The Lord’s Teaching to the Heathen by the Twelve Apostles … The second commandment of the Teaching: “Do not murder; do not commit adultery”; do not corrupt boys; do not fornicate; “do not steal”; do not practice magic; do not go in for sorcery; do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant.” For “this is the way of life” while “[t]here are two ways, one of life and one of death; and between the two ways there is a great difference,” and the way of death leads to a culture of death and to perdition if unrepented.
It is neglect of the sovereign divine commandment “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:13), enshrined in the Law given to Moses, and still earlier in the precepts of natural law confirmed to Noah: “Whosoever shall shed man’s blood, his blood shall be shed: for man was made to the image of God” (Gen. 9:6), that has led to the greatest and most tragic genocidal holocaust of our time, of nearly 2 billion children cruelly killed worldwide. This worst and greatest of all ongoing holocausts so terribly pierces — as with 2 billion swords — the hearts of Jesus and Mary, and which Catholic crusaders against evil must fight with all our strength. All people of goodwill who uphold natural law are called to stand with us.
First Point: The State has a strict and certain duty to uphold the Natural Law of God made known even through reason and conscience alike, albeit confirmed by Divine Revelation.
Alexander Hamilton, founder of the Bank of New York, justly said (cited in Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, Jr., Jeffrey Paul, 2012, History, pg 114]:
Good and wise men, in all ages have supposed that the Deity, from the relations we stand in to Himself, and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable Law, which is indispensably obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatsoever. This is what is called the Law of Nature.
Being coeval with mankind and dictated by God Himself, it is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries and at all times. No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original [Law].
In his encyclical Libertas, His Holiness Pope Leo XIII teaches us how to make this argument, with His Holiness taking it up in detail himself against the liberal errors of the day:
Foremost in this office comes the natural law, which is written and engraved in the mind of every man; and this is nothing but our reason, commanding us to do right and forbidding sin. Nevertheless, all prescriptions of human reason can have force of law only inasmuch as they are the voice and the interpreters of some higher power on which our reason and liberty necessarily depend. For, since the force of law consists in the imposing of obligations and the granting of rights, authority is the one and only foundation of all law — the power, that is, of fixing duties and defining rights, as also of assigning the necessary sanctions of reward and chastisement to each and all of its commands. But all this, clearly, cannot be found in man, if, as his own supreme legislator, he is to be the rule of his own actions. It follows, therefore, that the law of nature is the same thing as the eternal law, implanted in rational creatures, and inclining them to their right action and end; and can be nothing else but the eternal reason of God, the Creator and Ruler of all the world.
A syllogism: Reason and conscience discern an unchanging moral law on our hearts. This law could not have originated from any human mutable power. It must therefore have come from an immutable source, the Supreme Being, who is thereby known also to be Infinite Goodness and the Source of the moral law we discern on our conscience.
Second Point: Human reason and Divine Revelation confirm that killing children in the womb is a most heinous, wicked, and bloodthirsty act, which the State is strictly bound to forbid and to prevent.
A sample syllogism could be made:
Major: Every human being has God-given human rights, the foremost of which is the natural right to life, which every state is bound to protect (as America’s Declaration of Independence also says).
Minor: The infant in the womb is a human being, biologically and genetically with human DNA, a distinct human pre-born individual being, having 23 chromosomes from each of his parents.
Conclusion: Consequently, the infant in the womb has a strict God-given natural human right to life that the state is absolutely bound to protect.
Corollary: A state is guilty of a serious offense Almighty God and His natural law if it in any way fails to fulfill this obligation to Him and to His children.
As The Federalist remarks:
Murder was an abomination. The blood of Abel, the first recorded murder victim in the Bible, “cried out” to the Lord from the ground. The gravity of taking a human life was no less firm among the followers of Jesus, who consider the Hebrew scriptures the word of God. As the gospel spread, so did the idea that all human life is precious.
The belief in the sanctity of life overrode even the commonly accepted practice of abortion. Contrast the evil of Aristotle’s belief with what Tertullian, an early church father, wrote in “Apologia”: “In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the foetus in the womb[.] … To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in the seed.
It was Judeo-Christian principles on which America and Western Civilization were founded that first outlawed and then prevented for so long and for so many centuries the killing of children.
Wikipedia rightly notes: “Anthropologist Laila Williamson notes that ‘Infanticide has been practiced on every continent and by people on every level of cultural complexity, from hunter gatherers to high civilizations, including our own ancestors. Rather than being an exception, then, it has been the rule.’
Christians have explicitly rejected infanticide. The Teachings of the Apostles or Didache said “thou shalt not kill a child by abortion, neither shalt thou slay it when born”. The Epistle of Barnabas stated an identical command, both thus conflating abortion and infanticide. Apologists Tertullian, Athenagoras, Minucius Felix, Justin Martyr and Lactantius also maintained that exposing a baby to death was a wicked act. In 318 AD, Constantine I considered infanticide a crime, and in 374 AD, Valentinian I mandated the rearing of all children (exposing babies, especially girls, was still common). The Council of Constantinople declared that infanticide was homicide, and in 589 AD, the Third Council of Toledo took measures against the custom of killing their own children.
Good Christian people of America, rise up to save your country, and every country, from this evil
Today, Catholics and other people of good will shall march for life in America. What a beautiful example! The world needs millions more good people of conscience everywhere determined to put an end to the criminal killing of children at home and abroad everywhere. We must never stop this spiritual crusade until every last pre-born child is protected.
Nishant Xavier lives in Chennai, India. He has an MBA in Finance and works in financial services. He blogs and writes articles in his free time. His interests are Evangelism and the Gospel, the Faith and Tradition. You can reach out to him anytime for comments or questions on the articles at [email protected].