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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Peace & Life Connections; February 15, 2013

February 15th, 2013

We reproduce the Consistent Life “Peace & Life Connections” weekly newsletter on this website. If you are interested in more information, or in subscribing to the e-newsletter directly, please visit Please note that we do not edit the content of this publication.

Cemetery of Innocents, Garden of Justice

Patrick Grillot reports: Like many pro-life student organizations, Students for Life at Saint Louis University annually displays crosses in a prominent area of its campus to commemorate the number of lives lost to abortion. This year we modified our “Cemetery of the Innocents” display to include five subjects, many of which do not traditionally align with what people think of when they think of pro-life issues. Our “Cemetery of the Innocents” was a visual representation of five offenses against the dignity of the human person: abortion, capital punishment, rape, physician assisted suicide and poverty. To make the display more impactful, we used specific, local data where possible, such as abortions on college-aged women in Missouri and the number of people living below the poverty line in St. Louis. See story and photos.

Because we are not only committed to destroying a culture of death, but also cultivating a culture of life, we created a “Garden of Justice” to represent different movements toward restoring the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death. Paralleling the subjects of the “Cemetery of the Innocents,” the “Garden of Justice” comprised color-coded flowers to represent the number of students aided by SLU’s Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance, states that had repealed the death penalty, Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network affiliated crises centers in Missouri, states that have outlawed physician assisted suicide, and meals served by Campus Kitchens nationwide.

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Achievement in Academia

The director of our research arm (the Institute for Integrated Social Analysis), Rachel MacNair, is now serving as president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 48 – peace psychology. Being president gives the prerogative to appoint task forces at the division level for specific purposes – not as high prestige as APA-wide, but the work gets done.

Rachel naturally used the consistent life ethic to come up with a set of three. War is covered by the one on drones, a new area which definitely needs psychological research. There’s one on the death penalty, and another on abortion. Yes, she was able to get one on abortion (president’s prerogative), and the call for nominations has gone out APA-wide, with some good people volunteering already for each one.

She takes a peace-psychology perspective on abortion, and asks a more comprehensive set of questions (see her paper explaining).

If you or someone you know with good psychology qualifications may be interested in applying to be on one of the task forces, here’s the call for nominations (deadline March 8).

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Quotation of the Week

Rodney Stark, sociologist of religion

Discovering God (HarperCollins, 2007), p. 321

He is discussing the Roman Empire in the first three centuries of the Christian era.

“Once married, pagan girls had a substantially lower life expectancy, much of the difference being due to the great prevalence of abortion, which involved barbaric methods in an age without soap, let alone antibiotics. Given the very significant threat to life and the agony of the procedure, one might wonder why pagan women took such risks. They didn’t do so voluntarily. It was men – husbands, lovers, and fathers – who made the decision to abort. It isn’t surprising that a world that gave husbands the right to demand that infant girls be done away with would also give men the right to order their wives, mistresses, or daughters to abort.”

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