By Jonathan Rogers
Editor’s note. Thursday is, of course, Thanksgiving. I’ll be running an article on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday to remind us of what Thanksgiving means for us as pro-lifers. This first ran in 2011. Happy thanksgiving in advance to you and yours!
This Thursday we hope all of you will be able to celebrate the joys and gifts of this life with family and friends. As you cut into the Turkey and perhaps watch football, we hope you’ll be blessed with the chance to give thanks for the good.
While it may not seem immediately evident, Thanksgiving is a profoundly pro-life holiday. We focus on the tragedy of abortion, the loss of life and the suffering of the unborn and their mothers. Working to end abortion and to restore hope to a culture which wants to dispose of its most vulnerable members can be a daunting challenge. But the foundation for why we do what we do explains why we are continually “of good cheer.”
We are pro-life, not anti-abortion, a distinction which is not merely semantic. To be “anti-abortion” is to express opposition for a particular act (the act of abortion), but it does not adequately express WHY we are opposed to abortion. Likewise the “anti-choice” label which advocates of legal abortion would like to pin on us does not reveal the moral starting point from which opposition to abortion arises.
To be pro-life is to state the positive good that life begins at conception, that life is worth living, and that it is worth being protected, celebrated, and given thanks for. Opposition to abortion stems from the joyful affirmation of life in and of itself. To be pro-life is not to simply oppose abortion, but to first recognize and acknowledge a new life as being worth something of value—infinite and unique.
So it is entirely appropriate to celebrate and give thanks for life this Thanksgiving. For our own life, for our family and friends, and for all the mothers who did not choose abortion. We offer thanks for the knowledge that more than at any point in the last twenty years, more unborn children will have the opportunity to celebrate their own Thanksgiving.
It is likely not an accident that the two biggest events in the history of Thanksgiving as a national holiday occurred during the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt–in the midst of the Civil War and at the beginning of World War II, respectively.
That these events happened during two of the darkest hours of American history, during our two bloodiest wars as a nation, is very revealing. Times of danger and anxiety are the best times to take account of our blessings and be thankful for them, just as the first Pilgrims were thankful for the Fall Harvest before the onset of a cold winter.
While abortion sadly remains a reality, there is still no better time to remember and celebrate the first and fundamental Right to Life, without which Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness could not be achieved.
So take a moment to give thanks for life this Thanksgiving, focus on the good.
Therein rests our hope for the future.