Mary Kochan publishes the question many I know were pondering in the last few days:
In the wake of the horrifying deaths of 20 young school children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at Newtown, Connecticut, there is one question that we must ask. We must ask it while the horror is fresh and we must ask it when the process of grief has eased our shock and pain and we must ask it the next time and all the days in between now and the next time.
In what way did those children differ from the unborn who are slaughtered in this country by the thousands every day in abortion clinics SUCH THAT the former deserve the protection of the law and latter do not?
The piece is stark and relentless in its reasoning. The first two comments below the article express discomfort with the thesis, saying that her comparison "[trashes] the experience so disrespectfully" (experience, it would seem, meaning grief). But Mary is not trashing the national absorption over this particularly wretched act, but rather doing the exact opposite: she is reminding us of the grief we owe concerning the innocents slaughtered daily. It's not that the grief in Newtown is prone to politicisation, but that the commensurate acknowledgement of the children aborted daily is startlingly absent.
This needs to be said. Nothing is cuter than a kindergartener, but cute is not a criterion for human dignity. There are empty chairs nationwide in every grade that could have been filled by those whose only differentiating feature was that they were unwanted by their mothers.
Our grief for those suffering in Newtown is well nigh overwhelming. But the same should be said for the daily loss of life in our midst. We aren't seeking to diminish that suffering, but adding to it our grief for those who never make the evening news.
They scarcely waked before they slept,
They scarcely wept before they laughed;
They drank indeed death's bitter draught,
But all its bitterest dregs were kept
And drained by Mothers while they wept.