Saturday, February 9, 2013

The March For Life

We will soon begin Lent, a time for sacrifice. And with fasting and abstinence, we will reflect on the sufferings of our Lord, but always with an eye on the joys of Easter. Like the Israelites wandering for 40 years in the desert, we hope to never lose sight of the goal.

The editorial and desk  columnist of the Catholic Times asks us to meditate on the number 40. A few days after the inauguration of Obama for his second term, the latest March for Life took place in Washington. 40 years earlier, in January 1973, the US Supreme Court declared abortion constitutional, the so-called Roe v Wade decision. From that time on, we have had a March of Life, this year being the 40th.

And 40 years later, the opposition is still as vocal as ever and getting louder.Even with libertarian thinking, hedonism and the permissiveness of society, the number of young people marching in protest to Roe v Wade has increased, to the surprise of our columnist. Although the efforts have not brought much change in legislative action, there have been encouraging results.

Not only in Washington but Marches for Life have spread to other cities of the world and even to Korea. “These Marches for Life that are taking place across the United States are very important, not only for the country but for the whole world,” said Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life. The Holy Father, in his Twitter blog, also gave support to the March.

The columnist mentions Cardinal Francis Stafford, former archbishop of Denver, who is quoted as saying he no longer considers America his country because of the abortion issue.The cardinal said the legalization of abortion was the result of a flawed idea about freedom deeply rooted in American history.The Enlightenment taught that liberty was essentially a matter of choice between various options. The Christian teaching is that freedom is not the freedom to do what you want to do but to do what you ought. Freedom is realized in the  pursuit of virtue. This wrong understanding of freedom is the reason the U.S. government once denied the freedom and dignity of black people. 

And 40 years ago in Korea, on February 8, 1973, the Maternal and Child Health Law, which allowed abortion, was passed in Korea, two weeks after Roe v Wade. And in biblical times, Moses did not have the joy of personally entering  the promised land after 40 years in the desert. The marchers hope it will be different for them in the year 2013.

He concludes the column by praising the young people who took a 24-hour bus ride from Kansas to Washington to take part in the March. Now, 40 years after Roe v Wade, the columnist hopes that the sacrifice and efforts of the marchers will soon be rewarded with success.


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