This article recounts the disturbing story of a New Jersey teen who allegedly committed infanticide and her boyfriend who tossed his newborn son’s body in a dumpster.
It reminds me of the detail in Rodney Stark’s The Rise of Christianity in which he explains how the radically different ethic based on genuine charity helped the little newcomer religion of Christianity conquer the great Roman empire.
Put very simply, the Christians just went about being Christians. When the plague swept through the cities they didn’t run for the hills. They stayed put and looked after not only their loved ones, but also their neighbors, and if they caught the plague and died they were considered martyrs for charity. Christian husbands loved their wives and treated them with equal respect. Christian parents loved their children and treated them with dignity. The pagan society, on the other hands, treated women as one step up from slaves and children as one step down from slaves. The Christians fed the poor, sheltered the homeless and loved one another.
One of the signs of this is that they rescued abandoned newborns who were thrown on the trash heap or flushed down the sewers. Stark says we know this from inscriptions on Christian tombs which record the nicknames of the children so rescued. “Here likes little Poopy” or “Here lies our daughter Trashy” The nicknames register their origins.
This also reminds me of that famous incident of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. While she was being filmed for a documentary about her work she heard a faint cry coming form a darkened, trash filled alley. She hurried down and found an abandoned infant, took it up and with glowing eyes said, “She’s alive!”
This is the sign of the pro life movement we must all embrace. We must not only work to end abortion. We must also work to make adoption affordable. Why can’t we work as hard to get legislation into place which directs government help towards adoptive families? Let’s give adoptive families tax breaks and educational grants. Let’s eliminate the high legal fees for adoption. Why does it cost tens of thousands of dollars to adopt a child? It’s ludicrous and greedy. It should be an easy and cheap process and should not be cluttered up with politically correct social service hounds.
Along with outlawing abortion and ministering to women in crisis pregnancies with great compassion and good will we should also work to make the adoption option readily available.
Our statement should be that of Mother Teresa: “Every child should be a wanted child? I want them. Give them to me.”