Sanctity vs. Quality of Life

“This isn’t just a Christian concept. It is the concept on which western civilization rests. Every noble ideal — justice, fairness, equity, compassion, charity — all of it, all of it, is grounded in the notion that life, human life, has intrinsic value. Not value according to its usefulness, or value according to convenience, or value according to how enjoyable it is. Value. Life is valuable because it is life. If you deny this, then you deny everything. There is no reason for justice, fairness, equity, compassion, or charity if human life has no value, or merely a value contingent upon whatever parameters we’ve arbitrarily assigned. ” –Matt Walsh

Euthanasia is being glorified nationally as brave and heroic. A mother’s letter to her unborn baby about his abortion being praised as heartwarming. Where are we at, America?

Right now, we are in the middle of a campaign of prayer, fasting and education known as 40 Days For Life across the country and I can’t help but think about the Sanctity of Life and how far from this moral standard we have digressed.

A person’s “quality of life” does not define their life’s value or worth. The whole quality of life concept is a man-made definition of a person’s ability to live a happy, healthy, productive life, free of suffering and any bad consequences. Life is for living, they say, and if you can’t live any more, then find a way out. It’s an arbitrary value that is not grounded on any moral code. Why does man get to decide who’s life is worth living and who would be better off dead? The right to life covers every human being, from conception to natural death, and it absolutely trumps every other constitutional right our man-made American government grants us.

An unwanted baby? Abort it.
A baby born with a severe handicap? Infanticide.
A woman with terminal cancer? Commit suicide.
An elderly man with Alzheimer’s? Euthanize.

People want true equality? Here it is: every human soul is worth the same. Equality, in definition, means sameness. A baby who is 8 weeks old in the womb has the same exact worth as the high-powered executive making millions. An elderly women who is blind and has on-set dementia (like my 90-year old Grandma) has the same worth as a healthy, stay-at-home mother of 3 children. True equality’s most foundational belief is we all have the same value in this world and life is the most valuable thing a human being has because it is just that: human life. Our personal value is not determined by how good of a life we are living; it goes way, way beyond that. The Santicty of Life promises us so much more than that. We are sacred beings because we are created in God’s own image. There are pieces in our souls that reflect God into this world.

We are not animals to be put down or put out of our misery when we become a burden or face suffering. We are human beings with souls who are highly intelligent, deep feeling, rational beings. We touch people by being here. Our lives matter, our suffering and dying matter. It transforms those around us, make us live better lives after someone is gone. A life that we will only have once and never again.

“I pray my words reach the multitudes that are looking at your story and believing the lie that suffering is a mistake, that dying isn’t to be braved, that choosing our death is the courageous story. No – hastening death was never what God intended. But in our dying, He does meet us with His beautiful grace.” –Kara Tippett

We need to honor each person as worthy of dignity and respect simply because they are created in God’s image. We need to be their voice when they can’t find their own and surround them with support. It is important to try to understand the emotional state of people seeking an abortion, deciding to commit suicide or be euthanized. Instead of judging and condemning them, we need to provide compassion, support and most importantly, Christ’s unending, merciful love.

WATCH: The Dignity of Human Life

Can Pro-Life and Feminism Coexist?

On Monday, I posted on Facebook this article “Christian Women Taking Back ‘Feminism'” from the ChristianPost from a couple years ago, with my own comments: “The article is a bit old, but I like these terms… ‘a woman who is conservative and pro-life, who has a calling in the workplace, but who also embraces her role as a Christian wife and mother.'”

I had a friend on Facebook reply on my post who is clearly passionate about the feminist movement and we had a discussion about feminism and pro-life legislation. I appreciated her attempt at inclusivity and she even questioned what popular feminist activists would think about a pro-life feminist. I was left contemplating these things and I’d love to hear what other thinks about them as well.

