It is tragically ironic that the secular world cannot recognize the deeper dimension of the evil unleashed on the children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Over the past several decades, we have seen a steady surge in efforts to ban the Lord of Life from the public forum.
Even as we prepared to celebrate His Birth, the powers-that-be wanted to banish any reverence for the Lord of Life from the public square and to turn the feast of His Birth into a celebration of snowflakes, snow-persons and even those "snowjobs", whereby so many cover up their deep need for God's saving grace. It is not surprising, then, that the systematic exiling of the Lord of Life from our midst has opened the door for the Angel of Death to proclaim his kingdom in our midst.
It is also tragically ironic that so many, by their "pro-choice" convictions and votes, hold that none of the children slaughtered in Newton CT had any objective right to be born. If these lives had been destroyed seven or eight years ago in an abortion clinic, these "pro-choice" proponents would have celebrated their butchers as "champions of choice". But now, since these were "wanted" children, these same people affirm that we should mourn over their deaths.
This raises a key issue. Were children precious because they were sacred, or merely because they were "wanted"? Does each child have objective intinsic value, or merely subjective sentimental value, analogous to a gold ring, which takes on a new kind of value when it is used as a wedding ring? Are the children murdered at Sandy Hook to be mourned because each of them was uniquely sacred and precious? Or are we supposed to agree with so many of our current political and judicial leaders that these children are to be mourned merely because they had sentimental value to their families and friends?
Sadly, the latter perspective has become increasingly popular over the past fifty years. For example, Obama, in a talk given to Planned Parenthood in 2008, quite openly declared that, if one of his daughters became pregnant out of wedlock, he would not want to see her "punished with a child" - thus indicating that the pre-born child has no intrinsic value and thus may be destroyed for the sake of convenience. Ironically, with 70% of African-American children born out of wedlock, it would seem that our President views these children as punishments to their mothers - and possibly to our society as well. He thus seems to be holding fast, with the apparent acquiesence of most African-Americans, to the conviction that no pre-born child conceived out of wedlock should have the right to live. And his current policies on the economy seem to indicate that those children. which we do allow to be born, should be viewed as unjust "punishments" on our lifestyles.
Such a view of our posterity makes it easier for our current generation, in the name of "social justice", to impose on our posterity the oppression of debt slavery through an ever-increasing burden of debt and unfunded mandates. And this view of our posterity, for whom we are supposed to be ensuring the blessings of liberty (Preamble and the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution), is now being codified as law by the Department of Health and Human Services by its including pregnancy as a preventable disease. HHS is even requiring that the providing of free abortions be one of the highest priorities in our national healthcare system - even if this requires forcing people to violate their rights of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.
Jesus, the Lord of Life, Who has been widely banished by secular society from the celebration of His Birth, has asserted by His birth that each human life is sacred and that human dignity is not based on the choice of others. Rather, He proclaims that each human being is endowed by His Father with a unique and intrinsic dignity, which demands the respect of society. Sadly, though, our society has decided otherwise when it comes to dealing with our posterity, insisting that our children should be consigned to either death or to debt slavery. It kind of reminds me of the way the Nazi SS exercised their "freedom of choice" toward those arriving at Auschwitz. May God have mercy on us!
Spero columnist Fr. Thomas Collins is the pastor of a Catholic parish in Virginia.