Wednesday, May 9, 2012

There Are No Small Murders

‘Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image’ (Gen 9:5-6). With these words, God claims the life of man as his own specific possession: it remains under his direct and immediate protection. It is something ‘sacred.’ When a man’s blood is shed, it cries out to him (Gen ), because man is made in his image and likeness. The authority of society and the authorities in society are instituted by him precisely in order to guarantee the respect of this fundamental right, which is endangered by the wicked heart of man.

It follows that the recognition of the sacred character of human life and of its inviolability—a principle admitting of no exceptions—is not some trivial little problem or a question that may be considered relative, in view of the pluralism of opinions we find in modern society… There are no small murders. The respect of every human life is an essential condition is a societal life worthy of the name is to be possible… when man’s conscience loses respect for life as something sacred, he inevitably ends by losing his own identity.
Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, 59-60

Reflection – ‘There are no small murders.’ Well, tomorrow I won’t be blogging, because I will be marching and praying in Ottawa at the March for Life. Ottawa is a two-hour-and-then-some drive from Combermere, so it’s going to be a long day of traveling, praying, listening to speeches, visiting with people (the pro-life movement in Canada is small, and you tend to run into old friends at these events!), marching, more listening, traveling… anyhow, a bit of a marathon.

There are no small murders. That’s the underlying point of the march. And that legalized abortion negates ‘societal life worthy of the name’ – that this reality in our post-modern world is a hidden corrosive acid silently eating away at the very foundation and core of our social order. If the right to life is not respected and protected by the law, then no other human right—speech, assembly, religion, living wages, decent housing, medical care, civil rights—has any real rational basis, and each is subject to the whim of the state.

If society can decide that some human beings must die to protect a certain social order of sexual expression and gender equality, then society can decide that some human beings should be enslaved, or impoverished, or jailed, or silenced, or euthanized, all to protect some other social good.

It’s not rocket science, really. There are no small murders.

You know, I’m really not a ‘marching’ kind of guy. My own response to all this is much more to pray and fast in a poustinia somewhere than to man the barricades waving a sign. But in Canada there is such a pressure to be silent, to put the abortion issue behind us because ‘history has moved on’ (that’s a quote from a Conservative cabinet minister), to pretend that it’s all OK and nobody cares about abortion and what’s the big deal anyway…

It’s a big deal because it is the destruction of 100 000 human beings in Canada every year and (oh yeah) the social order and our claim to being a human civilization. So I march, even though really I would prefer to pray, fast, and perhaps weep in a cabin in the woods somewhere.

There are no small murders. We have to say this. And we have to keep saying this until ‘history’ comes to its senses, until society realizes its primary duty to protect human life, until people repent of this monstrous crime, this evil at the heart of our civilization.

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