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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason



Earthquakes, Disasters, and the Children

The Tsunami of Abortion

The Correctness of our Pain


  • November 1970, Bhola cyclone, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Death toll: 500,000

  • July 1976, Tangshan earthquake China. Death toll: 242,419 – 779,000

  • December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean earthquake, Indonesia. Death toll: 230,273 – 310,000 *

Our hearts were broken

Believer and agnostic alike look to the Heavens and finding no satisfactory answer, cry ...

But all the children ...”

We are scandalized by this.

How could God allow it?”

For some, their faith is shaken, for others it is a further indictment of any faith in God at all.

After all, they were only innocent children ...

Selective Scandal: the Greater Scandal Still

Oddly enough ...  for all our pain, our tremendous empathy, our terrible outrage ... we entirely lose this sense of scandal at the dark doors of the abortion clinics — where millions of utterly, totally innocent children are killed — with deliberation, purposely, skillfully, and with the cooperation of their very parents ...  to say nothing of our physicians, governments and courts.

Quite suddenly, our sense of scandal is lost.

Here, we can do something ... and do nothing!

Suddenly ... the children do not exist. The killing does not occur. There is no death and we do not mourn.

Would we really turn our back on an approaching Tsunami and, pretending it does not exist, equally pretend that it will carry no one out to sea and death?

A far greater Tsunami has occurred; one that engulfs nations, sweeps continents ... carrying off the lives of millions of childrenand we ourselves even throw them into the sea! ... then, stepping back, we turn around and pretend that the backwash of death at our feet is an illusion.

What incredible hypocrisy and astonishing hubris!

Where is our outcry then? 

How carefully we select our scandals, our outrage!

We keep it for God on the one hand — and wash our own hands clean of any complicity whatever on the other.

We call God to the dock and we comfortably exculpate ourselves.

It is entirely acceptable, “correct”, to us, that we encourage, allow, permit, legislate, murder in the millions, the most innocent and vulnerable of all — our own children by state-sanctioned abortion! But if a disaster strikes, if a mass murder occurs, and the lives of children are lost, we are furious with God?

We cannot stop earthquakes and tsunamis — but we can stop abortion!

Why do we have no fury for God for allowing the far, far, greater evil of abortion to exist, to endure? Why has it dissipated? Where has it gone? We are rightly reluctant to call God to account for evils of our own making — but we must account them evil, first.

Here we draw the line between what we will select as a scandal, although the results are sadly the same. Children die. Here, we are eager to quibble, and death acquires another name, some euphemism more in keeping with our  ... sensitivities ... and since we are eager to equivocate on death, it is only natural that we equivocate on life.

As with our “scandal”, so with the lives of our children: we choose what is a scandal and we choose what is a child, and after careful consideration both had better correctly accord with prevailing morals ... which is to say, none. Or there will be Hell to pay.

“if I were God ...!”

If there is a God ... if I were God ... I would never allow such things to happen!

We are, of course, more enlightened, sensitive, compassionate, merciful, more understanding, and by all accounts far wiser than God. In a word, we are far better than God, as evidenced by the sad sequence of events that have numbed us. “...if I were God ...”

Sadly, you are not. Shall I prove it?

Here, at this time, in this place, before these doors leading to death, we ourselves can stop it! — and do nothing.

It is odd that we do not bless God for what we deem this “great good” allowed us — to murder our children — when, on the other hand, we curse Him for allowing them to swept into the sea.

In both cases the children are dead. But only in one is it through our own will and complacency — and in untold millions.

We can stop it, on the one hand, and do not; we are thankful that we are permitted to kill our children — while on the other, if we wish them to live, and they die, we curse Him that He permits this.

What is this madness?

We murder our own children in the millions — willfully — and we will indict God if the lives of children are taken by any means other than willful murder?

And you would that you were God ...? Thank God, that you are not!

Our own hypocrisy, complicity, and complacency are the only evils commensurable with the evil we permit ... and even pay for!


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

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Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name. (Apocalypse 3.8)


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