The power of a good story

February 1, 2013
Filed under Columns, Editor’s Desk

In the wake of mass shootings, Patrick Novecosky explores why we value human life . . . .

Patrick Novecosky

Patrick Novecosky

by Patrick Novecosky

Ever since a madman went on a murderous rampage in Connecticut on Dec. 14, debate across the U.S. has swirled around the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. Pundits have debated everything from gun magazine size to violent video games and mental illness.

One point that hasn’t entered into the debate, however, is the reason we value human life at all. To most Christians, the reason is simple: We are created in God’s image and likeness (Gen 1:27). Catholics go deeper: “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next” (Baltimore Catechism, #6).

Secularists recognize the value of human life to a point because we have an instinctive drive to preserve it — and as a by-product of the West’s Christian roots. Neither of these reasons, however, have been able to stop the rapid erosion of respect for human life in our culture. Newtown is just one example. Planned Parenthood’s recent annual report revealed that the abortion giant took the life of an innocent child every 94 seconds in 2011.

Pro-lifers have been working to change hearts and minds for 40 years, ever since the Supreme Court handed down its most notorious ruling, Roe v. Wade. TIME magazine even had a cover story last month noting the pro-life movement’s steady progress. More Americans than ever consider themselves pro-life and want restrictions on abortion.

Nearly half a million people took to the streets of Washington, D.C., on Jan. 25 to protest Roe, but there is still work to do. Legates are in the thick of the battle. Members operate networks of pregnancy care centers, they do advocacy work, they fund pro-life initiatives, and most members pray regularly for the unborn and abortion-minded women.

One new Legate-driven initiative uses the power of film to influence the hearts and minds of those who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise oppose abortion. Jason Jones (Hollywood Chapter) knows the power of a good story. He was an executive producer of Bella in 2006. For his new film, Crescendo, he teamed up with Pattie Mallette, mother of pop superstar Justin Bieber. (Click here for a related story.)

Jesus taught in parables for a good reason, and the best homilies contain stories that help us understand the gospel in our own day. Jones does the same thing in his 15-minute film. It’s sure to change many hearts and minds, adding to the growing number of those who respect life from conception to natural death.

Patrick Novecosky is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.

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