Last Friday night I had the wonderful opportunity of attending an event in Ann Arbor to hear David Daleiden speak. David is the extremely courageous man who went undercover to expose the heinous evil of Planned Parenthood's practice of selling aborted babies for profit. In his defense of the dignity of life, Daleiden is now the focus of felony charges - a sadly typical turning of the tables in today's culture of death.
For those who are determined to believe that it was all an elaborate, edited ruse, I invite you to watch his talk from Friday night and determine for yourself if you still believe he was just out to falsely discredit anyone.
It's important to keep in mind that evil isn't just manifest in the actions of Planned Parenthood. It slithers into mindsets so as to blind some to the truth, rendering them almost incapable of seeing what is right in front of them. If only the blinders would be removed so that we can all, once and for all, call out evil for what it is and where it is and stand for all life. Until that day, though, I commend David Daleiden and others like him for their willingness to take on this giant form of evil in our society.
In other news, last night I attended a "Celebrate Life" banquet for a pro-life group on whose Board I sit. In the midst of all the evil being perpetrated on us by the likes of Planned Parenthood and elsewhere, it was edifying to be surrounded by so many men and women who recognize, value and fight for the sanctity of all human life, from conception to natural death.
The entertainment for the night was comedian David Dean. I have to say it was refreshing to hear a comedy-bit devoid of the filth and vulgarity you get so often these days - not only from comedians but from all over. It amazes me how casually people drop certain "letter" bombs, in every form of speech, even if they don't know you. From strangers standing in line with you at the beer counter at a Tigers game, to people at the next table at a restaurant, it both stuns and saddens me to hear the lack of decorum used in everyday language.
I recently overheard some young women next to me in a dressing room speaking in such a vulgar manner that I couldn't help but gently admonish them through the wall about their language (and then, of course, immediately realized the chances of later getting my hyde kicked in the parking lot as a result). They responded through the wall with the overly used and under-thought responses of "hey, it's a free country" and the like. But when I told them they were worth more than that and to not be so willing to squander their dignity, they quieted right down - as if something actually hit home. And I made it through the parking lot without a hitch.
Maybe that's where it should all begin: reminding young people - or simply teaching them in the first place - about their God-given dignity. I wonder, in this culture of anything goes, where young people are learning about true self-respect. I don't mean the "self-esteem" movement that teaches young people they are the center of the universe - I mean teaching them about the true worth and dignity that comes from the Creator of the universe.
Perhaps if we zero in on young people's true worth - their God-given dignity - life itself would take on more value, and through that, we would see a precipitous decline in things like abortion, suicide and the rising practice of euthanasia. Maybe we'd even see a decline in the cussing crudeness found in everyday conversation all too often. I am not saying that users of vulgarity automatically condone things like abortion - of course not - I'm merely concerned about when it is that young people today are taught about the value of their own lives and all human life in general.
One ray of hope toward this end happened at another recent event I attended - my goddaughter's First Holy Communion this past Saturday. To see all those young people dressed in their finest and praising God the way they did for us in a pre-Mass performance gives me hope. Thanks to their parents who are seeing to it, these youngsters are being taught the faith, and through that, are more likely to know the infinite importance of God - and of the dignity and value of human life that He himself gave us. Only by starting there can we hope to turn things around for the better.