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4.28.2005    |    The gift of life
The late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago put forward the "seamless garment of life" concept. It is a straightforward if apparently simple-minded approach to life at all stages. At its simplest, it was embodied in this statement:

All of life from conception until natural death is a seamless garment.
One may approach this philosophy in the socialist mode, and include blind pacifism as well as re-introducing the discredited social gospel.

According to a left-wing approach to this concept, at seamless-garment.org, the seamless garment includes saying "no" to abortion, capital punishment, war, poverty, and racism. In short, the left has politicized God's gift of life into a socialist manifesto. Thereby weakening its appeal.

Not that I think they are wrong about abortion or capital punishment. Or that I think that war is a good thing -- except when it's less bad than the alternatives to war. As for racism and poverty, well, they shall likely be with us always. The Christian must always strive to avoid racism, where racism should be defined as pre-judging another person, or taking action against, or granting favor to, another person strictly because of his race. I suspect that most so-called liberals would fail this last part of the definition.

What is central to considering life as a seamless garment is to simply remember that life, however poor, however much in pain, however futile or useless it may seem, is God's gift. It is not ours to take away. It is ours to nurture, to protect, until it is God's time to end it. It starts at conception. It ends at the natural death of the person.

[Sidebar: We all recognize that the meaning of "natural death" will vary from one person to the next, and as our medical science improves. Let common sense prevail. Let human dignity prevail.]

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.