Saturday, September 10, 2005

There's more to "Life" than abortion

The campus minister asked if I could go to the Walk for Life today because she wasn't going to be able to stay the whole time. I was cool with the idea, until I got there to find that they had already started walking .... and that's also when I realized that, being new to the school, I didn't even know who our kids were. So as I began walking, I was scanning t-shirts, looking for ones from our school. Not having anyone to talk with at that point, I also began thinking about the whole concept of this walk .... and did I even agree with why I was there.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with why I was there. But that doesn't necessarily match why a great number of the other people were there, or the reasons that the people driving by would assign to the purpose for our walk.

It especially struck me when, early in the walk, I passed a bus stop shelter. There was a man sitting on the bench with his black plastic bag of belongings next to him. (Even just the language I find myself using here -- the automatic impulse is to say "homeless guy" and "garbage bag" -- but how does that fit with the "personal dignity" I'm trying to teach my kids?) Everyone on this "Walk for Life" (including myself, I'm not too happy to say) walked right past this man. At least I noticed him, but I'm not even sure how many did that.

Then, a few blocks later, we passed the "Show 'n' Tell Girls Club" ... right next door to the "Body Shop" (and no, we're not talking about the animal-friendly cosmetics place). What kind of life issues are involved for their, ahhh, employees? And, for that matter, their patrons?

It's a walk for "life" .... and yet we ignored the life sitting right there before us.

We made sure that we walked past the "abortion mill" .... yet we disregarded the prisons.

We talked about human dignity .... yet we didn't even blink at the objectification of women.

All the shirts, all the signs spoke about a fetus.

Yes, the Church teaches that the fetus is a life. But that's not the only thing that the Church teaches is a life.

I'm so glad that the "life" group at my school addresses life issues -- the unborn, yes, but also those who are imprisoned, aged, disabled, abused, homeless, poor, dying, addicted, suffering from AIDS, etc. Unfortunately, "people" generally don't think like that. For many people, including those for whom "life" is such an issue -- once you're born, that's it.

My first thought was to have a sign with "There's more to life than abortion" for the next walk, but I wondered how well that would go over. On my way home, I was mentally designing a shirt with that on the front, and a list of all the "other" life issues on the back.

Where's the "Walk for the Working Poor"?

And the 36 men and women currently sitting on Kentucky's death row? They have a life, too.

My understanding of Church teaching is life across the board, that a life is a life is a life. Even if you happen to not like the person whose life it is.

Sure, I "walked for life" today. But I walked with a very different attitude than many there.

6 Comments:

Blogger Songbird said...

Thank you for that.

9/10/2005 6:55 PM  
Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

I'd buy that shirt. You could design & sell via cafe press for free!

9/11/2005 7:22 PM  
Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

Thank you. My very religious aunt is for the death penalty, but against abortion. So I posed this question to her once:

'So if there was a teenage girl who was going to have a child that would grow up to become a serial killer and sentenced to death, would you urge her to get an abortion?'

'No.'

'But he's going to kill people. And be executed himself.'

'But he's an innocent baby. Criminals have choice.'

'But if God is as forgiving as you say he is, who are we to judge?'

And then I watched her brain short-circuit. Yes, there is more to life than abortion. But everyone forgets that.

9/11/2005 10:31 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Lorem ~ I love the logic (or lack thereof, for most people). I have a very good friend who had a close family member murdered and yet they still don't want the death penalty (the guy's on death row).

Susan ~ How's that work for shirts? I'm no good at designing, but am getting more and more eager to "broaden the perspective."

9/11/2005 11:41 PM  
Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Steph, check out http://www.cafepress.com/. The revgalblogpals used it for t-shirts. You can order on demand (1 or 10,000). Fairly simple, I think.

9/12/2005 12:30 AM  
Anonymous "Omis" said...

Steph, thanks for posting this. As I said on Susan's site, I'm uncomfortable with groups and individuals who use the "pro-life" label who are strictly anti-abortion, like a President and his supporters who say he's promoting a "culture of life" while waging war and having signed 150 or so death warrants.

I wish the bishops would make such bold statements about other life issues as some did about abortion during the last election.

And I'm happy to know I'm not alone in wishing that "pro-life" was a more comprehensive term.

9/15/2005 9:56 AM  

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