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The ‘scandal’ of human life April 6, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, General Catholic.

No, this isn’t a rant on some pro-abort person saying there are too many people on the planet, it’s quite the opposite.  My friend Steve B pointed me to this excellent piece at a blog called The Lobster Pot on misplaced compassion, and how it tends to lead to heavy doses of Zyklon B.  An excerpt:

Think about the greatest crimes against human life today. Aren’t they cloaked in the language of compassion? “Every child has a right to be loved.” “A woman has a right to control her own body.” “The terminally ill should be able to die with dignity.” And yet, where does all of this compassion lead? To an unborn child being ripped limb from limb in a suction machine. To a disabled baby being neglected and left to die. To an elderly, depressed person who feels obligated to die before medical expenses eat through the family inheritance.

There’s compassion for you.

How could our compassion go so far wrong? After all, we pride ourselves on being compassionate. We see it as an essential part of our Christian identity. And indeed it is. But only if it’s grounded in Christ.

Christian compassion is based on what another 20th century novelist, Walker Percy, called the “scandal” of the value of each individual human life. We believe that every single human life is a gift from God, and carries the dignity of being created in his image and likeness. Thus, human life is sacred. Innocent life – all innocent human life – is sacred and must be protected.

Why is that a “scandal”? Because, in our society, it’s much more convenient to make some lives more valuable than others. A mother’s life is more important than her child’s life. A “wanted” child’s life is more important than that of an “unwanted” child. A disabled infant is less important than the parents who would have to care for her. An embryonic human life isn’t as important as the fully grown people who suffer from incurable diseases.

Thus, ‘compassion.’  How often do we hear voices, even voices ostensibly from within the Church, encouraging us as Catholics to be compassionate, even to the point of ignoring God’s word?  I would take the analogy farther, to issues such as gay marriage and women’s ordination, because most of the arguments in favor of those and other issues are based almost exclusively on issues of ‘fairness’ – another way of putting compassion.  Compassion must be first grounded in Truth – the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church – or it is meaningless, and, as Lobster Pot argued, will lead eventually to Arbeit Macht Frei.   God is the Author of all life – and only He can decide when life will begin and end.  This is the core moral doctrine of the Church – the innate dignity of each human life. 

Far too many Catholics with highly visible roles are all too ready to, very compassionately, exchange the life of an unborn baby to make someone with paralysis walk.  Or even 1,000,000 such babies even for the chance one person might walk.  How often do we hear such Catholics talk of the rights of the mother to ‘control her body?’  How often do these folks talk about the rights of the infant? 

The Church did not ‘come up’ with these beliefs.  They weren’t decided in some dark Vatican room by a bunch of medieval old men who didn’t like or respect women.  We’re talking about the received Truth of God.  God knows human nature infinitely better than the greatest human philospher.  He knows where our compassion will lead, if it is not grounded in His Truth.


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