By Fr Tomás Walsh, SMA
In 1948, Ireland, along with almost all the nations of the world, ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). This Declaration codified in thirty articles the rights belonging to each human being arising from the fact that the person is human. These rights were deemed to be inviolable and non-negotiable – and antecedent to all positive law – i.e. not the gift of any government or political leader.
The UN Declaration was the result of world leaders coming together after World War II and determining that such horror as witnessed in this war, resulting in the death of over 60 million people, should never again be repeated. Article Three of the UDHR states: “Every human being has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
In the last fifty years abortion has snuffed out the lives of over 1.5 billion infant human beings worldwide – and the horror continues with over 50 million aborted throughout the world every year. Today, the womb has become a battlefield – one of the most dangerous places in the world for the child: And in the vast, vast majority of these cases the child is aborted for no other reason than it interferes with life-style.
How can reasonable people – other human beings – permit this holocaust? How can the heart be so numbed – the conscience so silenced? That we can convince ourselves that unborn infants fated to have special needs are not worthy of existence, or that healthy unborn infants can be dismembered, and their parts sold for profit? It shows how brutish and mercenary our world has become. That politicians can on one hand assert the nobility of Human Rights law, and on another enact legislation for the deliberate aborting of the most defenceless of all of the human community shows the schizophrenic world we have created.
Bruce Frohnen in his book ‘How Christianity Civilized Mankind’(January 2107), identifies clearly the cancer that stalks our world – and makes a powerful case that man only has a future if we live by God’s law. He writes: “Civilization is far more fragile than we would like to believe. As we dispense with religious institutions, beliefs, and practices – as we dispense with God Himself in the ridiculous belief that we are enough on our own – we leave ourselves open to a barbarism within and a more overt barbarism from without. For far too long we have been living off the bank and capital of the Christian ages even as we deny the value of the currency we spend. God insists on being loved for Himself. But even a belated recognition that such love is necessary for the possibility of any kind of decent life here on earth might help us recognize the necessity of order in the soul… Only by recognizing God’s will and His love can we recognize the sacredness of human life – and the dignity of ourselves and our fellow human beings…”