The 3801 Lancaster Film Project is an ongoing documentary series that is following the case of Dr. Gosnell – a case of unprecedented horror. One is left speechless, and indignant asking: “How was it that this clinic was allowed to operate in this condition? And, how was it that this doctor was allowed to practice medicine?”
These are questions to which I doubt we will ever know any specific answers but, to put it bluntly, the true answer is indifference and silence.
Those responsible for protecting, protected the aggressor instead of the victim. They flip-flopped the moral terms and changed the rules of the game. As a result, innocents suffered.
The bottom line here is the issue of evil: what do we do in the face of evil? Evil isn’t some abstract cartoon-like figure with horns… it is a certain dark tugging that each of us feels in our interior, it is a tug whose pull strengthens if we allow it to. It “festers, and festers, and festers” until we become “those who call evil good and good evil are as good as dead, who turn darkness into light and light into darkness, who turn bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20).
When witnessing such cases as these, our first response, after allowing a moment for the feeling of indignation to moderate itself, shouldn’t be running to grab a sign so as a protest this scandalous fact nor should it be to post 50 images of outcry against the event. These, if done with charity and prudence, have their place but are most certainly secondary. Our first action must be an examination of conscience, a moment to look at our own lives, to recognize that we all have areas of darkness that require forgiveness and reconciliation.
Avoiding all inflated sense of self-righteousness, let us offer up a prayer for those involved in these brutalities, for their conversion, for a change of heart. Then, let each one of us, according to our capacities and possibilities, strengthen our resolve to pray and to act so that these daily horrors called “services” may one day be erased from our neighborhood and cities.
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