07 March 2009

Pilate Nation

“What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility.” All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” Matthew 27:22-25

“Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty… But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand.” Luke 23:20-24 “The Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” Luke 19:7

As I read these verses recently I was struck between the eyes with an eerie sense of the familiar. Just a quick recap of a few recent headlines and news stories from the past week is all it takes to see the thread.

I saw a video of college girls in Oregon staging a protest across the street from a Crisis Pregnancy Center, holding their signs and speaking to the camera about how dangerous these “fake clinics” are because they don’t tell women the truth. Then they all sang their chant, “Raise your voice, stand up for choice.” (Or something silly like that.)

Then there’s the continued ranting from Congress and the White House about being committed to protecting health services for women, and of course, to achieve that it’s absolutely necessary to force doctors and nurses to perform abortions despite their own moral objections. So, away go any Conscience protections for medical providers.

Next, there was Governor Sebelius, and Chris Matthews worrying about how she’ll fare against the “terrorism “of pro-lifers who object to her nomination for HHS.

And finally, another horrific story of attempted infanticide… an Arizona college student tried to kill her baby by stuffing him inside a plastic bag after she gave birth in the bathroom. Her 7-pound son was found gasping for air when the bag was finally opened.

One week, people. Dear God, what is wrong with us?

The proud and powerful Land of the Free and Home of the Brave has become so stingy, so narcissistic and hard-hearted that we celebrate the killing of our children as though we had won some glorious victory over a brutal enemy. We have sunk to the unthinkable low of rejoicing over the “right” to murder a helpless baby. We are at once the crowd screaming at Pilate that Jesus be handed over to them to be killed, and Pilate himself, who ignored Jesus’ innocence and washed his hands of the guilt.

“It is our right!”

“We have a law and according to that law I have the right to kill the baby!”

“It’s my body, my life, my choice!”

“But why would you do this to an innocent child? The baby has done nothing wrong. Why must he die?”

But with loud shouts they insistently demanded their right to choose, and so the courts granted them their request. Then the leaders washed their hands and said, “We are innocent of this bloodshed. It is your responsibility.” And the people shouted, “Let our children’s blood be on us and on our children…”

At least the children we haven’t killed. Truly, their innocent blood
is upon us.

We have become a nation of Pilates. Our government, our states and cities, our universities, our schools, and even our
churches are infected with this insidious disease that is one part egocentric and another part Teflon. It sounds like this: “Personally, I believe abortion is wrong, but I’m not going to tell someone else what they can or cannot do. That’s their choice and their right.”

This Teflon argument is simply insanity:
“Well, I think it’s wrong and I would never do it, but not everyone feels that way, and I think women should have the choice.” That is an intellectually lazy opinion, and a demonstration of complete moral cowardice.

Let’s apply that statement to a different crime:
“Personally, I think slavery is wrong, but that’s just me. I’m not going to tell my neighbor he can’t own one. That’s his choice.”

You knew immediately what an outrageous remark that was, and you can shout out a dozen reasons (just for starters) why slavery is evil and no one has the
right to “own” another person. You’re absolutely right, of course, because slavery is objectively, intrinsically evil. It devalues a human being and grants power to one person over another person’s very life.

So, too, abortion is objectively, intrinsically evil. It devalues human life, and gives one person the power to end another person’s life. It is not just wrong for some;
it is wrong, period.

I will say again, I believe everyone knows that the child in the womb is a person; they know that person has the right to live, and they know abortion is murder. It is the natural law written on the hearts of all mankind by the One who created us. It is inescapable.

This is why the efforts to make sure this “choice” is enshrined as a sovereign “right” in our laws are being stepped up so dramatically. This is why the insistent shouting of those demanding “choice” reaches such a fever pitch.

They need something to drown out the nagging truth that will not leave them alone. If the laws are cemented in place to protect their supremely selfish and violent demands, then perhaps they can feel justified. Perhaps then they will be able to quiet the uneasiness in their hearts. They have washed their hands, but the guilt remains. For them, there is no peace.

As a mother, I weep to look down the road, not that far ahead, and realize that my daughters may have no hope of even finding an obstetrician who does not abort babies because such a doctor won’t be allowed to practice medicine anymore. The shouts of the people have overwhelmed too many of our lawmakers and judges, and they have simply handed the innocent over to be killed. They disguise their cowardice with the unrelenting chant of “protecting health services for women” as though abortion is a
necessary and healthy service.

As a woman, it is deeply, profoundly agonizing to watch the most wondrous place on earth, the womb, being turned into something akin to a Nazi death camp. The miracle of new life has been gripped by the most depraved evil.

If ever we had courage to fight for the sanctity of life, to protect the unborn child, to welcome the unwanted child, to truly care for women in the U.S.,
now is the time to call upon that courage. No amount of legal justification will ever wash away the stain of blood. May God show us His Divine Mercy.

©2009 Jennifer Hartline


thelittlehouseinthebigyard said...

jennifer, i have linked to this because i think it is so very beautiful and powerful. God bless you for your courage to write such words.

thelittlehouseinthebigyard said...

i "found" you when someone sent me a link to what you wrote on the eucharist-is it fast food...then somehow i clicked on a link to your blog from somewhere else and there you were-i just signed in as another user-
you answered me there, but i just recently changed blogs.
(see your post on the eucharist and i am there)
"how" i found you doesn't really matter so much, am just glad i did! =)

regan said...

oops! no, i guess i must've emailed you.....??? sorry for the error! =)

+JMJ+ said...

I came over from Regan's adn am so glad I did.

This is powerfully written. Well done! Thank you for speaking up.

Our Family said...

Hi Jennifer, thank you for visiting and commenting on our blog. I just love your writing, you have ways with words. You were asking about the three column blog and the label cloud... I found and learned all this from the internet, which I think you could probably do it too. one of my favorite site is http://www.blogdoctor.me/
God bless your work!

Sarah said...

I came over from Regan's, too ... This was so good, Jennifer! Thank you for your thoughtful and powerful post! God bless you!


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