June 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “Daddy, why again did they put the lady in prison?” my four year old daughter asked with wide-eyed concern.
“Because some people do not like that she tells women that they should love their babies inside them,” I replied.
“But Daddy, why do some mothers not love their babies?”
“Well…,” I fumbled for words, “...some mothers don’t know how lovable their babies are and some choose not to love them. The lady was arrested because she wanted to tell mothers that their babies are very lovable and that they should love them, and not forget about them.”
“But Daddy, why would they arrest someone who wanted to say that?”
“Well, maybe it’s because some people are afraid of the truth and they don’t like people who remind them of it.”
“Daddy, I hope they are nice to her in prison.”
This was the conversation I had recently with my daughter Perina around the lunchtime table about the recent arrest of Linda Gibbons, the 65-year-old grandmother and Canadian pro-life heroine who refuses to abide by “bubble zone” ordinances as she peacefully reaches out to abortion bound women to offer them a different “choice.”
Having recently helped cover this story for LifeSiteNews.com (LSN), my head was filled with all the minute details of the June 11 arrest. There was her 9 A.M. appearance at the Morgentaler abortion clinic in Toronto where she walked back and forth in front of the entrance with her famous sign that reads: Why Mom? When I have so much love to give. Then there was the police arrival and the reading of the ordinance that prohibited her from being there. Finally there was her arrest where she was handcuffed and escorted to a waiting police car where she was whisked away to prison.
Sometimes I make the mistake of sharing with my wife Erin the stories that I am working on for the day. And of course the little ears of my four daughters and one son just tingle when Daddy tells stories. (They really love listening to any kind of story.) Unfortunately many of the stories that I write for LSN are not something you’d want your little children to be exposed to. Such baggage is too heavy for them to carry right now.
When Perina started asking me questions about the Linda Gibbons story, I realized that I couldn’t start talking to her about abortion, injunctions, and bubble zones. Most of it would be unintelligible and some of it might actually do her harm. There was something deeper happening at the heart of this story that needed to be conveyed in such a way that a child of four could understand it, and it needed to be said in such a way that would preserve her innocence.
Reflecting on my daughter’s simple questions about an issue that many construe as a difficult and complex issue made me realize that there are often simple answers to many of the life and family issues that are spotlighted so often in the news these days.
Take the issue of abortion: Behind every pregnancy really lies the question of love. Will this new life be loved or not? There are those who say that it’s the mother’s choice whether she will love her child or not and there are those who say that every child is lovable and should be loved. The first group support abortion; the second stands beside Linda Gibbons. Through my child’s eyes I saw the whole matter boil down into something very small, something entirely black and white with no shades of grey. It all boiled down to a question of love.
But daddy, why do some mothers not love their babies? she had asked simply and sweetly, concern furrowing her forehead.
It was inconceivable for my little Perina that a mother would not love her baby, just as it was inconceivable that someone would be thrown into prison because they were reminding mothers of their responsibility.
And you know what? My little four-year-old’s world view is entirely correct. Somehow, somewhere along the line many people lose grasp of this beautiful perception that I believe everyone must have to some degree when he or she is a little child.
I had mentioned that it was rather unfortunate that many stories covered by LSN are baggage too heavy for children to carry. While this is true, it is also true that these stories must be told and retold for the sake of securing a brighter future for all the children of the world. Evil must be brought to the light and exposed for what it is before it can be conquered. Evil met with silence only continues. Reporting these stories breaks the silence.
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What my friends often call “dark, gloomy, and depressing” stories must be written so that darkness can be brought to the light and be dispelled. I write such stories so that my children and their children’s children will one day find themselves in a world where every child — born or unborn — is seen as the lovable person that he or she is — and will be deeply loved.
I write such stories so that people like Linda Gibbons can one day be enshrined in our children’s history books as the “Rosa Parks” of the pro-life movement who turned the legal system on abortion upside-down. I write such stories so that abortion clinics worldwide will one day be viewed as we now view the concentration camps of Hitler’s insane war machine — places of almost unspeakable horror, oppression, discrimination, and injustice.
I write such stories for a brighter tomorrow where every human life is loved and cherished for the unique unrepeatable miracle that it truly is. I write such stories so that our culture — in the midst of its terrifying death throes — may one day arise from the ashes revitalized, restored, and renewed.
Historian Christopher Dawson once called “culture” humanity’s attempt to extend the womb. Reflecting on this passage last month, Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York said that the human project is really about babies.
Culture, he said, “is simply humanity’s best effort to protect the baby, the mother, and the father.” Its “purpose is to embrace, nurture, and protect the baby, the mom, the dad, and to see that this precious infant has the embrace of the community to grow in age and wisdom until ... that baby, as an adult can tenderly and faithfully love a spouse, have his or her own baby, and the sacred cycle begins again.”
Reporting on Linda Gibbons’ numerous arrests, the horrors of Kermit Gosnell’s clinics, and the injustice of babies found in sewer pipes or in sewage tanks, is something that must be done as the first step in regaining protection for what Dolan rightly calls the “sacred cycle” of human life. Evil brought to the light through a news story is evil beginning to be conquered. Exposing evil by reporting on it is a first step to “protect the baby, the mother, and the father”. Exposing evil by reporting on it is truly one of the greatest works of culture, in Dawson’s sense, in these times.
One day I hope to tell my daughter: “Perina, do you remember the lady they threw in prison for reminding mothers that they should love their babies? Well, she’s out now and she and her supporters never have to worry about going to prison again because all the mothers now realize that loving their babies is always the best thing to do.”
“Well Daddy,” she might say, “that’s what I thought all along too.”
“Me too,” I will say.
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