us. This "Yes" is grounded in humility, a
humility that acknowledges a profound truth outside of man, which guides
and sustains. This truth as revealed in Jesus Christ leads us to true
freedom -- liberation from the shackles of original sin. When we, like
Mary, say, "Yes" to God and His commands we open ourselves to an
abundance of grace. This grace enables us to recognize the path of Life
and joyfully avoid the empty potholes caused from selfishness and
of the culture is possible. It cannot be built upon the slippery slopes
fashioned by half-heartedness and indifference to truth. It requires a
total "Yes" to courage, humility and desire for the truth.
pray that the Boy Scouts will remember what has made them unique and
effective among other institutions, and those who are active with the
Scouts should let them know that they're starting down a path from which
it is very difficult to return.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Shenan J. Boquet President, Human Life International