by Tony Magliano

You are not pro-life if you are not pro-peace.

Killing another human being, even the enemy, even a murderer, flies in the face of the Author of life; it runs completely against the teachings of the Prince of Peace: “But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. … Do to others as you would have them do to you (see Luke 6).

You are not pro-peace, if you are not pro-life.

If you promote – for any reason whatsoever – the killing of the most innocent, the most defenseless human beings among us – our unborn little brothers and sisters – then you are waging war in the womb. You are not pro-peace.

And even if you and I are not actively engaged in pushing the abortion agenda, but are indifferent to it and silent about it, we are no different than those who were indifferent and silent when the Nazis took away the Jews and others to the extermination camps.

Holocaust survivor, the late Elie Wiesel, in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speechinspiring said, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant”.

So then, what about the endangered lives of so many migrants fleeing death-dealing poverty, drug gangs and war? Are we genuinely concerned enough about the dangerous threats upon their God-given lives and dignity to see our national borders and sensitivities as irrelevant? Or are we building higher barriers and longer walls to silence their suffering?

As Christians, as followers of Jesus – who showed cared for everyone, regardless of status – what does it really mean to respect life?

It means that all life – including the environment – but especially human life, is a precious gift from the Creator.  And therefore, no one, absolutely no one is expendable. Everyone counts in the eyes of God. Remember Jesus’ wonderful parable of the one lost sheep.

The poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the unborn, the war-torn, the migrant, the sick, the dying, the old, the young, the drug addict, the prostitute, the uneducated, the unemployed, the underemployed, the uninsured, the prisoner, and yes, even the enemy are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Therefore, no one category of persons, no single life issue is irrelevant. They all matter. They are not to be ranked. They are to be linked! And remember, a chain is as strong as its weakest link.

It makes the best case, the most sense, to pray and work extremely hard to the best of our ability for all the life issues. This consistent concern for all life makes our position the most logical and strongest; and places us on the highest moral ground.

St. Pope John Paul sums this all up perfectly: “Where life is involved, the service of charity must be profoundly consistent. It cannot tolerate bias and discrimination, for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage and in every situation; it is an indivisible good. We need then to ‘show care’ for all life and for the life of everyone.”

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist.  He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings about Catholic social teaching. His keynote address, “Advancing the Kingdom of God in the 21st Century,” has been well received by diocesan and parish gatherings from Santa Clara, Calif. to Baltimore, Md. Tony can be reached at tmag@zoominternet.net.