Homily 32nd Sunday Year C: Abortion: THE Fundamental Issue
by Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.
My brother Scott has been in a book club before about 30 years with a circle of friends from college. They meet once a month and discuss the book they’ve read.
A couple of months ago, a discussion arose related to the topic of the book they were discussing about the religious practices of different cultures. My brother brought up how the Aztecs in Mexico, who back in the 1400’s and 1500’s would make war on other tribes. The people they captured would be murdered – sacrificed as offerings to their pagan god, Huitzilopochtli.
My brother emphasized how evil this practice was. Another member of the book club, a friend of my brother’s, who is a Catholic, bright and very successful in business, objected to my brother calling the practices of the Aztecs as evil. He said, “You can’t call this evil, because this was part of their religion.”
My brother responded, “Does that make it OK?” The friend insisted that, yes, because offering people in sacrifice was part of their religious belief, that made it okay, and we cannot condemn it as wrong.
My brother told me that he was shocked. He thought he knew this friend. It turns out he doesn’t really know him – He thinks that someone can murder other human beings, as long as he claims doing so is part of his religious practice.
About 80 years ago there was a country in Western Europe that suffered a humiliating defeat in WWI. A political party arose that promised to revitalize the country: to build up the economy as well as the military, to improve education, create new jobs – and they accomplished this very successfully.
The citizens were very happy that their nation once again prospered.
But there was only one problem: This political party began to build gas chambers, and proceeded to put people to death: Jews, Gypsies, and Catholics – especially Catholic priests and religious who opposed this evil.
One of those put to death: the Franciscan, St. Maximilian Kolbe.
This political party was the Nazis.
Anyone who supported the Nazi Party platform was accountable for the murder of innocent human beings.
The central issue in our country’s upcoming election, on both the national and state levels, is an evil even worse than that committed by the Nazis: abortion.
That abortion is the central issue should be abundantly clear to anyone who has watched the news and has seen the campaign ads by the respective candidates.
Those who support abortion make all kinds of false claims:
I’ve seen ads by the pro-abortion candidates who say: “We must not allow radical lawmakers to make medical decisions regarding women’s health.”
But abortion is not about “health” care – it is the brutal murder of an innocent human being, and pre-born child.
The pro-abortion crowd repeats the chant, “My body, my choice.” Well, in general terms we have a right to our own bodily integrity. But even here, this right is not absolute. There are limits. We do not have a right to put illegal drugs into our bodies, or to end our lives – kill ourselves – when we think life is no longer worth living.
God is the Author of all life; and our rights come from God. There is no God-given right to kill ourselves, or to kill an innocent human being in the womb.
On the abortion issue, the right of a woman to her bodily integrity does not include the right to abortion. Why? Because here we are dealing with another person’s body, and right to life of another person, the preborn baby – a human being created in God’s image and likeness.
God speaks to us in Psalm 139: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” This is precisely why God condemned the ancient Israelites for killing their children – offering them in sacrifice on the altars of pagan gods like Baal and Moloch. And God severely punished them for doing so – He allowed other pagan nations to defeat them.
Just as slavery was the central issue in the 1860 election, abortion is the central issue of this election. In my opinion, this is the most important election in our nation’s history, because we are faced with the most important issue we have ever dealt with: whether to continue the legalized murder of preborn children, or to put an end to this monumental evil.
And the people whom we elect, both on the national and the state level, will determine the course of our nation for years to come – especially on the state level, because after the recent US Supreme Court Dobbs decision, the abortion issue is now back in the states.
We will now decide, through the people we elect, whether abortion will continue, or end.
As Archbishop Lisetcki has said, the right to life is THE fundamental issue, because all our other rights depend upon this right, and mean nothing without it.
Our Declaration of Independence recognizes this: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Our Founders acknowledged that first and foremost is the right to life; if you take this right away, then liberty and the pursuit of happiness are meaningless. And creation of human life begins at conception, in the womb.
In our first reading (2nd Macc.), seven brothers were tortured and put to death for refusing to violate God’s laws. They committed no crime. They simply refused to eat pork, as faithful Jews.
Children in the womb are put to death by abortion for nothing more than having been conceived, and being unwanted.
We should be willing to die for unborn brothers and sisters, in order to put an end to them being murdered in violation of God’s law, the 5th Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”
We hear people say, “Roe v. Wade is established law.” Nonsense. For 100 years prior to Roe it was established law that the child in the womb should be protected. After the invention of the microscope in the 1800’s those in the medical field were able to see the embryo, and it was clear to them that human life began at conception.
In 1859 the American Medical Assoc. sent a report to all the states, recommending laws be changed to reflect this truth. Many states at that time, ignorant of this truth, allowed abortion in the early stages of pregnancy (until “quickening” – when a mother could feel child moving within her).
All the states responded and passed laws protecting children in the womb and outlawing abortion from conception.
These laws remained until the sexual revolution in the 1960’s, when people wanted the pleasure of sex but not children who are the natural end of the sexual act; and some states began pass laws which permitted abortion in the early stages of pregnancy.
But in 1973, a majority of nine unelected judges on our nation’s highest court forced abortion on an unsuspecting nation, overturning every state law and allowing abortion through the full nine months of pregnancy. I remember this well as a sophomore in H.S.
Since then over 60 million children have been brutally murdered – a literal holocaust, that continues. It makes the murders carried out by the Nazis pale in comparison.
Now, with the Dobbs decision, we, the electorate, have the opportunity – and the moral duty – eliminate this horrendous evil, this scourge on our country; or we can allow it to continue. By the people we elect to public office we can put an end to abortion, or keep it “legal.”
And make no mistake about it: The people running for public office know this.
I’ll quote President Biden. On Oct. 18, 2022 he told supporters during a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, D.C.:
“The [Supreme] court got Roe [v. Wade] right nearly 50 years ago, and I believe Congress should codify Roe once and for all [i.e., make the right to abortion a national law binding on all the states]. If we do that, here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill I will send to Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade. And when Congress passes it, I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided to be the law of the land.”
Shame on Joe Biden, who claims to be a Catholic. He’s sold his soul for political gain.
And shame on the Democratic Party, which supports abortion. It’s part of their national party platform – even to use our tax dollars to kill children in the womb, under the banner of “choice.”
I grew up a Democrat, in Chicago, and in college worked for Mayor Richard J. Daley. It pains me to see what has happened to this party. But as a Catholic, a follower of Jesus Christ, I could no longer support a party which advocates the so-called “right” to kill babies in the womb. This is evil; it is insane.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if we elect people to public office who support the so-called “right” to abortion, then we become cooperators with this evil, and the blood of the innocent unborn will be on our hands.
But if we elect people who will defend the unalienable right to life for all – born and unborn – and if we repent of having allowed tens of millions of children to be put to death in the womb, and beg God for forgiveness, I believe that God, in His mercy, will forgive us, and He will bestow His blessings upon our nation.
Let us pray that we may become a country, and a people, that welcomes all human life and that fosters a true culture of life.