Lament for the Innocents
DANTE WITT — The Center for Medical Progress has released video after video exposing Planned Parenthood’s barbaric acts: babies’ body parts sold for profit, babies possibly even born alive and then dismembered, executives laughing about buying a Lamborghini from the profits.
Since 1973, about 58 million American children have lost their lives to abortion. Now, like all other times, is a good time to fight to defend unborn lives. But I am afraid that some people may refuse to act, not because they don’t care about the unborn, but because they are overwhelmed by the sheer horror of the situation. For all of history before TV and the Internet, people only saw death when it occurred near them, where there was often something tangible to do together to help and to mourn.
But now we see death every day on the news, usually far away, where we can do little or nothing to help, and cannot come together to mourn. So when we see the holocaust of the unborn unfolding before our eyes, it is no wonder if many simply turn away and try to forget.
The solution, of course, is not to cave to the temptation to pretend we didn’t see, but neither is it to charge ahead as if defending the unborn were a duty with no humanity. What we fight for is no abstract concept. What we fight for has a heartbeat, hands and a face. What we fight for has a mother, who may not have understood what she was doing, or may have known, and later repented bitterly. What we fight for has a father, who may not have known he had a child until too late, or who may have known and stood by, helpless or unwilling to protect his child.
We must fight. We will fight. But we should also find ways to grieve. When a madman slaughtered the schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary, Russian composer Konstantin Zhigulin gave the world Lament for the Innocents (below). The song taps into the scriptural tradition of lament, a tradition we too often neglect today. The opening lines closely paraphrase the verse in which Jeremiah prophesies King Herod’s massacre of every infant in Bethlehem. “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” The rest of the song paraphrases some of the many verses in the Bible where God’s faithful cry out to him in lamentation.
It was written for the shooting victims, but it is just as appropriate for the victims of abortion. As the Bible says, there is “a time to mourn.” There is healing in lament.