There are certain topics that just don’t engage a campus audience. Proper denture care, for example. The exact process of potty training. China patterns. These things are arguably and understandably out of touch with the pulse of a college campus, bastion of youthfulness and joi de vivre that it is. Sure, these things might matter to us one day, but not today. Over the past few weeks, I’ve found that Pro-Life activities also fall into this group…or at least they’re perceived to fall into this group. Did you know that a novena was prayed, a March for Life happened, rallies were held and campaigns were launched over the last few weeks as the United States celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade….and all with relatively little fanfare on our college campus? Ask the average college student what “Pro-Life” means and I’m about 99% sure they’d tell you, “Anti-abortion” and say things about their rights and choices over their bodies and nobody telling them what they can do. But I’m here to tell you the truth about the Pro-Life movement: it’s not just about abortion. It is relevant to us today. And it is wildly important to our identity as Christians.
If you were to ask that same average college student their stance about torture as a method of interrogation, I’m willing to bet that they’d tell you they’re against it. That is Pro-Life.
If you were to ask how they felt about disposing of the elderly and disabled because they’re a nuisance to society, they’d probably also say that’s wrong. That is Pro-Life.
If you were to question their thoughts on cruel treatment and execution of prisoners, they might say that all people deserve dignity. That is Pro-Life.
At its core, the Pro-Life movement, of which the Catholic church claims to be a part, is about dignity. Dignity of all people, no matter their station in life, their gender, age, disabilities. It’s about treating all people as Jesus treated them: as beloved sons and daughters of God, no matter what society thinks of them. Pro-Life activity doesn’t just happen on anniversaries of lawsuits, it happens every time you help a homeless person find something to eat or a warm place to stay. It happens every time you pay attention to that classmate who’s being bullied for being different. It happens when you pay more attention to a person’s worth to God than their worth to society.
We’re all called to be Pro-Life, every day. And that is relevant.