Bishop's Blog / A change of language

By Joseph Strickland
Friday, February 05, 2021

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A friend sent this beautiful sunset (or sunrise) image recently and I thought it would be a good image to accompany the thoughts I share here. When a child is conceived in the womb of his/her mother God is saying yes to life, yes to a brand new person beginning to rise into the human journey. In God's plan that child grows in wondrous ways through nine months in the womb and then is born into the world. Sometimes that life does not continue to live for various natural reasons but thankfully all of us who are presently in the world made it through those first days of our rising to life.

That hidden moment of conception is the beginning of a persons life and they have a God-given right to live until in the natural course of things they take their last breath. We must acknowledge that too often the "natural course of things" is interrupted through disease, accident or the intervention of another person. We call this intervention by another person murder.  

I have long been an advocate for our society to recognize that the intervention of abortion is murder, the murder of an unborn person.  It occurs to me that it may be helpful for us to change how we use the language. If abortion and murder are synonymous (and I believe they are) then maybe we should evoke the idea of an aborted life more often.

When a child is murdered in the womb before they can be born...... their life is aborted.

When a 10 year old is shot in a school shooting tragedy......their life is aborted.

When a 16 year old is a victim of human trafficking they are abused and too often......their life is aborted.

When an innocent bystander is gunned down in gang violence in an inner city.......their life is aborted.

When a poor person is neglected, malnourished and abused & they die young......their life is aborted.

When an elderly or handicapped person is euthanised....their life is aborted.

Maybe this change of language will help us all to be more aware that when an innocent life is taken directly by another persons intervention from the moment of conception until natural death........their life is aborted.

Let us pray that our society will move to a deepers respect for all life and stop aborting lives anywhere along the journey.

Back to the beautiful sunset/sunrise.  May it remind us of God's wondrous and loving plan for every person and deepen our resolve to hold life sacred as He does.


Joseph Strickland

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland was named the fourth bishop of Tyler in September of 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to being named bishop, he served a number of roles in the diocese, including vicar general, judicial vicar, and pastor of the Cathedral parish. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1985.
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