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Parents Who Refused to Abort: Video Inspires Millions of People around the World
By Michael Terheyden
May 24th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Perhaps you have already seen the video made by Lacey Buchanan of Woodbury, Tennessee. If not, I recommend that you join the millions of people around the world who have seen it. It is an inspiring story about human tragedy and the power of faith and love to rise above it.The short homemade video presents the story of baby Christian and his mother and father's determination to bring him into this world despite being told to abort him.KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - Perhaps you have already seen the video made by my fellow Tennessean, Lacey Buchanan of Woodbury. If you have not, I recommend that you join the millions of people around the world who have seen it. I have included it at the top of this page. It is an inspiring story about human tragedy and the power of faith and love.
The short homemade video presents the story of baby Christian and his mother and father's determination to bring him into this world despite being told to abort him, and the subsequent suffering and joy their decision brought them over the past couple years.
In her blog, Lacey explains that she did the video because of a similar video she saw about a young, disfigured woman who was told that the world would be better off without her. The thought of someone ever saying that to Christian pained her deeply. Lacey expressed the pain she felt for her baby when she wrote, "It may not be me that looks different, but the stares at my son hurt no less than if they were at me. . . ."
The story of Lacey, her husband Chris and their beautiful child, Christian, is precious, and it inspires us all. Lacey does not speak in the video. She communicates to us in two ways: though handwritten signs that she holds up to the camera and through her emotions made visible by her facial expressions. As the story unfolds, we watch Lacey reliving key moments as if they were happening right now.
This is what most inspired me. Watching Lacey's expressions reminded me that no one can love a child like its mother, that a mother's love is a special kind of love. Furthermore, witnessing Lacey's love for her child reminded me that all children, not just Christian, need a mother's love. And this made me think that most people and societies cannot thrive without this special kind of love, so it needs to be protected.
Blessed John Paul II gives us an idea how we can protect a mother's love in his Apostolic Letter, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women. He reminds us that Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. This kind of love, Blessed John Paul II says, affirms women as persons on a fundamental level and makes it possible for the female personality to fully develop.
Consequently, in the normal course of God's plan, it would seem that a mother's love finds its first and most basic protection within family life. Unfortunately, families are under attack. This attack is coming from many directions, but the one I most thought about as I watched Lacey's video was the aggressive intervention of the state and so-called professionals into our families.
This intervention reminds me of cancer treatments. Early chemotherapy treatments not only killed cancer cells, they also killed healthy cells (today, the treatments are better focused). The power of the state, regardless how noble its intentions, is such a blunt instrument that it is often like the early cancer treatments. This means it should be used with great caution, but this has not been the case.
You only need to turn on the news to find examples, so I will not repeat them. We all know that parents and their children can be arrested and hauled away in handcuffs based on nothing more substantial than an anonymous accusation.
A partial explanation for this destructive trend can be found in the seventh edition of a college-level textbook, Social Work, by Armando T. Morales and Bradford W. Sheafor. The explanation is based on the enormous growth of social work in the wake of former President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society programs in the 1960's and two concepts--professionalism and prevention.
As their influence grew, social workers organized and lobbied hard for professional status. They defined professionals as recognized experts possessing a monopoly in their field with exclusive rights to make judgments and give advice. According to the textbook, "In granting this professional authority, society, in essence, gives up the right to judge the competency of these professionals except in extreme cases of incompetence."
After receiving this undeserved professional status, social workers revised their traditional mission which emphasized service and the motto "do no harm." Their new mission was to change society, individuals, families, and other groups. As a result, social work has largely become a vehicle for social and political activism, and it is often funded by the government with our tax dollars.
With the help of new and ever growing legislation concerning child welfare, child abuse, family preservation, violence against women, and homosexuals, etc., social workers have carried out their new mission of change.
Besides legislation, one of their primary tools used for change has been "prevention." It is defined as the "anticipation of future consequences and the purposeful manipulation to achieve desired ends or prevent undesired ones." The concept of prevention is used to justify early and aggressive intervention into families and mold them.
Although this concept is totalitarian and destructive, it has rapidly spread into many other professional disciplines. Today, federal, state and local governments, along with an army of ill-equipped social workers, sociologists, psychologists, school teachers, administrators, law-enforcement personnel, and legal and healthcare professionals have literally seized power over many families in our country.
It is true that many families are dysfunctional and need help today. When a family is not able to care for itself or a grave danger of some sort is present, it is right for the state, blunt instrument though it is, to intervene. In these cases, many social workers and other professionals perform their jobs with skill and compassion; however, far too often the state and its professional minions have unnecessarily undermined and harmed family relationships.
Depending on the specific situation, premature and overly aggressive intervention can easily drive a wedge between members in the family by causing distrust and alienating family members. It can undermine parental authority such that children do not listen to their parents and rebel. This can cause problems in the family for years, sometimes for a lifetime. And it can easily suffocate the motherly love that children and society desperately need.
The family is primary, before the state. This order can be protected and maintained based on a principle called subsidiarity. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church this principle means that "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions. . ." (1883).
This principle is derived from the way God governs the world and His respect for human freedom. God did not reserve the exercise of all power to Himself. We can see this when we look at creation. God entrusted "to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature" (1884). Thus, the principle of subsidiarity "sets limits for state intervention" (1885).
Therefore, one of the most important ways we can protect a mother's love is to insist on the proper order between the family and the state. In today's society that means protecting the family from rampant overreach by the state and professional community. The state and professionals are to serve and support parents and families, not try to control them or change them.
If Lacey and Chris had listened to the professionals, Christian would have been killed through an abortion; we would never have known about this faith-filled mother and father; we would never have seen the beauty of their son Christian; we would never have seen the beauty of his mother's love or been inspired to protect that love for all children and society.
In her video Lacey said, "One girl even told me I was a horrible person for not aborting Christian in utero." Lacey, you are not a horrible person. You are like the woman Blessed John Paul II calls an irreplaceable support and source of spiritual strength for others. He also says such women are owed much by their families and sometimes by their nations. We owe you much and thank you for sharing your story with us and inspiring us.
Mother Angelica once said that every injury, cruelty, injustice, illness, anxiety, unfulfilled need or longing that we have experienced in this life and united with Jesus' suffering will become a great blessing in the next life, for God will turn our deepest sorrows into unimaginable joy.
For those who are interested in finding out more about Lacey, Chris and Christian, you can go to Lacey's blog. You can also find their story on Lifesitenews.com and Nationalrighttolifenews.org.
Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. However, he knows that God's grace operating throughout his life is the main reason he is a Catholic. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.
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