Hollywood celebrities raised nearly $60 million in abortion-relief funds during last week’s MTV-sponsored telethon. Crisis pregnancy centers were among a handful of pro-life organizations that will benefit from the telethon.
Psych. There was no star-studded, televised charity event aimed at raising money to help the pro-life cause. There was, however, Hope for Haiti Now, hosted by George Clooney and Wyclef Jean, which raised $58 million for Haitian relief efforts.
Let’s face it: supporting Haiti is, like Hansel, so hot right now. It’s the cool thing to do. If Bono, Madonna, Beyonce and Sting show up for a charity telethon, the “cause” must be Billboard Top-20 hip. Haiti is the cause du jour.
On the one hand, the outpouring of support and compassion for the Haiti people is an inspiring testimony of our willingness to help our fellow Man. The best of the human condition is on full display in Haiti, in the midst of unspeakable tragedy and misery.
On the other, self-congratulation and self-exoneration seem to be the motivating factors for being charitable. Forget about true broken-heartedness over the catastrophe, the lost lives and the orphaned children. We write checks to ease a guilty conscience, to appear righteous. “I did my part.” The focus is on the giver, not the receiver. Celebrities arrive at and depart from a charity event in VIP motorcades and that makes them compassionate because…why?
Perhaps the biggest fallout of cause du jours is that we lose perspective on more devastating catastrophes closer to home. This last Sunday was Sanctity of Life Sunday, marking the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Pro-lifers marched and prayed all week in hope that the catastrophe of abortion will eventually come to an end.
Yes, I said catastrophe. It’s time we looked at abortion through this narrative.
Let’s break it down by the numbers. Since 1973, 50 million unborn children in the United States have been sacrificed on the altar of “choice”. Let that sink in: 50 million. Stalin has nothing on us. As of this writing, the estimated death toll in Haiti is approximately 150,000, although 200,000 are feared dead. We would need a Haiti earthquake every day until October in order to reach the death toll that abortion has racked up.
But we don’t see Hollywood elitists rallying to the cause of the unborn. The hypocrisy of the “bleeding-heart” Left runs so deep they’re willing to shell out millions of dollars to help save the lives of those affected by an earthquake, but here at home they champion the choice that has allowed the slaughter of 50 million innocent lives.
We on the Right aren’t off the hook, though. We withhold compassion and generosity because we don’t believe that continuing to throw money at Haiti will accomplish any lasting change, as David Brooks poignantly pointed out in the New York Times on Jan. 14.
So instead of giving money, give of yourself. Go to your local church, or local branches of the Salvation Army or Red Cross, and ask them how you can help the people of Haiti in real, tangible ways.
And if you want to try to bring an end to the abortion catastrophe, volunteer at your nearest Crisis Pregnancy Center, youth groups, community health departments, or on the staff of a pro-life political candidate.
Criticizing the Left in an op-ed column is easy; doing our part to save lives at home and abroad is hard work. But it’s the best kind of work, because we do it out of genuine humanity, not for the benefit of any singular political party or for a boost to our self-esteem.