Two things have happened over the course of the day since writing about the issue this afternoon. One, that darn Mary over at Let Love Be Sincere has gone done and made the whole thing real. She brings up some excellent points and asks some disturbing questions. You really need to read her blog if you haven't. That leads me to the next point.
I've become more and more curious about the coverage of the whole debacle. Aside from the gruesome details, I've noticed a few other disturbing facts. We can certainly question where the mainstream media is and why they aren't covering what is sure to be one of the greatest atrocities of our time. The equally interesting and convicting question is where were we when all this was happening? Why didn't we know about this sooner? Why wasn't there outrage when he was arrested (or was there?)? Why didn't we act?
Mary and I did a presentation many moons ago at a Theology on Tap about social justice and our duty as Catholics. It was around the time that Hotel Rwanda came out, and we used a quote from that movie that truly nested itself in my heart. In the movie, the Hutus are excited for international news coverage because this, they believe, means the war and genocide will soon be resolved as the international community could not let it continue. One of the reporters bluntly tells Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel owner, that the people watching will say, "Oh my God, that's awful!" and then they'll go back to eating dinner.
Sadly, isn't that what happens here? We are so detached, we sit outraged for the moment, and then we go back to our comfortable lives, not really changed or convicted. We go back to eating dinner. Rarely are we so sick about injustice that we lose our appetites enough to leave our comfort behind. Until I read Mary's post, I was able to keep the issue at arm's length even amidst my outrage. She has made it real. She has made me think of my own precious, beautiful children whose cries I heard in the delivery room, whose little scrunchy faces I kissed flavored with salty tears, whose hair I stroked under the silly hats they wore, who I nestled at my breast as soon as I could after recovery. THAT is the cry they heard. THAT is the cry that was silenced by savage murder. Sadly, that is the cry that is never allowed to draw breath and let loose in late term abortion, the procedure that would have made what happened in that clinic legal if the baby had not yet exited its mother's body. That is real, my friends and it is evil. It is just as evil as the killing of Hutus, a tribe fabricated by colonists to create division and conquer. It should make us lose our appetites, but once the fifteen minutes of outrage over the lack of mainstream media coverage is over, I wonder how many of us will go back to our dinner tables and life as usual.
I cannot imagine that this is an isolated incident. I wonder how many other clinics are being overlooked, how many other women and babies butchered. I wonder what it will take for our President and politicians to put the interest of their careers aside to protect the most vulnerable among us and outlaw such barbaric practices. Yes, they are evil. They are barbaric. When will we start framing the issue ourselves with the language of truth rather than a language of defense? When will we wake up to see that if not us, there is no one to speak? When will we realize that while we seem outraged today, there are people who are actively proposing to call murder and infanticide "post-birth abortion" not as an exercise in satire, but as a tool of evil whether they recognize it or not? When will we realize that the geography of living shouldn't determine the right of a living human being to be protected from murder? When will we be convinced that if we are not willing to fight for the very right of a person to exist then none of our human rights are safe or have meaning?
It is time we stopped keeping calm and carrying on. Where the heck did that start anyway? I say stand up and make a ruckus! If we don't do it now while we still have that freedom, there may be no one left when it's us under persecution.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.~ Martin Niemöller ~