Michael Forrest is a Catholic writer, speaker and catechist who converted to the Catholic faith from the Baptist church. He has written for several Catholic periodicals with a focus on pro-life, cultural and ecumenical issues. He resides in Massachusetts with his wife and four children.
I agree with 60 Minutes' Scott Pelley. And I hope he eventually thinks through all the ramifications of what he stated last year in an important interview about his decision to air what CBS has characterized as the program’s “most disturbing footage in its 47-year history” related to the mass killing of Syrian men, women and children with sarin gas.
We wanted the world to see what this was, in all of its ugliness. They killed more than a thousand people, 400 children! You can read about that all day, but if you don't see it, I don't believe the impact truly hits you…Our hope was to put together all of the available evidence in one place, in one story, so people could truly understand the magnitude of what happened.
He then went on to say:
I think we have entered a new era of human rights that are in some way safeguarded and guaranteed by the fact that everybody has a video camera and a way to publish that video. We’ve never seen anything like these…attacks in Damascus. And I use the word ‘seen’ with great emphasis.
The CBS interviewer responded intently, “It doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. We just haven’t seen it.” To which Pelley replied, “Yes, these things have happened and they keep happening because we don’t see it.”
This is certainly true. Some people can be moved to action by words, as we witnessed in regard to slavery with "Uncle Tom's Cabin". But others will be far more effectively moved to action by pictures and video, as we saw in the fight against segregation.
I hope and pray for the day when Pelley or someone like him in the mainstream media cares enough to similarly show the world the heart-breaking reality of the 3,000 children a day, 1.2 million a year, who are killed by abortion in this country. Because each child is hidden from view in his or her mother's womb and the killing is hidden behind closed doors in a "doctor's office", many of us remain detached from and unmoved by this tragedy of epic proportions. But today, thanks to technology, we can and do see inside the womb. We even perform operations on children in utero. We also certainly have more than enough pictures and video of the terrible reality of abortion and medically precise presentations by abortionists. The documentary evidence is already there. It just needs to be presented to the world with the sort of passion and expertise that Mr. Pelley and 60 minutes demonstrated for the poor Syrian children who have been killed by sarin gas.
One day, much as we do now with slavery and segregation, I truly believe we will look back as a nation with great pain and remorse over the loss of over 50 million of our daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews and ask, "How could we have allowed this to happen?" And those in the media, who had the power to show us the beauty and humanity of the unborn child in the womb, as well as the barbaric inhumanity of abortion, will bear a great burden for that failure.
Let’s pray that people like Scott Pelley will soon step forward “so people could truly understand the magnitude” of what is happening to children in the womb. Perhaps then, we will finally decide once and for all that we are a people who care for and defend the most innocent and vulnerable among us rather than viewing them as a problem to be disposed of.