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Symphony of Construction
Townhall.com ^ | May 4, 2013 | Kathryn Lopez

Posted on 05/04/2013 7:56:05 AM PDT by Kaslin

"Our lives are at their best when centered not upon ourselves but upon babies!"

Cardinal Timothy Dolan made this contention at a gathering hosted by the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, which brought together evangelicals and Catholics to celebrate religious liberty.

The Colson Center was honoring Dolan for defending religious freedom against the attack posed by the Obama administration's policy on health coverage for abortion, contraception and sterilization. Though all may agree on the concrete nature of the threat, understanding it is hampered by a dwindling vocabulary with which to discuss it. So Dolan went back to the basics.

Dolan declared that the defining event of the past few months for him was not his first papal conclave but the baptism of his most recent grandnephew, Charlie. He said that he was inspired by "the profound change" he saw in this baby's mother and father. Rather than "diverse and self-referential" interests, Charlie now dominates "their sleep schedule, their plans, their budget, their conversation, their calendar, their future, their dreams."

"The human project," Dolan proposed, "is all about babies! A man and woman are made for babies!"

And culture itself, he said, is "simply humanity's best effort to protect the baby, the mother, the father."

He made this contention at the same time that the horrific murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell was going to the jury in Philadelphia. The gruesome details of this trial -- Gosnell is accused of killing not only one of his patients, but babies born alive, the victims of botched abortions -- have also shed a light on the ugly truths behind late-term abortions.

This reflects a different culture than the one the cardinal spoke of, that's for sure.

The abortion debate is never direct: We delude ourselves with euphemisms that keep us complacent and complicit; we pretend that a woman isn't a mother unless she says she is, even as a life that shares her DNA, and the DNA of another human being, develops within her. We try to pretend that a 23-week-old fetus bears no resemblance to a newborn when science and photos show us the truth.

Gosnell has got to mark the end of this.

If culture is all about babies, as the cardinal says, many of our most heated political debates may benefit from confronting the "baby in the room."

That baby has a dignity that does not come from his or her mother's will, or his or her dad stepping up to the plate, or a doctor's signature. It is inherent.

If we're willing to reconsider the popular understanding of freedom -- which all too often is defined down to license -- this is all quite liberating. We're not made for ourselves. We're not in this alone.

In "How the West Really Lost God," Mary Eberstadt observes: "(F)amily and faith are the invisible double helix of society, two spirals that when linked to one another can effectively reproduce, but whose strength and momentum depend on one another."

She concludes: "It appears that the natural family as a whole has been the human symphony through which God has historically been heard by many people -- not the prophets, not the philosophers, but a great many of the rest; and the gradual but now recognizable muffling of that symphony is surely an important and overlooked part of the story of how certain men and women came not to hear the sacred music anymore."

We want that music playing. We need to know it's there.

Pope John Paul II said that true faith produces culture. The current pope has said, "A believer is essentially someone who goes into an encounter with other believers, or nonbelievers, to give them a hand."

We need religious liberty because we need people to give us a hand. We need people who see clearly and hear the symphony, who are inspired by the wonder of creation. We need something better for babies and families. We might start with the cardinal's simple assertion.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: abortion

1 posted on 05/04/2013 7:56:05 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Excellent, and so true.


2 posted on 05/04/2013 8:14:11 AM PDT by WVNan
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To: WVNan
Excellent, and so true.

Ditto.

What else are we to expect from His Excellency?

So sorry for the pun.

3 posted on 05/04/2013 8:31:06 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: Kaslin

“Our lives are at their best when centered not upon ourselves but upon babies!”

Okay, I’m as pro-life as they come, so I applaud his stand on life. But the idea that our lives are at their best when centered upon babies is so much rubbish. What does that even mean?

Christ, and Christ alone, should be the center of any Christian’s life, not babies. Parents cannot properly raise their children unless Christ is the center of their lives and their home.

The Incomparable Christ

13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (Colossians 1:13-18)


4 posted on 05/04/2013 9:09:16 AM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: .45 Long Colt
It is the unconditional love of a mother and father that gives us our first experience of God's love.

It is also, in a very (and I emphasize very) small way that the sacrifices of a parent for a child gives us greater insight into and gratitude for Christ's sacrifice.

It's our faith demonstrated to us in human form.

5 posted on 05/04/2013 10:05:29 AM PDT by Mygirlsmom (Gosnell - Media ignores murder of thousands of UNDOCUMENTED humans - Democrats cheer)
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To: Mygirlsmom

Exactly, mygirl. I think we don’t fully experience the awesomeness of God and His Son, until we first lay eyes on our child, and as they grow we witness the concept of eternity and we finally “get it”. Those who don’t experience this kind of love, have succumbed to “self” and only self. I see very clearly the difference in my children who have had their own children and those who did not have children.


6 posted on 05/04/2013 10:23:51 AM PDT by WVNan
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To: Mygirlsmom

So that means a Christian’s life should be baby-centered? There is zero support from Scripture for the idea of baby-centered lives.

A life centered around anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ is a life of idolatry.


7 posted on 05/04/2013 10:24:24 AM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: Mygirlsmom

By the way, I quite agree with the essence of what you said. I’m not arguing over anything other than the idea of “baby-centered lives.” We cannot possibly be at our best unless our lives are Christ-centered.


8 posted on 05/04/2013 10:28:13 AM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: .45 Long Colt

And I don’t believe for a minute that the good Cardinal disagrees with you. He is trying to make a point about our present day culture.


9 posted on 05/04/2013 10:54:04 AM PDT by Mygirlsmom (Gosnell - Media ignores murder of thousands of UNDOCUMENTED humans - Democrats cheer)
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To: .45 Long Colt

Why don’t you get off this thread? You are a master of missing the point. Go annoy another thread.


10 posted on 05/04/2013 5:47:24 PM PDT by Steve1789 (I miss having a president who loves this country.)
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