What Do You Think?

It’s been a violent year or so, hasn’t it? It seems like everywhere we turn there is more news of more horror and more violence. Why? Where does it come from?

If you ask 100 different people, you’ll probably get 100 different answers as to why there is so much violence in our society. To be sure, it is a complex issue and there are many factors involved in every act of violence that appears on our newsfeed.

In looking for root causes, we must always be wary of over-simplification and sweeping statements. Nevertheless, some factors are more important than others — even if they are not immediately obvious.

Mother Teresa’s Take

In 1994, Mother Teresa gave an historic speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. In it she sought to answer, ‘What is the great destroyer of peace and bringer of violence?’

Here are her words:

I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion should be helped to love — that is, to give until it hurts her plans or her free time — to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion (National Prayer Breakfast, February 3, 1994). 1

We are now 22 years removed from that speech. Looking back, it almost seems prophetic, doesn’t it?

Notes:

  1. As cited in Joseph M Stowell Redefining Leadership: Character-Driven Habits of Effective Leaders. Emphasis mine.