Bishop W. Shawn McKnight delivered the following reflection during a rally for the Midwest March for Life on April 20 at the Missouri State Capitol:
“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding His voice, and holding fast to Him.” (Deuteronomy 30: 19-20)
We have waited a long time and with steadfast hope for the Supreme Court of the United States of America to take another good look at its own Roe v. Wade decision; for the court to acknowledge finally the fallacies underlying the logic of abortion and uphold the constitutional right to life for all human beings, no matter how small, no matter how young.
We have suffered as a nation in the wake of this landmark decision, as it has eroded the culture of life in our society and rejected the many blessings the choice for life secures for us as a people.
The Supreme Court’s decision deceived many about the curse of abortion, and it qualified the inherent value and dignity of every human life.
The horrific and cruel destruction of little “somebodies” cries out to heaven and brings with it the curse of the breakdown of our social bonds.
It is never good, never just, never charitable, never life-giving to treat an innocent human being as something to be discarded and thrown away.
Safeguarding the supposed “right to kill the innocent” is simply bad, unjust, cruel and death-dealing.
The dignity of our humanity and the fundamental right to life must be recognized above all other rights, no matter what.
We must choose life, as the Bible says, the way of blessing.
We stand together this day at a critical juncture in the history of our state and nation.
Our beloved State of Missouri has been a leader in the pro-life movement from the beginning, and we have fought this good fight together as brothers and sisters of different faiths and different races.
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, as we have been praying and working for, or it greatly expands the limitations on abortion that can be legally enforced, abortion will be debated again in every state legislature. Guaranteed.
To advance the culture of life, we must at this moment be willing to make the case for life ourselves, not only in the important decision-making processes that go on in this capitol building, and in the courthouses across the street, but also in our conversations and in our actions in daily life.
And to stand up for what is right, we must also practice what we ourselves preach.
We must be a people unafraid to stand up for the weakest among us, to give hope and a helpful hand to the young woman tempted or coerced to choose an abortion.
We must show women facing an unwanted pregnancy the concrete options for choosing life in our supportive community, including adoption.
The choice for life is not only possible but better for the mother, the father and the child who is already part of our community.
We must support the dignity of all human life and never tire of the demands of what it means to be pro-life.
Our obligations to God and our fellow men and women require that we adhere to the original values of our nation, including the recognition of our God-given right to life.
May our protection of the weakest among us be our strength as a state and as a nation.
May we never tire of choosing life and rejecting death so that we may enjoy the abundant blessing of life forever.
God bless you all.