So, I heard what was probably the greatest homily I’ve ever heard in Church today. The first Sunday in October is observed as Respect Life Sunday. So, as such, obviously the topic eventually fell on abortion.
This new priest that my parish has, Father Phil O’Kennedy, is a real straight-shooter. He gets to the heart of the matter, guns blazing. He doesn’t shield his beliefs or his faith behind any rhetoric or pillowed words. He gives it to you as it is, in raw form.
The homily had the emphasis on the sanctity of life, the importance of it, and ultimately how we are a very human-centric society which tends to overlook such things, particularly in a political context. We are selfish, only thinking of ourselves. It’s a tendency we as Christians try to overcome in this life, and always come up short. It’s a war in which we lose plenty of battles and, hopefully, one we keep fighting in some form or fashion.
It made me realize how truly a great country we live in. We live in a nation whose very existence is the epitome of homeostasis. Our government is largely secular in its policies and laws. As such, I believe that we enjoy more peace and tranquility than any nation on earth. Despite that tendency to be secular in governance, no religion is ever squashed. We have a conscience the likes of which the rest of the world can only hope to have–we have hypersensitivity with regards to discrimination on race, gender and religion.
The more and more I think about it, the more I realize all of the hate and vitriol is nothing of great importance. Rhetoric and lies in politics are nothing but tools with which to spark controversy and debate, or at least that’s how I see them–you’d go insane if you took anything that any politician said seriously, because most of them are supremely ill-informed , in it all for power, and many of them are downright nuts.
Nothing is more illustrative of this than abortion. The idea that, because you don’t support abortion, that you wish to usurp the rights of others is absurd. Another illustration might be that because President Bush may not support an expanded health insurance plan for children means that he wishes harm upon children, which is absolutely and hilariously misrepresentative of the drive behind his actions.
People see the world in such black and white terms. “I’m right, you’re wrong”, “I’m good, you’re evil”. Certainly, someone must ultimately be more right, and someone more wrong. But, most moral issues in this world are in a shade of gray somewhere. We’re not given a moral blueprint through any of our churches as to exactly how to handle every situation.
In any case, because of that tendency, I can see the wisdom of our forefathers in keeping a general policy of separating church from the affairs of state–of the dangers of creating a state religion. It has given our country, particularly in modern times, a very comfortable moral equilibrium. It maintains the peace, I think. This doesn’t destroy morals, nor should it weaken moral imperative.
Therefore, particularly in the case of abortion in this country, our imperative should be to not silence anyone of differing viewpoint. The imperative must be to convince them why we’re right, why life is so sacred and must be held so dearly. This does not, in any way, mean that anyone’s rights on any side of this or any issue should be usurped.
Certainly, people have the right to do what they want to do. I don’t think this can be disagreed with by anyone. But, that doesn’t mean that people can’t try to convince others to make a certain decision. Ultimately, it’s up to the person doing the action as to what to do. There’s a difference between trying to convince people to do or not do something and usurping rights.
Rhetoric, to me and particularly with this issue, tends to blur and contort things greatly. A woman has a right to choose, certainly, but does that mean it’s the right decision? I wouldn’t dare take away anyone’s right to choose anything, but I would certainly try to point out why I think that action is wrong. Political rhetoric tends to poison people’s perceptions and causes unneeded angst and anger, and absolutely misrepresents motivation behind action.
It shows me more and more how politics really sucks 😛 Yet, it’s so very necessary, as it is. People think they have all the answers, and they misrepresent what others believe just so that they can forward their own agendas–on both sides. It’s a miracle that we survive it as a cohesive nation, and yet so logical because of how things have been established and maintained, particularly in the past 50 years.