By Tony Magliano
As countless fellow human beings suffer terribly in a myriad of ways, and much of our planet groans from gaping human induced wounds, our government, other governments, and many well-off people, seem to hardly care. It is what Pope Francis calls a “globalization of indifference.”
Urgently needed is a creative new paradigm – a fresh life-giving, life protecting, life enhancing model to guide us out the selfish, violent, sinful darkness of religious intolerance, nationalism, isolationism, materialism, consumerism, racism, secularism and militarism.
But we don’t need to keep stumbling around in the darkness trying to find our way out of all this muck. Instead, the new paradigm we desperately need to fully embrace is the ever-fresh ancient Gospel of Jesus. For in the Gospel we encounter the living Christ and his ever relevant teachings of compassionate, just, peaceful, nonviolent, merciful, unconditional love for all.
An honest, open-hearted, open-minded prayerful reflection on Jesus’ words and actions will give us sure guidance on how to morally respond to the life and death issues facing our nation and world. And as we do this, we should ask ourselves WWJD, that is, “What would Jesus do?”
While some will surely say this is overly simplistic; I beg to differ. And so does the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
In their book, “The Bible and Morality” they state that in judging the Christian morality of an action, the fundamental question is: To what extent is this action “inspired by the example of Jesus?”
What would Jesus – through whom all things were made, and who was so at one with the natural world – do regarding our poisoning of the air, water and land with toxic waste, and the profit driven burning of oil, coal and gas that is causing global warming?
Surely he would speak out against it. And surely he is telling us to stop polluting and dangerously warming the earth, to clean it up, and be good stewards of his creation.
What would Jesus – who was an unborn baby – do regarding the annual 900,000 plus babies brutally aborted in the U.S., and the more than 55 million plus abortions worldwide?
Surely he would condemn it. And surely he is commanding us to end it.
What would Jesus – who said “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” – do regarding our fascination for making, possessing, buying, selling, and using high tech swords?
He would surely tell us to stop warring and preparing for war. And would add, “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
What would Jesus – who said “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” – do regarding the suffering of poor, hungry, thirsty and migrant persons? He would condemn the tremendous inequality between the haves and have-nots.
He would insist upon the establishment of fair and just corporate policies, laws, and budgets to ensure that the basic needs of all human beings are met. He would tell us to build bridges of welcome, not walls of exclusion. And he would ask of us to faithfully put into action the words enshrined on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
That’s what Jesus would do!
[Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Marching for life is not enough
By Tony Magliano
What a wonderful sight to behold: From Capitol Hill as far as I could see, there was a sea of people on the march for life!
But the recent 45th March for Life was bitter sweat.
It was inspiring to see so many people, from so many states, marching on behalf of our unborn brothers’ and sisters’ right to be born. But it was sad to think that we have been marching for 45 years – with no end in sight.
While progress has been made in many states to restrict abortion on demand, we are still a very long way from the day when every single unborn child will be allowed to see the light of day.
In 2017 alone, over 900,000 unborn human beings were aborted in the U.S. While worldwide the number of fellow human beings killed by abortion was approximately 56 million.
The reality of abortion is brutal, ugly and deadly. Challenge yourself to glimpse at what abortion looks like, and then commit yourself to make a difference. Please click this one minute video https://www.abortionno.org/.
The annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., the Walk for Life West Coast (Jan. 27), the Midwest March for Life (Jan. 27), and pro-life demonstrations in various state capitols are shots-in-the-prolife-arm, but these one day annual events are simply not enough!
We need to have an ongoing peaceful, prayerful presence at every abortion center.
The pulpit needs to be used much more often to awaken the consciences of the faithful.
Our schools need to effectively teach students about embryonic and fetal human development (see this wonderful video “Conception to Birth: http://bit.ly/1XezTp2), and how abortion brutally ends that development. Students for Life are a good resource here (see: www.studentsforlife.org).
At the March for life I saw signs carried by humble and courageous women saying, “I regret my abortion.” Also inspiring were the signs of men saying, “I regret lost fatherhood” (see: www.silentnomoreawareness.org).