The root cause for much of society’s ails is the failure to see the image and likeness of God in one another. The greatest atrocities in society have been about a blanket denial of a group of victims’ humanity. There’s a famous pro-life poster which juxtaposes generations of court rulings which consider the slave less than human, the Jew less than human, and more recently the same with the unborn. We never seem to learn our lessons and I do see that as discourse becomes more tense and divided, we often dignify even our own points of view above the infinite value of the life before us that we dialogue with.
Being actively Pro-Life is about pushing back on any tendency to forget God’s image in the other but instead realizing it and encouraging treatment appropriate to that degree. Hence I’m excited about the Cornerstone Catholic Conference opening tonight at the Tacoma Convention Center put on by the Washington State Catholic Conference, which is the Bishops’ official public policy arm. This is the first conference in the Pacific Northwest of this nature that I can recall, and its focus is re-instilling the culture of life in one of the most unchurched regions of America.
Our introductory keynote speaker is Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide who sought refuge in prayer and rose above the chaos by seeing the image of God in her aggressors. We will also hear from Abby Johnson a reformed Planned Parenthood Director, Serrin Foster from Feminists for Life, and Clare Halpine from the World Youth Alliance. All speakers are forceful defenders of life, but put together they comprise the diverse tapestry of courageously taking up the cause for life in all its stages.
I pray that this is the beginning of a renaissance of pro-life activity in the church of this region and applaud the bishops for kicking this off. Please keep the fruits of this conference in your prayers as we seek to restore the cornerstone often rejected.