Friday, July 5, 2013

The Real War Against Abortion

When I was 27 years old, God sent me a dream. In the dream, I was with a small band of Catholic knights in battle attire, led by Peter.  We were on a field, standing behind a vast throng of people which stretched out in every direction as far as the eye could see.  At the front of the field was a raised platform, where the False King held reign. These throngs hated and despised the False King, but they were unable to attack him because every time they tried they would see the images of their mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, or lovers instead.  Only those of us who held fast to Christ could see through the illusions the False King wove.

I mention this dream and the war against abortion because of its relevance to the situation the pro-life crowd faces right now.  One of the reasons that it is so hard to penetrate through to the pro-choice side and gain their conversions is that although they know what they do is not good and many of them may even want to overturn it, when they try to attack it they see the images of their mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, and lovers.  There are so many women who have committed abortions that it is hard to find someone who doesn't know at least one person who has had an abortion.  And that's if they haven't had one themselves.

You see, the impenetrable wall we are up against is the very human need to believe that we are good people.  Everyone knows that good people don't murder other people, and especially not innocent babies. Everyone knows that good people don't kill their own children.  This is why they must continue to deny the humanity of the unborn.  If the unborn aren't really people, if they aren't really children, then those who have committed abortion or love someone who has can rest easy.  They are still good people, still worthy of love.  Yet if they are wrong on this, if these are actually human beings just like them whom they have killed or helped to kill or participated in killing, then they must confront the fact that they are NOT good people.  Good people don't do those things.

When we find ourselves in the position of having done something that we know has hurt someone else, we must either find a way to make amends, fix the problem, or we risk going insane.  But how do you fix things when you caused the death of your own child? How do you live with yourself when you've done the unthinkable? How do you handle it when the person who has done this is your mother, your sister, your best friend, your wife, or your lover? How do you deal with it when you know that you helped them do it?

The human answer is to bury that part of ourselves, to detach ourselves from the reality and to deny that we've done anything wrong.  We deny our guilt, or blame someone else, or tell ourselves we didn't have a choice in the matter.  We give excuses, look the other way, pretend we didn't see what we don't want to see.  This is not the healthy response, but it is the human response.  We put on our fig leaves and hide ourselves from everyone's sight.

Christ's answer is simple: we forgive. We forgive ourselves and we forgive them. We grieve the wrong that was done. We acknowledge that it was wrong, and we face courageously the truth about ourselves, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our wives, and our lovers. We acknowledge that good and bad are markers for behavior, not labels for ourselves.  We don't have to be defined by our past behavior.  We can acknowledge the wrong of it and move on, not denying it or hiding it, but allowing it to become sand paper that refines us and smooths our rough edges.

There is a discussion that must come, though, before the pro-life crowd is ready to win the victory.  What do we do with all these women who are guilty of having killed their own children? Will we try them? Put them in prison? Even if our own generation is satisfied with simply making abortion illegal and absolving them of guilt, will the generations after us be so forgiving? What if they want justice for the crimes committed against them by robbing them of so many of their compatriots?  Should we allow these women to go free, without serving any sentences, do we then owe an apology to those women who killed their children after they were born and are now serving time in prison? Should we let them go free, too?  These are questions I don't doubt the other side is asking themselves, on those occasions when they acknowledge the wrong of what is being done.  We need to have answers if we want them to be ready to convert.  We need to have solutions in place, plans for how to handle these things.  It's the only way to win the battle.

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