Monday, June 06, 2005

Events thst Shape Us


There is a commercial played on TV that attempts to join a series of completely random events into a predictable chain reaction. Although this may be an effective marketing tool, there are times in our history when seemingly unrelated events are undeniably related. Religious events, social injustices, international conflicts, and the loss of famous, revered, and even unknown individuals have more in common than any of us might have imagined.
We have witnessed such a series of events this spring. The leader of the Catholic Church, the longest standing organization in the world, with over one billion members, has lost his life. A previously unknown woman in Florida gripped the nation and the state and federal governments, as her husband decided she should starve to death amidst disputed facts and unknown wishes regarding her end of life directives. The anniversary of the death of the world's greatest leader for racial equality and social justice has once again passed. And after the second year of a preemptive war, a young child in Radwaniyeh Iraq joined the tens of thousands of Iraqi's classified as collateral damage as he was killed from a misguided missile.
Whether you believe in evolution or creation, Jesus, Allah, or both, it seems possible that these individuals, their souls and their energy, might be together somewhere. Call it heaven, the afterlife, or whatever you want, but imagine what they would contemplate. Imagine the power of the message they could produce. A pontiff who could articulate his defense of the sanctity of life at all levels. A woman who now has a voice could make her wishes known and speak as to what her last fifteen years of life truly were like for her and thousands of others. A man who could articulate the need for equality for all people regardless of race, color, or economic status. And a boy who would wonder why he was taken away in a war he did not want, did not understand, but could not escape.
Could their messages come together? Would the same people that fought against war last November continue to align themselves with pro-choice ideology? Would those that feel so strongly that abortion is murder begin to offer to educate people in contraception to prevent pregnancy for those who are not ready? Would those that feel so strongly that theirs is the only proper religion accept other ways of thinking and philosophies? Would those that support racial equality expand their fight to those that are hated for who they decide to love? Would those that claim God in defense of war look at the violence of the past century and become determined to end it?
I think this is what Pope John Paul II, Terri Shiavo, Martin Luther King JR, and Mohammed Ahmed would discuss. I think they would agree that life is precious and the responsibility needed to start life should be paired with the compassion to understand and promote it. They surely could not understand it all, just as we will never fully put together all the pieces of humanity. But I think they would expand the sanctity of life to include those that are unborn, those that have been born and are different than ourselves, and those that are too weak, sick, or poor to care for themselves. They surely would want those that they love to live in peace, equality, and happiness without fear of oppression, war, or poverty.
Then I think they would ask themselves why they were taken from this earth before the rest of us got it right too.

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