Refuse to Have Kids?

Refuse to Have Kids? September 16, 2015

Then make room for immigrants, says Pope Francis.

I love this. The Holy Father brilliantly exposes the selfishness–and God’s gracious offer of a chance to repent that selfishness–that confronts postmodern culture. It is fascinating to watch the way in which many in the allegedly prolife community have, in fact, lined up to defend selfishness. It is also good to see that a lot of people are willing to respond to the call of Christ to be neighbors to our neighbors.

“But what about the threat of ISIS?” Yes. Loving your neighbor–especially when your neighbor is a stranger–is always a risk. But Jesus already gave the marching orders: He who saves his life will lose it. He who loses his life for my sake will save it. C.S. Lewis speaks to this fallen instinct of self-preservation:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

“Are you saying we should just indiscriminately throw open the doors?”

Why do people ask this silly question? Of course not. But I do say that the concerted effort to paint a vast refugee population as invaders is evil and cowardly. The pope is simply right. How many times have prolife Catholics warned that our selfish obsession with the good of this world and comfort is what is behind the birth dearth and said that we need to recover Christian generosity? Well, here’s the chance. Have your parish help sponsor one refugee family, first, in Europe and (next year) here in the US when they start to arrive here.

That means more than chucking some money at a bureaucracy. It means meeting them at the airport, helping them get settled, helping them learn English, getting to know them and their kids.

Big talk, Shea. But when are you going to do it?

Actually, I already have done it, multiple times, with Romanian, Vietnamese, and Polish folk fleeing oppression. It’s not that hard when you have a community of people (say, a parish) behind you.

And I’ll be happy to do it again. So the Knights of Columbus at Blessed Sacrament parish in Seattle are going to see what we can do. With the networking resources available to the Catholic Church, there’s all kinds of possibilities.

“But what if they murder you in your sleep?”

You know, just asking that question should make us feel silly. It will turn out that what actually happens is you will build relationships with people who have been through immense trauma and just are trying to rebuild their lives after years in a terrible situation. Let go of your fears. What will be needed is *relationship*, not body armor.

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