Building the culture of life

Are we — like German Christians — singing through the Holocaust?

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

by Ron Kelsey

A member of a church in Germany during the time of the Holocaust shares this dramatic story.

“A railroad track ran behind our small church and each Sunday morning we would hear the whistle from a distance and then the clacking of the wheels moving over the track. We became disturbed when one Sunday we noticed cries from the train as it passed by. We grimly realized that the train was carrying Jews. They were like cattle in those cars!

“Week after week, that train whistle would blow. We would dread to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that the Jews would begin to cry out to us as they passed by our church. It was so terribly disturbing! We could do nothing to help these poor miserable people, yet their screams tormented us. We knew exactly what time the whistle would blow and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to start singing our hymns. By the time the train came rumbling by the churchyard, we were singing at the top of our voices. If some of the screams reached our ears, we’d just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more. Years have passed and no one talks about it much anymore, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who call ourselves Christian, yet did nothing to intervene.”

Move forward to the current time. The slaughter of unborn babies continues nearly 40 years after Roe v. Wade, and the scale of the slaughter is well over 50 million babies to date with no end in sight. I would argue that society is singing louder — singing louder to avoid hearing the silent screams of the unborn. Our singing louder involves: rationalizing to the untenable “pro-choice” position because we seek the respect of the world rather than of God; being “too busy” to get involved; considering those involved in the battle to end abortion “too radical”; failing to properly form our consciences, etc. But God has made it perfectly clear that he expects us to be involved: “and from man in regard to his fellow man I will demand an accounting for human life” (Gn 9:5).

This demand from God should give us reason to pause and assess whether each of us is doing what we can to protect these babies and end abortion. What am I doing, according to my state in life, to protect innocent babies from being slaughtered? Am I ready to stand before God and account for human life . . . or am I singing louder?

About the author

Ron Kelsey

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