Thursday, January 24, 2013

Have You Been To Calvary Lately?

This Friday, January 25, is the Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.  This is an important event despite the fact that it will receive next to no media coverage.  It needs to be done for the same reason we observe the anniversaries of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor and remember the Holocaust victims from WWII.  We do this to honor the victims, and in the case of abortion, we also do this to give a voice to the tens of millions of babies who had no one to speak for them and to remind the rest of the world that we are in this fight and not going away until the murder of unborn babies is recognized as such and once again declared a crime against humanity.

I have gone on this march, and it is good to be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people who are passionately pro life and not afraid to say so.  Although it is not officially a Catholic event, the overwhelming majority of people who attend this march are Catholic.  A large number of the people are also under 30, and as can always be expected when young people get together, there is a bit of a party atmosphere involved.  That does not take away from the fact that those kids are all there as survivors of  Roe v. Wade.

Anyone under the age of 40 needs to realize that your parents could have legally killed you with the blessings of the state at any time prior to your birth, and you are as much of a survivor as anyone who has lived through a war.  At least 55 million of your potential brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and best friends were murdered.   The number is probably much higher than that because abortion statistics are usually under reported, as National Review tells us:
Pro-life activists have always been disappointed that the federal government does not have stronger reporting requirements for abortion statistics. The data from the CDC are far from perfect. Some states, most notably California, do not provide any data. Other states fail to provide complete information. That having been said, the CDC is the only source for annual abortion data from the United States.
As important as the Washington, D.C. March for Life is, it is not the front line in the war against abortion.  The real front line is right in your own town, and maybe right in your neighborhood.  It is the abortion mills which we so blithely walk by with little or no thought of the horrors which are occurring on the other side of the walls.  There is no party atmosphere when you go to an abortion clinic.  You will stand there not with hundreds of thousands, but most likely with only a handful of people at a place of incredible evil and suffering, and the people you are there to help will often look at you with pure hate and say vile things to you.  You will most definitely get a taste of the cursings and persecution that our Lord suffered at Calvary.

Msgr. Philip Reilly, often referred to as the Apostle of Life, has completely dedicated his life to fighting abortion.  He has stood outside praying and counseling in front of abortion clinics day after day for over 20 years.  He started here in Brooklyn and maintains his residence here.  But he has traveled extensively to set up pro life groups around the United States and in countries around the world.  I have heard him speak and prayed with him outside of abortion clinics.  One thing he has told us that has always stuck with me is that praying in front of an abortion clinic is the same as going to Calvary.  Abortions are the murder of innocent life, and there was never a more innocent life than the One who died on Calvary for our sins.

From Msgr. Reilly's website:
The Helpers of God's Precious Infants are a group of people committed to maintaining a loving and prayerful presence outside of the abortion mills, where God's children are put to death. We unite ourselves with these victims in solidarity with their pain, as they are put to death at this modern day Calvary. We pray in reparation for the injustice being performed on their tiny bodies. Just as Mary and John lovingly stood and prayed beneath Jesus' Cross as he died, we wish to remain with these children in the hour that they were crucified.
We pray to obtain God's mercy for the abortionist and his staff who do the killing. The message of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants to the abortionist and all who help him to kill God's children is that, though we love them, we will never accept what they do.
We plead with our voices for the lives of the babies being carried in by the pregnant women who have scheduled appointments with the abortionist that day. We ask each mother to change her mind. We reach out to her with the love of Christ; we do not judge nor condemn her for what she is planning to do. We simply promise her support and assistance if she should change her mind, and prayers for her healing and conversion if she should proceed with the killing of her child.
Most of all, we love the unborn children who will be brought there that day. These children have been rejected by their parents, and are doomed to die. The only human love they may ever encounter in their short lives may be from those of us standing outside.
It's great if you are able to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C.  But the real battle is right in your hometown.  If at all possible, that is where we need to be, offering our prayers on behalf of the innocent babies and also praying for mercy to be shown to their parents and to all who are involved in the abortions, that they will realize the gravity of their sin and come to repentance.

