Friday, January 27, 2012

Bus Parking at the March for Life by Tom Gibbons.

This from Busted Halo. Great article.

January 23rd, 2012

Bus Parking at the March For Life

You know, I probably shouldn’t say this, but on this Pro Life weekend, I really didn’t know what to say today. Every time I started to write one thing about the March For Life, two other concerns came to the fore. This was an issue that I used to look at in very black and white terms when I was younger. Then I got to a point where I could only see it in terms in gray. Now I guess I am at a point where I look at it in terms of black and white…and gray.

At first glance it’s a black and white issue, an open and shut case, there’s really not much more to discuss. And I have to say that this past October, I was given the amazing gift of two nieces — each from my two sisters — and I even got to be in the room for the birth of one of them. During Christmas I got to hold each one of them in my arms and during that moment, the sacredness and holiness of each life could not have been more clear.

But then I was on Facebook yesterday…procrastinating from my studies a little bit…and I saw someone make the comment that the Church cares about the unborn but not about the concerns of women. At first I was a little taken aback. The Catholic Church is one of the largest — if not the largest — provided of services to those in need. Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, and endless stream of hospitals and homeless shelters…those things that often get overlooked when the media discusses the Church. But then I thought about…traffic.

Buses at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C.

As some of you might know, I live over in the Northwest part of DC right by Catholic University and the Shrine of the National Basilica on 4th Street Northeast. And every year in late January the street is lined with buses as Catholics come from all over the country in order to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision Row vs. Wade. Seminarians, high school students, priests, concerned parents, politicians — young and old — all descend on our nation’s capitol in order to protest and renew the call to outlaw the practice of abortion in the annual March For Life. As you can imagine, the traffic in the streets during those few days can be pretty terrific.

But I cannot ignore that January 22 is the ONLY time of the year when the streets outside of the National Basilica are jammed with buses. I cannot ignore that the streets around the Basilica are clear when bishops try to raise the issue of immigration. I cannot ignore that the streets are clear when bishops try to raise the issue of day care for mothers and families. I cannot ignore that the streets around the Basilica are clear when bishops try to raise the issue of poverty. In other words, the streets outside of the Basilica are empty on the other days of the year when bishops challenge us all to speak out against so many of the reasons many women see abortion as the only viable answer when they are facing crisis. It was then that I began to wonder if that Facebook poster — while I don’t agree entirely with the sentiment—may have also had a point. I began to wonder how many of us in the church are more concerned with proclaiming a moral high ground but not as concerned with bringing about the conditions that actually would support life.


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