When Does Our Concern For Children Begin?
"Every child has the right to know that 'Jesus Loves Me' is more than a song," says Bishop Kenneth Carder (Aug. 15). Our bishops have become quite outspoken as advocates for children lately. The Episcopal Initiative on Children and Poverty is a commendable challenge to the faithful to remember the plight of children in our nation and our world.
However, does this concern for the weakest, most vulnerable members of our society include pre-born children, 35 million of whom have been slaughtered by abortion since 1973? Judging from the glaring omission of this subject in the initiative and in subsequent pronouncements by various bishops, this is not the case. One may reasonably ask "Why?"
Jesus' call to discipleship is a call to radical obedience to God. Quite often, radical obedience means doing and saying that which is not easy, that which invites controversy, even that which strikes at the very root of one's deeply cherished (human) values. Discipleship is not picking and choosing those causes which resonate with popular culture.
"Jesus Loves Me" is more than a song. It is a timeless truth which speaks of a love so broad as to encompass all of human life. The Incarnation gives dignity and value to life in the womb. In the stirring words of the ancient prayer, Te Deum Laudamus, "When you [Jesus] became incarnate to set us free you humbly accepted the Virgin's womb."Jesus identifies with pre-born children because he was one.
Jesus weeps when one or these little ones is sacrificed on the altar of "choice," our modern-day Molech. As his disciples, we ought also to weep over the tragedy of abortion and speak a clear and prophetic word to the death-saturated culture which this practice has helped create.
We need, and ought to expect, more from our leaders than a Christianized version
of the world's agenda. Jesus expects more from the people called Methodists than a
politically correct version of discipleship.
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