Just a couple of my own thoughts…

I believe there is a huge gaping hole in feminism’s most basic fundamental principle that everyone is equal. I find it very difficult to reconcile feminism with anti-life legislation. Isn’t killing a person simply because he/she exists or is “inconvenient” something a feminist should be up in arms about? If a feminist truly believes that every human soul has the same value and worth, and they are fighting for true equality for all, they have to apply that belief to every human soul or else their fight (and logic) just does not make sense. It’s a phony facade they are hiding behind to achieve their own agendas. The stances they take on social issues are built around the belief that every human has the same value so it’s time for them to woman-up and stand true to this in every sense of the belief. Isn’t every human soul worth the same? Shouldn’t they be fighting for life?

This isn’t a self-righteous “Christian” fight and not once did I mention God, a Bible passage, or anything to do with my spirituality. Why? Because this goes way beyond being a Christian, Jewish or Agnostic; this goes right down to being a human and having a strong conviction about what we are worth.  There was no self-righteous judging involved; on the contrary, I wanted real answers to my questions and objections…and I got nothing.

As humans, we do not have the right to define what a human being is or measure their value (and the Supreme Court is included in this; they are humans, after all). It’s simply and truly not our right. Just because the Supreme Court decides something doesn’t mean we should accept it as a society. They’ve gotten plenty of things wrong – slavery was legal for over 100 years in America. Legality does not equate morality. I think it is pretty obvious where I am going with this and what pro-choice arguments sound dangerously similar to…I look back on our 18th century founders and how they proclaimed that a black African was of less value than a human being, justifying their enslavement. That was legal  for 100 or so years in America. Or Hitler’s judgment of the Jewish race’s value to be less than other humans and the execution of 6 million people at the hands of willing and eager people and governments.

And here we are, in this modern 21st century, doing the EXACT SAME THING to our most defenseless human beings. Labeling them as less-than-human, saying they have no value, creating a culture of death in America, executing 56 million humans. Valuing human life and protecting every person’s most absolute basic right to life trumps “choice” every single time and I feel like reversing legal murder of babies should be a feminist’s first and most important fight they take on! There is no equality in legal murder. It is not our place to de-value human worth and feminists need to do better than this.

I am fighting for pro-equality from conception to natural birth for every human soul. And yet there are feminists who are adamantly anti-life, which the exact opposite of equality. Feminist who celebrate the death of 56 million babies and wear it as a badge of honor. How could I stand behind a label, that as a whole, believes the exact opposite of the most foundational belief of equality?

So in answer to my question – can pro-life and feminism coexist? I feel being pro-life is the ONLY way feminism can exist without being a complete fraud. Either they believe every human soul has value, or they don’t. There’s no room for both.

So feminists, which way is it? I really and truly want an answer, if there even is one.

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The Precious Feet Pin

Today I was on my way to Starbucks on lunch and I was behind a van with a bunch of bumper stickers on its trunk.

“Pray to end abortion.”

“Choose life. Your mother did.”

“Life is always worth defending.”

feetFor some reason a quick memory flashed in my head. It was Friday morning and I was in third grade at St. Vincent de Paul. We had just put hundreds of white crosses in our school’s front yard in memory of the millions of babies who never saw their own birthday. The Catholic Church has always fiercely defended life, from conception through natural birth and our school was extremely pro-life. Our whole school was celebrating mass together that morning and this mass was specifically offered up to end abortion. Ave Maria was being sung by our choir and the distinct organ tones are still in my head. I remember kneeling down and looking over at my teacher, who was maybe 7-8 month pregnant at the time. She had a little gold pin of 2 tiny feet on the collar of her dark green dress. Her hands were folded, her head bowed, and there were tears rolling down her cheeks.

I think that was the very first time I really understood how real abortion was. I was 8-years old. My teacher, a mother-to-be, weeping over all those babies and our whole school praying in unison to end abortion. That moment changed me and I was never the same.

I can’t even imagine what a scene like that would look like in today’s schools but it laid such a strong foundation in me for valuing life and this conviction has never left me. It’s an issue that is so strong and sure that has never been up for debate or wavered. It’s not political debate, it’s moral conviction. I can’t help but think what a different place our country would be if every kids grew up with these moral values deeply ingrained in them. We could change the nation. Bring America back to life. A Godly generation that would be a force to behold.

