A Chinese baby boy was rescued by firefighters from a sewer pipe.His parents tried to flush him down the toilet because they did not want him. Other children just like him are abandoned after birth in China. This modern practice of infant exposure is rarely reported. It is also happening in the West. The Chinese baby saved from the sewer pipe and the infanticide of Kermit Gosnell point us toward our mission in this hour. We need to study our past and pave the way to the future. We need to learn to stand together - we will need one another.
CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Media reports are filled with the story of the Chinese baby boy who was rescued by firefighters from a sewer pipe in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province.His parents tried to flush him down the toilet because they did not want him.
The little boy weighs six pounds. The placenta was still attached to his body when he was rescued by firefighters.
They received a call from neighbors who heard a child crying in the sewer pipe attached to a public toilet in a Chinese apartment complex. His foot was visible. Due to the hard work of the rescue workers and the medical personnel, the little boy has survived.
However, other children just like him are abandoned after birth in China. This modern practice of infant exposure is rarely reported. The Chinese regime is also known for its forced abortion policies. I wrote about last year here.
The treatment of children as commodities in China, products to be accumulated only with the permission of the Central Government, seems horribly unjust to western observers, and rightly so. However, at its root, is it really all that different than the current abortion culture of the West?
In the West, the Regime does not issue a permit allowing a couple to conceive. Instead the so called abortion right, created out of whole cloth by unelected Judges, is now enforced by the Police Power of the State.
This unjust civil law violates the Natural Law Right to Life of every child and allows the parents to secure the services of a medical professional to take their life in the womb for any reason, up to and including the ninth month of pregnancy, if he or she is not wanted. The costs will soon be covered by Obamacare.
This intentional killing of the child can be done through any number of means from dismemberment, to suction or chemical weapons which are administered in utero. The brutality of these procedures is hidden behind the wall of the womb, once the safest place on earth.
Just this month a jury handed down a guilty verdict in the finally much publicized trial of the abortionist Kermit Gosnell who killed children after they were born in his house of horrors in Philadelphia, PA.
He murdered those children by what he called snipping, severing their spinal cord with surgical scissors which he inserted into the back of their necks. Testimony revealed that he did this to hundreds of other children. He kept their parts in jars and freezers.
Initially, there was a blackout on the Gosnell trial in the main stream media. Most of the American media has denied the truth about what happens in every procured abortion for so long that even this obvious example of infanticide outside of the womb did not seem important to report.
The defenders of the Right to Life in the United States exposed the bias of the media through the use of alternative media sources. In the gruesome testimony and graphic evidence presented at trial, what happens in every procured abortion was made clear. It is no different than what happens in China.
Both incidents reveal that the practice of infant exposure has returned. The term refers to killing children who are not wanted by exposing them to the elements. It was practiced in other dark times in history. As Christians, we need to understand our history. We have been here before. We are sent into cultures of death to transform them from within.
There is an ancient Christian manuscript entitled The Letter to Diognetus from the second century. It contains insights on the way the early Christians viewed their relationship to the culture of their age. It was addressed to an anonymous inquirer into the Christian faith. Its importance is underscored in by the fact that it was favored by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council and has been quoted quite often since then.
The letter offers a foundation for explaining the role of the Church in the Modern world. It is cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its excellent treatment of the duties of citizenship (CCC 2234-2246). It is regularly referred to in social encyclicals.
It demonstrates that the conditions which we face as Christians at the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium are not that different than those faced by our brothers and sisters as they were called to transform the cultures of the First Millennium.
This is very important to know. There is a tendency among Christians to forget our history. Among the practices the early Christians opposed were primitive forms of abortion and infant exposure. The letter recounts this concerning the lifestyle of the Christians of those days:
Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men.
And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens.
Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh.
They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again.
They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body.
I have often heard contemporary western Christians opine that we are living in a post-Christian or even a post-modernist age. I choose to use a different language. We are living in a pre-Christian age. We are living in a new missionary age.
Whether in China or in the United States of America, the practice of infant exposure has returned.
We must expose it, oppose it and propose a new way of living to a world which has lost its soul and is dying. Before they were called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26) the early followers of Jesus Christ were referred to as the Way.
In recounting his own conversion the Apostle Paul writes of having persecuted this Way (Acts 22: 3-16) prior to his encounter with the Risen Lord on the Road to Damascus. This expression the Way reveals a profoundly important aspect of the understanding of the early Christians concerning their identity and mission.
They believed that the Christian faith demanded a new way of living in the midst of the world. It still does. Do we understand this? Do we live differently? Are we willing to be persecuted for doing so like the early Christians?
The Chinese baby saved from the sewer pipe and the infanticide of Kermit Gosnell point us toward our mission in this hour. We need to implore the Lord for the grace we need in the days ahead to live it out courageously. We need to study our past and pave the way to the future. We need to learn to stand together - we will need one another.
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