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The Perry County News is to be commended on its willingness to bring life issues to the attention of its readers. A Nov. 17 editorial reported a group of bishops saying that opposing abortion is of first importance among the life issues.
One might rightfully ask: How does this group of bishops have the authority to make this evaluation? Suppose someone else were to think that capital punishment is of first importance? Indeed.
A closer reading of the bishops' statement, however, shows that they are not here making an appeal to their authority but are actually making an appeal to common sense, an appeal to right reason.
The bishops proposed that the right to life is foundational to all the other rights we have. Once the right to be born is not honored, once the foundation is gone, then all the other rights become just a matter of someone else's choice.
For example, if all human life is not sacred, if it is not understood to be a gift from the loving, creating will of God, then all life is measured by how convenient or inconvenient it is for someone else. All those civilians in a battle area really get in the way of advancing troops; their presence is inconvenient; move on anyway; the general's choice: our troops are more important than enemy civilians. Convicts on death row are inconvenient; they take up room and are dangerous to a free society; the guilty are not as worthy as the innocent. Human embryos are needed for medical research, but it's inconvenient to treat them as people, so let them die for a greater good, which might be our medical health. And the same for defective children; let them be removed; a mother's choice. When we don't have the reason to protect the unborn we don't have the reason to protect anyone.
The reason for protecting the victims of war is the same reason for protecting the unborn: their life is sacred to God. It is the same reason for protecting the criminal on death row, or people dying of hunger; the lives of all of them are precious to God. For someone to protect the criminal from execution but not protect the unborn child is unreasonable, wrongheaded and a morally bad choice, a sin. The politician is wrong who says: I'll protect the poor from starving but not the unborn child from dying; he is acting unreasonably, he is acting sinfully. And worse still is the politician who actively promotes the abortion industry and who works to silence pro-life advocacy.
Pro-life groups know that once an expectant mother has listened to the tiny heartbeat of her unborn child she usually refuses to have an abortion. Abortion providers and many politicians try to prevent her from hearing this heartbeat, because it's bad for business and abortion is a very big business. We have no idea how much money passes under the table to keep this industry profitable
Once a society decides that not everyone has a right to live, it is only a matter of time until important people, scientists, doctors, sociologists, environmentalists and others begin telling us which people are terribly in the way, draining our treasuries, taking up space in our nursing homes, causing mental problems to those who are well. They all have become very inconvenient and must be removed, but we'll call this by a nice name: woman's choice, euthanasia, medical research, freedom of choice. Deep in our hearts we all know the difference between truth and fantasy, and when God shows us the video of our lives it will all be there, just as it was recorded, just as he remembers it.
Evrard lives in Tell City.