Life, Babies, Mothers, Machine Guns

The annual March for Life is happening today in Washington D.C. Thinking about the issue of abortion and pro-life causes, these images come to mind. The first one is from a Time magazine article on breastfeeding called: “Are you mom enough?”

baby 2

baby 3

baby 1

 Pregnant Soldier moms

The only thing stranger than the conflation of militarism and Christianity is the conflation of militarism and motherhood, as if becoming a “defender” (read: taker) of life is only a natural extension of being a bearer and giver of life. We need only look at this image to see just how incongruous these two symbols really are.

mary with gun

I’m a bit at a loss for words on this one, so I’ll just include the “Mother’s Pledge to and Covenant with Every Other Mother,” which is applicable, I think, on this day when we think about the sanctity of life. I hope the pro-life movement will soon expand to embrace the protection of life both in the womb and out, both in America and outside its borders:

I will not raise my precious child to kill your precious child.
And if it is within my power, I will not hand over my beloved child
to another to kill your beloved child or to learn how to kill the one you cherish.

The “Mother’s Day Proclamation” by Julia Ward Howe was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. Written in 1870, Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War.

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

by Julia Ward Howe

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