Today a great multitude of men, women, and children will gather in Washington for the annual March for Life.
First, what I like: taking a stand for the dignity of every human life. What’s not to like about that? Millions of human lives have been abruptly and tragically ended by abortion. We simply must take a stand for the inviolable dignity of every human life!
Before I say what I don’t like, let me preface it by saying very clearly that this does not apply to everyone by any means. Most demonstrators are loving, prayerful people taking a peaceful stand for the goodness and dignity of human life. Again, what’s not to like about that? Still, when I’ve attended the March for Life, it has pained me to see and “feel in the air,” if you will, a sometimes harsh us-versus-them mentality. It can creep in among the best of us and turn us from loving those who do not see abortion for the horror that it is to judging and condemning them harshly.
[tweetthis]What steps can we take in our own hearts to love those with whom we disagree? – Christopher West[/tweetthis]
As Pope Francis wrote, “Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us.” It is certainly true, as the Pope observes, that the “Gospel tells us to correct others and to help them to grow on the basis of a recognition of the objective evil of their actions (see Mt 18:15),” but we must do this, the Holy Father reminds us, “without making judgments about their responsibility and culpability (see Mt 7:1; Lk 6:37)” (Joy of the Gospel 172, 213).
Yes, yes, yes – let us march in support of the dignity of life! But let us also, to quote Pope Francis once again, reject all “ethical systems bereft of kindness” (ibid 231).
Photo from TFP Student Action (Creative Commons)