Sat Mar 10, 2012 - 7:46 am EST
What happened to our culture, and how will we build it back?
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What do workers gain from their toil? (Ecclesiastes 3:1-9)
As I gaze out into our world, I don’t see the culture I experienced as a child – one in which family life, morality, virtue, faith, service to neighbor and community, care for the poor and needy, respect for one’s elders and love of country were naturally part of life. Those who influenced my upbringing instilled in me values for centuries recognized as necessary and foundational for civilization. My family, teachers, pastors and neighbors took interest in me, as they did with each child, and taught me how to participate in what we now call a Culture of Life. Moreover, they helped me recognize that I share in God’s work and am accountable to Him for what I do with my life.
My childhood was filled with people who understood right from wrong. The God-centered values etched upon my soul have been etched upon the souls of millions before me, and remain constant even as society progresses. It is up to me – to us – to either plant or uproot, to tear down or to build. There is no middle ground between the choices, and no one is isolated from their consequences.
Our age is sadly choosing to scatter and throw away. We kill the most vulnerable in the womb, the aged and the sick and disabled for the sake of convenience. We discard the dignity and sacredness of marriage between one man and one woman to embrace cohabitation, promiscuity and homosexuality – all of which undermine our culture and society. We debunk religion and “free our conscience” in order to embrace unbridled passions. What will be our legacy?
Yet in the midst of these events hope still shines in the darkness. I had the joy of visiting a family recently where a Culture of Life is being built and Christian values are being instilled. I witnessed the love of husband and wife, and the joy of fatherhood and motherhood. I also saw love, honor and respect afforded to children. We prayed together, shared a meal and gathered around the family piano to sing and laugh. It brought great joy to my heart to witness the transforming power of a Culture of Life at work. In such a home, children learn love, morality and faith and the values of service and sacrifice. Their potential to positively impact our society is great because they have been prepared for such a task. Their upbringing transforms the mundane into something dynamic and vital. Their parents are making an investment in their children, and society is the beneficiary.
We are at a pivotal moment in human history. We have choices to make and the opportunity to transform the world. Those promoting a Culture of Death are unrelenting in their attempts to undermine the foundation of society. Are we as determined to not let their agenda of death overtake us? Are we prepared to draw the proverbial line in the sand in order to build a Culture of Life?
Speaking on behalf of the Lord, Moses said, I place before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Some would have us believe that contraception, abortion, divorce, sterilization, euthanasia and sexual promiscuity are “golden apples” that will not result in death. Like Satan deceiving Adam and Eve, they would have us believe we can be like God, and have complete power over life and death.
Have we not learned the consequences of such foolishness? Are so many in the world so blinded by pride and vanity that they think that man’s ways trump God’s? Do we actually believe that the sacred marriage between one man and one woman can be replaced by same-sex unions? Can our society survive if we allow the killing of pre-born babies and the vulnerable?
The choice between planting and uprooting, destroying and building, life and death is at hand. Our greatest resource is humanity. We must choose to invest in humanity. We must choose to build!
Father Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International, the world’s largest international pro-life organization. This column reprinted with permission from HLIAmerica.org