Friday, April 8, 2005

Lord, Grant Him Eternal Rest...


...were the words spoken as they laid Pope John Paul II to rest today.

Although I do not own a television, I did happen to see the live broadcast of the public viewing of the Pope while I was at my sister's during our flood evacuation. I'm not Catholic and I'm not Christian. I'm Hindu and I cried like a baby. I really, really liked and respected the Pope. And, while there are so many reasons why -- including how he reached out to young people and his public reflections on the errors of the Catholic Church -- what stands out in my mind today is how he helped me to come to a deeper understanding of the pro-life position.

I had been a private convert to the pro-life position, due to my experiences in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit studying my own babies and those of others -- I saw babies that, by their gestational age at birth, could have been legal abortions, thrive, grow and live -- and the research I did about fetal development for my following pregnancies, but never dared speak my politically incorrect views amongst my mostly left-leaning friends and associates. The Pope and his firm adherance to the principles of life helped me to be more public about my pro-life/anti-abortion beliefs and helped me to come to a clearer understanding of the deeper meanings associated with both the concept of a right to life and that of a right to kill.

Which isn't to say that I approve of the clinic demonstations, etc. Because, I do not. I do not think that is productive. As my southern mother used to tell me, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Sometimes, as I walk past those protesters with their rosaries and graphic posters of dismembered babies (horrifically disturbing to my little girls when we accidentally came upon a demonstration one day last summer), I can't help but stop and ask them how many frightened, pregnant teens with no place to go they've taken into their homes or how many unwanted babies they've adopted. Rather than standing outside of clinics trying to intimidate or shame the often struggling, desperate, frightened women going in, they should reach out with love and kindness and try to help for real.

I feel about abortion kind of like I do about pornography. Laws will not change anything, really. It's the hearts and minds we've got to reach. People with empathy and understanding do not kill babies, nor do they find watching women gang-raped, beaten and otherwise humiliated, abused and debased sexually arousing.

Until Next Time...

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