From a poster offered on Msgr. Reilly's website entitled, "Calvary Today!" :
-- we may not be able to save their lives, but can we not plead on their behalf? And should they die, as usually happens (God forgive us!) let us lift up our hearts to God Almighty on their behalf ... it will be the only human love they will know on this earth ...
Here is a video from Msgr. Reilly who explains what it means to stand in front of an abortuary and how it mirrors our Blessed Mother standing at the foot of the Cross:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Is This What Dr. King Died For?

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Martin Luther King, Jr. 

On April 4, 1968,  I was watching "The Flying Nun" on TV when the show was interrupted with a news bulletin that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been shot.  Even at my young age, I was stunned.  There was no news as to whether Dr. King was dead or alive at that time.  A short time later the show was again interrupted to report that Dr. King was dead.

Even though I was only 12 years old I, like most of the rest of America, was in complete shock.  I had just seen him on the news earlier that evening, talking about having seen the promised land and saying he might not get there with us.  I remember my mother saying he was nothing more than a trouble maker, the feeling of many people in America at that time.  Here is a video of the end of the speech Dr. King gave the night before he was shot and excerpts of which I saw on the evening news shortly before he was killed:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 39 years old when he was murdered.  There had been several attempts on his life up to that point, and he knew that it was only a matter of time before he paid the ultimate price in his quest for freedom and equality in America.  But that did not stop him in his crusade to bring equality for all people in America.  As he himself said, "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."

There was tremendous inequality in America at that time.  We remember the riots that occurred when they tried to integrate schools in the South.  We remember seeing the water fountains with signs of "Whites Only" or "Colored Only."  We saw those brave young black men and women who sat at the segregated Woolworth's luncheon counter.

This kind of prejudice was not just in the South.  I was talking to a black man who grew up in New York City in the 30's and 40's, and he told me that his out-of-town relatives would always have to stay with his family because blacks were not allowed in New York City hotels.  He told me of the prejudice he encountered in the military when he, as a black man, had to keep his head down at all times and was not allowed to look white officers in the eye, and that black officers were never allowed to command white troops.  Ironically, he told me that the country in which he experienced the least amount of racial persecution was Germany.

We now celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and honor him for being a leader in courageously helping to bring equality and justice to America.  The racial discrimination seen in America at the time of  Dr. King has truly become a part of our history.  Doors have been opened to many that at one time could not have been imagined.  One of the richest women in the world is Oprah Winfrey, who started life as a dirt poor little black girl born during the civil rights era.  Colin Powell, a black man born in New York City in the 1930's, has reached the pinnacle of success as a military general and has served in the administrations of three US Presidents, and had he chosen, would have been a formidable presidential candidate.  There is Condoleeza Rice, who was born in Birmingham, Alabama and lived through the civil rights movement as a little girl, and who has achieved ultimate success in her field, serving as Secretary of State and is a professor at Stanford University, among other prestigious positions.  She is also an accomplished pianist and dancer.  Many of our greatest and wealthiest entertainers and sports heroes are African American.  And of course, we now have an African American President of the United States.

All of this is wonderful, but what is the reality of the average African American in the United States?

The African American family has been decimated since the 1960's when Dr. King was murdered.  In 1965, 24% of black infants were born to unmarried mothers.  As of November 2010, the out of wedlock rate was 72%.  No society can survive without the family as the foundational building block, and this is exactly what we are seeing in the Black Community.

Right now according to government statistics, the unemployment rate among blacks, 14%, is almost double that of the overall unemployment rate.  The rate is much worse among young black men, at 28.6% according to another government study.

