“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, You did for me. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:40.35.36. NIV
Being pro-life ought to mean understanding the sacredness of the entire human life through the eyes of Jesus, holistically.
It means understanding that the life of a homeless person begging on the street corner is just as sacred as the life of the President of the state; the life of an elderly person in his or her final hour is just as precious as the life of a new born baby; the life of a prisoner on a death row is just as holy as the life of the most reputable person; the life of a medically uninsured person is just as valuable as the life of a patient fully covered; the life of a wanderer who apparently does not contribute much to the community is just as important as the life of the executive director of a big corporation; or the lives of a Muslim, Hindu, Mormon or an atheist are just as loved by God as the life of a Christian.
Likewise, we may say that any abuse, degradation, enslavement, character assassination, oppression, humiliation, dehumanization or any other condition by which a fellow human being is stripped of dignity and value; or taken advantage of either by another person, groups of individuals, government or any political, military or ideological system, represents a form of killing. So are the enhanced interrogation techniques, called thus by those who would like to give torture the appearance of therapeutic remedy. So is the hate speech, often buttressed by plausible social or religious concerns, increasingly in use to demonize those who do not belong to our religious, ethnic, racial or social tribe.
None of us is completely innocent of many subtle ways by which we have become accomplices in gradually murdering our close and distant neighbors, often by omission, sometimes by deliberate action, as we condone the circumstances and policies that perpetuate the unjust social conditions.
In the eyes of God human life is not only precious at the time before one is born, but always and under all circumstances. The sooner followers of Jesus understand that, the sooner our local communities, churches, neighborhoods, countries and the world might reflect more closely Jesus’ vision for our world, expressed in the prayer He taught us to pray: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
First published by The Huffington Post, May 19, 2011