Then…when I became pregnant with my first, my mother-in-law passed along the same pin, this time a pair of silver feet. She had no idea the memory this tiny pin brought back and receiving it almost brought tears to my own eyes. My mother-in-law was given this pin when she first got married and wore the precious feet the whole time she was pregnant with my husband. So I wore them throughout my pregnancies with both of my children.

What a special memory they always remind me of and now a tradition I can pass to my daughter. Precious, indeed.

Hope After Abortion

b7bd811b033460a7d34e580ba1330bd5It can be natural for pro-lifers to get worked-up, condemning abortion and get caught up in the laws, politics and arguments against murdering unborn babies. I often find myself doing that same because I believe in standing up and being a voice for the 50 million unborn babies that will never smile or laugh, kiss their mothers goodnight, love and marry a spouse, be a friend or worship our God. They are gone forever and our future needs protected.

But the women making the decision to abort their own baby are real people who live with the consequences and aftermath of their decision, something that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Where is their grace and healing? Are they to never move past this?

I read an article from Sister Paula Vandegaer on Project Rachel’s website and I took excerpts from it here because let us not ignore or forget about these women once the abortion is over. They are living with so much burden and sorrow that really affects the rest of their lives. Sr. Paula wrote so eloquently about the grace and forgiveness our Savior pours out on each of us, no matter what decisions we’ve made or what our past holds and this really grabbed hold of me today so I want to share!

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Society tells young women that abortion will solve their problem. It says nothing about the problems abortion creates. Supporters of abortion claim it is a simple procedure with no lasting impact. And women who know better don’t discuss, certainly not publicly, how abortion changed their lives for the worse.

Abortion is an extremely unnatural experience for a woman’s body and her maternal instinct. But if society denies the mother’s loss, her body does not. God prepares a woman psychologically and physically for motherhood. When a woman is pregnant she feels different. Within a few days after conception, even before the tiny embryo has nested in her uterine wall, a hormone called ‘early pregnancy factor’ is found in her bloodstream, alerting the cells of her body to the pregnancy. Her body may now crave different foods, she may need more rest. New cells begin to grow in her breasts, cells which will mature and secrete milk specially formulated for the needs of a newborn. She begins to think ‘baby.’ She starts noticing babies on the street, in the store, on television. She may dream about her baby at night, and fantasize about her baby during the day. What name? Who will he or she look like?

But if she wants to have an abortion she must try to stop this process. She must deny the maternal feelings entering into her consciousness. She must believe that what is inside of her is not fully a baby. She must stop the process of thinking about her baby as ‘her baby.’

Negative reactions are to be expected and do not depend on a person’s religious beliefs or general mental health. Although her mind may say one thing, her emotional life and her body cells say another. If she has the abortion, the very cells of her body remember the pregnancy and know that the process of change that had been going on was stopped in an unnatural manner. Her body and her emotions tell her that she is a mother who has lost a child. And so it is not surprising that after the abortion, a pain begins to emerge from the depths of her heart. She has a loss to mourn, but cannot allow herself to grieve. Grieving would require admitting to herself that a child was killed in the abortion and that she shares responsibility for her child’s death. This is a very heavy burden to bear.

Women, and all those involved in the decision to abort, must believe, or try to believe, that there was no human life present in the womb. To admit this is to admit complicity in the killing of an innocent human being. Condemning abortion would mean condemning themselves or the wife, daughter, sister or friend whom they love. And so society refuses to recognize the incontrovertible facts about human life before birth

Everyone is a part of the healing ministry of Christ. A simple word that will touch their hearts and release them from fear and isolation can begin the healing process. While law and society often pit the interests of a mother against those of her unborn child, the Church recognizes that their best interests are joined. What is best for the child is also best for the mother. We need to speak the full truth: ‘If you have had an abortion, God’s mercy is great enough to forgive that, too.’ Jesus offers forgiveness and healing. You will come to understand that nothing in definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. Jesus offers the hope and promise of resurrection and reunion with the child who is waiting for his parents in heaven.

