This is my last part of Life Issues, I feel as though I have exhausted the subject-matter for now on this Blog. I will continue my work on Life Issues outside of the Blogshpere, and after some editing, that has already begun, I will have an edited edition of this three-part series available in booklet form. Among the editing that will take place will be consideration for comments posted on this Blog, so feel free to scroll down and make some comments, suggestions, critiques, so on and so forth. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the completed Life Issues series, let me know via e-mail or in comments. And here are some final remarks:
After reading the three parts of Life Issues you may wonder a bit about me and my intent or the “point" of such remarks. Am I a liberal, anti-Bush, libertarian (or some other third-party)? Am I an angry and disgruntled Catholic young man rebelling from a conservative childhood and adolescence? Am a young and over-zealous utopian ideologue? Am I out of touch with the geo-political reality and cultural climate in the U.S. concerning Life Issues?
Of course! Partially... Many of the speculations are true: I am young, I am Catholic, I am a man, I am anti-Bush, I do feel a bit disgruntled, many times I am overzealous, I wish I was a member of a third party (I haven't found one worth joining yet), and I do consider myself liberal.
But, I am not angry, I do not consider my opinions or inclinations rebellious of a conservative childhood and adolescence, I do not believe my ideologies are utopian (but, I don't Marx was utopian either... NO! I'm not a Marxist or neo-Marxist), and I do not believe my convictions concerning Life Issues are out of touch with political or cultural reality anywhere - especially not in the U.S.
To reiterate the spirit of my prefatory remarks, this series is a challenge those who claim to be Pro-Life to do so in a way that defends and upholds Life Issues in a total, complete, and consistent manner. I address three specific issues: 1) Capital Punishment, 2) Pre-natal gender-disclosure and name-giving, and 3) Social Justice. Here are some brief and perhaps clarifying descriptions of the intent and general content of the three points.
1) Capital Punishment
If one is going to politically align him or herself with the Pro-life slogan or movement, she or he cannot endorse a candidate or political party with a record complicit with Capital Punishment and maintain loyalty to Life Issues. If so, then he or she who claims to be a "moral compass" of our nation in regard to social and Life Issues does so pharisaically - and is guilty of democratic and moral hypocrisy. I challenge you to a more complete and consistent defense of Life for the sake of personal moral excellence and in pursuit of "true" democratic change.
2) Pre-natal gender-disclosure and name-giving
I apologize for the lack of general clarity and compelling argument in my rhetorical presentation of this part it will require a lot of editing.
My argument is this: Insofar as a fetus is a human being it is due full and equal respect and consideration in all Life Issues - not merely survival. Therefore, due to the fundamental nature of personal identity in human language and perception, an infant's gender ought to be disclosed and name assigned as soon as realistically possible. Those who claim loyalty to Life Issues, especially the life of their child, ought to take the issue of personal identity and knowledge of the "other" (the infant) very seriously, and unless the gravity of the excuse is on the same level of severity as personal dignity (i.e. personal survival, realistic plausibility) - they cannot forfeit knowledge of gender and name and claim a full commitment to Life Issues.
Excuses such as "personal surprise" do not suffice as reason to merit your little boy or girl to remain a nameless "it" for several months - in fact they are selfish. If your child were not to survive the perils of pre-natal infancy, would you not assign it at least a name, and if possible a gender, in order to always remember and cherish it's short, yet meaningful, life here on earth, and to identify and credit it’s human existence in your language and human perception? Defense of Life includes defense of personal dignity and therefore - personal identity.
3) Social Justice
In this last part I address the reality and legitimacy of Social Justice issues especially as they pertain to Life Issues. I also speak to those within the Pro-life movement, especially aligned with the Christian/Catholic/conservative persuasion that tends to scoff at social justice and regard such concerns as “liberal,” and thereby void of significant merit.
My argument relies on the example of the late Pope John Paul II, in his life committed to Life Issues evident in his concern with both evangelism and religiosity along with a comitment to social justice even to the point of near assassination.
If you purport to be Pro-life then you should be a social activist. Those who are "liberal" do not claim the title Pro-life, so while they are certainly not morally innocent, they are not guilty of pharisaism. The greatest value in Life Issues is necessarily invested in He who is the Creator - Love. This Love who is God has no need nor possibility of conservatism - Love is liberal, and our love that we manifest to one another and God ought to be unafraid to break the barriers of defensive conservatism and take issues of social justice as legitimate and imperative in the pursuit of a "culture of life" and consistent defense of Life Issues.
So, please submit your thoughts, disgust, anger, apprehension, questions, comments, critiques, and overall impressions of this Blog series, and let me know if your are interested in receiving a edited edition booklet of this series (either at cost or free) in a few months.