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Senator Obama and the Epidemic of Violence
By: Deacon Keith A. Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
On the Lord's Day, Sunday, July 15, 2007, one of the most gifted political personalities in recent American history, Senator Barrack Obama, stood before a congregation of concerned Christians on Chicago's South Side at the Vernon Church of God. Members of this inner city Church are certainly quite familiar with the malady that the Presidential contender addressed. Included in their midst were mothers and fathers who have mourned the loss of their beloved children, brothers and sisters who have lost their closest friends and grandparents whose hearts ache for what might have been.
I can picture many sitting on the edge of their seat, eager to hear a message with meaning from this man who has captured more enthusiasm among the young, than any candidate I have witnessed since Robert F Kennedy. The presidential candidate spoke of what he called a "...sickening the soul of this nation", an "epidemic of violence" noting with great grief that three dozen children had been killed just this year. The Senator, with his deep resonant voice, made for political discourse "...From South Central L.A. to Newark, New Jersey, there's an epidemic of violence that's sickening the soul of this nation...The violence is unacceptable and it's got to stop."
He sought to rally the faithful into a crusade to end the violence by passionately proclaiming "...We need to express our collective anger through collective action." He called for a ban on assault weapons and revisions to regulations which allow unscrupulous firearms dealers to fuel the flames by selling weapons to those who should not be able to purchase them. He called more public funds for after school programs offering alternatives to kids who have entered into the culture of violence that has been unleashed on our urban streets. He challenged parents to take more responsibility, along with the community, for the "at risk" children in their homes and to join together to reach out to the whole community.
This popular Presidential candidate then noted:"...We have an entire generation of young men in our society who have become products of violence, and we are going to have to break the cycle... There are too many young men out there who have gone down the wrong path." Later as he concluded this well received message he offered the following insight "...There's a reason they go out and shoot each other, because they don't love themselves. And the reason they don't love themselves is because we are not loving them enough."
I must admit, Senator Obama is an inspiring speaker. I think he is sincere. As a political observer and activist I see more political talent per pound in him than anyone I have seen on the American political landscape for many years. He rouses crowds and touches the hearts of the young in ways that remind me of my own youth and entry into what has become a life long commitment to the struggle for authentic social justice. The problem is that he suffers from the same night blindness which has afflicted so many politicians in both major political parties in America. He fails to see the real roots of this "epidemic of violence". He hears only selective cries from certain poor and disregards the cries of those whom a wonderful, holy woman once called "the poorest of the poor", children in the first home of the whole human race, their mothers womb. The cries of the children in the womb do not concern the Senator. He simply turns a deaf ear to them. Yet, they have suffered from the very epidemic of violence he bemoans. This serious failure has blinded him to seeing the full picture.
In 1994, at a National Prayer Breakfast, in the presence of then President Clinton, this Mother Theresa, (now Blessed Theresa of Calcutta) addressed the root cause of this epidemic of violence. Speaking at a large podium where her small stature could barely be seen, she spoke these words:
"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion?
As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts... her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.
And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So, abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion".
I conclude with this message to the Presidential candidate. "Senator Obama, like so many other Americans, I share your concern over this epidemic of violence. How I wish I could actually support you in your crusade. Your youth, your manner, even some of your positions, are quite appealing to me. However, your selective concern for the poor precludes my supporting you. There is a horrid violence being perpetrated on our youngest children in the one place that was once the safest of sanctuaries, the womb. They are being killed by "surgical strikes", chemical weapons and the cruelest forms of "acceptable" torture. All the while, these actions are not only protected by the positive law but are affirmed as a "right" by you. You and I both know this is wrong.
It is clearer to me that the "epidemic of violence" you have rightly addressed begins in the womb! The most vulnerable are its first victims. There, in the first home of the whole human race, the first sanctuary of the womb, children are brutally killed by those more powerful than they are with weapons that are crafted from what were former implements of healing. These victims cannot even be heard in their resistance, their cries are muffled by the living walls of their home. Is it any wonder that the people who never even got to know them have grown callous? This is a culture that calls this first act violence a constitutional right?
Senator, stop and think about what you are saying. Pray to the Author of Life and the God who hears the cry of all of the poor. Include in your concern this group of the "poorest of the poor" and I might even reconsider my current decision to not support your campaign.
Until then, I will pray ...and strongly oppose your efforts to lead this Nation."
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Deacon Keith Fournier - Deacon, 757 546-9580
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