–Sr. Paula Vandegaer, LCSW, Project Rachel

Secular Pro-Lifers on the Rise

“The same far-right Christian fundamentalists who favor outlawing abortion and overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973…” blah, blah, blah.

I came across an article – it really doesn’t matter who or where – and immediately I am bothered by the above small excerpt. The thing that gets to me the most is the assumption that you have to be a radical far-right Christian to believe that murdering an unborn baby is wrong and should not be legal.

This whole thing has been on my mind for some time and it just doesn’t make sense to me. Why do you have to believe in Jesus to believe killing a baby is wrong? Shouldn’t you believe killing a baby is wrong, whether you are Jewish, Hindu or even just a sane human living on Planet Earth? Isn’t it murder, taking of a life, killing a human person, no matter where you spend your Sunday morning?

Here’s a hopeful fact: there are over six million non-religious pro-lifers in the United States.

mother-tSIX million people who value life, who believe murdering an unborn baby inside a mother is wrong and who don’t associate with any religion.

Since the late 1960s, abortion advocates have deliberately framed abortion in religious terms. Why? Because it pegs ALL pro-lifers as crazy radical religious nuts, scaring away secular people from taking sides and standing up for our unborn babies. Americans under the age of 30 are both the least religious and the most pro-life generation to date and yet leftist liberals even today are constantly portraying pro-lifers as religious lunatics. We need more secular people standing up, being vocal and pushing against this stereotype.

I am a Christian and I have been for my entire life. And maybe I am a bit “radical” about it (mostly just Jesus). BUT…this goes beyond faith or a set of beliefs right down to the core of our conscious. I really believe that – apart from being a crazy “radical” Christian – there is something inherently good in the human soul that recognizes what a tragedy abortion is. That realizes how insane and deranged America is for legalizing then promoting and celebrating the killing of 50 million of our own people, helpless innocent babies.

You don’t have to be a follower of Jesus to understand how incredibly devastating this situation is. Being a human with a moral conscious is enough. At least, you would think, it should be enough.

So enough already. For the sake of us all, this whole “crazy religious lunatic” bit is over-done and exhausted so I think it’s time for them to change their tune.

PS – You have to read this testimony from an ex-Planned Parenthood employee. It’s incredibly haunting, raw and powerful.

Let’s talk about rights for a minute.

“I didn’t want to be pro-life. But this isn’t a women’s rights issues but a human rights issue.” –Kathy Ireland

Women’s rights. Feminism. Pro-choice. Reproductive rights. These are the main fuel for the fire for pro-abortion advocates. It’s their right to choose. The government shouldn’t interfere with their reproductive rights. No one should force a woman to have a baby. No one should tell women how to live their lives.

The Monument of the Unborn Child

The Monument of the Unborn Child

I am no lawyer or Constitutional expert, but here’s the thing…I’m sure pretty much every person who engages in sexual activities knows that conceiving a baby is a very plausible conclusion to their actions – our government-approved public school sex education at tender young ages has made sure of this. The government certainly isn’t in their bedroom when they make this deliberate decision and they clearly have the right to do as they please.

But people, I feel like this is so obvious…there are real consequences to our actions. Pretty much every decision we make every single day we live yields a consequence, big or small. We have become such a disposable society that wants to avoid any inconvenient consequences or responsibility to our own actions just so we can go on living as we please, answering to no one but ourselves. We have no accountability anymore and we are trying to make ourselves less accountable, if that is even possible. Our society is morally self-destructing  and the baby is treated accordingly as disposable trash.

Pro-choicers seem to mistakenly think the only rights that matter across the board are the woman’s but there are two other people involved: the father and that tiny little baby. Where are the father’s reproductive rights in all of this? Do his not matter at all? Has he no say in his own child’s life?

