Dec 282012

It is so easy to cringe at Herod’s slaughter of the innocents. This was such an evil man whose lust for power would brook no interference. Where even Caesar Augustus said of him “It is better to be Herod’s dog than one of his children.” A child was seen as a rival and the age of that child was not important, just the threat of the child to his life of privilege.

Yet we have become a society of Herods. Herodian marriages and Herodian relationships. The so-called unexpected pregnancy views the child as a threat. A threat to their current lifestyle. A threat to a financial situation and an individual autonomy that is inward and not self-giving. Children are viewed as a zero-sum game where what they consume of time and money is taken from you with no return. Our openness to new life is dependent on more mercenary conditions that must be satisfied first and if they are not met instead of sending out soldiers for the slaughter we hire the abortionist.

From the bottom to the top of our society the Herodian attitude rules. We have a President that we as a culture re-elected who voted for infanticide rather than to allow any threat to legal abortion. A president who time and time again has seen possible grandchildren as a threat and a punishment for his daughters. We have both Herodian mothers and/or Herodian fathers pressuring for the elimination of a threat. Even those open to life will accept the slaughter of the innocents via IVF as long as one child survives. The Highlander approach to parenthood “That there can only be one” when multiple embryos are transferred to the uterus.

If Herod had known a way to prevent even the possibility of a threat to him he would surely have used it. Sterilization of the people of Bethlehem or injected contraceptives would have been an idea welcome to him if he had enough lead time. We have those tools of manipulation that Herod lacked and we put them to use. First our selfishness demands access to means to prevent life and then we demand that others pay for that means. When children are a financial strain then of course even the prevention of children is a financial strain that must be eliminated. We might point out Sandra Fluke as the cheerleader of this attitude, but the way was paved by the normalization of contraception and the shutting of the door to life.

While our society has many trappings of the celebration of Christ’s birth we also have many celebrations of the Herodian mindset. We have become post-Christian, but not post-Herod.

Mary the Blessed Mother of Christ, pray for us.

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and sigh,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

  4 Responses to “Rachael is still crying”

  1. I thought the quote was “Better to be Herod’s pig than Herod’s son.”

  2. I look at myself, and see those ugly specks that could grow, and know I could be a Herod.
    This is one of the dark secrets.

  3. I believe the Bible verse quoted was intended to convey the decible level of mothers’ cries, since Jerusalem is some 6 miles away. This is hardly the case here, where the cold, remorseless silence is frightening.

    In this tragic case, our mothers don’t attempt to fight or flee or hide their babies, they willingly walk in to hand them over–and some undoubtedly had two; our grieving mothers don’t weep and wail for their tragic loss, but weep and wail that their contraception and “morning after” pill might not be mandated on religous employers and organizations.

    Herod’s job of disposing of the Innocents would have been a lot easier if he ruled today: some 40% of mothers would have already brought their children in before the Wise Men ever told Herod about the new King’s star they were following.

  4. To be fair to Herod, who was not, by a long shot a nice person, the sons he killed were adults, who were trying to kill him. He had ten wives, nine at the same time, and as occurs in polygamous families, competition between the wives and sons was intense. He sent some of his children to Rome, where they were raised with the imperial children. Rome viewed them as hostages, but Herod figured that they were a long way away, and plenty more where they came from.

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