Sunday, November 02, 2008

Building a Culture of Life - Part 4

4. Live what you Believe!

I watched a really thought-provoking movie a few years ago. It's an old classic from the 60s, though I suppose somewhat controversial in its day because it deals with a white woman marrying a black man. I thought it was interesting and classic because it went much deeper than the typical political divides between those who take one position over another. Instead it plunged deeply into the challenge of a couple being confronted with the reality of their OWN beliefs!

The movie is called Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? and it stars Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy as a white couple from San Francisco who are completely on board with the civil rights movement - until their daughter becomes engaged to a black man! What a fascinating and honest piece - and thought-provoking!

What does living our beliefs mean in the context of the pro-Life movement? Many things, I'm sure. Here are just a few (feel free to share others in the comments box - keep the tone nice, though, please, as I'm perfectly willing to delete or edit questionable comments - though I won't delete things simply because I disagree with them - I love open discussions):

1. Remember that pregnancy is not a sin. Yes, it can be the result of a sin, but in our culture we often get mixed up between these things (with an overemphasis on what is visible to others) and it does make a difference! As Catholics, we believe that marriage is not a sacrament intended to fix mistakes. Being supportive of a pregnant daughter or other close relative does not include pressuring her to rush into marriage.

2. Be generous to those in need and never scornful of their mistakes. Support your local pregnancy help center! These guys do great work and I am just in awe of how the donation of small material things can make all the difference in a needy mother choosing life. It might only cost you the price of an infant car seat!!! Even for those who don't have much financial help to offer (or much time to volunteer) there are other things you can do. For example, our family signs up the pregnancy help center for gifts on our parish giving tree at Christmas. My husband then delivers the car seats, playpens, snowsuits, etc. to the center, which is not far from his workplace. It's also nice to get the kids involved. We often coordinate this with making fleece blankets (the kind you tie around the edges - which all of my kids can now help with to some degree) to donate at the same time.

3. Be supportive of families and children. Being pro-child and pro-family includes exercising patience with little ones we come across in church or in a restaurant. Don't criticize the poor mother's parenting skills. She may need some help in that department, but she may simply be having a bad day. Maybe she's a military mom whose husband is away at war. Give her the benefit of the doubt and treat her and her children with kindness.

1 comment:

Karen E. said...

This is a beautiful series, Alicia.

I thought of "Live what you believe" last night when Atticus and I watched Paul Giamatti as John Adams. The decision to defend the soldiers after the Boston Massacre was not a popular one, but Adams believed that everyone, no matter how unpopular the person or cause, was a human being entitled to a legal defense. Nicely done.