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My dearest friends and family,
Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and for Catholics in the United States it is designated as a Day of Prayer and Penance for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. The most significant moral and political change I’ve made in going from Atheist back to Catholic is my stance on the legality of abortion. As an Atheist, I thought that I would never personally choose an abortion, but I also thought: “who am I as a man and as a someone who couldn’t understand someone else’s situation, to tell a woman that she couldn’t have one?”
In those days, I never really thought deeply about abortion. When you don’t believe in God or an afterlife, it’s easy to ascribe to a morally relativistic view of “we make our own meaning” or “reality is defined by our perspective.” I held the view that if a child in the womb is killed before they have a chance to “make their own meaning,” it’s no different than if they were never there at all. I wasn’t aware of things like Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS). I wasn’t aware of the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger’s views on population control and her efforts to reduce black populations. I wasn’t aware of Lila Rose’s videos exposing abortion clinic employees encouraging underage girls and even men posing as their pimps to lie about their age on their paperwork so they won’t have to report statutory rape or underage prostitution or tell their parents they are having an abortion. I never spent much time thinking about why I wouldn’t choose an abortion, but I really did think it was wrong. I really did think it was the killing of a child. Yet, I thought: “who am I to legislate abortion” Never thinking about what I really believed: “who am I to legislate if someone else wants to kill their child.”
I’m aware of the sensitivity of the issue. I also know that many women who have abortions do not regret it. Even some who do have PASS still believe they made the right choice. Yet, with my newly rediscovered belief in God, my views on abortion were among the first to change. When you lock in a firm belief in a very well-defined God, morals become objective. There is no more defining reality by your perspective.
When you believe something is true, when you really believe something is true, you believe it is true for everyone. I know that the Earth is round. I KNOW that this truth is objective and it doesn’t matter what someone’s perspective is. Even if you’re a member of the Flat Earth Society, your Earth is round. I KNOW that when you take a moment to talk to a family member, a friend, a homeless person or anyone else with respect, love and charity that you change them in some small way. I know that when you curse someone in anger that you change them in a different way. Their perspective doesn’t matter. You perspective doesn’t matter. There are universal truths. Our actions affect others. Our reality is shaped by our choices. Whether you are a Determinist or not, you recognize that we must make choices and that our choices have repercussions.
I came to believe God is a universal truth. Then I came to believe that His Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ, was a universal truth. After that, I came to believe that his Universal Church was a universal truth. In His Church, His Will is revealed. I don’t believe that God and Jesus and the full truth revealed in the Catholic Church are a matter of my perspective. I believe they are the reality of every person on this planet and (hopefully) on others.
I also believe that there is evil in the world. I believe that everyone is under diabolical attack. I believe that the poor need love, education and assistance. I believe that women considering an abortion need love and support. I believe that women who have had abortions need love and support. I do not think people who are Pro-Choice are evil. I do not think that women who have had abortions are evil, even though I do think both have made immoral choices. I’ve likely made many more immoral choices than they have even in my short life. We must fight evil. We must fight spiritually, but we also must fight legally.
I am proud that the Catholic Church has programs to support the poor and women considering abortion and women who have had abortions. I am also proud of secular and atheistic Pro-Life groups. They are able to see without God and His Church what I could not until he revealed himself to me. They see that humanness is a continuum from embryo to death. That with humanness there come inalienable rights of which the first is the Right to Life. They see that we are the guardians of our fellow man. That it is right and good to protect the innocent. That it is right and good to protect the helpless. It is our duty to use every moral means possible, including changing our laws to do so. We all must speak for those who cannot speak. We all must defend those who cannot defend themselves. No matter what you believe nor your perspective, this is a universal truth.
With all my love,