Many well-meaning people make a mistake where they treat “Respect Life Month” as though it revolves solely around abortion, as if being a pro-life Catholic means we are only concerned with saving babies. So not true. Respect life means respecting and saving all lives in all situations where the dignity of life is threatened. Here’s a few of those contexts where “respect for life” should be more thoroughly applied.
1. Post-Abortive & Abortion Minded Mothers
There are two victims every time a mother walks into an abortion clinic. Over 60% of women who have abortions identify as Christians. Too many churches are silent on the issue of abortion. We have to ask ourselves, why do mothers feel safer going to Planned Parenthood instead of the church? How can we step up and make sure her needs are met, before and after the child is born? They have to know that they can find love, forgiveness, and real help in the church.
2. Depression/Mental Health
Sometimes it feels like people in the Church don’t want to talk about teens with depression or mothers with postpartum depression. Let’s face it, though. Lives are being lost because of this. You can’t pray away or ignore depression. We need to talk about it. People aren’t getting the help they need because they don’t want to be judged or told the are demon possessed. We need to have more education on the subject in our churches.
3. Assisted Suicide
The Catholic Church is pretty clear about it’s teaching on assisted suicide and euthanasia. It’s not acceptable. Ever. Shouldn’t we be aiding and ministering to people during their time of suffering? People are so scared of suffering that we forget that our suffering helps draw us nearer to God. This fear just feeds more and more into the culture of death. It truly is a lot to overcome.
4. The Death Penalty
This subject has been argued constantly amongst pro-lifers and conservatives in general. I have seen some pretty heated debates on the matter. It took me a while, but I finally came to the conclusion that I can not have a consistent life ethic and continue to support the death penalty. For me, it boils down to protecting the public, and opportunity for conversion. We can keep murderers in prison for life. That’s not a problem. If they are behind bars, the public is safer. But, once we have executed someone, there is no chance for that person to turn to Christ. They’re gone. It’s over. We can’t minister to and rehabilitate dead people.
Pope Francis has spoken out numerous times regarding capital punishment. I think he has very loving and reasonable things to say. If anything, he and my wife, are the reason I had a change of heart. If you are struggling with this subject or just want to look into more information, I think googling what Pope Francis has to say is a good place to start.
What’s the statistic? I have seen numbers ranging from 30% to 98% of Catholics are using some form of contraception. Either way, shouldn’t that number be zero? Aren’t we called to respect our bodies and our ability to create life? I understand the temptation to use contraception. However, if Catholics are truly following their faith, we simply can not use contraception. Period. Also even if the Church had nothing to say about it, birth control is just bad for you. (Click here if you would like to access several good articles with factual information about birth control.)
For every poor analogy supporting refusal of accepting refugees, there is a poor effort to properly communicate the actual data. It’s sad that our enemy is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but this is certainly not a political item: it’s a full blown part of pro-life mentality and conviction.
Again, just like with the refugees, how do we remain a charitable country without being taken advantage of? I can’t blame people for coming into this country illegally. For so many of them, it’s life or death situation.
8. Suicide Amongst Veterans
As I understand it, there are 22 veterans committing suicide per day. That is staggering!! These men and women are called to defend our country and fight wars. They fight to protect us. We should be taking better care of them. Add this to the fight for life!
9. Abortion workers
Here is a group of people that my wife and I hold near and dear to our hearts. My wife, Abby Johnson is a former abortion worker. She spent 8 years volunteering for and working for Planned Parenthood. If it had not been for the Pro-lifers that treated her with dignity and respect, she might not have ever left. She might not be traveling the world telling her story, changing hearts, and trying to bring an end to abortion. Abortion workers are not the enemy. The Devil, he’s the enemy. So please, keep your demeaning name calling to yourself. They are not “deathscorts.” Yelling things like “baby killer” and “abortion mill” is not an appropriate way to get abortion workers to come talk to you. In fact, you are probably causing them to dig their heels in and stay in the abortion industry. Treat them with love and respect. Who knows? Maybe Planned Parenthood will one day run out of workers and have to shut down.
10. The Homeless
I seriously had to force myself to practice treating the homeless with dignity. I ignored them and told them to buzz off much the time. That is so not what showing people the face of Christ looks like. It was our daughter that eventually inspired us to seek out the poor and the homeless. She is the one that taught me to show them love and be charitable. Not just with money and physical needs, but with our words too. A little conversation and kind words can go a long way.
What did I miss? Add your addition in the comments below.