This article appeared in the El Reno (Oklahoma) Tribune today. Unfortunately, it isn't available as a link.
By Ray Dyer
I need to get something off my chest.
It’s probably been 15 years, maybe longer, since I wrote a column that focused on the evils of abortion. The column appeared in The Tribune at this time of year because Jan. 22 is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. A decision that effectively made abortion on demand legal in the United States.
I recall writing this decision would someday cause the world to judge our society as being similar to the Nazis. I argued abortion as no different than Hitler ordering the slaughter of millions of innocent people during World War II. It seemed like a pretty simple picture to paint at the time.
People who keep track of such things said then that at least 1 million babies were killed each year by abortion. I think the numbers are about the same today. My argument back then was that a figure like that would make the number of people Hitler ordered killed seem rather pale in comparison.
After the column appeared I went on with life as usual. I was a bit surprised at the end of Mass that Sunday morning at Sacred Heart Church when Father Philip Wilkemeyer, now deceased, told the parish how brave it was of me to take this stand. I remember feeling a bit embarrassed by the attention, but admittedly also a bit proud for being recognized as brave.
Now, years later I only feel embarrassed and even a bit ashamed of the cold and uncaring attitude I expressed in that column. I couldn’t see it then; I set myself up as judge, jury and executioner. No mercy, no consideration for the feelings of others.
That column made it seem perfectly all right to non-chalantly lump what is no doubt an act of complete and total despair made by a young woman the world demands perfection from in with the kind of scolding dished out over a bumble by an inattentive City Council or school board.
Please don’t misunderstand; I haven’t changed my belief about abortion. It’s terribly wrong and it causes unthinkable harm to everyone involved. It seriously damages our society and the entire world for that matter. Life is sacred. It’s a lesson the world is taking a very long time to learn.
The guilt I have is for the way I stood in judgment of people, especially women, many who were and perhaps still are hurting more than any of us could ever know. People whom for years may have felt the need to suffer in silence. The last thing hurting people need is someone like me piling it on. Pouring salt on a wound that refuses to heal.
I’m sorry if the words I wrote years ago hurt you.
We learn things as we go through life. Some of us learn sooner than others.
There is a healing ministry known as Rachel’s Vineyard. It helps women and men who are suffering from the pain and hurt of abortion. It’s not an easy ministry to allow into your life. It deals with truth and honesty. It also deals with love, mercy and forgiveness. I promise one thing; Rachel’s Vineyard will not pour salt on your wounds.
You can learn more about Rachel’s Vineyard by calling toll free 1-877-467-3463. Or go to www.rachelsvineyard.org