Choosing Life or Death?
A Special Report from the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
By: Deacon Keith A. Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
Along with over 200,000 other people I “braved” the bitter cold on Monday, January 24, 2005, to stand in solidarity with our first neighbors, children in the womb, who have no voice but our own. It was a stirring, prophetic day that has enormous significance for all who are dedicated to the fundamental human rights issue of our age, restoring the right to life and the freedom to be born to children in the womb and stopping the advance of the culture of death to include the handicapped, the ill and the elderly.
My morning began, as it has for at least the last eleven years, by attending the 11th Annual National memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers. Though I have been attending the March for more years than that, this event has become one of the most significant events of the entire experience. This year, the ecumenical service was held in the Senate Russell Building. As always it was sponsored by the National Clergy Council, a growing Alliance of Christian leaders founded by Rev. Rob and Dr Paul Schenck, longtime heroes of the pro-life movement. It was co-sponsored by the National pro-Life Religious Council.
Christians from across the entire spectrum of Christianity gathered, led by clergy of each of their respective churches and communities. The ornate beautiful Senate room was filled. The front seats were occupied by Catholic priests and deacons, Orthodox clerics, evangelical, messianic Jewish, mainline Protestant, and “non-denominational” Clergy vested in their distinctive symbols of service and office.
Years ago I mentioned what I called a “silver lining in dark cloud in the culture of death” at this event. By that phrase I conveyed the fact that we had found one another as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ in our common response to defend those whom Mother Teresa called the “poorest of the poor”, children in the womb. Our relationships of brotherly and sisterly affection have only grown over the years as we have stood together, confronting the culture of death, building a culture of life and serving the common good. This year, the intercession, worship, repentance, grieving and resolve to bring an end to the evil unleashed by Roe v. Wade resulted in a profound service that deeply moved the participants.
In a reverent liturgical format, passages from the Sacred Scripture, intercessory prayers and petition of repentance and requests for God’s intervention were led by various representatives of the clergy gathered. We heard from Fr Frank Pavone, an extraordinary priest and leader of “Priests for Life” and its companion “Deacons for Life”, which I have the privilege of serving. He spoke of the growing response of authentic Christian unity occasioned by the pro-life movement as a great source of grace.We heard a message on the triumph of the truth from Rev. Kirk van der Swaagh of the National Pro-Life Religious Council.
I sat next to the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Alveda King, one of the most profound pro-life advocates of our age, who graced us with her presence. Seated to my left were one of several Presbyterian leaders and two Orthodox clerics. Together we all prayed for all the victims of abortion; the children and their mothers and fathers. We prayed for the Justices of the Supreme Court, the President and all elected officials. We prayed for the overturning of Roe v Wade and an end to the horror that is its result, unimpeded abortion and the denial of the personhood and humanity of children in the womb.
We solemnly remembered the infamous “anniversary” of that dark day, the 22nd day of January, 1973, when unelected Justices of the United States Supreme Court consigned an entire class of persons to the status of property to be used, abused and disposed of. This horrendous decision, based on faulty legal reasoning, errant history and absolutely faulty and feigned claims to “science”, created a fictitious “right” to take the lives of innocent human life. The majority said they found it in the “penumbra” (a legal fiction, a “shadow”) of the U.S. Constitution. That so called “right” to do what is always and everywhere wrong, has protected abortionists who continue to reach into the first home of the whole human race, a mothers’ womb, and through chemical weapons or surgical instruments, kill innocent children by the millions.
After the service I joined the growing, gathering crowd to hear from the President of the United States and other elected officials who support the efforts to restore legal protection to our youngest neighbors. Over a phone line, we all heard President Bush assure us that the government is "working to promote a culture of life, to promote compassion for women and their unborn babies." It was refreshingly ...
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