March for Life 2015
Whatever you do for the least of My brethren, you do it for Me.
One year after the infamous Roe V Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on demand in this country, the first March for Life was held in Washington D.C. The purpose of the March has always been to overthrow that fatal decision which has now caused the death of over 50 million unborn human beings. It was a horrific watershed in the history of a country which began with such noble aspirations, a decision that has plunged this country into a moral and spiritual darkness which has brought other moral calamities in its wake.
No March for Life has ever generated the numbers of that recent public demonstration in Paris France which protested the murder of 12 people, and looking at least at the national political scene, one can question whether it has ever come even close to its stated goal of overthrowing that abortion decision which has led to the murder of over 50 million innocents. The contrast is startling, and it says a great deal about the degeneration of our Western civilization.
The protesters in Paris carried signs “I am Charlie,” which the Muslim populations worldwide surely will interpret as asserting their solidarity with a magazine that is infamous for its pornographic attacks on religions. And the adoption of this odd slogan makes it quite clear that what was most important to much of this crowd was not so much the attack on human life as such, but more an attack on the abstract right to free speech, at least when it comes to attacking religions. One can hardly imagine these same protesters identifying themselves with, say, a neo-Nazi publication whose staff was killed by terrorists from the left. The choice of identifying with the magazine itself showed little regard for the life of the policewoman who was murdered or the lives of the innocent victims in the grocery market. Sure they felt sorry for all the people killed, but their main focus was clearly more on the right to free speech.
Few if any of the politicians who locked arms at the front that protest march could provide any absolute ground for a universal natural right to life. They may use the language of human rights and natural rights, but they can give no ultimately rational or unquestionable foundation for establishing such rights. Only belief in a transcendent source of such rights can truly ground them as inalienable, natural rights. But belief in the natural law, and the natural rights that it grounds, and in the divine law which alone can absolutely ground the natural law has long disappeared in the culture most of these leaders embrace. At best, they can only speak of human rights grounded in some positive law, and such rights are hardly inalienable as we see in the abandonment of the natural rights of the unborn. The United Nation Charter speaks of natural rights, but it simply assumes them as self-evident and practically denies such rights by its promotion of abortion around the world.
It is something quite different with the March for Life people. I daresay that most of the participants in this annual March on Washington do in fact really believe in or rationally assert natural rights grounded in the natural law. So they truly hold that the right to life is a natural right grounded in God and thus belongs to the unborn as well as the born. And because they strongly affirm such natural rights, they can have a real solidarity, not merely a sympathy, with the victims of abortion. Thus it would be most appropriate for these marchers to carry signs that read “I am baby Doe” because all of us were at one time unborn children. Marchers in Paris could only have a solidarity of feeling or sympathy with those who actually worked at Charlie Hebdo, but our solidarity is something real, grounded in reality.
That recognition of a real solidarity is what keeps this March going after 40 years of frustrating results. The marchers in Paris grabbed the world‘s headlines, while the March for Life will be lucky to get a few lines on the back pages of our major newspapers and a 10 second spot on the TV evening news. But because there is a real human solidarity involved, and because the light of truth is our side, the March will go on.
But what does it accomplish in reality, in political terms, in the culture wars? For one thing, it helps keep the cause of defending life alive. It likewise builds up the sense of solidarity among the marchers themselves and the many other pro-lifers who support them. And above all, it brings some critical light into the darkness of this society. It is a witness to the transcendent value of human life in all its stages, and no matter how small that light may be in comparison to the darkness,, as St. John says, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
This witness to the light is what makes things like the March fro Life fundamental in the struggle to defend human life. And we Christians know that Christ the Lord, once an unborn child Himself, is in reality our light, and if we bring any light into the darkness, it’s only because He is our light. Thinking a bit about that fundamental truth, that Christ is the light in us, we can go one step further and see that the ultimate reason that we can say quite honestly “I am baby Doe” is because we can also say in truth that “I am Jesus Christ.” There is our strength. And there will be the victory, no matter how long it takes. God bless those who are marching today and the millions more who are praying for them and for the little ones they are selflessly defending. It is not all that must be done in this struggle, but it is of very great importance indeed. God Bless you all.