Respect Life Month

October 12, 2010 at 1:57 am (Community, Faith, Politics) (, , , )

October is Respect Life Month in the Catholic Church. You’d be forgiven (at least by me!) for thinking that the only life the Church cares about is the nine months in utero. There is overwhelming emphasis on abortion. In last week’s Catholic Herald, Archbishop Jerome Listecki called abortion “the premier social justice issue” for Catholics.

I don’t really want to comment on that. I don’t really want to talk about how I see Listecki’s column as a not-so-subtly veiled directive to Catholics to vote Republican. (See how I just did that?)

Instead, maybe during October I can offer up a few other issues we as Catholics should be thinking about during Respect Life month. Today’s topic is an oldie but a goodie and was actually raised this evening by the seven-year old: the death penalty.

My second grader was studying for her religion test this evening. She has to have certain Bible verses memorized, among them the words spoken by the repentant robber crucified next to Jesus: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42) Profound stuff, right? So I asked her what it meant.

“He wanted Jesus to remember him when he got to heaven. Because he was sorry. Because you shouldn’t kill somebody who’s sorry.”

Should you kill anyone? I asked.

“No!” came back the vehement response.

Who decides how long somebody lives? was my next question.

“God,” said the five-year-old and the seven-year-old in tandem.

Glory hallelujah. Maybe there’s hope for the Church after all.

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