The March for Life: Affirmative Orthodoxy

Once again, the annual March for Life was held in Washington, D.C., this year on Friday, Jan. 18. Buses left from various stops in our diocese and there was the witness of tens of thousands of people of faith (and people of no faith in particular), all of whom recognize a simple fact: life begins at conception.

Those who march for life are not fanatics. They are not intolerant of the rights of women to choose what they wish to do with their bodies. No, those who march for the right to life, from conception to natural death, know that every life is precious.

They have come to understand that the unborn child in the womb is not just an invasive mass of cells. It is a human being, with an immortal soul, precious and wonderful. That child in the womb is a gift and like all gifts, needs to be protected and appreciated.

No one needs to tell anyone that abortion is not a good thing. It is the slaughter of the child in the womb. No one needs to tell anyone that the mothers who have abortions are themselves also suffering, victims as much as their children. No one needs to tell anyone that the duty that we have as a society is to help create a culture of life, one which appreciates all people, the able-bodied and those who struggle.

Those who march for life do not do it because of right-wing politics; they do it because it is right and just to do so. They do so not because they hate, but because they love. They do so not because they do not respect women, but because they see the sublime vocation that is motherhood.

What can we do in creating a culture of life? All too often, the Church is seen as saying no to everything in the world. And yet, nothing could be farther from the truth. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, is seen as a champion of what has been described as “Affirmative Orthodoxy.” Affirmative orthodoxy is described by John Allen as: “By ‘affirmative orthodoxy,’ I mean a tenacious defense of the core elements of classic Catholic doctrine, but presented in a relentlessly positive key.”

The March for Life is an exercise in love and affirmative orthodoxy. It is a call to action and to love. Pray for the end of the scourge that is abortion and the creation of life, respected from conception to natural death.