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Friday, 22 April 2011

A Good Man is Hard to Find

The only time I saw an an upcoming abortion in living colour was on the side of a muddy bus in Guelph a few years back. My wife and I were driving behind the bus and there it was, an anti-abortion slogan, bigger than life, paid for by a group of pro-life University of Guelph students. We were looking for a new home, and I remarked that perhaps Guelph had the intestinal fortitude we were looking for, especially if a city bus could carry around a large pro-life ad through the streets of a university town, without  being defaced or worse. Try that in Toronto and the poster would probably end up on the front page of the newspapers, followed by a slanted editorial on hate crimes. And then there would be the demonstrations at Queen's Park with the requisite police brutality and jail sentences.
The poster depicted a fully formed fetus, floating blissfully in a blue sea of amniotic fluid, and its eyes were full of life. We never did buy in Guelph, but that image on the side of the bus haunts me to this day. Later on in the afternoon, we attended mass at the majestic church at the top of the hill. overlooking Guelph, and I prayed for the baby on the side of the bus. I could still see its face and the light around its head which resembled a halo splattered in street grime. 
And yesterday, a Conservative backbencher from the wild and wooly West informed a pro-life group that the Harper government would not be supporting abortions in the Third World. Mr. Harper immediately let us know that he would never re-open the abortion debate, and looked as if he were swatting at flies. The Liberals were all over Harper about womens' rights and the NDP claimed that Mr. Harper had a hidden agenda to shove through anti-abortion laws like a thief in the night.
The sad part about all of this is that these men are trying to answer to the wishes of a majority of urban Canadians. So what happened yesterday is simply a reflection of the lack of morality in this expansive, democratic country, where the hockey score takes precedence over the running count of abortions being performed daily. Even when the CBC news announcers simply mention the word abortion, their face muscles tighten, and they stop smiling in that simplistic way they do when they are talking about politically correct material, or they start looking very gloomy as if another puppy mill has been found within the confines of our politically correct city.
The magnificent Catholic writer, Flannery O'Connor pretty well sums it all up in her stunning short story called "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Just before he shoots the grandmother, the Misfit claims that, "Jesus was the only one that ever raised the dead. And He shouldn't have done it. He thown (sic) everything off balance. If He did what he said, then it's nothing for you to do but thow (sic) away everything and follow Him, and if He didn't then it's nothing for you to do but to enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can (sounds like a John Lennon song)...by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him."
Just like the Misfit, society is confused by its lack of faith and commitment, and its cynicism, and just like the Misfit, it will end up enjoying the killing fields of abortion, reeling it back from goodness, as if a snake had bitten it. But it's not all darkness. Flannery O'Connor always gives her characters a stab at daily redemption.
Who knows? Perhaps one day, Canada will find a really good man to lead this nation. But a good man is hard to find, and Canadians would have to begin believing that Christ really did what He claims to have done.
Then it will be nothing for us to do but throw away our stinking old politics and follow Him, as the Misfit suggests.
Have a blessed and peaceful Easter
and may Christ help Canada to find a really good man.

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