On Monday President Trump announced his selection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court. As Catholics, we hope and pray that Mr. Kavanaugh will author or join decisions that recognize the inherent dignity and right to life of all persons, and greater protections for religious freedom. However, many across the country are upset with his pending confirmation.
In divisive times like these, we must continually remind ourselves what is truly important: the human person was created for relationship with God. A life without God deprives us of a life as it is meant to be, as well as an eternal relationship with Him.
Those who don’t recognize a right to life (or the meaning of our lives) will not have their hearts changed just because the Supreme Court might recognize that right. Instead, with this appointment, they will be afraid. We must show them that they have nothing to fear. We must listen, have compassion, give of ourselves, and most importantly share Christ.
Such a strategy would not be welcomed with open arms. But we must show that we grow as a society that respects and values one another by putting God first, because a society that doesn’t recognize God has no basis for giving rights to anyone. When we don’t recognize God, we lose reason to have respect for the inherent dignity of the person. For a human person—a creature by definition—having dignity is part of his or her essence, but that essential dignity can only be given by the Creator of that person, i.e. God. (We did not have to be created with essential dignity, but God chose to do so.) When we don’t recognize God, we lose the full recognition for that dignity and why it should be protected in all situations for all people, and we inevitably limit the definition of what it means to be a person with rights.
For God to be put first, we need to share Christ with those who don’t know Him. We must start by showing others that we genuinely care about them. We should be willing to spend intentional time with someone that doesn’t know Christ. If we are, we might be an avenue for an encounter with Christ that could change that person’s life. That takes time, commitment, patience, and boldness with the truth, but there is nothing greater that we could do for another person.
When we encounter Christ, and when we make Him the very center of our lives, everything else falls into place (even if it’s not what the world wants us to value.) When that happens on a societal level, everything could change. To build a culture of life, we not only need the legal framework to protect it, but also to share the Gospel on an individual basis, just as Christ did.
Finally, we all need to continue to pray for our country and for Judge Kavanaugh. Just because we hope that he will recognize fundamental rights does not mean that he will, and Judge Kavanaugh will be faced with immense spiritual attack because of the opportunities before him. Let us pray for him, our country, our neighbors, our leaders, and ourselves, that we might all know Christ in a deeper way.
Written by: Jordan Buzza