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The Cajun Navy & The Culture of Life

Transcript of a portion of the Culture of Life talk at Generation Life in St. Louis, which can be heard in full here

Photo by the Archdiocese of St. Louis Office of Youth Ministry

Abortion is an act of violence. Violence hurts people. Violence hurts families. And it’s important for us to rise up to the occasion and do something about it!

This is about the Cajun navy. Has anyone heard about the Cajun navy? It was totally under reported whenever all of this was happening. Louisiana’s famous for many things: Mardi Gras, New Orleans, partying, but we’re famous for our natural disasters, which is?

Audience responds, “Hurricanes!”

Hurricane’s, right? And Hurricane Katrina was a catastrophic event, obviously. Wiped out New Orleans. Ton of rain. Floods. I know people who lost everything in Katrina, moved an hour west, and lost everything in Baton Rouge in this one in one thousand year flood in 2016. It was actually three times the amount of rainpour from Katrina to this Baton Rouge flood. And at the time, there were hundreds of boat owners, just private boat owners who went down to Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas and were saving people. They saved thousands of people with their hundreds of boats.

Why am I telling you about boats?

Because I think the pro-life movement and a culture of life cause is like a flood. It’s like a crisis. It deserves a sense of urgency. It’s not like people with boats were asking, “Ooh, could I have a better boat? Should I get a bigger boat? That guy has a yacht, and I just have a pirogue!”

No, people with boats went out to help, and the people who were being helped weren’t particular, “Ooh, I don’t want to get on that boat…” It’s a flood! There’s a sense of urgency. One: We have to really do something. Right now. The culture of life isn’t just about abortion. There are a lot of aggressive forms of violence taking a lot of lives. And this is something we should care about deeply! Enough to do something right now. And not just once a year, not just in January during pro-life month. Or in October for Respect Life month. This is a daily, daily thing that we need to take up our role in the culture of life and do what we can to build it.

So one: it’s a state of crisis. It’s like a house being on fire and saying, “Hm, I’m not sure. I’m not feeling it today.” Or like watching someone drown and saying, “Hm, I just don’t feel called.” There’s a sense of urgency, and we need to look at this as a state of crisis. And we need to act now.

Number two: we all have resources…different resources! Like I said, we have different boats, if you will. You might have a different looking resource, and so we might be working in different life issues, and that’s okay! I know mine is abortion. I know I talk about abortion a lot because that’s the thing that has affected me the most. This is my boat. My pirogue.

Some of you might have a fan boat. Something else, something different. That’s good! You need to figure out what is the thing that you have that no one else has and be pro-life in it. Serve the culture of life with it. The priesthood, some of you are teachers, or youth ministers. A lot of you are students. But guess what? It’s students, high school and college-aged students are the ones getting abortions. It’s your friends. It’s your cousins. It’s your siblings.

So this? What I get to do here with a microphone in my hand? That’s a part of me building a culture of life, but what’s more important is my ordinary time back home. It’s with my sisters, and in my community back home with the local efforts. That’s what we’re here for today. It’s to do the local efforts. Yes, it’s great to make national appearances, but you gotta start here! This is where you are! Serve where you are!

I have this quote I want to end with from Archbishop Desmond Tutu on ambivalence: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

This is not the time to be neutral. The culture of life desperately needs you! You need to act. You need to serve. There’s an opportunity to meet a lot of resources here today, so I hope you’ll take very seriously who you’re meeting today because everyone you meet is a gift from the Heart of the Father. I want you to believe that. I want you to know that. You have each other. The Lord gave us each other to serve, so find people who you want to serve with and serve your mission with them.

Thank y’all so much for helping me build a culture of life and a civilization of love!

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