From the Editor—Friday Reflections

Wonderful Amazement

In the Cosmos Life Is Powered by Love

March 22, 2019

Next Friday I will be speaking at the World Congress of Families XIII: The Wind of Change: Europe & the Global Pro-Family Movement. Here is a promo video for it. You should watch it (2 minutes)!

There is one item that flashes by so quickly some viewers might miss it. Our narrator holds up a photo of Chiara Corbella and mentions her by name: "Chiara Corbella in her disarming simplicity understood it well. 'Life, what a miracle my love!'" Her story has been published. It's an example of what the video is about, the amazing beauty of human love that procreates, welcomes, nurtures, provides for children. Chiara Corbella gave her life for her child's life—because of love.

Which brings us to "love." Paul's "Love Chapter" is often read at wedding ceremonies, even at many where the couple are not particularly religious. Most people say, "That's beautiful." What does it say? At its core:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

In the old days, couples would agree to endure all things: "for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part." The wedding marked the beginning of something new. Something beautiful, a family. The wedding marked the inauguration of something that would take shape over an entire lifetime. A household, a marriage, was being built through sacrifice, hardship, joy, and gratitude.

Sex seemingly has trumped love and life today. It's the priority, the primal "right" even higher than the right to life. The right to engage in sexual activity—without responsibility for the consequences. This is based on the notion of autonomy, or "You're not the boss of me" as my colleague Doug Johnson likes to put it (not when we disagree, just as a description of today's culture!) It's sex that is pre-marital, non-marital, extra-marital, without reference to marriage, and without family.

As I've argued, autonomy is a fiction. No person has sex autonomously. No child is conceived autonomously—there are other people involved. So why does one of the parties get to dispose of the other? Moreover, everyone wants to be loved and are fulfilled in giving love. We're made for love and therefore not made for autonomy.

The battle we are in with autonomy saw a skirmish in the Illinois State Capitol this past week, where a bill has been put forward that pushes the envelope of abortion through the 9th month, even past birth if a baby survives an abortion, allowing medical personnel to forgo any assistance to help the baby survive-they may just let the baby die. 

Abortions need not even be performed by doctors and facilities need not be licensed or inspection. So back to alley? It's cheaper. Consider a sex-trafficker of underage girls (they're out there). If one of his "girls" gets pregnant, he can fix her back up for rent on the cheap, under the radar. Well, even what radar there is will be dismantled if this bill gets passed.

But not without protest. More than 4,000 witnesses to life opposed to this legislation poured into the State Capitol Rotunda this past Wednesday—so many that the state police could no longer let people in. There was no room. Who said resistance is futile?

One pro-life witness said she found her state senator who was going to vote for the bill and ask him to look her in the eye and tell her why this bill was such a good thing. He wouldn't look at her, mumbled something and slinked away.

On the bus in the row just ahead of us sat two young mothers holding their children to and from Springfield, a 4-hour ride each way to and from Chicago. Their children wanted to be with their mothers. Those children love their mothers and the feeling was obviously mutual. The rest of us could and did play peek-a-boo whenever that seemed called for. Each "peek" and "boo!" resulted in amazement on the part of the children—and adults! The children were clearly willing and eager to look us in the eye! Pure and charming simplicity. Love. And so we want . . . fewer kids? Why?

Yours for Christ, Creed & Culture,

James M. Kushiner
Executive Director, The Fellowship of St. James

—James M. Kushiner is Executive Editor of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, and Executive Director of The Fellowship of St. James.