Dear Friends in Christ:
Today we remember the nearly 3000 victims of the terrorist attacks on our nation by Al-Qaeda on 9/11/01. We honor the memory of those who perished as a result of the hate-filled terrorists’ despicable acts. We recall with gratitude the heroism and selflessness of the first responders who lost their lives. We remember and honor our military men and women who have died and those who have been wounded in the War on Terror. We continue to pray for the safety and protection of all of our military personnel who are serving to protect our nation and in defense of freedom. We also pray that we may be protected from further acts of terror, and we pray for our leaders that they may be given wisdom and strength in their responsibilities of governing. In a most special way, we pray for our fellow Christians around the world but especially in the Middle East, who are suffering persecution at the hands of Islamic radicals.
In recent weeks, there have been reports of new horrible acts of terror by ISIS. While all terrorist acts by their very nature are horrible, these recent acts stand out in their vileness and inhumanity. In Turkey and in Iraq, children are now being used as suicide bombers. ISIS has a history of using children in their war on humanity. These barbarians have used young children as weapons and as human shields. As horrific as these crimes are, there is now something even more sinister and hideous that has been witnessed and even recorded on camera. In Iraq, two young boys were used as suicide bombers by their own father! A father strapped explosives around the young bodies of his own sons and sent them to kill themselves and to murder as many people as they could in the name and for the cause of Islam. This is unimaginable. How any Muslim who is a rational human being could remain silent at this act of pure evil is beyond all comprehension.
Yet before we, Christians, stand too tall in our disdain and disgust, we should take an honest look at our own societies and values. We should examine how we as a society also allow our children to be murdered. It may not be in the ideological cause of religion, but we too have parents murdering their own children and in far greater numbers. And like the Islamic world, the majority of Christians remain silent. Our children are also dying for ideological purposes, not for the cause of true religion but of false religion. The ideologies of pleasure, selfishness, convenience, fear, hatred, falsehood, financial prosperity, career, despair and greed are among the ideologies for which we allow our children to die. As evil as ISIS is, abortion is no less so. Far more innocent human beings have been murdered in the United States due to legalized abortion than ISIS could ever imagine killing. Since abortion was legalized in the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973, more than 53 million innocent babies have been “legally” killed. This is nearly ten times the number of Jews killed by Hitler and the Nazis in the Holocaust. Today, 21% (1 in 5) of all pregnancies in the United States ends in an abortion. And in every abortion there are always at least two victims, the unborn child and the mother. The scars and wounds of abortion do not end with the pregnancy.
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately