Friday, November 26, 2010

"To Kill a Mockingbird" and Abortion

Excerpted from a message by Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List

My daughter just read one of my favorite books of all time, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. She understood right away (took me years) the gravity of the meaning in the title. Here’s the key passage:

"Atticus said to Jem one day, 'I'd rather you shoot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to a kill a mockingbird.'

That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.

'Your father's right,' she said. 'Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'"

My daughter said, “I thought of abortion.” I had not. I had thought of the two strong male characters perceived in the town as expendable. Tom Robinson, the powerless black man wrongly accused and convicted of rape. I thought of the young man Boo Radley, mentally a child, and relegated to a life in the basement next door.

Add the unborn because they fit beautifully: each one with value beyond measure, sent for our joy, but unappreciated for their intrinsic value.

They surprise us with their gifts. “They don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out” in whatever way they were sent to sing. To kill them is surely a sin in the way Atticus describes it—and a grievous loss. For the unborn, it is the loss of almost 4,000 brilliant and unique songs per day.

That’s why the victory for them is so sweet. And why now is the moment. You created this moment we can seize on their behalf for sure, but also for our own joy. We need the “music” they were sent for us to enjoy.

You are a blessing and reason for a scientifically-correct, happier life in our world. Thank you for your own music!

Marjorie Dannenfelser
Susan B. Anthony List

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