The Beatitudes, The Monks of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Biscantorat – The Sound Of The Spirit From Glenstal Abbey”, 2009
Anyway, continuing on from last night, way down at the start of the 8th paragraph of Richard John Neuhaus ‘s article a line jumped up and smacked me between the eyes: “The culture of death is an idea before it is a deed. I expect many of us here, perhaps most of us here, can remember when we were first encountered by the idea”. It hit me like a ton of bricks – I remember the exact moment the “culture of death” became reality for me.
I heard about the Roe vs Wade decision while on deployment in 1973, nice rough weather in the Baltic (really shitty place to be at sea most of the time) crouched on the VDS deck, with some mates, under the aft flight deck overhang, periodically watching the back of Niagara Falls as a sea sluiced off the flight deck into the VDS well and back away in to the black water. Such a rush, when you are safe and dry (mostly) with good food and warm drinks and lots of like minded mates around you to cover your back.
You can get a pretty good idea of what it was like by checking out this little video here of a French Navy Destroyer. This is no bull, read the comments after the video. I haven’t been to sea since late 78 but it still gives me goosebumps and I can absolutely testify that there are NO bloody atheists of ANY nationality out there. We all STRONGLY believe in a Supreme Creator, however we imagine him.
So I am standing back on the VDS deck, my harness latched on to a safety line, looking aft watching a little Soviet ELINT trawler following closely behind us. They followed us everywhere we went, little “phishing” trawlers collecting electronic intelligence, listening, recording, sending everything home to Papa Leonid.
We were a 50’s era DDH, about 375 feet long (similar to pic on left) and they might have been a 150 feet if that.They looked similar to the one in the picture on the right and I knew the pounding we were taking and I just was in awe of the sailors manning this little thing – Just getting hammered into the depths and then rising back up to crest yet another wave, just getting hammered.
And I saw just a crystal clear vision that WE, all of us young men on all sides, were the good guys, putting it all on the line for our respective countries, self sacrifice for the good of others. And the bad guys were all back home in whichever country we each called home. The lines were suddenly clearly drawn, never to be erased or dimmed.
Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, from the album “Brothers in Arms”, 1985
The real bad guys were the leaders and administrators, and bureaucrats and academics and the ungrateful public who put us here for their own interests to further their own goals and ambitions and now those same bad guys had decided to “legalize and industrialize” “baby killing”. And tried to make it no more important than going down for smokes at the local 7-11. The “screamers” from the airport, and all those like them, were the real, live, in-your-face baby killers.
That line has been crystal clear ever since. On one side are all those consciously on the side of the angels, sacrificing themselves for the good of others, to make the world a measurably better place for the weak and defenseless. And on the other side, simply all the rest. And know it in the depth of your soul that they will not stop until they have erased all trace of everything that is good and holy and beautiful from the face of this world. And if they have to they will do it one baby and one elder at a time, so be it. And we, for our part, will stand unto death against all of that.
So from Richard John Neuhaus ‘s article ” … the annual National Right to Life convention is partly a reunion of veterans from battles past and partly a youth rally of those recruited for the battles to come. And that is just what it should be. The pro-life movement that began in the twentieth century laid the foundation for the pro-life movement of the twenty-first century. We have been at this a long time, and we are just getting started. All that has been and all that will be is prelude to, and anticipation of, an indomitable hope.
That is the horizon of hope that, from generation to generation, sustains the great human rights cause of our time and all times¯the cause of life. We contend, and we contend relentlessly, for the dignity of the human person, of every human person, created in the image and likeness of God, destined from eternity for eternity¯every human person, no matter how weak or how strong, no matter how young or how old, no matter how productive or how burdensome, no matter how welcome or how inconvenient. Nobody is a nobody; nobody is unwanted. All are wanted by God, and therefore to be respected, protected, and cherished by us.
We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed in life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until all the elderly who have run life’s course are protected against despair and abandonment, protected by the rule of law and the bonds of love. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every young woman is given the help she needs to recognize the problem of pregnancy as the gift of life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, as we stand guard at the entrance gates and the exit gates of life, and at every step along way of life, bearing witness in word and deed to the dignity of the human person¯of every human person.
Winterborn, Cruxshadows, from the album Fortress in Flames, 2004.
Against the encroaching shadows of the culture of death, against forces commanding immense power and wealth, against the perverse doctrine that a woman’s dignity depends upon her right to destroy her child, against what St. Paul calls the principalities and powers of the present time, this convention renews our resolve that we shall not weary, we shall not rest, until the culture of life is reflected in the rule of law and lived in the law of love.
It has been a long journey, and there are still miles and miles to go. Some say it started with the notorious Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 when, by what Justice Byron White called an act of raw judicial power, the Supreme Court wiped from the books of all fifty states every law protecting the unborn child. But it goes back long before that. Some say it started with the agitation for “liberalized abortion law” in the 1960s when the novel doctrine was proposed that a woman cannot be fulfilled unless she has the right to destroy her child. But it goes back long before that. It goes back to the movements for eugenics and racial and ideological cleansing of the last century.
Whether led by enlightened liberals, such as Margaret Sanger, (ed. – and in Canada, the Famous Five) or brutal totalitarians, whose names live in infamy, the doctrine and the practice was that some people stood in the way of progress and were therefore non-persons, living, as it was said, “lives unworthy of life.” But it goes back even before that. It goes back to the institution of slavery in which human beings were declared to be chattel property to be bought and sold and used and discarded at the whim of their masters. It goes way on back.
On The Way of the Cross, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, 2014.
As Pope John Paul the Great wrote in his historic message Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life) the culture of death goes all the way back to that fateful afternoon when Cain struck down his brother Abel, and the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And Cain answered, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said to Cain, “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground.”
The voice of the blood of brothers and sisters beyond numbering cry out from the slave ships and battlegrounds and concentration camps and torture chambers of the past and the present. The voice of the blood of the innocents cries out from the abortuaries and sophisticated biotech laboratories of this beloved country today. Contending for the culture of life has been a very long journey, and there are still miles and miles to go…”
So, we will continue on this theme in the next post. A post about some other great sign posts of evil in our modern progressive culture, the daily, relentless, brutal, all fronts attack on the traditional nuclear family.
You know, I look around us now and see a culture which will shrink at nothing. Is this what the world looked like for the Germans in the 30’s that found themselves slowly drawn down the slippery slope of genocide in the ovens. “We never knew!” Really, Really? This is our test. Will our generation follow the Progressives of our time down the road to desolation?
See You Tomorrow
5For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many. 6And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places: 8Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. Mat 24 : 5-8