Saturday, December 28, 2013

Feast of the Holy Innocents

During the joy-filled Christmas season, there is one day that is filled with a heaviness and grief. That day is today ~ the Feast of the Holy Innocents. The gospel reading for today contains the following section:
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:A voice was heard in Ramah,sobbing and loud lamentation;Rachel weeping for her children,and she would not be consoled,since they were no more.
 This day and this Scripture passage is often used by Catholics and other Christians to "prove" God's abhorrence of abortion. I have difficulty with that interpretation. These particular "holy innocents" were born, living and breathing. They were murdered because a king was angry. It was not a considered action, it was a rash one. Also, this slaughter occurred because he had the power to do it.

When a woman determines that she is going to have an abortion, it's a singular decision regarding a fetus that is growing within her body. It's not about power or rage. It's about what she needs to do for the best possible future.

What is a more appropriate comparison are the children who die due to malnutrition or as a result of war. Focusing on healing the rifts that cause the deaths of the children who are already living and breathing would be a more significant use of resources by Christians. I hope they find it in their hearts to make the shift.

What do you think? How would you help mitigate the deaths of innocent living children?

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