|Guest blog by 16 year old Maddie Lopez|
It was the beginning of the second semester, and we all had just gotten back from Christmas break. I sat there in my fourth period class – U.S. History. It was the worst class to have in the middle of the day, especially with the teacher I ended up with. It was hard to focus because my brain was still in “break mode”, and it keeps wandering from one random topic to the next.
Suddenly, breaking my spontaneous train of thought, my teacher announced that we would be continuing the section on the Civil Rights Movement. I had never been truly interested much in the distant occurrences from hundreds and hundreds of years ago, but Civil Rights was recent, within the past century. He had my full attention.
The movie commenced, and my attention was grasped instantly. The whole time I was paralleling it with modern day injustices, and it made the movie much more interesting. The footage being shown on the screen was astounding, and it was extremely difficult to believe what I was seeing. It was weird – I couldn’t think of a time that I had ever voluntarily wanted to learn anything in my history class before.
The images flashed by, as we all watched Martin Luther King Jr campaign for nonviolent tactics in achieving equal rights for those within the black community. I observed as justice became a mere word in the vocabulary of a society that refused to protect the most basic rights of its own citizens. I was torn apart as I watched helplessly as stubborn governors would not allow peaceful marches to take place, as brutal policemen unleashed their dogs on black citizens, and as merciless firemen aimed high-pressure fire hoses at harmless protesters.
I could not look away, even though my heart was crying out for someone to make it all stop. I felt the beat of my heart pounding inside my chest, something I thought only happened to characters in dramatically written novels. You may ask me, why is it that big of a deal? The black community got their equal rights, and it’s not like it is happening anymore… right? Well yes, that is true. However, my heart is broken over a different injustice.
My heart is broken over another injustice, a violent encroachment on the rights of our unborn children, here in America and throughout the world. Each day, more than 3,000 children are barbarically ripped or burned from the comfort of their mother’s nurturing womb, and thrown in the trash. The most precious of all gifts is being treated like worthless garbage. And to be honest, I am fed up. I remember my teacher said something that really struck me. It was along the lines of, “Well, this was not even that long ago. Aren’t you glad that this is not happening in our world today?” I couldn’t help but disagree. The inconsistencies that have popped up in classroom conversations never cease to amaze me.
While watching the Civil Rights activists lobby for their basic, inalienable rights, I paralleled it with the work the pro-life movement has been doing. I asked the same questions: how could anyone do this? How can they be so ignorant of what they are inflicting upon these people? The abolition of slavery was inevitable, as was the end of segregation. We look at the segregation of whites and blacks as something so strange, and so obviously wrong. One day, will this also be true of abortion? When will our culture open its eyes?
Sitting there, I felt an anger swell up inside of me, ripping me to pieces. However, that anger that I feel over this is not uncontrollable, but a righteous anger, a deep unquenchable fire, converted into an undeniable passion to bring about a change in what our culture accepts as “normal”. The anger I feel is a rage against injustice, just as Jesus was righteously angry with the merchants who had turned the temple, into a marketplace. They had disrespected a place of worship, and cheapened the value of a place that deserved that utmost respect.
I left class that day with a renewed passion. I know that the abortion industry is bent on destroying the life of the most innocent and vulnerable among us, violating the dignity of all people. I learned, as Dr. King put it, that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The brutal act of abortion, this plague upon our society, has claimed 50 million lives too many, and I call upon anyone and everyone to take a stand for your unborn brothers and sisters. If not for them, then do it for the women who are exploited, because in a time of need, they felt abandoned and alone.
Pope Benedict XVI once wrote, “Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person.” Do not be afraid to put yourself out there, to go do something to help stop the atrocity of abortion. You may feel you are too young, too quiet, too old, too weak, too shy or even too short, but God does not care! He calls the weak and the unequipped, so that He can make them strong, and so that He can prepare them for the battle.
Do not let your heart be hardened, but let your heart break over the pain caused to the families of this nation. Keep that desire, and hold on to that passion, because it is not the dry information or statistics that will change the hearts of the people (although I will not overlook it as a potential possibility), but it is your love and compassion for them. The great part is, you are capable of love and compassion; therefore you can change hearts, and that is what makes all the difference. Christ is waiting for you to answer the call. What are you waiting for?