This evening my husband and I found ourselves alone for dinner so we decided to treat ourselves to a bite to eat at the local Lebanese cafe. It is a small place so it is easy to hear snatches of conversations at nearby tables without even trying.
A couple about our age was seated close by. They were talking politics and not at all concerned that someone might hear them or disagree with their views. Let's just say I am pretty sure our votes cancel out theirs. The woman eventually declared, "I just can't see how anyone cannot be pro-choice. In my years of teaching I have seen so many children in bad family situations and it would have been much better if they had never been born." As she described one of these situations to her dinner partner, it became clear that this woman teaches high school at the school from which my children graduated. The child she thought should never have seen the light of day was a sixteen year old boy who felt unwanted by his mother and her new live-in boyfriend.
I did not jump into her private conversation and try to offer a defense of life. I merely offered a silent prayer that she may one day see the value of all lives. But I just can't stop thinking about her thought process. Based on the adversity she sees in these children's lives she thinks it would be better if they had they never been born. I would love to sit down with her and sort through her reasoning. How much is too much suffering? What kind of suffering does she think justifies snuffing out unborn lives? If she knew a child would develop a serious illness in the future would she also recommend that child be aborted? Does she really believe there is no hope for redemption from a challenging childhood and these children are lost causes? If the potential for suffering justifies abortion, does suffering during adulthood justify euthanasia?
It is actually unnerving to realize that this woman teaches high school students and very well could have taught my children yet thinks that children are disposable. She judges her students and those whose lives are plagued with difficulties are, in her eyes, unworthy of life. I do not expect nor want teachers to be surrogate parents for students, but every child is worthy of love and respect. If he does not get it at home, one would hope that a teacher could be an adult in his life that shows him he is valuable and his life is valuable. They do not need to be held in contempt for having been born.
KITCHEN TABLE CHATS
Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!
I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.
All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.