The First Martyrs

Rachel weeping icon

“A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.”

I have a giant blogroll that I keep up with– 60+ blogs, in all.

Most of them have written something about the Connecticut shooting. Most have expressed their shock, horror and dismay.

None have even tried to approach the “why”. I think that it’s because most people are still reeling. The “why” is as far from reach as the sun is from the earth. And good thing. Too much closer, and the “why” would burn us up.

Today, in our homily, our priest addressed this tragedy head on, which I was glad for.

I was even happier to realize that his words provided comfort and made some sense of all the chaos I was feeling as a result of this tragedy. So, I’ve decided to write a few of his words down here for you, in case you can use them.

It is no accident, he said, that this event occurred during the Nativity Season. Christmas was when Christ became incarnate, the perfect picture of innocence and child-like perfection.

Ever since, Satan has hated perfect innocence and the power the tiny Christ child held in his hands.

And, ever since, Satan has declared war on the innocent. He started with Herod’s massacre of the innocents in Bethlehem. They were the first martyrs, the first witnesses to Christ’s incarnation. All of those babies…slain so that all humanity could live.

Satan’s war on the innocent continues. As a nation, we are shocked and in mourning over the children who died this Friday. It is an unthinkably wicked thing to imagine, that someone could murder such innocents.

And yet. 115,000 children are slaughtered. 115,000 children are aborted when they are most helpless, growing within their mothers who should have died to defend them.


In fact, in America alone, 4 out of 10 pregnancies end in abortion.

Wrap your mind around that. If you have read my blog for any length of time, or even gotten me talking about abortion for even a few moments, you know that there is nothing that gets me angrier.

What gets me angriest is that our culture calls abortion good, because it enables our freedoms. That without abortion, women won’t have rights.

Our priest brought this up today. He said, “At least the ancients knew that child sacrifice was evil. They just believed, deep down, that it was the only way to appease the gods and survive.”

We sacrifice children to abortion every day. We sacrifice them in the name of a career, poverty, plastic surgery, social anxiety, or even health.

The ancients sacrificed children in order to please the gods. Our culture sacrifices them in order to please ourselves and our own idols.

Our society calls it good. Our Christian community sees other priorities and expends their energy elsewhere. We feel helpless and turn our attention to issues that we actually feel like we can solve. Many Christians say that abortion is just one of many issues, and that we need to keep a level head about it all. My boss at St. Peter’s, a wonderful Orthodox Christian man, was one such person who told me this.

The fact that so many Christians can vote for Obama, a man who is not only outspokenly for abortion, but also reinstated partial birth abortion, baffles me. Should any issues surrounding our economy take precedent over policies that enable the murders of millions of children???

Then there is the fact that many Christians do not believe abortion is wrong. Take the presiding bishop over the Episcopal Church in American, Katharine Jefferts Schori, who went so far as to call abortion a BLESSING. She is the main reason that I will never set foot in any Episcopal church, ever again.

Or, take the fact that between 2000 and 2009 in Canada, there were 491 failed abortions, and they chose to kill the children anyways! After they had already been born!

Where is the public outcry? The media?

I know it may seem like a raindrop in the bucket, but we CAN make a difference, if we only take a moment to address the gravity of the situation. Abortion can no longer be on the back burner.

It is for this reason that I make sure to have serious discussions about abortion whenever possible with my students. They are the ones who will be voting about this issue in the future. THEY are the ones who are, statistically, the most likely to get pregnant and be faced with the choice.

I know, for a fact, that there was a girl at my Flexing Poplars school who made a different choice, based on a conversation we had in English class. At 15 years old, she got pregnant during an orgy, and decided to not only keep the baby, but also dropped out of High School to raise it.

And you know what? She went from being an at-risk youth to being a fantastic mother.

I will always remember when she told me that it was our discussion in English class that changed her mind. She had never realized that the “clumps of tissue” everyone talks about actually have heartbeats, only 10 days after a mom even realizes she’s pregnant.

Due to this experience, I will always believe that changing someone’s mind about abortion can mean the difference between life and death on a very literal level.

You may not be able to go back in time and wrestle a gun away from a shooter, or lock just a few more doors in an elementary school.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still save a life.

2 thoughts on “The First Martyrs

  1. This is worth sending to Tree of Life to publish as a letter or part of their newsletter. Try reformatting, shorten and send it to them. Excellent piece!

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