Homilette for Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

(Exodus 1:8-14.22; Matthew 10:34-11.1)

Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for genocide. It refers to a people’s attempt to rid themselves of a rival nation, race, culture, or religion. We can rightly classify the Egyptians throwing every male child of Israel into the river as ethnic cleansing. Although we think of the practice as so barbaric and primitive that it is restricted to remote places if not centuries, we might discern a close proximity to ethnic cleansing in contemporary America.

Two years ago the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that all pregnant women take a test to determine if their fetuses carry Downs Syndrome. Although the doctors purportedly want to give the women a choice to have a baby affected with the disability, in effect the recommendation means the end of people with Downs Syndrome. Few women will take up the challenge of parenting a Downs Syndrome baby, not because it is so daunting but because everyone wants a normal-looking son or daughter. The crime is greater than the monstrosity of abortion. It is tantamount to genocide of a cultural subgroup whose members time and again have lived well-adjusted lives while contributing to the moral development and often rich happiness of their families.