This post is the work of students at the 2011 Live Action Leadership Summit currently taking place. The students have formed teams for their time at the Summit and each chose heroes as their team name. The teams are competing with one another, and their first assignment was to write about a hero in history who upheld the value of the human person, and discuss how this hero informs and inspires them to be pro-life advocates today. We now encourage you to give your feedback and encouragement to these amazing youth age 14-19 in the feedback section below.
By: Emily DePangher, Veronica Belocci, Shiloh Kauk, Robert Rose, Rebeka Seleshi, McKenna Stevens, and Alex Sucala
The shadow of extreme self-indulgence has cast itself over our culture in the last century or so, shifting it dramatically. As sexual promiscuity skyrocketed, Americans began to take lethal measures to deal with its consequences. Consequently, our culture started to reject the sanctity of life, culminating in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade decision. Since abortion has been legal, it has claimed tens of millions of innocent lives. The abortion lobby has blinded American people to the horrors of this barbaric practice. But do not think that this cultural blemish is the first of its kind.
In the ebb and flow of civilization there is woven a sinister thread of injustice. One manifestation is seen in Ireland in the early 400’s, with a cruel yet culturally accepted slave trade. In this time-period we can find hope for our present situation. A hero arose, championing the truth of human worth, and stirred the people to a more virtuous society. Saint Patrick demonstrates to us as pro-life advocates that cultural change is both necessary and possible, and that it can be achieved through unbending devotion to the purity and the proclamation of the truth.
In the early 400’s in Ireland the culture of slavery and human sacrifice was accepted without question by the Irish. In the midst of this injustice rose the hero known today as Saint Patrick. Born in Great Britain, he was captured by Irish slave-traders at the age of sixteen and sold as a slave. Years later he escaped and returned home; however, having been impacted by the abuse he experienced in Ireland–and having a strong conviction about the equality of all men–he later returned as a man with a passion to end Irish slavery and human-sacrifice forever.
Eventually to become a trusted bishop, he preached boldly the ugly reality of slavery and human sacrifice. Most importantly, he trained up people to lead the Christian communities that he established. In this way, Saint Patrick succeeded in piercing to the core of Ireland’s cultural corruption and bringing about renewal. Historian Thomas Cahill reports that an aged Patrick could “look out over an Ireland transformed by his teaching” (Cahill 109).
Truth, when spoken boldly, never fails to enact change. Just as Saint Patrick’s dedication caused a landslide shift in Ireland’s understanding of the value of human life, the truth about abortion and it’s accompanying industry is already changing attitudes.
Following Saint Patrick’s example, Live Action seeks to reach new leaders with accurate truth about today’s greatest human rights abuse–abortion. Bringing this injustice to the light is the first step in the renewal of our society. The truth is simple: all men are created equal. All men–whether free or slave, dark or light, born or unborn–must be protected. More so when they cannot protect themselves. Therefore we speak, and teach, and declare to the nations that we will protect all life, with no partiality.
Millions of children have lost their lives because of a simple lie about the humanity of the unborn. Until we expose this gross fabrication–until we can flush out the lies with truth–we will see no change. Falsehood will thrive until it is revealed. But we, as young and few as we may seem, have not only the ability, but the responsibility, to speak truth to those around us. As the slaves in Ireland learned firsthand through the influence of Saint Patrick, “The truth will set you free.”