I will be taking a brief hiatus in writing on Democrazy as I will be heading down to Washington, DC today for the annual March for Life. For those of my readers who may not be aware, every year the March for Life takes place in Washington, DC on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in protest to the Supreme Court ruling that mandated legalization of abortion in all 50 states. Last year there were an estimated 400,000 protestors present at the march. The sheer volume of that number boggles my mind; however for a visual you can watch this hour and a half video of the march condensed into a one minute time lapse.
Blessed John Paul II said the following in addressing America on defending the weak. In its original context I believe he was speaking specifically on abortion but I think it speaks to all acts in violation of the culture of life, whether it be attacks on the weak in the Middle East or third world countries, abortion, capital punishment, or the inhumane treatment of prisoners:
“America you are beautiful . . . and blessed . . . . The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend life.”
The most dire, however, is abortion. Since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 over 52,000,000 abortions have occurred in the United States alone making America the greatest purveyor of violence, not just abroad as Martin Luther King Jr. boldly pointed out, but domestically as well (to say nothing of the increases in domestic violence and rape in that same time period). In order to combat the open disregard for the lives of the weak by our own government requires a far more comprehensive movement than merely convincing a majority of the 535 federal legislators to vote in our favor, restoration of the soul of America requires a cultural movement that begins with each individual at home and how we live and treat others in our personal lives. Blessed John Paul II recognized this in his encyclical, Evangelium vitae, when he stated:
We need to begin with the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves. Too often it happens that believers, even those who take an active part in the life of the Church, end up by separating their Christian faith from its ethical requirements concerning life, and thus fall into moral subjectivism and certain objectionable ways of acting. With great openness and courage, we need to question how widespread is the culture of life today among individual Christians, families, groups and communities in our Dioceses. With equal clarity and determination we must identify the steps we are called to take in order to serve life in all its truth. At the same time, we need to promote a serious and in-depth exchange about basic issues of human life with everyone, including non-believers, in intellectual circles, in the various professional spheres and at the level of people’s everyday life.
I ask that those who will not be present at the March for Life to take the time tomorrow to please be present in the spirit of prayer as we continue towards nurturing a true culture in support of all life here in the United States.