I am all for helping women and garnering equal rights for us, but I just don’t see abortion as helping women. It’s actually quite the opposite. It’s destructive and detrimental to our most primal natural instincts of protecting our offspring. Making the decision to kill their own unborn child leaves dark stains on the hearts and souls of these women that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.   And much like Kathy Ireland, who calls abortion a human rights issue, this goes way beyond women’s rights. From the exact moment of conception, there is a soul, a human life, inside a woman’s uterus and that little human DOES have rights. It is alive. It has a heart beat and its own set of DNA, unique only to that little human, never to be repeated again.

This little human’s fundamental right to life transcends any other rights a woman thinks she has because there is another person’s life at stake here. How can a pro-choicer cry out about violating a woman’s reproductive right while it is violently violating another person’s most basic and God-granted right to a life in this world? At what point in this baby’s life do his rights matter? From conception, he is a person. Why do we think a woman’s right are more important than a baby’s rights – just because she is bigger, stronger, more developed and able to think for herself? How arrogant of us to think our rights are more important than another human being’s most basic right to life.

The right to life is the most important right in this world to protect. If that’s not worth protecting, what is?

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Life will never make sense.

I haven’t been completely oblivious that my tone over the past week or so has shifted and much of my posts have focused about abortion and my pro-life stances. Here’s why…

forgodI definitely would never call myself a political person, by any means. I usually leave that up to my twin sister, who is an attorney. She has always been the combative arguer who can tear your logic to pieces like a pit bull. Like most opposition, I never stand a chance against her. She can literally talk me into anything (and has done so, on occasion. Cleveland Marathon, anyone?). Me, I am usually the peace-keeper, the sensitive artsy one who regularly cries during every episode of “Parenthood” and just wants us all to get along.

I have come to realize…while I am passionate about the earth and protecting our environment and this has been much of my focus on this blog, it’s not everything to me. I love nature and appreciate the beneficial effects it has on us, and my family and I are continuously looking for ways to make changes in our lives to reflect this passion, to be more responsible consumers and focus on simple, healthy living and wellness. I enjoy sharing my discoveries and projects but all of this is just a lifestyle choice for me. It’s how I choose to live each day and this awareness affects our daily decisions and intentions. It’s not who I am.

Here’s the thing…the root of who I am is a Christian. But even more simplified, a believer in Jesus as my Savior, a man who loves me so much and so unconditionally that he died on a cross to save ME. It’s personal and intimate. It’s at the core of my being and the source of my identity. It’s the reason for my living and provides my life with purpose and meaning. Nothing else will ever make sense without this belief and everything I do is for the glory of God. This might label me as a “Jesus Freak” but that’s only because it makes others uncomfortable. But that doesn’t make any difference to me because it won’t change my ways or the fact that I have a voice. We are called to spread the Good News to the four corners of the earth and back and there’s nothing political about it.

Here’s the other thing…issues like abortion and defending murdered babies are NOT political, they’re moral. The act of killing a person is not a political issue you vote on every November or May. You may be thinking, there are so many injustices in this world, issues that need attention, people that need help…why abortion? I’ll tell you why: life.

Life is the most precious gift God gives each of us each new day and sweet BABIES are robbed of this. Babies who are defenseless, innocent souls and yet they are treated as disposable trash thrown in the dumpster. Abortion, by it’s very definition, is anti-life and is fighting to bring down the best blessing God has given us besides our salvation. People are so eager to scientifically degrade the miracle life into a clump of tissues or an inconvenient greedy parasite, but these man-made terms are created selfishly in vain and they don’t hold up in this world or the next. It is inarguably the biggest, most cruel crime against humanity. Literally nothing can be condemned if you are pro-baby-killing. Poverty? Slavery? Genocide? Literally nothing is wrong if killing an unborn child is right.

Now is not the time to be silent or embarrassed. God will ask me one day what I’ve done with my life and talents and I refuse to sit on the side lines of my own life watching years pass me by without at least trying to fight and be a voice.

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