Crime is much higher in black communities than most white communities.  As the Wall Street Journal told us:
Overall, more than half the nation's homicide victims are African-American, though blacks make up only 13% of the population. Of those black murder victims, 85% were men, mostly young men.
Drug use, alcoholism, prostitution and AIDS are all dramatically higher in the Black community.  A 2006 New York Times article reported this:
In the decade since effective drug treatments for AIDS have slashed death rates across the country, black New Yorkers continue to fall ill and die at startling rates, according to new data from the city health department.
Today, one in five black men in New York City between 40 and 49 has H.I.V. or AIDS. Black women, meanwhile, account for 34 percent of new AIDS cases, up from 12 percent 20 years ago.
There is an even more evil form of racism being perpetrated in the Black Community, and that is abortion.  At the same time as we are honoring Dr. King, we are also commemorating what I consider to be the darkest day in American history, and maybe in all of world history:  the legalization of the murder of our unborn children.  I regularly pray in front of abortion clinics, and one thing I have noted is that 90% to 95% of the women going into those clinics are African American.  In New York City, there are 3 abortions for every 2 live births in the African American community.  That is a 60% abortion rate.  A website called displays the following chart showing the number of African Americans killed by abortion since it was legalized in 1973:

According to this website:
Minority women constitute only about 13% of the female population (age 15-44) in the United States, but they underwent approximately 36% of the abortions.
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, black women are more than 5 times as likely as white women to have an abortion
On average, 1,876 black babies are aborted every day in the United States.
One African American woman I know who was born in the 1960's told me that she and every one of her  female friends and family in her community have had at least one abortion, and many have had multiple abortions.  This is a holocaust such as we have never seen before.

It is no accident that the Black community seems to be targeted.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America. Are we being targeted? Isn't that genocide? We are the only minority in America that is on the decline in population. If the current trend continues, by 2038 the black vote will be insignificant. Did you know that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a devout racist who created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed as undesirables of society? The founder of Planned Parenthood said, "Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated." Is her vision being fulfilled today?
It pains me greatly to say this, but despite the tremendous sacrifices made by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others in the civil rights movement, racism has not disappeared from our society. The segregated water fountains and lunch counters are gone, and black people no longer have to come and go by the back door in public buildings. But a far worse racism has taken the place of these injustices, in which black people and other minorities are being specifically targeted and destroyed in numbers that not even the Ku Klux Klan could have imagined. And although the minority communities are suffering in greater numbers, this destruction has spread to all parts of society.

The Black Community, along with all the rest of our nation and world, has been sold a bill of goods. We have been told that we can live our lives any way we want to in direct defiance to the law of God, and that will lead us to greater happiness and fulfillment.

We have seen just the opposite.
"The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."Martin Luther King, Jr.
The answer all comes down to the fact that we have pushed God out of our culture and replaced Him with hedonism, in which our greatest goal is self satisfaction.  People are willing to kill the unborn merely because their child is "inconvenient."  And we do so because not only have we been told that there is there nothing wrong with this, but it is actually a good thing because it frees us to do all the things we want and need to do to "better" ourselves.
“The end of life is not to be happy, nor to achieve pleasure and avoid pain, but to do the will of God, come what may.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King once said, I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."  We are in a moral crisis in our country the likes of which we have never seen, in which we are killing our children by the millions because we have rejected God.  Dr. King also said, "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government, I can not be Silent."  This is more true than it has ever been, with our government now using taxpayer dollars to fund the killing of our own children.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”― Martin Luther King Jr.
The greatest way in which we can honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who gave his life to achieve equality for all, is to speak out on behalf of those who have no voice and who are the most vulnerable among us, and that is first and foremost, the unborn.  We, too, must stand up to our own government, just as Dr. King did 50 years ago.
"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Every child lost through abortion steals a part of our souls.  No nation can survive this kind of evil.  It is our duty as children of God to fight against this greatest of evil.  Martin Luther King, Jr. did not die so that children of any color could be legally killed.
“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, told us, "No greater love is this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  We saw that love in Dr. King, and we cannot truly honor his legacy unless we too are willing to lay down our lives for what is right and just.
“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

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